Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic University, Others Sue Obama Administration

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Washington
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington

Protests echo after graduation weekend at Georgetown University, and charges that religious freedom is under attack have entered a wider arena. These new protests may have an effect on the 2012 presidential campaign.

The criticism of Georgetown University's invitation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak at its Public Policy Institute drew media attention and a small crowd of protesters at 37th and O Streets as well as a heckler during Sebelius's speech May 18. The Archdiocese of Washington's argument that the HHS secretary posed a threat to religious freedom was followed by a report that William Peter Blatty, author of "The Exorcist" and a 1950 Georgetown graduate, planned to sue the university in Catholic court for not adhering to Catholic dogma. The university had cited academic freedom in defending the selection of Sebelius as a commencement speaker.

Blatty, according to Religion News Service, "says that Georgetown has violated church teaching for decades by inviting speakers who support abortion rights and refusing to obey instructions the late Pope John Paul II issued in 1990 to church-affiliated colleges and universities. Georgetown should amend its ways or stop calling itself a Catholic or Jesuit institution, Blatty said."

On Monday, it was announced that the Obama administration is being sued by the Archdioceses of New York and Washington, D.C., Catholic University, the University of Notre Dame and other Catholic dioceses and groups that are "filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country," according to CNSNews.com.

A special website of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. -- PreserveReligiousFreedom.org -- explained the decision: "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. 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 lawsuits, according to CNSNews.com, "focus on the regulation that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last August and finalized in January that requires virtually 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."

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May 21, 2012 at 7:35 PM Anthony Lee

I am a Roman Catholic; however, it is evident that the Framers were correct when providing for separation between the state and church. I regret that my church has decided that the "beliefs" of an institution trump the personal rights of an individual in the U.S.A.

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May 21, 2012 at 8:37 PM Chiara

Suing the President of The United States of America for upholding the division of church and state? Honestly? Maybe this is the only way those old, out-of-(correct)touch men in dresses, who are initiating another inquisition on the women religious can think of to get back all those millions of $$$ gone to settle child sexual abuse scandals. The Golden Rule and first two commandments of Christ were forgotten eons ago by these papist patriarchs. So lest we forget; what is truly important about being both a catholic and an American citizen is that we have free will which means we have a choice at least theoretically.

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May 22, 2012 at 8:16 PM Donald Mann

This action by the Church is ridiculous on its face. It is not about religious freedom, rather it is about religious privilege. No one is forcing anyone, much less any Catholic, to use birth control. It is about having the Church, as an employer, to follow the rules like everyone else. More thrashing about by a wounded, dying principality desperately trying to maintain control.

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May 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM Karin

These jokers are so hilarious that we might be able to dedicate a new section in our papers next to the cartoons.

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May 23, 2012 at 12:11 AM MTWC

Anthony, chiara, Donald, I wish that you had a diminutive understanding of not only the U.S. Constitution but the teaching of the Catholic Church. Also what it means when the government(religion of liberalism) can mandate that an institution or an individual purchase or pay for something that goes against the individuals core beliefs and values. Now don't forget to read past the comma.
American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
This means the wall goes two ways. Liberalism (religion with beliefs and values and sacrifices) should not be allowed to prohibit the exercise of Catholics to practice their faith. Yes this include paying M.D's to kill babies in the womb and poisoning women so that their bodies do not work properly. Btw the inquisition was a war over the sacrificing of women children.
Whether you're nonpracticing Catholic who chooses abortion and contraception is besides the point. The church as a whole sees these things to be fundamentally evil. If you feel differently than the church go work for someone who shares your belief or be apart of a church that believes similar things. After all if you live in integrity with your beliefs and values you will be a happier person And not so bitter to what you don't understand.

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May 23, 2012 at 5:15 AM prochoice

Why should church organisations have any exemptions from the law at all?
I do hope this is a lesson for President Obama: submitting to church demands gets him nothing, but damages raped gitls (his plan B-desaster), and as he allowed the church not to pay for contraception, he is getting sued to destroy all of his limited health plan!

President Obama should throw churches out of all health care!!!

One little note about myself: born a product of rape into a CATHOLIC abuse family (all the rapists long beyond the statutes of limitation, of course), atheist since age 7, fought the abortionforbidding laws since age 15, could officially leave church only at 19 when I left college and "home" for good. Maybe I have managed to have no children because of menopause, but I will fight to get rid of each and any churchbelief in the penal code.

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May 24, 2012 at 8:51 AM Roedy Green

The Catholic church is complaining it is not being permitting to ram its religious superstitions down the throats of others. Nobody is in any way interfering with what Catholics do vis a via abortion or contraception.

Their claim that a single cell should have the rights of a full grown human makes no sense without the goofy notion of souls possessing single cells like little demons. There is ZERO evidence for them. It is thus highly improper to force this superstition down the throats of non-believers.

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May 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM Al Sargent

Why people continue to be Catholics is beyond me. Be Christian if you need to but why support an institution best known for being morally repugnant and money grubbing. Hateful sexist bigots, and kiddy fiddlers, and their protectors should be rejected by all good Catholics who should jetison that title. Catholics are better than the clergy and should reject the clergy.

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May 25, 2012 at 9:41 PM myth buster

Go on, spill your guts and then shut up, you Catholic bashers, for we've heard it all before. The pagans accused us of being enemies of mankind, drowning babies and eating them, and numerous other baseless charges to justify putting us to death. You don't scare us, and we will not bow down to Obama, nor give him honors that God alone is entitled to.

Not only is it forbidden for a Catholic to use contraception; it is an even worse offense to administer or recommend contraception, for doing so makes you a murderer of another's soul. We will not bow down to this blasphemous law, for by ordering us to violate God's Law, Obama equates himself with God. Since I do not know for certain their understanding of this matter, I will make the charitable assumption that they do not understand what they're doing, and pray, "Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do."

As for me, I am a Catholic, born and raised. For 23 years I have served the Lord Jesus, though not always as I should have. I pray that I have the grace to endure until I either die or lay eyes on the Messiah returning in glory from Heaven, and I am prepared to lay down my life rather than deny Him in word or deed.

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:50:28 -0400

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