Thursday, September 24, 2015

In Unscheduled Stop, Pope Supports Challenge To ACA Contraceptive Mandate Accommodation

According to the Washington Post, Pope Francis as part of his visit to Washington yesterday made an unscheduled stop at the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Little Sisters, who operate homes for the elderly in cities across the country, is involved in a high profile court case challenging the Obama Administration's accommodation for religious non-profits that object to making contraceptive coverage available to their employees. Vatican Radio reports today:
This is a sign, obviously of support for them [in their court case]” said Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office.
“In this sense it is connected also to the words that the Pope has said in support of the Bishops of the United States in the speech to President Obama,” Father Lombardi continued.
“This was a little addition to the programme, but I think it has an important meaning in this moment,” he said.
Presumably Father Lombardi's reference to the Pope's talk at the White House (see prior posting) were to this portion of the Pope's remarks:
[American Catholics are] concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty.  That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions.  And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.
Little Sisters of the Poor have filed a petition for certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 10th Circuit's decision upholding the Obama Administration's contraceptive coverage accommodation for religious non-profits. (See prior posting.)