Aggregator • Wake up America • ID=78583
By Susan Duclos
When an administration declares open warfare against religious freedoms, it should be expected that those religious groups will fight back, and so they are.
News broke today that 43 separate Catholic groups have filed 12 lawsuits against the Obama's administration's HHS mandate which is part of Obamacare. The mandate would require religious institutes to provide access to health insurance that includes contraception, sterilization procedures and abortion-inducing drugs.
Claiming their "fundamental rights hang in the balance," a total of 43 plaintiffs filed a dozen separate federal lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the requirement. Among the organizations filing were the University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and The Catholic University of America.
Also included is Franciscan University of Steubenville, who recently was in the headlines after informing their students that because of Obama's HHS mandate they would be dropping student coverage.
Ave Maria University has also announced they will drop their student coverage.
Franciscan president, Father Terence Henry's video statement about their lawsuit, shown below:
Announcement on their website here.
The The University of Notre Dame's complaint can be found here.
NRO has a statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the bishops' conference:
"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. "
Notre Dame's full statement below, via LifeNews:
May 21, 2012A Message from Father John Jenkins, C.S.C.,
President, University of Notre DameToday 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.
While Catholics are the ones behind this breaking news as dioceses, hospitals, schools, and church agencies are part of these lawsuits, previous news showed that Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish Leaders, all publicly stated that they would rather shut down their hospitals and schools rather than comply with a government mandate that violates their faith and religious consciences.
The Obama administration has woken a sleeping giant.
Related pieces from WuA on Obama's Abortion Mandate:
Franciscan University Drops Student Coverage, Citing Obama's HHS Mandate Violating Religious Conscience
Audio- Indiana Priest Speaks Out On Obama's War Against Religious Liberty With HHS Mandate
Eyes Back On The Ball: Obama's Abortion Mandate, Cardinal Dolan and Confusion.
Senate Democrats Table Blunt Amendment To stop Obama HHS Abortion Mandate
Seven States File Lawsuits To Block Obama's HHS Abortion Mandate
Six Lawsuits Now Filed Against Obama's HHS Mandate
Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish Leaders Swear They Will Not Comply To Obama's Abortion Mandate
Priests for Life Associate Director is Arrested Outside White House
Harry Reid's Response To Americans Worried About Obama's Attack On Religion: 'Calm Down'
Catholic League: Obama Legacy- 'The President That Brought The Culture War To Boil'
Religious Freedom Lawsuits Against Obama's s Abortion Drug And Contraception Mandate
Catholic Churches And Bishop of Marquette Punch Back At Obama's War On Religion
Catholic League Prepared To Fight Back Against Obama's War On Religion more