Religious freedom, protected in the U.S. Constitution and other laws and statutes, is rooted in the dignity of every human person. It is inherent in our humanity, a God-given right. It is a cornerstone of basic human rights and is necessary for the flourishing of a just society. We are obliged to defend it for ourselves and for others. We are asking in this lawsuit that this right be respected by our government.
The government has no place defining “religious employer” so narrowly that it only includes houses of worship. This reduces the freedom of religion to the freedom of worship. Religious liberty is about witness and action, as well as worship. The Health and Human Services exemption excludes most Catholic hospitals, schools, universities, and social service providers. They are “not religious enough,” according to the HHS mandate, to qualify for the exemption. Our diocese carries out our mission of service through our diocesan offices, parishes and schools, and through the work of our affiliated ministries. All of these institutions are guided by Catholic beliefs.
Today we ask people of all faith traditions, and all people of conscience to join us in our efforts to restore religious liberty to its rightful place: a cornerstone of our country, and our first, most cherished liberty.Here is a copy of the complaint filed today.
Thanks to Advance Indiana for first publicizing this story.