Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, February 10, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Holy Redeemer Open House 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
6/30/2014 7:49:00 AM
Philadelphia Archdiocese denied mandate relief
Catholic News Service

PHILADELPHIA — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia June 26 lost its bid to block the Affordable Care Act's regulations on contraceptives, but a new ruling will prevent the church from paying fines of $160,000 a day for noncompliance.

Judge Ronald Buckwalter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania refused to grant the injunction that the archdiocese and its Catholic Charities agencies had sought earlier in June against the regulations, or mandate, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services under the federal health care law.

The mandate requires many religious employers to provide their employees with free coverage of contraceptives, abortifacients and other services that violate Catholic beliefs.

The archdiocese immediately appealed the decision the day it was issued, and by the afternoon of June 27 the 3rd U.S Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of Buckwalter's ruling, meaning the penalties for not complying with the regulations would not be assessed beginning July 1 as expected.

The appeals' court ruling directed the archdiocese to review the U.S. Supreme Court's anticipated decision June 30 on the cases involving the contraceptive mandate and for-profit employers Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods.

Following that review, the archdiocese and Catholic Charities will have until July 9 to file a new appeal on the June 26 decision.

Although the archdiocese qualifies as a religious employer and thereby enjoys an exemption from providing the coverage to its employees, the church's 16 social service and health care agencies organized under Catholic Charities are not exempt and would have faced penalties of $100 per each beneficiary for each day of noncompliance beginning July 1, according to the mandate.

With 1,600 beneficiaries, Catholic Charities' fines would amount to $160,000 per day. In only six months, the fines would reach nearly $1 million.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said in a statement June 27 that he was "deeply disappointed" in Buckwalter's decision and that the archdiocese had appealed it to the 3rd Circuit. He said dozens of other cases in the United States similar to the archdiocese's had been granted an injunction, including the Diocese of Greensburg in western Pennsylvania a week before.

The Pennsylvania dioceses of Pittsburgh and Erie also had been granted injunctions against the regulations last November.

Without relief from the court, in the first week of July the archdiocese would "be forced to choose between violating our deeply held religious beliefs or grave financial distress that threatens our ability to  continue to perform the good works and ministerial outreach to people in need throughout the Philadelphia region," Archbishop Chaput said.

"Archdiocesan charities daily assist the homeless, the elderly, immigrants, the disabled, the developmentally delayed and many other segments of our population that are vulnerable. These services are provided regardless of an individual's religious beliefs or lack thereof. We are grateful for the privilege of ministering to those most in need.

"We seek only to do those works of mercy without government coercion or interference that would compromise our religious convictions. It's a reasonable request, and for believing Catholics, a fundamentally important one."

Archbishop Chaput vowed to fight the decision, saying both in his column on CatholicPhilly.com concerning religious freedom and in his statement: "We'll continue to press it in every way and at every level of judicial appeal available to us."

Buckwalter rejected the archdiocese's contention that the federal health care law regulations violated the constitution's protections for free exercise of religion or for free speech.

He wrote that the archdiocese and Catholic Charities had not shown "a substantial burden" from the regulations, despite testimony of Joseph J. Sweeney, secretary for Catholic Human Services of the archdiocese, and arguments of lawyers for the firm Conrad O'Brien in Philadelphia.

A large portion of his opinion was devoted to examining the church's main argument that signing a form authorizing a third-party insurer to offer health coverage under the Affordable Care Act was "a vital link in a chain toward the provision of contraceptive services."

Buckwalter essentially stated the government had no authority to force a third-party health plan administrator such as Independence Blue Cross, the Philadelphia-based administrator for the archdiocese and Catholic Charities, to offer contraceptive coverage.

Even though financial incentives for the insurer exist in the form of government reimbursements for offering contraceptive coverage, Buckwalter believed the company would not accept them, saying there was "no evidence in the record" to support the speculation of the archdiocese and Catholic Charities that Blue Cross would offer contraception because it had financial incentives to do so.

"It is equally conceivable that Independence Blue Cross would conclude that it is in its overall economic interest to forego the government benefit and continue to adhere to the wishes of its client," Buckwalter wrote.

While Buckwalter conceded that the 3rd Circuit had not ruled nor heard arguments on the government's challenge of injunctions granted to the Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses, he cited similar cases seeking injunctions brought by the University of Notre Dame and the Michigan Catholic Conference.

In those cases, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found the contraceptive mandate itself posed "no substantial burden" on religious employers, he wrote.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved