Franciscan University sues government over HHS mandate

STEUBENVILLE, OHIO --

Franciscan University of Steubenville announced today that it has filed a federal lawsuit against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama administration. The lawsuit, which was unanimously approved by Franciscan's Board of Trustees, challenges the Obama administration's unprecedented mandate that attacks the freedom to practice religion without government interference.

Under the HHS mandate, employers must provide insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs, as well as contraceptives and sterilization procedures. Franciscan University maintains that the requirement to fund and facilitate such activities violates its core religious and moral convictions as a Catholic university.

"Franciscan University's mission is and always has been to teach from the heart of the Church," said University President Father Terence Henry, TOR. "The Obama administration's mandate is a grave threat to our ability to carry out that mission. It makes it impossible for us to operate freely as a Catholic institution without overbearing and invasive governmental interference."

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, seeks to have the mandate declared unconstitutional and enjoin the government from enforcing the requirement.

In addition to Franciscan University's lawsuit, 42 other separate plaintiffs filed a total of 12 lawsuits today in U.S. District courts around the country. Those plaintiffs are all Catholic organizations and include Catholic dioceses, schools, universities, and charitable organizations. Numbered among the plaintiffs are the Archdioceses of New York, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, as well as the Dioceses of Dallas, Ft. Worth, Rockville Centre, Pittsburgh, and the Michigan Catholic Conference, which represents all seven dioceses in the state.

"The Church is speaking with one unified voice on this issue," said Father Henry. "Every single American bishop has condemned this unjust mandate as an unconscionable violation of religious liberty. If allowed to stand, it will coerce Christians into cooperating with acts that violate core tenets of our faith."

When first proposed in August 2011 by the Department of Health and Human Services, the mandate was met by strong objections from numerous Catholic bishops, hospitals, and institutions. Although a small exemption for some religious institutions was written into the original proposal, it was too narrow to cover the vast majority of them, particularly those, like Catholic universities, which both employ and serve people of other faiths or no faith at all. The mandate effectively puts the federal government in the position of deciding which organizations are "religious enough."

At the time, Franciscan University took a public stand opposing the proposed rule. Then, as now, Franciscan University objected to the mandate, noting that the government placed it and other religious institutions in an untenable position.

"Throughout our 65-year history, Franciscan University has educated people because we are Catholic, not because they are. And, again, because we are Catholic, Franciscan cannot provide coverage of drugs and procedures that violate Church teachings on the sanctity of life," Father Henry said. "Under the HHS mandate and its narrow exemption, the government punishes us for reaching out to serve and employ those who do not share our faith."

Unfortunately, in late January 2012, President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would go into force as originally planned, with no adequate accommodations made for individuals or groups who objected on religious grounds.

Catholic and Christian institutions, however, were given one additional year to comply with the rule, a year in which they could "figure out how to violate our consciences in order to be in keeping with the law," said Father Henry, echoing New York's Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

"It is our hope and fervent prayer that the courts and Congress will check this monumental overstep of the Executive Branch as soon as possible," he added.

Noting that Franciscan University did not go looking for this battle, Father Henry said the University retained Jones Day, one of the world's largest law firms, with whom the University has had a relationship for the past twenty years, "because it has the resources to fight the government as long as it takes, and we will settle for no less than a restoration of our First Amendment right to freedom of religion."

Father Henry concluded, "Under no circumstances can Catholics be both in compliance with this new law and at the same time live the faith that we believe. Franciscan University will continue to stand with the Church in its opposition to this mandate. Our ancestors came to America because they knew that on these shores they would be free to faithfully live what they believed. This mandate is not only a grave infringement on religious liberty; it is a betrayal of those who sacrificed to make this country what it is today."

For more information, including a video statement from Father Henry, go to www.franciscan.edu/ReligiousLiberty. For interviews for news purposes, contact Tom Sofio, Public Relations, 740-284-5893 or tsofio@franciscdan.edu.




button02b.gif

Categories

Archives

Pro-Life Articles

add your site
Catholic Fire May 29, 2017, 7:05 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog May 29, 2017, 4:35 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 29, 2017, 4:08 am
Papa Mike's Blog May 29, 2017, 3:46 am
Papa Mike's Blog May 29, 2017, 3:50 am
DEACON FOR LIFE May 29, 2017, 4:15 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
BIG C CATHOLICS May 28, 2017, 9:49 pm
Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Catholic in Brooklyn May 28, 2017, 8:37 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 28, 2017, 8:39 pm
PM Notes May 28, 2017, 7:57 pm
cultureshift May 28, 2017, 8:08 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 28, 2017, 6:13 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 28, 2017, 5:00 pm
cultureshift May 28, 2017, 3:34 pm
A Lifestyle of Peace May 28, 2017, 3:30 pm
Christian Musician...Pro Life! May 28, 2017, 1:57 pm
Dakota Voice (Blog) May 28, 2017, 1:38 pm
man with black hat Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Happy Catholic Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 28, 2017, 12:12 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 28, 2017, 11:51 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 28, 2017, 11:46 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 28, 2017, 12:13 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 28, 2017, 12:10 pm
Reclaiming Our Children Jan 1, 1970, 7:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
SUNLIT UPLANDS May 28, 2017, 10:35 am
BIG BLUE WAVE May 28, 2017, 6:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog May 28, 2017, 5:35 am
Papa Mike's Blog May 28, 2017, 4:40 am
Aardvark Alley Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog May 28, 2017, 4:35 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Aquila Report May 28, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 28, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 28, 2017, 4:03 am
The Aquila Report May 28, 2017, 4:07 am
Miserere Mei May 28, 2017, 3:22 am
cultureshift May 28, 2017, 1:09 am
BIG C CATHOLICS May 27, 2017, 9:52 pm
A Follower of Francis May 27, 2017, 9:19 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 27, 2017, 8:23 pm
PM Notes May 27, 2017, 6:28 pm
Papa Mike's Blog May 27, 2017, 5:49 pm
NoisyRoom.net May 27, 2017, 5:51 pm
cultureshift May 27, 2017, 4:04 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 27, 2017, 3:38 pm
Outside the Asylum May 27, 2017, 2:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 27, 2017, 3:49 pm
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog May 27, 2017, 1:35 pm
Happy Catholic Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 12:26 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 12:30 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 12:33 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:19 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:44 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:28 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:32 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:34 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:40 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:38 am
The Common Room May 27, 2017, 10:48 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:13 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:07 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 10:45 am
EmpowerShop Prolife May 27, 2017, 11:16 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Papa Mike's Blog May 27, 2017, 4:55 am
The Aquila Report May 27, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 27, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 27, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 27, 2017, 4:08 am
The Aquila Report May 27, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 27, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 27, 2017, 4:01 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life May 27, 2017, 4:20 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Greater Fitchburg For Life Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Pro-Life Unity Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 9:32 pm
Papa Mike's Blog May 26, 2017, 9:55 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 9:26 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 8:09 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 8:41 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 8:58 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 8:27 pm
The Aquila Report May 26, 2017, 7:53 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 7:36 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 26, 2017, 7:20 pm
Spero News Dec 31, 1969, 11:00 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 6:43 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 6:18 pm
Les Femmes - The Truth May 26, 2017, 6:46 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 6:43 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 26, 2017, 6:10 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 26, 2017, 7:00 pm
Americans United for Life Blog May 26, 2017, 6:30 pm
SUNLIT UPLANDS May 26, 2017, 6:35 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 4:59 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 5:56 pm
BIG C CATHOLICS May 26, 2017, 5:44 pm
Americans United for Life Blog May 26, 2017, 5:14 pm
The Interim May 26, 2017, 4:21 pm
The Interim May 26, 2017, 4:18 pm
The Interim May 26, 2017, 4:18 pm
RealChoice Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 4:24 pm
Happy Catholic Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 26, 2017, 6:23 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 3:33 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 3:53 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 3:22 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 26, 2017, 4:21 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 26, 2017, 6:10 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 3:22 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 2:25 pm
Operation Rescue May 26, 2017, 1:45 pm
open book Jan 1, 1970, 4:00 am
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 2:16 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 26, 2017, 2:03 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 26, 2017, 2:15 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 26, 2017, 2:11 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 26, 2017, 1:25 pm
EmpowerShop Prolife May 26, 2017, 1:43 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 1:55 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 2:09 pm
LifeNews May 26, 2017, 1:06 pm
FRC.org - Web Log May 26, 2017, 12:32 pm
Dakota Voice (Blog) May 26, 2017, 12:20 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 12:15 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 12:45 pm
A Catholic Life May 26, 2017, 11:43 am
Rebelution May 26, 2017, 11:11 am
Leaven for the Loaf May 26, 2017, 12:00 pm
Reclaiming Our Children Jan 1, 1970, 7:00 am
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 23, 2017, 4:10 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 23, 2017, 3:42 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 23, 2017, 2:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 23, 2017, 6:12 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 4:51 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 23, 2017, 9:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 2:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 4:10 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 23, 2017, 11:00 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 9:06 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 3:49 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 9:02 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 7:11 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 6:48 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 4:03 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 24, 2017, 8:27 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 7:10 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 9:19 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 26, 2017, 12:49 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 6:59 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 6:32 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 5:06 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 6:30 pm
Christian Newswire: All Releases May 25, 2017, 4:27 pm
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 9:25 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
FREEDOM EDEN Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
CNSNews.com Headlines May 26, 2017, 8:15 am
Catholic Fire May 26, 2017, 4:56 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog May 26, 2017, 4:35 am
The Ohio Anglican.blog Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The Aquila Report May 26, 2017, 4:05 am
The Aquila Report May 26, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 26, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 26, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 26, 2017, 4:01 am
The Aquila Report May 26, 2017, 4:03 am