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Posted on Mar 16, 2016 | 1 comment

Archdiocese Asks for Prayer for the Little Sisters of the Poor

Archdiocese Asks for Prayer for the Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor say they will not pay for birth control operations and drugs, including possible abortifacients, and will not authorize others to do so on their behalf. Photo courtesy the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

The Little Sisters of the Poor say they will not pay for birth control operations and drugs, including possible abortifacients, and will not authorize others to do so in their stead. Photo courtesy the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

In a statement yesterday, the Family and Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati asked Catholics to pray for the Little Sisters of the Poor, whose case agains the US Department of Health and Human Services will be heard by the US Supreme Court a week from today.
Lawyers from the Obama administration will present oral arguments against the Sisters, rare in Supreme Court cases. Amicus briefs (arguments in support of a case) from many organizations have been filed for both sides of  the suit, which combines the Little Sisters’ case with several others filed by Priests for Life, several religious colleges and universities, and the Archbishop of Washington, DC. They argue that they should be exempt from the mandate that employees provide coverage of birth control drugs and surgeries and possible abortifacient drugs in the health insurance packages they buy for their employees.
The case has wide-ranging implications for the proper scope of government and religion in American life. “Please pray that the ultimate decision of the Supreme Court will respect the religious liberty of non-profit employers. This is not only a Constitutional right, but a human right,” the statement says, urging area Catholics to pray in solidarity with the Little Sisters at 3 pm Saturday, the feast of St. Joseph.
The complete text of the statement follows:
On Wednesday of Holy Week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the cases of the Little Sisters of the Poor and six other non-profit religious groups (several non-Catholic) which are challenging the so-called “contraceptive mandate” of the Affordable Care Act. This mandate would require them to provide their employees with insurance coverage for 20 kinds of contraception, some of which may be abortifacients.

The groups say the mandate violates their rights under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. An “accommodation” offered by the government is unacceptable to them because it would still make them complicit in providing morally objectionable services by filling out a form.

The Little Sisters of the Poor have selflessly served the elderly poor since their founding in 1839 by St. Jeanne Jugan. They have been in Cincinnati since 1872. If the Supreme Court rules against them, they face the painful choice of violating their corporate conscience or paying fines estimated at $75 million a year. Pope Francis gave mute witness to the justice of their cause by visiting their Washington, D.C., home during his visit to the United States last September.

Please pray that the ultimate decision of the Supreme Court will respect the religious liberty of non-profit employers. This is not only a Constitutional right, but a human right. In particular, the Little Sisters ask you to join them in prayer at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, patron of the congregation and of the universal Church.

Learn more about the court case from the Little Sisters website at: http://littlesistersofthepoor.org/index.php/44-news-a-events/474-thank-you-to-our-supreme-court-supporters

 

For more on religious freedom issues:

Click here for our Religious Liberty resources page. Click here to see all our previous stories and guest posts on religious liberty issues.

Click here for the USCCB’s resource page on the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.

Click here to see all our current stories.

1 Comment

  1. Daniel 3:14-19 applies:

    King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up?Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up.”

    Here the god of this world tries to force us to worship the golden statue of artificial contraception. We have also seen Christians, both Catholic and non-Catholic, pay the “secular jizya tax” for not worshiping the golden statue of so-called same-sex marriage.