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Miami archdiocese sues over 'real threat' from HHS mandate


CARL BUNDERSON

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
10/19/2012

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ABSTRACTMiami archdiocese sues over 'real threat' from 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 Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments 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 Miami archdiocese sues over 'real threat' from HHS mandate By Carl Bunderson Archbishop Thomas Wenski speaks during an Oct. 19, 2012 press conference on the HHS lawsuit by the Archdiocese of Miami. Credit: Ana Rodriguez-Soto/Florida Catholic. Miami, Fla., Oct 19, 2012 / 03:19 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- The Archdiocese of Miami and two other Catholic entities filed a lawsuit today against the HHS mandate, adding to the dozens of lawsuits already filed in the matter. “The HHS mandate represents a real threat … we cannot just sit back and let our religious freedoms be taken away from us,” Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami told CNA Oct. 19. Bolstering Catholic identity and teaching what it means to be a Catholic were also on the archbishop's mind. “I think listening to Vice President Biden's remarks at his debate when he alleged there was no problem with the Church and the administration, also underscores the urgency of the problem, that there is a problem.” The archdiocese in the person of Archbishop Wenski, Catholic Health Services, and Catholic Hospice are the plaintiffs in the suit. It challenges the mandate as a violation of Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and of three parts of the First Amendment: its free exercise, establishment, and free speech clauses. “If we can rescind the mandate, we will be able to maintain our freedom to serve in ways that are congruent with our Catholic identity and our Catholic principles, and therefore (the rule) will not present us with an obstacle that could in fact jeopardize our individual salvation,” Archbishop Wenski said. Archbishop Wenski emphasized that the suit would help the Church in Miami continue providing health services and other care to the people of southern Florida. “These health services that we offer and our Catholic charities … are a witness to what we believe about the human person, about human dignity, which is informed by our faith,” he explained. The lawsuit was announced at a 3:00 p.m. press conference at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center on Oct. 19. The mandate requires that virtually all employers, even religious ones, provide employees with health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, despite any moral and religious reservations of conscience they might have. To date, more than 100 plaintiffs have filed at least 33 other lawsuits against the federal government challenging the Department of Health and Human Services mandate. Plaintiffs include religious organizations, for-profit businesses and private individuals. Several non-Catholic employers and religious institutions have challenged the suit, including Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, two Baptist universities and the Bible publisher Tyndale House. The Obama administration has proposed an accommodation for religious employers, but the details are not yet clear and have not been finalized. The administration has opposed congressional efforts to provide a broad religious exemption to the controversial mandate. Employers who do not comply with the mandate face fines of $100 per employee per day. Tags: Contraception mandate , Religious freedom , Obama Administration , 2012 election Ads .......