HHS Mandate

U.S. District Court Grants Injunction for Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities

July 1, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis have been granted a preliminary injunction by the United States Eastern District Court in their lawsuit challenging the legality of the unjust HHS mandate. The injunction was issued on Monday evening on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision affirming religious liberty as it applies to closely held for-profit organizations.

The injunction states in part, “Plaintiffs have shown they are likely to succeed on their RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] claim… the Court finds it in the public interest to preserve the status quo and enjoin enforcement of the mandate…”

The archdiocese is grateful for this temporary relief from the burden of the HHS mandate. This injunction simply preserves our God-given rights that should not have been infringed upon in the first place. Under the leadership of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, every other imaginable option to correct this problem had been pursued prior to this lawsuit being filed. Any scenario that forces us to violate our moral convictions is unacceptable.

Despite opinions to the contrary, the contention with the HHS mandate is about religious liberty, our first, most-cherished freedom. During this, the week in which we celebrate the founding of our country, it is important to remember the words of one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, when he said, “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to men than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprise of civil authority.”

Access to contraceptives and abortifacients should never trump the right to religious freedom as guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. The Catholic Church has always been on the forefront of providing quality health care for all. She will continue to do so, unless burdensome government regulations and heavy fines that would be incurred by the enforcement of the HHS mandate go into effect.

As Archbishop Carlson has previously stated, “Our freedom of religion requires constant vigilance or else it will be lost.”

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Archdiocese of St. Louis Welcomes Supreme Court Decision on HHS Mandate

June 30, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis welcomes today’s decision from the Supreme Court in striking down the unjust HHS mandate as it applies to closely held for-profit organizations having to provide abortifacients, sterilizations, and contraceptives in their health plans.

Although this decision does not directly impact the archdiocese itself as an entity, we recognize the decision is an important victory for religious liberty as it guarantees employers and business owners of all faiths, including Catholics within the archdiocese, the ability to conduct business in accordance with their beliefs.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis originally filed suit in 2012 challenging the constitutionality of the mandate, but was re-filed in 2013 when proposed accommodations did not provide any substantive change from the original regulation requiring health plans sponsored by religiously affiliated entities to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion inducing drugs to which we have objected. As of this writing, the archdiocese still awaits a ruling on its case.

The USCCB and Archdiocese of St. Louis will continue to advocate for comprehensive health care reform to ensure access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. We continue to urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, comprehensive health care reform legislation that protects religious liberty and conscience rights, that does not use federal funds to pay for elective abortions or plans that cover these procedures, and that treats immigrant workers and their families fairly. The Affordable Care Act, in its current form, does not meet these criteria.

Until we can secure absolute protections for the faithful to practice their faith in the public sphere as guaranteed in the First Amendment, we cannot and will not surrender our campaign for conscience rights. We will continue to demand religious liberty and protection of our first, most-cherished freedom.

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St. Louis Catholics respond to U.S. bishops' Call to Prayer with Fortnight for Freedom Mass

June 27, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
shelton

In response to the U.S. bishops' Call to Prayer, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will celebrate a Fortnight for Freedom Mass on Wednesday, July 3, at Noon at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in the Central West End.

The Fortnight for Freedom began on June 21 and extends through Independence Day. The nationwide effort was prompted by several recent challenges to the Church and the nation, including the HHS mandate and current trends in government and culture in redefining marriage.

 “Our country is at a crossroads, and the Church is facing unprecedented challenges,” Archbishop Carlson wrote in a letter earlier this year. “We find ourselves in a position in which prayer and prayerful action are absolutely necessary to combat the rapid social movements and policy changes currently underway in our country and in our culture.”

The archdiocese will livestream the event at www.stlouisreview.com/fortnight.

Teens are invited to the Archbishop’s residence after Mass for an ice cream social, and LIFE Runners will lead a 5K run from the Cathedral Basilica to the Old Courthouse downtown. See www.stlouisreview.com/rRx for information on the Mass and ice cream social.

Please join us as we come together as a community of faith to observe our nation's independence and to pray for the foundation of three key issues:  Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty. 

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HHS MANDATE TAKES EFFECT TODAY: Remains a grave concern for Archdiocese of St. Louis

August 1, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
shelton

St. Louis — Today, the federal HHS mandate -- which requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance coverage including contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients -- begins taking effect for those who do not qualify for an exemption or other exception. While it is unclear how this unjust federal requirement will play out, it remains a matter of grave concern for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, in union with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. We are encouraged by the July 27 federal district court ruling in Colorado, in which a preliminary injunction was granted to a private, for-profit business on grounds of religious liberty. It is our hope that other courts will follow suit. Until we can secure protections for the faithful that do not require them to provide contraceptives, sterilizations, or abortion against their will, we cannot surrender our campaign for conscience rights. We will continue to demand religious liberty and to protect our first, most-cherished freedom.

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