Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Priests for Life will disobey the mandate, no matter what the consequences.

Religious organizations, like Priests for Life, are not Churches, and therefore do not have an exemption. Rather, they have an "accommodation," which requires, among other things, that they fill out a form stating that they object to the mandate and then provide a copy of this form to their insurance carrier. Once that is done, the insurance carrier must then provide the objectionable contraceptive coverage to the religious organization's employees.  If Priests for Life refuses to authorize such coverage, which it does, it will face crippling fines of $100 per employee per day. 

Fr Frank Pavone

Fr Frank Pavone

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: HHS Mandate, abortifacients, birth control, Fr Frank Pavone, Priests for Life, Rally, HHS Mandate, May 8, 2014, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - When the official history of the great human rights movement of our age is written - and make no mistake it will be written - there will be several women, men, associations, movements and organizations holding a deserved place of honor. Right at the top of that list will be an indefatigable Catholic Priest and Champion for Life named Fr Frank Pavone and Priests for Life.

Priests for Life is in Federal Court standing up to the Obama Administration which seeks to compel faithful Catholics and other Christians to bend the knee to an unjust edict. We will not, we cannot, we must not, comply. No State can determine what is right or wrong, moral of immoral, for people of faith. No Civil authority can compel us to disobey God.

The HHS mandate, through which the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is enforced, requires all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers which are not strictly churches, to cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception in their health care plans. The alleged exemption promised for religious employers never materialized for non profit enterprises such as Priests for Life and many, many others.

The scraps from the table which the Obama administration offered did not cover many hospitals, universities, soup kitchens, outreaches to the poor, pro-life organizations... and many other vital expressions of our Catholic faith and mission.

The robust protections of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights recognized religious freedom as a fundamental human right. They also included within their protective reach the free speech and free association rights of religious organizations. There was no such thing as the Internal Revenue Service at the time of the enactment of the Bill of Rights.

The notion that organizations, formed as non-profit corporations, such as Priests for Life and others, can be compelled to dispense birth control, abortion inducing drugs and devices and participate in funding sterilizations is absolutely repugnant to the First Amendment.

It is time for massive, and active resistance! I will join with many other defenders of the First Amendment and religious freedom at the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on 333 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20001

My friend, Fr Frank Pavone, sent me the following Press Release which explains all the details. Please read it, distribute it widely, and join me in joining with Fr Frank:


Why is there a Rally for Religious Freedom on Thursday, May 8 at the Court of Appeals?
-- On Thursday, May 8, 2014, starting at 9:30am, the first oral arguments on the appellate level on the merits of a case for religious non-profit groups against the HHS Mandate will be heard. Just as the recent Hobby Lobby case was heard at the Supreme Court, representing the arguments of businesses against the mandate, so now the case of Priests for Life will be heard, representing the arguments of religious non-profit organizations against the mandate.

As Robert Muise, Senior Counsel for the American Freedom Law Center , has stated, "This case with Priests for Life is the lead case for the non-profit religious organizations challenging the mandate similar to how Hobby Lobby is the lead case for the for-profit companies challenging the HHS mandate."

The Rally will be held to pray and learn about what is at stake, just as similar rallies were held both at the Supreme Court and in cities all across the nation since the mandate was issued at the beginning of 2012.

How is this case different from Hobby Lobby? Isn't it the same HHS mandate?
-- The HHS mandate applies differently to businesses, to Churches, and to religious non-profit entities. In the Hobby Lobby case, the government is arguing as a threshold issue that the business, as a corporation, does not have rights of religious freedom.

In the case of religious non-profit organizations, the government recognizes that they do have rights of religious freedom, but is claiming that those rights have been protected by the "accommodation" that the government has offered them in regard to the HHS mandate. The religious non-profits, like Priests for Life, are claiming that the accommodation is still a violation of their faith.

-- Another difference is that while Hobby Lobby is only raising an objection to the abortion- inducing drugs covered by the mandate, Priests for Life is objecting to coverage of both the abortion-inducing drugs and the contraceptives.

But aren't Churches exempt from the mandate?
-- Churches, strictly speaking, are indeed exempt from the mandate, which is why the District Court in New York, for instance, dismissed the complaint of the Archdiocese of New York in regard to its Churches, stating that those Churches, as such, were already exempt.

But religious organizations, like Priests for Life, are not Churches, and therefore do not have an exemption. Rather, they have an "accommodation," which requires, among other things, that they fill out a form stating that they object to the mandate and then provide a copy of this form to their insurance carrier.

Once that is done, the insurance carrier must then provide the objectionable contraceptive coverage to the religious organization's employees.  If Priests for Life refuses to authorize such coverage, which it does, it will face crippling fines of $100 per employee per day. 

The reason this is objectionable is that it still directly involves the non-profit entity in the government's plan to expand free access to these objectionable "services." By signing the form, the non-profit is in fact authorizing and cooperating in the process by which the employees end up getting coverage for the immoral practices. The organization, in other words, becomes the necessary "gateway" to the immoral coverage. And that is contrary to the requirements of Christian morality.

So does this mean that even if Hobby Lobby wins at the Supreme Court, the mandate may still be in effect for other groups?
-- Yes, that's exactly what it means. Theoretically, the Court could rule that the for-profit corporations do have religious freedom rights just like the non-profit corporations and that those rights are violated by the mandate. But that could still leave in place the same problem that the non-profit corporations face now, namely, being offered an "accommodation" that is not available to the for-profit corporations and that is really not an accommodation at all. That is why it is equally important for the religious groups like Priests for Life to win their lawsuits.

Why aren't the religious, non-profit cases already at the Supreme Court like the cases for the businesses are?
-- Remember, the HHS mandate went into effect for the businesses before it went into effect for the religious non-profits like Priests for Life. The government gave the religious groups an extra year to prepare for the mandate. So when Priests for Life, as the fourth group to introduce a lawsuit against the HHS mandate, did so back in February of 2012, it was told, as were most of the other religious groups, that it was too early to challenge the mandate, because more adaptations and modifications to the regulations were forthcoming. When the final version of the mandate's regulations did come out in the summer of 2013, they were clearly unacceptable to the religious groups, and therefore Priests for Life and many others re-filed their lawsuits. Only now are these cases beginning to be heard at the appellate level, and the Priests for Life case is the first to come to oral arguments, on the merits of the case, at that level.

Is Priests for Life the only group being represented at the May 8 oral arguments?
-- Just like the Court heard the cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood together, so in this case the Court is hearing the Priests for Life case and, in addition to it, that of the Archdiocese of Washington. D.C. (whose case also includes as plaintiffs The Catholic University of America, Thomas Aquinas College, and several other entities).  The two cases were consolidated by the Court, and Priests for Life is the lead party.

What else is distinctive about the Priests for Life case?
-- The attorneys at the American Freedom Law Center pointed out that not only does Priests for Life object to the mandate, but the very purpose of the organization is to oppose the kinds of practices the mandate requires groups to cover. Therefore, the ministry is uniquely qualified to challenge the mandate; as the organization's petition to the Court states, "This challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life's reason for existing as an organization." 

Also, the Priests for Life suit has been filed not only on behalf of the organization itself, but also, in their personal capacity, on behalf of its National Director, Father Frank Pavone; Executive Director, Janet Morana, and Director of African-American Outreach, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Do the Priests for Life employees support this lawsuit?
-- Absolutely. When Priests for Life filed its initial lawsuit in February 2012, Fr. Frank released a video announcing to the office staff that Priests for Life would fight this unjust mandate. They applauded. The employees, consultants and pastoral team members include many married couples of child-bearing age, as well as single people. Every one of them agrees with the decision to challenge the mandate.

What can we do to stand with Priests for Life and all the religious groups against the mandate?
-- First, promote and, if possible, participate in the Rally on May 8 in front of the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

Second, promote awareness of this case on social networking using the hashtag #IStandWithPFL, and find updates and information to share with others on IStandWithPFL.com.

Finally, join in prayer each day for the overturning of the HHS mandate; you can find a set of prayers for this purpose here

What will Priests for Life do if the courts ultimately rule against them?
--  Priests for Life will disobey the mandate, no matter what the consequences.  

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

On this Fourth of July, We Need a Declaration of Dependence Watch

Image of The real promise of the Declaration of the Declaration of Independence now cries out for those who believe in its promise to stand up for its true meaning and work to restore the unique experiment in ordered liberty which it offers for future generations.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Declaration of Independence was the birth certificate of the United States of America, a Nation often called the American Experiment because of the very fact that it was founded upon principles. The words are still memorized by schoolchildren and can bring a ... continue reading


Learning from the Wonderful Witness of 'Doubting' Thomas Watch

Image of Thomas the doubter became the Thomas the model believer, an example for each one of us. He is a great beacon of light for all of us as we cry out with him, MY LORD AND MY GOD!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What conclusion, dear brethren, do you come to? Surely it was not by chance that this chosen disciple, was missing in the first place? Or that on his return he heard, that hearing he doubted, that doubting he touched, and that touching he believed? It was by ... continue reading


Catholic Church in U.S. has weathered adversity before - and will emerge triumphant, historian says Watch

Image of As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's okay to realize that ... continue reading


After same-sex unions legalized, polygamous Montana trio demands same Watch

Image of The 46-year-old Nathan Collier owns a refrigeration business in Billings. He married 40-year-old Victoria in 2000. His second wife, Christine, was wed in a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 without a marriage license in order to avoid bigamy charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was bound to happen. After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex unions legal in all 50 states, other proponents of non-traditional arrangements are clamoring for equality under the law. Nathan Collier, along with his wives Victoria and Christine have applied at ... continue reading


350-pound dolphin accidentally lands on cruise ship severely injuring woman Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To kick off the summer break and celebrate Father's day, a family went aboard a cruise that ended with a traumatizing accident. As the cruise started to sail back to the harbor, a group of dolphins started to swim alongside the boat. However, as the passengers started ... continue reading


Episcopalians overwhelmingly vote to let same-sex weddings in churches Watch

Image of Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples. The Episcopal Church has long been on the forefront of equal rights for homosexuals, ever since electing it first openly gay bishop 10 years ago.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


TERROR LEAK: ISIS learns of FBI command centers across U.S. for Fourth of July Watch

Image of One such likely ISIS candidate, 23-year-old Alaa Saadeh, was believed to be part of a group interested in detonating a pressure cooker bomb at a New York landmark.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It appears that an important bit of counter-terrorism may have landed into the wrong hands. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI is installing command centers around the nation to prepare for possible terror attacks for the coming Fourth of July holiday ... continue reading


Remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan 'feel forgotten' Watch

Image of Several US Troops felt abandoned and forgotten by the US government

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A total of 10,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan. These troops believe they have been forgotten by the Obama administration, as the US Government shifts its attention to ISIS. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The US Troops, 10,000 men and women left ... continue reading


Risk for massive earthquake in California increases as scientists find dangerous helium coming from fault zone Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers recently discovered helium leaking from a giant fault in the Earth's crust near Los Angeles, as well as discovering an increase in chance for California to have an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - They did not expect the ... continue reading


United States prepares for Fourth of July amidst threat of ISIS attacks Watch

Image of The U.S. Government prepares for possible terrorist attacks this coming Independence Day celebration in the U.S.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three days before the United States' Independence Day, the FBI has already began setting up command centers in all of the 56 field offices across the country prior to the fourth. The U.S. Government is preparing for possible terrorist attacks and terrorist threats that ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter