Despite repeated assurances by the government that the concerns of religious employers regarding the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services mandate would be addressed, not a single word of the mandate, which is now law, has yet to be changed. The Constitution allows for the full exercise of faith in the public square by ministries that translate belief into action, serving millions of people every day.
Chancellor Jane Belford of the Archdiocese of Washington explains the significance of the lawsuit filed to protect freedom to practice religion. Chancellor Belford details why the suit is necessary in light of the attempt of the government to redefine what is a religious institution. She explains that under the new definition that the work of Mother Teresa no longer would qualify as the work of a religious institution.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, explains the significance of the lawsuit filed by Catholic institutions across the country to protect their First Amendment right to religious freedom. Cardinal Wuerl explains why the suit is necessary in light of the attempt by the government to redefine what is a religious institution. He explains that under the new definition, the work of Mother Teresa no longer would qualify as “religious enough”.
At the “Celebration of Freedom,” thousands gathered in prayerful celebration of the heritage of religious liberty in America and the vital contributions of Catholics in building this nation.
At the “Celebration of Freedom,” thousands gathered in prayerful celebration of the heritage of religious liberty in America and the vital contributions of Catholics in building this nation. This documentary-style film highlights the history of our struggle to protect religious freedom in the United States of America.
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.
This lawsuit is about religious freedom and our ability to serve the public, not about contraception. The Church maintains that the First Amendment protects the Catholic Church's ability to serve the public in accordance with its faith and to operate its religious institutions without government interference. The argument challenges the way the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines what is, and is not, a religious institution. By including an exemption at all, the government apparently agrees that, in keeping with decades of practice and precedent, religious institutions should not be compelled to purchase drugs or procedures that violate deeply held religious or moral beliefs.
But, the Administration's HHS mandate defines religious ministry so narrowly that religious schools, hospitals, and social services don't qualify as religious, and must therefore provide these drugs and procedures. This violates the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. It forces religious organizations to sacrifice their beliefs in order to be able to continue their mission of serving the public. Read more about the plaintiffs filing this lawsuit here.
Preserve Religious Freedom
c/o Archdiocese of Washington
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, DC 20017-0260