Invoking the image of a renowned Catholic priest’s struggle against the Ku Klux Klan, 43 Catholic organizations have sued the Obama Administration over its mandate that they carry health insurance that covers abortions and sterilizations in violation of religious conscience.
“We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress — and we’ll keep at it — but there’s still no fix,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Dolan of New York added in a statement Monday, “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”
An editorial in Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly recalled the spirit of its founder, Fr. John Noll, “who resisted the power of the Ku Klux Klan when it was such a powerful political force.”
“… It is his courageous spirit that we invoke as we engage in this great struggle today.”
Cardinal Dolan said the “courageous action” was “a great show of the diversity of the Church’s ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate.”
The president’s mandate, which was used to kick off the Democrats’ ridiculous campaign theme about a “war on women,” would require employers to offer health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates religious conscience. Essentially, for the first time in history, a president has assumed the authority to supersede religious groups’ fundamental rights and force them to accept an immoral government mandate.
The issue is as much about the president’s usurpation of unconstitutional powers as it is the churches’ rights, and the mandate has drawn universal condemnation from the nation’s Catholic bishops as well as Bible-believing Christians and Jews of other denominations.
Many bishops have warned that the regulation could force Catholic schools, hospitals and agencies to shut down, all to salve Obama’s ego.
At least 11 of the lawsuits were filed previously, but 12 new ones have been recently filed or are in the process of being filed in jurisdictions nationwide, including by major dioceses such as New York, and universities such as Notre Dame.
Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins said the suit was filed “neither lightly nor gladly, but with sober determination.”
“We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others,” he wrote in an email to employees. “… We simply ask that the government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings.”
At stake is “the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives,” he added, warning that the country under Obama is following a path that could lead to “the end of genuinely religious organizations in all but name.”