Monday, November 24, 2014

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Catholic Benefits Association Files Lawsuit against HHS Mandate

CourtA recently formed coalition called The Catholic Benefits Association (CBA), which represents nearly 200 Catholic employers and 19,000 employees, filed a lawsuit recently arguing that the HHS Mandate forces employers to violate the teachings of the Catholic Church, according to Catholic News Service.

The mandate would force employers to provide coverage for abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures.

The class action lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, seeks immediate injunctive relief from the mandate while the suit progresses through the court.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include All Saints Catholic School in Oklahoma, The Catholic Benefit Association, The Catholic Insurance Company, The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Inc., Archbishop William E. Lori and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, The Cathedral Foundation in Baltimore, Villa St.Francis Catholic Care Center in Kansas, and Good Will Publishers in North Carolina.

The CBA’s mission, according to its website, “is to support Catholic employers in providing health coverage to their employees in a manner consistent with their Catholic beliefs and values.”

The group is open to any Catholic employers who seek to provide health coverage that is consistent with Catholic values through a self-funded insurance plan.

Archbishop Lori, chairman of the association's board of directors, reportedly said, "it is a further expression of our desire to promote and defend religious freedom not just in the abstract but indeed in a very real issue that affects Catholic employers and Catholic employees.”

Archbishop Coakley, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, and Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle also sit on the board of the CBA.

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