www.CatholicLiberty.com

Forty-three Catholic organizations file lawsuits against HHS mandate


MICHELLE BAUMAN

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
5/21/2012

Go to this article

Want to understand the Catholic faith?

ABSTRACTForty-three Catholic organizations file lawsuits against HHS mandate :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Sacred Arts Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » News » US Forty-three Catholic organizations file lawsuits against HHS mandate By Michelle Bauman Washington D.C., May 21, 2012 / 10:39 am ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Forty-three Catholic dioceses and organizations across the country have announced religious liberty lawsuits against the federal government to challenge the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. The announcement was applauded by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who called it “a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty.” “We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress – and we’ll keep at it – but there's still no fix,” said Cardinal Dolan, who is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now,” he explained in a May 21 statement. The bishops’ conference is not a party to the lawsuits, although several individual dioceses across the country are. Cardinal Dolan praised the “courageous action” as “a great show of the diversity of the Church's ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate.” The lawsuits argue that a federal mandate issued by the Obama administration violates their fundamental religious liberty. The controversial mandate will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences. The mandate has drawn heavy criticism from bishops in every diocese in the U.S. They warned that the regulation could force Catholic schools, hospitals and charitable agencies around the nation to close down. At least 11 previous lawsuits have already been filed against the mandate by states, colleges, private employers and organizations throughout the U.S. Now, 12 new lawsuits are being filed by 43 dioceses, hospitals, schools and church agencies in a dozen different jurisdictions across the country.  The Archdioceses of New York, St. Louis and Washington, D.C, are part of separate lawsuits against the measure, as are Catholic Charities organizations in several dioceses and the Catholic publishing group Our Sunday Visitor. Other dioceses filing lawsuits include, Rockville Centre, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Fort Worth, Jackson, Biloxi, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Joliet, and Springfield, Ill. -- all in their respective districts of federal court. An editorial in “OSV Newsweekly” explained that the organization “stands proudly with our fellow Catholic apostolates and with our bishops in resisting this challenge.” It called on readers to support the effort, knowing that “whatever sacrifices we bear and whatever challenges we endure, we are only doing what is our responsibility as American citizens practicing our faith in the public square.” The editorial recalled the spirit of Our Sunday Visitor’s founder, Fr. John Noll, “who resisted the power of the Ku Klux Klan when it was such a powerful political force.” It explained that “it is in his courageous spirit that we invoke as we engage in this great struggle today.” Several Catholic universities around the country also joined in the lawsuits, including The Catholic University of America, the University of Notre Dame and Franciscan University of Steubenville. Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C., said the lawsuit was filed “neither lightly nor gladly, but with sober determination.” “We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others,” he explained in an e.......