Skip to main content

University President Calls for Protection of Conscience, Religious Liberty

4/2/2013 - 6:35 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

STEUBENVILLE, OH (April 2, 2013) - Father Terence Henry, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, says the newest proposed revisions to the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate continue to deny Franciscan University the freedom to exclude "morally objectionable" items from its employee healthcare plan.

Father Henry made the comment in a March 27 statement submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding the mandate, which requires health plans to cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures.

Father Henry explained that as a Catholic institution, Franciscan University cannot facilitate such coverage "without violating Catholic Church teaching on the sanctity of human life and the purpose of marriage," and said that the proposed accommodation would "force us to play a key role" in facilitating contraceptive coverage.

The proposal "would require Franciscan University's simple act of contracting with an insurer to trigger automatic coverage for pills and procedures that we, as a Catholic university, find morally objectionable," he said, adding that employees cannot opt out of the automatic coverage, "even when it deeply offends their religious beliefs."

His statement called the Obama administration to protect Franciscan University's "rights of conscience and religious liberty as a Catholic institution--and, indeed, the rights of all Americans--instead of picking and choosing whose exercise of religion is protected and whose is not."

If the administration refuses to "restore our First Amendment right to religious liberty," Father Henry said, "Franciscan University will have no choice but to continue our fight to live the faith we believe."

The full text of Father Henry's comment is available at

The deadline for public comments on the proposed revisions to the HHS mandate is April 8. Comments may be submitted at - !submitComment;D=CMS-2012-0031-63161.


Franciscan University of Steubenville  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 


Franciscan University of Steubenville, HHS mandate, federal lawsuit, religious liberty



Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 4:1-11
This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the day. Fill your ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 7 Saint of the Day

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More