Emily Stimpson at Catholic Vote writes:
So, as you may have heard, it was a busy morning in the U.S. District Courts.
Today, at 11 a.m. Eastern, 12 lawsuits were filed by 43 different plaintiffs—all Catholic dioceses, universities, health systems, and apostolates, and all with one goal in mind: blocking an unprecedented infringement on religious liberty by the federal government.
Two of those plaintiffs are institutions that help me pay the mortgage: Franciscan University and Our Sunday Visitor. Others include the Archdioceses of New York, Washington, and St. Louis, the Dioceses of Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne, Erie, Dallas, Ft. Worth, the Michigan Catholic Conference (which represents all seven dioceses in Michigan), The University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, and many more.
And for those who want to use contraception as a wedge issue:
This is not about access to contraception. We’ve said it a hundred times. I’ll say it one time more. If a woman wants to use contraception, she can. It’s her choice. And it’s a choice she can exercise for about $9 at her local Target. We’re not saying we agree with that choice. We’re not saying it’s a good one. But we are saying we shouldn’t have to pay for it.
Moreover, the contraception issue has been the stalking horse for the other things that the HHS mandate requires, specifically abortion:
The lawsuits argue that a federal mandate issued by the Obama administration violates their fundamental religious liberty. The controversial mandate will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.
Apparently, Notre Dame has learned that sucking up to the Caesar is not a guarantee that when the time comes, you won't be thrown under the bus:
Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C., said the lawsuit was filed “neither lightly nor gladly, but with sober determination.”
“We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others,” he explained in an email to Notre Dame employees.
Rather, he explained, “we simply ask that the Government not impose its values on the University when those values conflict with our religious teachings.”
According to Fr. Jenkins, the lawsuit is about “the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives.”
He cautioned that when the government decides “which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission,” the nation has started down a path that could lead to “the end of genuinely religious organizations in all but name.”