BREAKING: Cardinals Dolan, Wuerl and 40 Catholic dioceses and organizations sue Obama administration

May 21, 2012

Twelve different lawsuits are being filed in federal courts around the country.

"This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America's most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one's religion without government interference," the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. explains on its Web site, preservereligiousfreedom.org.

"It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs," the Web site explains.

The suits filed by the Catholic organizations are chiefly in reaction to the regulation that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last August and finalized in January. The mandate requires that all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that can cause abortions.

The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong and that Catholics should not be involved in them. The regulation in essence requires that faithful Catholics and Catholic organizations to act against their consciences and violate the teachings of their faith.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had called the regulation an "unprecedented attack on religious liberty" and asked the Obama administration to rescind it.

"We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress--and we'll keep at it--but there's still no fix," Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement.    

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