Motion for summary reversal filed by the Archdiocese of Washington. Continue reading
Archdiocese of Washington’s comments in response to the NPRM issued by the Department of Health and Human Services Continue reading
The Archdiocese of Washington took two steps yesterday to further its ongoing challenge to the Department of Health and Human Services Mandate, which requires employers to include abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization in their employee health plans, or face crippling penalties for noncompliance. Continue reading
The Archdiocese of Washington and its co-plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia regarding the January dismissal of the archdiocese’s legal challenge to the HHS mandate. Continue reading
A US district court judge in western Pennsylvania has ruled a lawsuit filed by the Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company against the HHS mandate may proceed. The for-profit company is owned by a Catholic family. Continue reading
The American Family Association filed suit in federal court Wednesday against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, claiming health insurance mandates violate the organization’s religious liberty. Continue reading
Religious nonprofits have begun to respond in court to the plan the Obama administration offered this month to shelter them from a mandate requiring certain employers to insure contraception — and it’s probably not what the White House wanted to hear. Continue reading
Today, the Administration issued a proposed revision to regulations pertaining to the HHS mandate. We will be studying the new regulations closely and look forward to making a more comprehensive statement at a later date. Continue reading
Late today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Archdiocese of Washington and its co-plaintiffs, asserting that the case is premature in light of the government’s promises to amend the HHS mandate. Importantly, this ruling was not based on the merits of our case. Continue reading
Perhaps the Administration will scuttle this ridiculous rule out of embarrassment alone. I mean, the phony war on women trope worked well enough to secure reelection, but in reality, it isn’t holding up. Perhaps a miracle, much like the pending deal on the fiscal cliff, is imminent. Continue reading
A federal district court judge has ruled in favor of blocking enforcement of the HHS mandate against Tom Monaghan and his company, Domino’s Farms Corporation. According to the Thomas More Law Center, which filed the Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the mandate, which requires employers to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drug coverage in health care plans, cannot be enforced against Monaghan. Continue reading
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life legal organization that focuses on constitutional law, achieved a significant victory today when a federal appeals court granted an emergency motion for an injunction putting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on hold – preventing it from being enforced against an Illinois business and its owners. Continue reading
In an important procedural ruling yesterday, the D.C. Circuit reversed two lower-court orders that dismissed lawsuits against the HHS mandate brought by Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College. Continue reading
As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Friday, Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Mennonite-owned cabinet manufacturer based in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with 950 employees at plants around the country, has filed a lawsuit challenging the Health and Human Services mandate that employers provide “preventive services” in their health plans that include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. As the Inquirer reports, the company’s complaint says it would be “‘sinful and immoral for the company to participate in, pay for, facilitate or otherwise support any contraception’ that would have the effect of an abortion.” Continue reading
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life legal organization that focuses on constitutional law, today applauded an order by a federal appeals court granting a motion for a preliminary injunction – an order that temporarily blocks the implementation of the HHS mandate against a Missouri business owner. Continue reading
A federal appeals court issued an injunction on Wednesday that temporarily blocks President Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services from implementing Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Continue reading
Commentator John Gehring asserts that Catholic hospitals and universities would not have to pay for birth control coverage for their employees under an accommodation with the Obama administration that requires insurance companies to pick up the tab (“Finding common ground,” Nov. 12). This is not true. Continue reading
On May 21, 2012, there began a confrontation between church and state unlike any in American history. Forty-three Catholic institutions filed twelve lawsuits in twelve federal courts seeking religious exemption from an HHS regulation. The regulation issued by the Obama administration to implement the Affordable Care Act required employers to provide their employees with medical insurance that included coverage for abortion-inducing drugs (known as “abortifacients”), contraceptives, and sterilization. Such coverage is contrary to Catholic Church teaching.
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said church leaders are open to working toward a resolution with federal officials, but will meanwhile press ahead with challenges to the mandate in legislatures and in court. Continue reading
Richard Doerflinger, the associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.. Since 1980, Doerflinger has negotiated with legislators and the executive branch to advance pro-life legislation on Capitol Hill.
On Nov. 9, he spoke with Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond about the 2012 election’s impact on the battle to overturn the federal contraception mandate, as well as other pro-life ramifications. He explained why legal challenges filed by for-profit companies have met with some success in the courts. And he reported on another legislative opportunity to strengthen conscience protections — the upcoming Labor/HHS appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013, which includes an amendment similar to the Fortenberry-Blunt Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.
A Catholic-owned family business in Michigan does not have to comply with the provision of the new U.S. healthcare law that requires private employers to provide employees with health insurance that covers birth control, a federal judge in Detroit has ruled. Continue reading
A federal judge in Michigan threw out one lawsuit against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate while handing a small victory to the policy’s critics in a separate suit. Continue reading
Today in a federal court in Oklahoma City, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty attorneys argued for the religious-liberty protection for David and Barbara Green. The Greens run Hobby Lobby with their children and have had to go to court to defend their religious liberty against the Obama administration’s so-called contraception mandate. Evangelicals, the Greens are opposed to the abortion-inducing drugs included in that mandate, joined with Catholics and other people of faith in business, religious institutions, and faith-based social-service organizations (including schools, hospices, hospitals…) who have gone to court in recent months in response to the coercive mandate. Continue reading
Today, Liberty Institute on behalf of its client Criswell College, a Christ-centered institution of higher learning located in the heart of Dallas, filed a lawsuit against the federal government’s HHS Mandate in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Continue reading
Indiana-based Grote Industries is the latest to file suit against the ObamaCare mandate.
The vehicle lighting manufacturer objects on religious grounds to the requirements that it provide free insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception under threat of heavy penalties. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing the company. Continue reading
Despite 10 months of controversy — including a public clash between the White House and the U.S. Catholic bishops, countless rallies and protests across the country and the filing of dozens of federal lawsuits — many liberals and independents remain puzzled by the fight over the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. They don’t understand how conservatives can insist that the HHS mandate constitutes an unprecedented attack on religious freedom. Continue reading
While many differences exist in doctrine and/or points of emphasis among Christian denominations, some articles of faith remain consistent, and inviolable, for all Christians of traditionalist beliefs. Some of these points of agreement have important applications in the realm of public policy (and, by extension, in practical politics as well). Continue reading
To learn more, visit http://www.firstamericanfreedom.com
The striking confluence of the beginning of the Year of Faith and the annual recognition of Respect Life Month, set amidst the backdrop of a contentious election season, deepened both the sense of urgency and hope at the Oct. 14 Mass and Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty in Washington. Continue reading
At a critical time for American Catholics to stand up in defense of life and religious freedom, they must engage in the New Evangelization, deepening their own faith and sharing it in their everyday lives and in the public square, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori said at the Oct. 14 Mass and Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Continue reading
One of the deepest yearnings of the human heart is to be free. The desire to live freely is an expression of our personal dignity created in the image and likeness of God and made for a relationship with him. Human freedom is the power to become who we, as spiritual and bodily beings, have been created to be.
On this beautiful autumn Sunday in which the Scripture readings speak to us about the wisdom of God, we have gathered from near and far on pilgrimage to this august basilica, dedicated to Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, the Seat of Wisdom.
With Mary’s loving encouragement, we have come together to pray to the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of divine wisdom and for prudence, that we may have the understanding, the creativity and the courage to defend the God-given gifts of life and liberty in the context of our times. Continue reading
As more lawsuits over the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate are filed, many religious groups still remain temporarily exempt from the rule as they wait for answers. Continue reading
In a rare public rebuke, Catholic bishops chided Vice President Joe Biden for saying during Thursday’s vice-presidential debate that Catholic hospitals and institutions will not be forced to provide contraception coverage to employees. Continue reading
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows: Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees: “With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.” Continue reading
On Friday, September 21, 2012, the Illinois Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s injunction against the State of Illinois that protects the right of pro-life pharmacy owners to refuse to stock and sell the morning-after pill and similar drugs that interfere with the development of human life at its earliest stages. In Morr-Fitz, Inc. et al., v. Pat Quinn, Governor, et al., the court held that the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act “protects plaintiffs’ decisions not to dispense emergency contraceptives due to their conscience beliefs.” Continue reading
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta has joined dozens of other religious institutions to have filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the so-called birth control mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Tyndale was left with no alternative but to go to court,” explains Mark D. Taylor, president and CEO of Tyndale House Publishers. On the day before the first presidential debate, the company, which Taylor’s parents started when he was eleven years old, filed the 31st lawsuit over the Department of Health and Human Services’ abortion-drug, sterilization, and contraception mandate. Continue reading
A Christian Bible publisher has become the latest of nearly 100 plaintiffs to file a lawsuit challenging the federal contraception mandate over religious liberty violations. Continue reading
When about 300 people came to St. John Brebeuf Church’s ministry center Monday night to hear Cardinal Francis George speak, he joked it was amazing to see so many people who would rather hear about religious liberty than watch the Bears play. Continue reading
Amid attacks on religious liberty at home and abroad, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington presented Dignitatis Humanae, the Second Vatican Council’s “Declaration on Religious Freedom,” as an essential guide to a renewed defense of the “first freedom” and to religion’s culture-forming role in the public square. Continue reading
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington gave the keynote at Georgetown University’s symposium, “Catholic Perspectives on Religious Liberty” hosted by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. The event was part of the Berkley Center’s Religious Freedom Project. Continue reading
His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivered a lecture to the members of the John Carroll Society titled, “Let Religious Freedom Ring.”
Cardinal Dolan is the Archbishop of New York and also serves as the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. His remarks were delivered at the Newseum on September 10, 2012.
Urgency,” “deepening crisis.” These were words used at a conference on international religious liberty at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., on September 12. The timing of the gathering — which brought together activists, diplomats, and prominent religious leaders — took on a heightened significance as it occurred hours after our ambassador to Libya was killed, along with three other Americans, in attacks that were ostensibly about religion. Continue reading
Pope Benedict XVI signed a major document calling on Catholics in the Middle East to engage in dialogue with Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim neighbors, but also to affirm and defend their right to live freely in the region where Christianity was born. Continue reading
Christian-oriented Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging a mandate in the nation’s health care overhaul law that requires employers to provide coverage for the morning-after pill and similar drugs. Continue reading
On July 30, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provided a stalwart rationale for U.S. foreign policy on worldwide religious freedom, which is rooted in the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) signed by her husband. Secretary Clinton asserted: “For the United States . . . religious freedom is a cherished constitutional value, a strategic national interest, and a foreign policy priority.” This statement—of religious freedom as a strategic national interest—is the most powerful statement on this issue made by this administration. Continue reading
American Catholics’ concerns that the Obama health-law’s requirements threaten their religious freedom are “of a different order” to religious persecution overseas, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Wednesday. Continue reading
To the enthusiastic reception of an audience of John Carroll Society members Sept. 10, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan traced the historic origins of U.S. religious freedom in light of a current battle with the government over those rights. Continue reading
“Government has no business interfering in the internal life of the soul, conscience, or church,” Timothy Cardinal Dolan said Monday night at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. In an event on religious liberty in America sponsored by the John Carroll Society, Cardinal Dolan sought to “restore the luster” on our “first and most cherished freedom.”
Addressing a largely Catholic audience Monday night at an event sponsored by the John Carroll Society in Washington, D.C., Cardinal Timothy Dolan emphasized the non-sectarian, non-partisan—catholic with a small “c”—nature of the fight for religious liberty. “It is not some far right, extremist cause,” Dolan said, but an “American human rights issue.” Continue reading
Two more evangelical schools are challenging the Obama Administration’s anti-conscience mandate, filing a joint lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Continue reading
In a dozen courts around the country, attorneys representing more than 40 Catholic dioceses or institutions have filed briefs arguing against the federal government’s call to dismiss lawsuits against its contraceptive mandate. Continue reading
Earlier this week, the Archdiocese of Washington and several other Catholic organizations filed a brief opposing the federal government’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit against the HHS mandate. As you may recall, our lawsuit was one of several filed in federal courts across the country on May 21. The government has filed motions to dismiss all of those cases on procedural grounds and thereby deny us our day in court. Continue reading
Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Washington filed its opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) unprecedented mandate that dramatically redefines religious ministry and requires religious organizations to provide health insurance coverage for drugs and procedures in direct conflict with their religious beliefs. Continue reading
More than 30,000 people will move to Colorado this year; I became one of them in July when I came home after an 11-year absence. Continue reading
On August 8, President Obama spoke to an audience of women in Denver. They provided the perfect backdrop for his charge that Governor Romney is waging a “war on women.” The president spoke of how Obamacare has made “contraceptives” even more available than they were before — though he did not mention that “contraceptives,” as he defines them, include medications that do not prevent conception but instead cause the death of new life after it is formed. Continue reading
Denver City Councilwoman Robin Kniech inserted herself into a national debate about health care last week when she withdrew a friendly proclamation for Hercules Industries after learning the Denver-based manufacturer had successfully sued for a temporary reprieve from the Affordable Health Care Act. Continue reading
The Obama administration’s HHS mandate went into effect last week, August 1, solidifying one of the largest assaults on religious liberty America has ever faced from its government.
Religion is a seven-day-a-week commitment. Pope Benedict XVI made that clear when he asked in 2008: “Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs?” His question of the U.S. bishops during his visit to Washington strikes home now, after a Colorado judge weighed in on the question. Continue reading
The Department of Health and Human Services’ so-called “contraception mandate” became official law Wednesday. And the moment that it did, the nature of religious freedom in this country was dramatically changed.
One part of the HHS mandate sadly goes into effect today.
You probably know all about the mandate by now. It’s the decree from the Secretary of Health and Human Services that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employer health care plans to include contraceptive services for women, including drugs called abortifacients. Although, in America’s finest tradition, the bill allows an exemption for religious reasons, it presumes to define just what a church’s ministry must be to qualify, a dramatic and unprecedented intrusion into the integrity of all faiths. My brother bishops and I – in welcome collaboration with other religious leaders – think that this mandate is wrong and misguided and have tried to work with the Administration to correct it. Continue reading
Two major provisions of the health-overhaul law take effect Wednesday, testing employers’ ability to adapt to changes the measure mandates.
The law requires employers to distribute millions of dollars in insurance-company refunds to workers whose plans spent a high percentage of their premium dollars on administrative expenses instead of medical care.
The Affordable Care Act empowers the government to bully, tax and threaten every American, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to fall in line with the Health and Human Services mandate.
We must act now to protect religious institutions and employers who have to make a choice on August 1: violate their faith or pay $36,000 in taxes a year per employee to follow their faith. Continue reading
In the past several months the Catholic Church has been alerting everyone in the nation to the great new dangers affecting religious freedom: The government determining what constitutes a Church, who belongs, and what services they may or may not offer, and to whom.
A federal judge on Friday granted a temporary injunction sought by Catholic owners of a Colorado heating-and-cooling company who had objected to new federal requirements that they provide contraception coverage in workers’ health-insurance plans. Continue reading
The federal courts may finally soon tackle the question of whether religious freedom is threatened by the federal government’s mandate that employer-provided health-insurance plans cover contraceptives and abortifacients.
Bishops Asses Bills to Protect Catholic Agencies From Obamacare
When talks between the White House and the U.S. bishops stalled this spring, Church leaders focused on an array of legal and legislative remedies designed to repeal a coercive federal contraception mandate.
American Evangelicals and Catholics have not always been the best of friends. But in recent years, many in both camps have moved from suspicion to mutual understanding and appreciation. Continue reading
I had the pleasure of meeting Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, yesterday, as he announced the filing of Wheaton v. Sebelius. They have a moral problem with the Affordable Care Act that begins on August 1 when implementation of the HHS contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drug mandate hits those institutions that do not qualify for the somewhat arbitrary and wholly insulting one-year waiver. (In a longer interview with me, Ryken calls it “offensive.”) Wheaton’s conscience clash with the government is over the abortion-drug part of the mandate. Continue reading
Two federal judges have dismissed several challenges this week to President Obama’s contraception mandate, but the embattled requirement gained another legal opponent Wednesday when Wheaton College, one of the nation’s leading evangelical colleges, said it is going to court. Continue reading
Wheaton College, an evangelical institution, joined forces Wednesday with Catholic University of America to sue the government for requiring that it provide health insurance coverage for some abortifacient drugs to its employees and students. Continue reading
Today’s decision by a federal district court in Nebraska to dismiss one of the many pending lawsuits against the HHS abortion-drug, contraception and sterilization mandate is unfortunate (and in one respect, seriously mistaken). But the decision turns on technicalities and doesn’t decide the merits of the dispute. Bear this context in mind if you should hear anyone trumpeting this decision as some sort of “victory” for the federal government on the religious-liberty questions at the heart of the HHS mandate litigation. It’s nothing of the sort. Continue reading
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago joined an ongoing lawsuit in federal court today, seeking to overturn the mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To receive an exemption from the mandate, Catholic Charities must abandon its longstanding commitment, rooted in its Catholic faith, to serve the poor regardless of their religion. Continue reading
Saul Alinsky may have dedicated his “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer. Even so, the father of community organizing knew that his efforts would have gone nowhere in his hometown of Chicago without the help of an institution that had been serving the city’s poorest communities long before he arrived: the Catholic Church. Continue reading
Normally, our regular communications are suspended in July and August as so many are away and we all enjoy a break from our regular routines. The past weeks, however, have been a time of significance in the life of the Church that I think warrants further reflection. Continue reading
Independence Day concludes the Fortnight for Freedom mandated by the U.S. bishops, a two-week period of reflection and prayer on the defense of religious liberty that began on the vigil of the liturgical memorial of St. Thomas More. In July 2012, we may be grateful that none of us faces the headsman’s axe, as More did in Tudor England. But neither should we be indifferent to, or flippant about, the 21st century threats to religious liberty that surround us. They have yet to bring anyone to today’s equivalent of the scaffold on Tower Hill, but they are already putting severe pressure on both believers and religious institutions. Continue reading
Who would have thought that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion in Thursday’s healthcare decision would help opponents of the so-called contraceptive mandate? Continue reading
A district judge in Cologne, Germany, recently ruled that ritual circumcision is a crime, violating “the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity,” which outweighs other parental and religious rights. “This change runs counter to the interests of the child,” the court concluded, “who can decide his religious affiliation himself later in life.” Continue reading
Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, has recently loosed his pen on the subject of religious freedom, arguing for the restriction of “the legitimate defense of religious freedom to rejecting proposals that stop people from practicing their religion.” Continue reading
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has joined leaders of other religious groups in signing a letter drafted by the president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod supporting religious liberty. Continue reading
The head of the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, will address the first meeting of Italy’s Religious Liberty Observatory on June 28. Continue reading
Telling the gathered crowd, “We are called to deepen our own appreciation of our faith, renew our confidence in its truth and be prepared to share it with others,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, and the Archdiocese of Washington hosted a prayerful celebration of freedom as part of the Fortnight for Freedom in the archdiocese. At the “Celebration of Freedom,” thousands gathered for videos remembering and celebrating the history of the United States and the impact our Catholic faith has had on this country through the Catholic faithful, our parishes, schools, hospitals, social service ministries and Catholic Charities. Continue reading
The CEO of the Catholic Health Association has explained why the association recently called upon the Obama administration to broaden the religious exemption to the HHS mandate to include Catholic hospitals. Continue reading
On June 18 the National Catholic Bioethics Center provided public comment in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Preventive Services. Continue reading
The Knights of Columbus filed a formal comment with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today, calling on the government to rethink the unpopular healthcare Mandate that seeks to force many Catholic employers to cover interventions that violate their faith without regard for the First Amendment’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion. Continue reading
The InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington issued a May 29 statement expressing concern that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate might require religiously affiliated institutions to “provide funds for health services that violate their conscience and religious beliefs.” Continue reading
Sharpening an election-year confrontation over religious freedom and government health insurance rules, the nation’s Catholic hospitals on Friday rejected President Barack Obama’s compromise for providing birth control coverage to their women employees. Continue reading
In a conspicuous turnabout, the trade-group representing the nation’s Catholic hospitals has said it is “deeply concerned with the approach” taken by the Obama administration to its proposed contraceptive mandate, and called for the Department of Health and Human Services to “instead use an expanded definition to exempt from” the new policy “not only churches, but also Catholic hospitals, health care organizations and other ministries of the church.” Continue reading
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore argued that it is an “injustice” to imply that the Knights of Columbus’ support for defending religious freedom creates a sense of partisanship. Continue reading
Cardinal Dolan, Bishop Pates, eminences, excellencies and assembled guests: It is an honor to be invited to appear before this convocation. I am grateful for the opportunity to address you on the subject of religious freedom — a matter of increasing importance to the Church and to the world. Continue reading
As the U.S. bishops continue their battle against the federal government’s contraception mandate, they have been under increasing pressure to focus on a defense of the free exercise of Catholic institutions and set aside the issue of conscience protections for individual employers who oppose the new law on religious or moral grounds. Continue reading
More than 150 faith-based organizations have spoken out against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate because it creates class distinctions for religious groups. The mandate and its narrow exemption create a “two-class scheme” of religious organizations that “honors acts of worship while burdening those whose faith leads them to service in our common life,” they argued. Continue reading
In a June 8 column, the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger wonders, “Is Catholic Church taking on Obama?” The thesis of her column is that the U.S. Catholic bishops’ opposition to the HHS mandate, and even the upcoming Fortnight for Freedom campaign, are, in her view, a partisan get-out-the-vote effort to defeat President Obama in the November election. She is wrong on both counts. Continue reading
While the networks largely ignored 43 Catholic institutions suing the Obama administration over the ObamaCare contraception mandate, since news broke on May 25 of the Pope’s butler leaking classified Vatican documents, those same networks saw fit to provide 13 stories in 5 days proclaiming “another black eye for the Vatican” and supposed “corruption at some of the highest levels.” Continue reading
“We have tried negotiation with the [Obama] administration and legislation with the Congress – and we’ll keep at it – but there’s still no fix. Time is running out.” Continue reading
It was all too predictable that the filing of twelve different lawsuits by 43 different Catholic entities was almost completely ignored by traditional news outlets. One would think that this type of strong, coordinated legal attack in federal court, filed by one of the nation’s leading law firms (Jones Day) on behalf of the nation’s largest single religious denomination, would be deemed a top news story. The networks apparently disagreed — as did the New York Times, which ran the story on page A17. Continue reading
On May 21 the Catholic Church in the United States went to court.
In an unprecedented spate of lawsuits filed throughout the country, the Archdioceses of New York and Washington, along with such leading Catholic institutions as Notre Dame and Catholic Charities, joined a host of Catholic institutions seeking to have judges rule that the Obama administration’s contraception, abortion and sterilization mandate violates religious liberty. Continue reading
Every time I go to the New York Times editorial page, I feel like Charlie Brown running towards the football, held by Lucy, hoping for a connection. And, like Mr. Brown, every time, I come away feeling pained by the effort. Continue reading
In an age of sound-bite journalism, the Catholic Church’s positions on complex issues are often relegated to simplified remarks. While we respect the opinions of others, it is essential to avoid simplifying the current religious liberty debate to the point of distortion, as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, unfortunately, did in her May 24 column in The Tribune (“Father doesn’t know best,” Opinion). Continue reading
The right to say no is a powerful force in America’s history.
Government may not compel conscience. Pacifists can conscientiously object to military service. Students cannot be forced to pledge allegiance to the flag. Continue reading
How ironic it will be if Catholic voters, about 27% of the electorate, put the first Mormon in the White House some 50 years after John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic president. More telling, though, about the current state of the American mind will be the fact that after more than a thousand days and events in Barack Obama’s presidency, the reason for this result will be an unexpected reaffirmation of an American principle older than the country’s first presidential election: the free exercise of religion. Continue reading
Cardinal Wuerl appeared on Fox News Sunday on Sunday, May 26, 2012 Continue reading
I wish to clarify some misunderstandings related to my comments about the HHS Mandate. First of all, I stand solidly with my brother bishops in our common resolve to overturn the unacceptable intrusion of government into the life of the Church by the HHS Mandate. In March, the Administrative Committee issued a statement of commitment to persuade the Administration to eliminate this interference, the Congress to overturn it or the courts to stop it. I contributed to and voted for this statement, and continue to support it, including its call for legal action as was announced on Monday. Continue reading
On EWTN’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore discuss the religious freedom lawsuits brought by 43 Catholic dioceses and institutions over the federal health care mandate. Continue reading
The Catholic University of America has joined dozens of Catholic institutions across the country in filing suit against the U.S. government because the administration has refused to take seriously our profoundly held conviction that the mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services intrudes on our constitutionally protected religious liberty by attempting to compel us to provide surgical sterilization and contraceptives to those whom we insure. Continue reading
From an early age, Catholics are taught to see God in their neighbor. The Catholic faith finds its fullest expression in a loving act of sacrifice by one stranger for another. Imagine the church’s surprise, then, to be told by the federal government that when a Catholic organization serves its neighbors, it isn’t really practicing its religion. Continue reading
Congratulations to the local and state institutions joining in the Roman Catholic Church’s brave and principled stand against the federal government’s brazen assault on religious liberty – the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, the universities of Notre Dame and Saint Francis, and Our Sunday Visitor. Continue reading
The religious-liberty lawsuit against ObamaCare is historic. The 12 federal lawsuits filed Monday by 43 Catholic plaintiffs against the Obama Administration’s birth-control mandate are a big political and Constitutional moment. The nation’s most prominent Catholic institutions are saying that the same federal government they have viewed for decades as an ally in their fight for social justice is now a threat to their religious liberty. Continue reading
The nation’s Catholic bishops have mounted a powerful legal challenge to the Obama administration’s mandate that they provide free coverage for contraceptives to employees of church-affiliated organizations. Continue reading
In a blowout presidential election, a few large issues dominate. In a tight election, a range of smaller concerns — important to strategic constituencies in battleground states — can end up being crucial. Continue reading
The news Monday that 43 different Catholic entities across the country are suing the Obama administration, in response to the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) rule mandating employer health care coverage of contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization, comes as a blow to the president’s strength among Catholics, a demographic that helped carry him to victory in 2008. Continue reading
As America’s bishops and Catholic organizations around the country file lawsuits to protect their First Amendment rights from the government’s health care mandate, a new survey finds that a significant majority of Americans support the right to opt out of providing drugs, services and procedures for religious reasons. Continue reading
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has joined other Catholic organizations that on Monday sued the Obama Administration over provisions of the new health care law that would require employers to offer contraception services in their health care plans, arguing the proposal violates First Amendment protection for religious freedom. Continue reading
The spat between Catholic leaders and the Obama administration over its contraception policies is heating up again, with one of the nation’s most prominent Catholic leaders charging that the White House is “strangling” the church over the matter. Continue reading
The Obama administration’s definition of what constitutes a religious organization is so narrow that Mother Teresa herself would have not have qualified, a prominent Catholic official told Newsmax on Monday. Continue reading
The main goal of the contraception mandate is not to protect women’s health. It is a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda. Continue reading
Some of the most influential Catholic institutions in the country filed suit against the Obama administration Monday over the so-called contraception mandate, in one of the biggest coordinated legal challenges to the rule to date.
At stake is nothing less than the future of civil society in the United States. The battle for religious freedom between the Catholic Church in the United States and the Obama administration just entered the second quarter. Continue reading
Monday the Catholic Church filed 12 different federal lawsuits against the administration on behalf of 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations ranging from local Catholic Charities to parish schools, hospitals, and colleges. The lawsuits are in response to last year’s ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services, known as the HHS, which mandates all healthcare plans must provide sterilizations and abortion-inducing contraceptives for free, with an exemption for churches only, not broader religious organizations. Only churches which serve solely the members of the same faith are exempt; religious organizations which serve the general public are not covered—the most narrowly defined “conscience clause” ever adopted under federal law. Continue reading
Today, the Archdiocese of Washington filed a legal action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to challenge the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) unprecedented mandate dramatically redefining religious ministry and requiring religious organizations to provide coverage for drugs and procedures in direct conflict with their religious beliefs. Archbishop Carroll High School, Inc.; Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Inc.; the Consortium of Catholic Academies of the Archdiocese of Washington, Inc.; and The Catholic University of America are also plaintiffs in the same action. This local lawsuit is one of 12 actions filed nationwide today, on behalf of 43 separate Catholic institutions around the country. Continue reading
This morning, the Archdiocese of Washington filed a lawsuit to challenge the mandate, recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, that fundamentally redefines the nation’s long-standing definition of religious ministry and requires our religious organizations to provide their employees with coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs. Just as our faith compels us to uphold the liberty and dignity of others, so too, we must defend our own. Continue reading
Pope Benedict XVI warned visiting U.S. bishops that “radical secularism” threatens the core values of American culture, and he called on the church in America, including politicians and other laypeople, to render “public moral witness” on crucial social issues. Continue reading
At his May 16 Installation Mass, new Baltimore Archbishop William Lori drew upon the heritage of that historic archdiocese to underscore the importance of religious freedom for all Americans and for all people of faith. Continue reading
Amid growing threats to religious freedom in the United States, Catholics should stand united in defending the “first freedom,” said Jane Belford, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, in a May 7 talk at Oakcrest School in McLean. She addressed about 120 students from the upper school of the all-girls’ Catholic school that is sponsored by the prelature of Opus Dei. Continue reading
In recent interviews about the contraceptive mandate imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl underscored that the key issue at stake is religious freedom. The cardinal and other bishops conducted media interviews this past week to shed light on the Catholic Church’s stance on the HHS mandate controversy. Continue reading
In an unseasonably warm winter, the Obama Administration’s Jan. 20 decision reaffirming its mandate for health insurance plans to cover abortifacient drugs, sterilization and contraceptives should strike a chill in all Americans who value their religious freedom and conscience rights. Continue reading