In a case that has implications for Catholic schools, colleges and other religious nonprofits seeking exemption from the Obama administration’s mandatory insurance coverage for sterilization, contraception and abortifacients, a federal judge has denied religious freedom to the overtly Catholic group Priests for Life.
Priests for Life is vowing not to comply with the HHS mandate, even after a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed its lawsuit seeking exemption and protection of its religious freedom, according to LifeNews.com.
"Injunction or not, we will absolutely not obey, cooperate with, or tolerate in any way this unjust mandate," Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, reportedly said. "As Scripture says, we will obey God rather than men."
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, dismissed the case. But undeterred,the pro-life organization filed an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to provide an injunction, as the mandate is scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of the new year.
“Our judge's decision is wrong, and we are confident of victory in our appeal,” reportedly said Fr. Pavone.
Fr. Pavone pointed out that this decision to dismiss "is a complete contradiction to Judge Cogan's decision of just a few days ago in New York for organizations situated similarly to us and using exactly the same arguments.” In that case, Judge Brian Cogan of another federal district court found in favor of two Catholic high schools and two Catholic health care organizations against the HHS mandate.
The United States Supreme Court has already agreed to hear a lawsuit from Christian-run business Hobby Lobby.
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