Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Belmont Abbey College: Supreme Court Ruling on HHS Mandate a ‘Meaningful Victory’

The president of Belmont Abbey College, the first institution that sued the Obama administration over the HHS mandate, called the Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case “an especially meaningful victory that sends a clear message to the current administration that our freedom is a God given right and cannot be usurped by any group or individual," according to a press release from the College.

College President Dr. Bill Thierfelder said in the release that “With the continuing help of the Becket Fund, we are inspired to fight on and we are confident that the resolution of our case will further help to ensure religious freedom for all.”

Abbot Placid Solari, chancellor of the College, reportedly said, “It is heartening that the Supreme Court has upheld the right to the free exercise of religion guaranteed to American citizens by the First Amendment to the Constitution. We are confident that our 138 year-old Benedictine community will be able to continue to operate our college, as we always have, in accordance with the faith and teachings of the Catholic Church.”

In the release, the College pointed to both the rejection of the government’s argument that “there was no burden on the [Hobby Lobby owners’] religious exercise because only third parties use the drugs” as well as the fact that “the government could simply pay for contraception coverage with its own funds, rather than requiring private employers to do so” as predictors of success for the lawsuits brought by BAC as well as other Catholic colleges.

Lori Windham, senior counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and counsel for Hobby Lobby and Belmont Abbey College, reportedly said, “The Court has strongly signaled that the mandate is in trouble in the non-profit cases, too.”

Yesterday, The Cardinal Newman Society summarized the reactions of several Catholic organizations to the Supreme Court ruling as “[o]ptimistic but cautious.”

Belmont Abbey College is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.

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