Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, has joined with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington D.C., the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other U.S. Catholic dioceses and organizations in a lawsuit against the Obama administration. Twelve different lawsuits, charging the administration with violation of the Church’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion, are being filed in federal courts around the nation.
The Archdiocese of Washington D.C. has established a website, preservereligiousfreedom.org, to explain the lawsuit and its development. The website states:
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.
In a statement on Monday morning, Cardinal Dolan, head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said:
Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now. Though the Conference is not a party to the lawsuits, we applaud this courageous action by so many individual dioceses, charities, hospitals and schools across the nation, in coordination with the law firm of Jones Day. It is also a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty. It’s also a great show of the diversity of the Church’s ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate–ministries to the poor, the sick, and the uneducated, to people of any faith or no faith at all.
More information about the 12 lawsuits is provided at cnsnews.com.