www.CatholicLiberty.com

Catholic groups file suit in DC court against HHS mandate


CNA

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
10/23/2013

Go to this article

Want to understand the Catholic faith?

ABSTRACTCatholic groups file suit in DC court 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 Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis 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 Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Not by Sight Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition Russell Shaw 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 CNA Blog Home » News » US Catholic groups file suit in DC court against HHS mandate HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius listens as President Obama announces the contraceptive mandate, Jan. 12, 2012. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza. Washington D.C., Oct 23, 2013 / 05:02 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Catholic organizations in Washington, D.C., and Thomas Aquinas College, have filed a suit against the Obama administration, asking for a reprieve from the contraception mandate on religious liberty grounds. “The HHS contraceptive mandate presents a challenge to a Catholic institution such as Thomas Aquinas College that seeks to uphold both the civil law and the teachings of the Church,” Michael McLean, president of Thomas Aquinas College, told CNA Oct. 23. “The mandate puts those duties into direct conflict, requiring that we take action to protect the College’s Catholic identity and  preserve its financial stability, as the penalties for non-compliance are substantial.” Thomas Aquinas College is located in Santa Paula, Calif., and is filing with the D.C. district court rather than in California’s 9th district for “prudential reasons,” the college explained in an Oct. 7 press release. Organizations and persons from the Archdiocese of Washington, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, an assortment of schools, Catholic Charities Victory Housing, the Catholic Information Center, and the Catholic University of America, as well as Thomas Aquinas College, submitted their formal complaint against the HHS mandate to the D.C. district court Sept. 20, and asked for a preliminary injunction, or reprieve from the mandate’s consequences, on Sept. 24. This is the second time the Archdiocese has filed suit against the HHS mandate. The first lawsuit was filed in May 2012, but not allowed to proceed when the federal district court granted the government’s request to throw out the case because of the then-“ongoing rulemaking process” of the mandate. The mandate was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services under the Affordable Care Act and requires employers to provide and pay for contraception, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs and procedures in employee health insurance plans, even if doing so violates the employer's conscience or religious beliefs.  In June 2013, the government finalized an exemption from the mandate for certain religious organizations, however, the exemption only applies to houses of worship, and not religious non-profit ministries, schools, hospitals or charities, nor does it apply to for-profit organizations run by religious persons. This distinction, the organizations’ lawsuit says, “seeks to divide the Catholic Church, artificially separating its ‘houses of worship’ from its ministries.” Additionally, the “shell game” the exemption presents “does not address Plaintiffs’ fundamental religious objection to improperly facilitating access to the objectionable products and services,” the lawsuit explains. “As before, Plaintiffs are coerced, through threats of crippling fines and other pressure, into facilitating access to contraception, abortion-inducing products, sterilization, and related counseling for their employees, contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” The government’s reluctance to create an exemption for religious institutions or find a less restrictive means of providing th.......