Chicago, Ill., Jul 10, 2012 / 12:03 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago has joined two Catholic dioceses and their charitable affiliates in a lawsuit over the federal contraception mandate, a move that one observer says demonstrates the potential societal impact of the rule.
The charitable ministry “will lose its identity as Catholic unless the HHS mandate now in force as the recent law of the land is changed,” Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago said in a July 9 statement supporting the charity's entry into a lawsuit against the federal government.
Chicago's Catholic Charities joins the Dioceses of Joliet and Springfield, and their respective Catholic Charities organizations, in challenging the Obama administration's mandate.
Formulated under the federal health care reform law, the rule requires religious employers to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs in employee health plans.
Catholic Charities cannot obtain an exemption from the rule because it serves Catholics and non-Catholics equally. The mandate exempts only those organizations that primarily employ and serve members of the same faith for the purpose of instilling “religious values.”