In March, the Catholic Benefits Association filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 200 Catholic employers. It initially sought an injunction against forced compliance with the HHS Mandate of the Affordable Care Act while the serious issues raised in the complaint are litigated. Injunctive relief is what is called an extraordinary remedy in the law. An Injunction is an order of Court which precludes an opposing party from acting while a case is being litigated. In this instance it would compel the federal government to cease assessing any penalties and fines against the Catholic Benefits Association. In effect, it grants a temporary exemption from the draconian enforcement of the HHS Mandate while the underlying case is fully argued.The HHS Mandate requires Catholic and other Christian enterprises to provide contraception,abortion inducing drugs and sterilization - or be penalized out of existence. For such an extraordinary legal remedy like an injunction to be granted by a Federal Court requires a strong showing of irreparable damage and a likelihood of success on the merits in the underlying cause of action.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (Catholic Online) - In March, the Catholic Benefits Association filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 200 Catholic employers. It initially sought an injunction against forced compliance with the HHS Mandate of the Affordable Care Act while the serious issues raised in the complaint are litigated.
Injunctive relief is what is called an extraordinary remedy in the law. An Injunction is an order of Court which precludes an opposing party from acting while a case is being litigated. In this instance it would compel the federal government to cease assessing any penalties and fines against the Catholic Benefits Association.
In effect, it grants a temporary exemption from the draconian enforcement of the HHS Mandate while the underlying case is fully argued.The HHS Mandate requires Catholic and other Christian enterprises to provide contraception,abortion inducing drugs and sterilization - or be penalized out of existence.
For such an extraordinary legal remedy like an injunction to be granted by a Federal Court requires a strong showing of irreparable damage and a likelihood of success on the merits in the underlying cause of action.
In effect, the Judge would have to believe that the claims of the Catholic Benefits Association - that the HHS Mandate violates the protections of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act - and that they will prevail in the underlying action.
That is exactly what U.S. District Federal Judge David L. Russell of Oklahoma City ruled on Wednesday, June 4, 2014.
This Catholic Benefits Association is an outstanding example of the leadership of the Catholic Bishops and the Catholic business and professional community. Our readers should visit their Life Affirming Care website. On that site you can read more about this excellent effort.
Baltimore Archbishop William Lori is the President of the Catholic Benefits Association. It was formed to assist Catholic employers of both for profit and nor for profit enterprises and employers who seek to integrate the moral teaching of the Church in their undertakings.
It is an example of what we should be doing on every front as we face the growing hostility of a federal administration which has turned against the long cherished recognition of Religious Freedom as a fundamental human right in the United States of America. Catholic Christians cannot and will not separate their faith and their daily life.
Here is an excerpt from the Catholic Benefits Association websit:
Led by archbishops from throughout the United States, The Catholic Benefits Association (CBA) has formed The Catholic Insurance Company (CIC) and staffed it with a team of organizations and professionals with deep experience in the administration, delivery and operation of self-funded health care plans, in addition to legal counsel experienced in the defense of religious liberty. The CBA owns the CIC, a captive insurer domiciled in and regulated by the State of Oklahoma.
What is The Catholic Benefits Association (CBA)?
Led by archbishops from throughout the United States, the CBA is an Oklahoma limited cooperative association comprised of Catholic employers - both nonprofit and for-profit - committed to providing life-affirming health coverage consistent with Catholic values. The CBA owns The Catholic Insurance Company (CIC), an Oklahoma captive insurer.
What is life-affirming health care?
Life-affirming health care is comprehensive, quality health care that honors the dignity of the human person and is consistent with Catholic values. The Catholic Benefits Association (CBA) offers Catholic employers the ability to provide life-affirming health coverage to their employees
One of the most inaccurately reported notions concerning the Affordable Care Act - and its onerous HHS Mandate - is that Catholic and other Christian efforts have been exempted from the enforcement of the mandate. THEY HAVE NOT!
There is an exemption (albeit a deficient one) for a Catholic Diocese, or church group which is officially tied into the Diocese.
However, that exemption does not apply to the countless ministries to the poor and needy and Catholic employers which are not tied into a Diocese. Many of these important efforts are separately incorporated as non-profit organizations.
Others are structured as for profit companies. How an effort is legally structured under state and federal law should not, in any way, make a difference, if it is run by a Catholic or other Christian who understands the truth about the dignity of every human life.
The Christian faith - and the values which it imparts - must inform every aspect of our life as Christians - and not just our Sunday worship.
Certainly the recognition of religious freedom as a fundamental human right is not dependent on whether an effort or an enterprise is structured as tax exempt or directly tied into a Catholic Diocese. Remember, the IRS did not even exist at the time of the American founding.
In effect, the Obama administration is seeking to compel faithful Catholics and other Christians - those who know that the truth about the dignity of all human life and the obligation to protect all human life is binding upon them beyond their worship behind the Church walls - to bend the knee to a new Caesar or be fined out of existence.
This is tyranny. It violates the fundamental human right to religious freedom. It is not consistent with the patrimony of the American experiment and the robust recognition of religious freedom the Nation was founded upon.
The Most Reverend Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City serves as the Vice president of the Catholic Benefits Association. ON Wednesday, after the ruling, he told the Press:
"I'm heartened by today's ruling. Judge Russell was right to recognize that the Catholic employers of the Catholic Benefits Association have a right to allow their faith to inform not just their private beliefs, but also their public actions."
"The administration has been discriminatory to grant relief to some Catholic employers and not others based on whether they operate within the diocesan structure or at separately incorporated charitable organizations and for-profit businesses.
"Whether bishops or businessmen, Catholics cannot in good conscience provide employees with insurance that covers drugs and procedures that undermine the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life."
"Today is a very good day for proponents of religious liberty in general and for the Catholic Benefits Association in particular."
By Keith A Fournier
There is something which many in the main stream U.S. media do not know, here it is - not many people are listening to them anymore. However, they will listen to this song. And, they will understand it. The sentiment it captures will encourage the heart of a ... continue reading
By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May has proved to be the most dangerous and deadliest month Baltimore has witnessed in more than 50 years. There were more than two dozen shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone; city police have never been busier. Community leaders hope the members will come ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading
By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading
By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading
By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
How would you react if you unexpectedly and inexplicably found nine brains on the side of the road while on your early morning run? Like most people, you may find yourself shocked and completely clueless on the origins of the brains. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading
By Fr. Randy Sly
The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading
By Jennifer Hartline
Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland. Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight. I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading
By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading