Oct 13, 2012 / 06:52 pm
Adding to the dozens of lawsuits against the HHS mandate, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and three other Catholic institutions have filed a legal challenge to the federal rule.
“We are undertaking this action because the stakes are so incredibly high,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta said Oct. 10. “The unchallenged results of the HHS mandate would require that we compromise or violate our religious faith and ethical beliefs.”
The archbishop, a past president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, said the mandate affects the religious liberty of the archdiocese, of Catholics, and people of other beliefs throughout the country.
“We become one more voice that must be heard by the courts as they consider the legality of this action,” he said.
The Atlanta archdiocese is joined in the lawsuit by the Catholic Diocese of Savannah, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Christ the King Catholic School in Atlanta.
Over 100 plaintiffs have filed 33 other lawsuits against the federal government challenging the Department of Health and Human Services mandate.
The Atlanta archdiocese’s lawsuit says the existing legality of contraception and sterilization “does not authorize the government to co-opt religious entities” into providing or facilitating access to them.
The mandate’s existing religious exemption is “so narrowly worded” that religious institutions like Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Christ the King Catholic School may not qualify for it, the archdiocese said.
Joseph Krygiel, CEO of Catholic Charities Atlanta, said the charity board feels that religious freedom is “the cornerstone of every basic human right.” He said the mandate is “an unprecedented direct attack on our Catholic faith and our religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”
“This lawsuit is not about contraception, it is about religious freedom and it always has been,” he said. …
Go here for the rest of the story.