"We were told to negotiate and come up with a win for the Sisters for the case, and also HHS was told to come up with a new rule that gives them the relief that was provided by the injunction by making it permanent," Alvarado said.
Yet while President Trump promised relief from the mandate, the groups have seen no solution to their plight.
Cardinal DiNardo, writing an op-ed in The Hill on Aug. 3, noted that the HHS mandate "still stands" after the president promised in May that the "long ordeal" of the sisters "will soon be over." He added that "the onerous regulations that are still on the books have not been amended."
"The HHS mandate puts an unnecessary burden on religious freedom, a burden that the administration has the power to lift, a burden that the administration has promised to lift. And yet the burden has not been lifted," he wrote. "Mr. President, please lift this burden."
As the threat of heavy fines still looms over their heads, the Little Sisters of the Poor can't wait indefinitely for relief, Alvarado said.
"Every day that they are not participating is another day that their attention is divided," she said of the sisters and their mission of caring for the elderly and the sick.
Earlier in August, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a secular crisis pregnancy center Real Alternatives, Inc. in an HHS mandate case, saying that its pro-life mission did not merit a religious exemption to the mandate.
"When a crisis pregnancy center that obviously has an opinion about abortion is being forced to provide these drugs and services, it's unusual for the government's lawyers to say that they're just standing by and not doing anything," Alvarado said of the claim that the Department of Justice is simply defending laws that are still on the books.
"Here, justice deferred really truly is justice denied," she said.
On Aug. 24, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked by John Gizzi of Newsmax if the president was "aware" of the complaints that the HHS mandate is "still being enforced in spite of the President's orders," and if he was taking any action on the matter.
"I'm not sure if he's aware of the complaints or any specific places where that's being ignored, so I'd have to look into that, probably talk to our friends at HHS, specific to the contraception thing, and get back to you," Sanders replied.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Alvarado said Becket lawyers have been talking to lawyers from the Department of Justice on the mandate cases, so the answer that the president might not be "aware" of the complaints may be evidence that the administration is not necessarily looking to renege on its promises.
The answer "gives you insight into the disconnect between the DOJ and the White House," she told CNA. "It's heartening, because that tells me that there's actually a reason to why this isn't happening, why we've been waiting months for something to happen."