Catholic organizations across the country file suit against contraception mandate


#1

Catholic archdioceses and institutions filed suit in federal district courts across the country Monday against the so-called contraception mandate, in one of the biggest coordinated legal challenges to the rule to date.

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:clapping:

Read more: foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/21/catholic-organizations-across-country-file-suit-against-contraception-mandate/#ixzz1vWMkYUFU

[/quote]


#2

The University of Notre Dame’s complaint can be read in full here.

The announcement is here:

May 21, 2012

A Message from Father John Jenkins, C.S.C.,
President, University of Notre Dame

Today the University of Notre Dame filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana regarding a recent mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). That mandate requires Notre Dame and similar religious organizations to provide in their insurance plans abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures, which are contrary to Catholic teaching. The decision to file this lawsuit came after much deliberation, discussion and efforts to find a solution acceptable to the various parties.

Let me say very clearly what this lawsuit is not about: it is not about preventing women from having access to contraception, nor even about preventing the Government from providing such services. Many of our faculty, staff and students – both Catholic and non-Catholic – have made conscientious decisions to use contraceptives. As we assert the right to follow our conscience, we respect their right to follow theirs. And we believe that, if the Government wishes to provide such services, means are available that do not compel religious organizations to serve as its agents. We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the Government not impose its values on the University when those values conflict with our religious teachings. We have engaged in conversations to find a resolution that respects the consciences of all and we will continue to do so.

This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives. For if we concede that the Government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately leads to the undermining of those institutions. For if one Presidential Administration can override our religious purpose and use religious organizations to advance policies that undercut our values, then surely another Administration will do the same for another very different set of policies, each time invoking some concept of popular will or the public good, with the result these religious organizations become mere tools for the exercise of government power, morally subservient to the state, and not free from its infringements. If that happens, it will be the end of genuinely religious organizations in all but name.

The details of the process that led to the mandate are publicly known. In an Interim Final Ruling issued August 3, 2011, the federal government required employers to provide the objectionable services. A narrow exemption was given to religious institutions that serve and employ primarily members of their own faith, but, departing from a long tradition in federal law, organizations like Notre Dame—schools, universities, hospitals and charitable organizations that serve and employ people of all faiths and none—were granted no exemption, but instead were made subject to the law to the same extent as any secular organization. On September 28, I submitted a formal comment encouraging the Administration to follow precedent and adopt a broader exemption.

Despite some positive indications, the Administration announced on January 20, 2012, that its interim rule would be adopted as final without change. After an outcry from across the political spectrum, President Obama announced on February 10 that his Administration would attempt to accommodate the concerns of religious organizations. We were encouraged by this announcement and have engaged in conversations with Administration officials to find an acceptable resolution. Although I do not question the good intentions and sincerity of all involved in these discussions, progress has not been encouraging and an announcement seeking comments on how to structure any accommodation (HHS Advanced Notification of Proposed Rule Making on preventative services policy, March 16, 2012) provides little in the way of a specific, substantive proposal or a definite timeline for resolution. Moreover, the process laid out in this announcement will last months, making it impossible for us to plan for and implement any changes to our health plans by the government-mandated deadlines. We will continue in earnest our discussions with Administration officials in an effort to find a resolution, but, after much deliberation, we have concluded that we have no option but to appeal to the courts regarding the fundamental issue of religious freedom.

It is for these reasons that we have filed this lawsuit neither lightly nor gladly, but with sober determination.


#3

cnsnews.com/news/article/breaking-cardinal-dolan-ny-cardinal-wuerl-dc-notre-dame-and-40-other-catholic-dioceses

BREAKING: Cardinal Dolan of NY, Cardinal Wuerl of D.C., Notre Dame–And 40 Other Catholic Dioceses and Organizations–Sue Obama Administration


#4

The Anchoress links to the “strong editorial” of the publication Our Sunday Visitor:
It seems to us hardly a coincidence that this suit is taking place in our centennial year. Founded 100 years ago by then-Father John Noll, Our Sunday Visitor from its beginning sought to inform Catholics about the issues of the day, form them in the Faith, and defend that Faith from attack. It was Father John Noll who stood up to those who attacked Catholic immigrants as un-American and seditious. It was Father John Noll who faced down false preachers who spread slanders about the Church. It was Father John Noll who resisted the power of the Ku Klux Klan when it was such a powerful political force. And it is in his courageous spirit that we invoke as we engage in this great struggle today.

We know that many Americans — and even many Catholics — are confused about this debate. Politicians and elements of the news media have sought to make it a war against women or contraception, and they have portrayed the Church as seeking to impose its values on others or as being covertly political.

We also acknowledge that many Catholics do not understand the reasons for the Church’s moral opposition to contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. This lack of understanding points to a significant catechetical need that the Church should address internally.
We reiterate, however, that this is not about the legality of such practices in society, nor is it about how many Catholics understand the Church’s position. It is about the Church’s right to practice what it preaches.

Hat Tip


#5

The Franciscan University of Steubenville notification is here.


#6

Interesting...


#7

Wow, 43 plaintiffs. :thumbsup:


#8

Statement from Cardinal Dolon:

We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress – and we’ll keep at it – but there’s still no fix. Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now. Though the Conference is not a party to the lawsuits, we applaud this courageous action by so many individual dioceses, charities, hospitals and schools across the nation, in coordination with the law firm of Jones Day. It is also a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty. It’s also a great show of the diversity of the Church’s ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate – ministries to the poor, the sick, and the uneducated, to people of any faith or no faith at all.

University of Notre Dame statement:

This lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have a right to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. Those services are, and will continue to be, freely available in the United States, and nothing prevents the Government itself from making them more widely available. But the right to such services does not authorize the Government to force the University of Notre Dame (“Notre Dame”) to violate its own conscience by making it provide, pay for, and/or facilitate those services to others, contrary to itssincerely held religious beliefs. …

If the Government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the Government’s power. Such an oppression  of religious freedom violates Notre Dame’s clearly established constitutional and statutory rights.

The First Amendment also prohibits the Government from becoming excessively entangled in religious affairs and from interfering with a religious institution’s internal decisions concerning the organization’s religious structure, ministers, or doctrine. The U.S. Government Mandate tramples all of these rights.

Father Terrence Henry talks about Franciscan University lawsuit in video:

youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dI4NEUNR-V8

Noting that Franciscan University did not go looking for this battle, Father Henry said the University retained Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, with whom the University has had a relationship for the past twenty years, “because it has the resources to fight the government as long as it takes, and we will settle for no less than a restoration of our First Amendment right to freedom of religion.”

Father Henry concluded, “Under no circumstances can Catholics be both in compliance with this new law and at the same time live the faith that we believe. Franciscan University will continue to stand with the Church in its opposition to this mandate. Our ancestors came to America because they knew that on these shores they would be free to faithfully live what they believed. This mandate is not only a grave infringement on religious liberty; it is a betrayal of those who sacrificed to make this country what it is today.”

hotair.com/archives/2012/05/21/43-catholic-institutions-file-suits-over-hhs-mandate


#9

Our objections to Pres. Obama’s attacks…

[LIST]
*]are not about politics or political parties
*]are not about being Catholic
*]are not about contraception.
[/LIST]No, on the contrary, they …

[LIST]
*]are about conscience
*]are about religious liberty
*]are about our rights from God.
[/LIST]A reader sent me a helpful list of the Catholic entities which filed the federal suit against the federal government. More about that HERE.

As of 11:30AM:

  1. D.D.C. Lawsuit
    o Archdiocese of Washington
    o Consortium of Catholic Academies
    o Archbishop Carroll High School
    o Catholic Charities of D.C.
    o The Catholic University of America

  2. E.D.N.Y. Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Rockville Centre
    o Catholic Health Services of Long Island
    o Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre
    o Archdiocese of N.Y.
    o ArchCare

  3. W.D.Pa. (Erie Div.) Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Erie
    o St. Martin Center
    o Prince of Peace Center

  4. W.D.Pa. (Pitt. Div.) Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Pittsburgh
    o Catholic Charities of Diocese of Pittsburgh
    o Catholic Cemeteries Association of Diocese of Pittsburgh

  5. N.D.Tex. (Dallas Div.) Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Dallas

  6. N.D.Tex. (Fort Worth Div.) Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Fort Worth

  7. S.D. Ohio (Columbus Div.) Lawsuit
    o Franciscan University of Steubenville
    o Michigan Catholic Conference

  8. S.D.Miss. (Gulfport Div.) Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Jackson
    o Catholic Charities of Jackson
    o Vicksburg Catholic School
    o St. Joseph’s Catholic School
    o Diocese of Biloxi
    o De l’Epee Deaf Center Inc.
    o Catholic Social & Community Services Inc.
    o Resurrection Catholic School
    o Sacred Heart Catholic School
    o St. Dominic Health Services

  9. N.D.Ind. (South Bend Div.) Lawsuit
    o The University of Notre Dame

  10. N.D. Ind. (Fort Wayne Div.) Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
    o Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend
    o St. Anne Home
    o Franciscan Alliance
    o Our Sunday Visitor
    o University of St. Francis

  11. N.D.Ill. Lawsuit
    o Diocese of Joliet
    o Catholic Charities of Joliet
    o Diocese of Springfield
    o Catholic Charities of Springfield

  12. E.D.Mo. (St. Louis Div.)
    o Archdiocese of St. Louis
    o Catholic Charities of St. Louis

TOTAL: 12 lawsuits, 43 entities.

Full entry...


#10

Yay! The sleeping giant awakes! True leadership prevails!


#11

Let the comeuppance rain from the sleeping giant like how missiles rain down from a multiple rocket launcher. :)


#12

[quote="Nimzovik, post:10, topic:285220"]
Yay! The sleeping giant awakes! True leadership prevails!

[/quote]

This is going to be a long, hard and tough battle. Please give generously to the Church to help it fund this battle. AND PRAY LIKE YOU'VE NEVER PRAYED BEFORE!


#13

[quote="Nimzovik, post:10, topic:285220"]
Yay! The sleeping giant awakes! True leadership prevails!

[/quote]

Bout tiiiime.


#14

From the ND web site:

The University of Notre Dame filed a lawsuit Monday (May 21) challenging the constitutionality of a federal regulation that requires religious organizations to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate insurance coverage for services that violate the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, the lawsuit names as defendants Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and their respective departments.

The federal mandate requires Notre Dame and similar religious organizations to provide in their insurance plans abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures, which are contrary to Catholic teaching. It also authorizes the government to determine which organizations are sufficiently “religious” to warrant an exemption from the requirement.

Notre Dame’s lawsuit charges that these components of the regulation are a violation of the religious liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws.

“This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, wrote in a message to members of the campus community. “For if we concede that the government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately leads to the undermining of those institutions."

Notre Dame’s lawsuit was one of 12 filed Monday against the federal government by 43 plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the regulation.

Father Jenkins’ message and the lawsuit are available online.


#15

Bishop Zubik's statement: facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diopitt.org%2Fbishops-statements%2Fbishop-zubik-federal-lawsuit&h=cAQFiVOpcAQEbQhiDamohT3QsV2zF8MR9Gsg6uZ0s8ZZ_BA


#16

May 21, 2012

With time running out, dioceses, agencies resort to the courts
Church united in defense of religious liberty
Diversity of church ministries at stake

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in a May 21 statement applauded 43 dioceses, hospitals, schools and church agencies for filing 12 lawsuits around the nation saying the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate violates religious freedom.

His statement follows.

“We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress – and we’ll keep at it – but there's still no fix. Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now. Though the Conference is not a party to the lawsuits, we applaud this courageous action by so many individual dioceses, charities, hospitals and schools across the nation, in coordination with the law firm of Jones Day. It is also a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty. It's also a great show of the diversity of the Church's ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate – ministries to the poor, the sick, and the uneducated, to people of any faith or no faith at all.”

Keywords: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Health and Human Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Jones Day, religious freedom. First Amendment, religious liberty, HHS

# # #

usccb.org/news/2012/12-088.cfm


#17

cnsnews.com/news/article/breaking-cardinal-dolan-ny-cardinal-wuerl-dc-notre-dame-and-40-other-catholic-dioceses


#18

[quote="Jeffrey, post:17, topic:285220"]
cnsnews.com/news/article/breaking-cardinal-dolan-ny-cardinal-wuerl-dc-notre-dame-and-40-other-catholic-dioceses

[/quote]

I only caught part of Bishop Rhoades's press conference, but in our diocese a collection of ministries has joined the suit including Notre Dame, Univerisity of Saint Francis, Saint Anne Retirement home, Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, and a couple of others I can't remember.

The lawsuits were filed at the same time across the country in 12 different federal judicial districts. As I understand it, if decisions in two or more districts are contrary to each other, it almost guarantees the situation will progress to higher courts, and eventually the Supreme Court.

Our bishops are united on this and maybe now the Obama administration will realize we are serious and united in opposition to the denial of religious liberty.


#19

Notre Dame? :eek:

passes out


#20

diocesefwsb.org/hhs-litigation

Above is link to brief statement by Bishop Kevin C Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Seven of the 43 entities filing suit today are from our diocese. Do we get a prize?:thumbsup:


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