Archbishop Gregory has written a letter that will be read at all Masses next weekend “to show that we are in support” of the legal action taken by several dioceses across the country, she told CNA.
Chivers explained that Jones Day, the law firm that is filing the lawsuits, has an office in Atlanta, and the archdiocese has therefore been “part of the legal strategy” behind the effort.
The goal was not to have every diocese in the U.S. to file a lawsuit, she said. Rather, the dioceses that did file them offer a broad and diverse representation of the concerns, situations and interests of dioceses across the country.
Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio agreed.
“The particular plaintiffs in this lawsuit were chosen by legal counsel at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” he explained. “They are representative of dioceses and Catholic institutions across the nation.”
Bishop Murry explained that his diocese “unambiguously supports” the legal action to defend religious freedom, which “is a cornerstone of basic human rights and is necessary for the flourishing of a just society.”
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati echoed his remarks. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has not filed a lawsuit, but it is unnecessary “for every diocese to join the suits in order for them to be effective,” he said.
“The various plaintiffs reflect a broad cross-section of Catholic institutions, and together they represent the wide variety of issues, impacts, economic consequences, and divergent facts that exist among Catholic organizations nationwide,” Archbishop Schnurr observed.
He voiced support for the recently-announced lawsuits, saying that litigation has become “the only way left to fight for our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion.”