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Necessary recourse in defence of religious freedom

· U.S. Catholic institutions and dioceses take legal action against department of Health and Human Resources ·

The Archdioceses of New York, of Washington and of Saint Louis, along with 40 other dioceses, institutions and Catholic organizations (schools, universities, hospitals and charities) in the United States have filed lawsuits against the President's administration  challenging the new healthcare mandate. The controversial directives which would force employers, including religious  institutions and organizations, to provide their employees with health insurance cover both the prescri ption and administering of abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilization (the latter especially considered as preventative measures for women's health), jeopardizing religious freedom. In a note spread by the Bishops' conference, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, President of the USCCB and Archbishop of New York, voiced his support for the initiative, calling to mind that the Church has always  demonstrated their wish to collaborate with the civil authorities. “We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress – and we’ll keep at it”, the Cardinal said, “ 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”. This is also, he concluded, “ a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defence 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”.

This legal action, several promoters explained, has been launched to shed light on what kind of health insurance should be provided for employees. The mandate, which has established these new healthcare guidelines, is unconstitutional, in so far as it forces Catholic institutions and organizations (as well as those affiliated with other religions and denominations) to violate their moral and religious principles which safeguard human life. Individual lawsuits number 12 in 8 states outside of the District of Colombia.

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Sept. 26, 2018

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