UP Catholic 10 27 2017 E Edition Page 7

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC October 27, 2017 7 Marquette 906-225-0191 1400 Wright Street Escanaba 906-786-4685 Hwy. M-35 Mention this Ad and receive 10% Discount on all Markers & Headstones. Father Timothy Ekaitis & Father Binu Joseph + St. Mary Parish + St. Barbara Parish + Holy Spirit School We cannot thank God enough for all the love and service you offer to our communities of faith. BY ADELAIDE MENA CNA/EWTN NEWS A week after issuing new religious freedom guidelines to all administra- tive agencies in the federal govern- ment, the U.S. Department of Justice has settled with more than 70 plaintiffs who had challenged the controversial HHS contraceptive mandate. The Oct. 13 agreement was reached between the government and the law irm Jones Day, which represent- ed more than 70 clients fighting the mandate. Made public Oct. 16, the agreement states that the plaintiffs would not be forced to provide health insurance coverage for morally un- acceptable products and procedures, including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. This settlement brings to a con- clusion our litigation challenging the Health and Human Services mandate obliging our institutions to provide support for morally objectionable activities, as well as a level of assur- ance as we move into the future, said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. in an Oct. 16 letter to priests of the archdiocese. The mandate originated with the Obama administration. Issued through the Department of Health and Human Services, it required employers - even those with deeply-held religious objec- tions - to provide and pay for contra- ceptive, abortifacient and sterilization coverage in their health insurance plans. The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was one of more than 300 plain- tiffs who had challenged the mandate, arguing that the practice of our faith was inextricably tied to the ministries that put that faith into action, and that as such, they should not be forced to violate their faith to continue their ministries, Wuerl recalled. The archdiocese and six other plain- tiffs had argued their position before the Supreme Court in the case Zubik v. Burwell. In 2016, the high court ruled against the governments requirement that certain employers provide and pay for the morally objectionable services. While the Trump administrations Executive Order on Religious Liberty and new guidelines and regulations are extremely helpful, the settlement of the Zubik litigation adds a leavening of certainty moving forward, the cardi- nal added. The Department of Justices new settlement removes doubt and closes these cases challenging the mandate, the cardinal continued. The settle- ment adds additional assurances that we will not be subject to enforcement or imposition of similar regulations imposing such morally unacceptable mandates moving forward, he stated. On Oct. 6, the Department of Justice revised its guidelines for all govern- ment agencies in light of existing religious freedom laws, releasing a set of principles which stated clearly that the government cannot substantially burden religious practices, unless there is a compelling state interest in doing so and those burdens use the least-re- strictive means possible. Thomas Aquinas College, a Catho- lic college in California and another plaintiffagainst the HHS mandate also celebrated the protection the settle- ment brings. While we welcomed the broadening of the exemption from the HHS man- date last week by the Trump adminis- tration, we have under our agreement today something even better: a per- manent exemption from an onerous federal directive - and any similar future directive - that would require us to compromise our fundamental beliefs, said Thomas Aquinas College president Dr. Michael F. McLean in an Oct. 16 statement. This is an extraordinary outcome for Thomas Aquinas College and for the cause of religious freedom. In addition to settling the case, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury have also decided to provide partial cover- age of the plaintiffs' attorney fees and costs of the lawsuits. This financial concession by the gov- ernment only reinforces its admission of the burdensome nature of the HHS contraceptive mandate and its viola- tion of the Colleges free exercise of re- ligion, stated Thomas Aquinas College General Counsel, Quincy Masteller. Department of Justice announces settlement in HHS mandate suits THIS FINANCIAL CONCESSION BY THE GOVERNMENT ONLY REINFORCES ITS ADMISSION OF THE BURDENSOME NATURE OF THE HHS CONTRACEPTIVE MANDATE

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