HHS Mandate Threatens Washington Archdiocese With Fines Twice Operating Budget

Failing to comply with the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate could mean “the Archdiocese of Washington could face penalties that are more than double its operating budget,” the Archdiocese says.

The Archdiocese says it can’t comply with the Obama HHS Mandate without violating its religious principles, which is why it sued to prevent the Mandate from taking effect.

The Obama Administration responded to the lawsuit by seeking to deny the Archdiocese its day in court, filing a motion to dismiss the suit claiming that it plans to modify the Obama Mandate in the future.

That’s not good enough, the Archdiocese responded in the brief.  The Obama Administration’s “plans to make some as-yet-undefined amendment to the Mandate doesn’t deprive Plaintiffs of the ability to challenge the law as it exists now, particularly where, as here, it is imposing both imminent and current harms,” the Archdiocese replied in the brief.

What sort of harms?  The Mandate is forcing the Archdiocese to budget for “millions of dollars in fines; preclud(ing) them from making informed decisions about operations, programming and benefits packages, and undermining their ability to recruit and retain employees,” the Archdiocese  said in the brief filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

It said it is suing because the Mandate “severely” burdens Catholic beliefs which “treat abortion, sterilization and contraception as intrinsically immoral and prohibit Plaintiffs from paying for, providing and/or facilitating those practices.  Yet the Mandate requires their health plans to cover such services and related speech.”


About Joel Whitaker

Joel Whitaker is a long-time professional journalist (Tampa Bay Times, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Bulletin, Institutional Investor, executive newsletters) and Catholic convert. He is the RCIA coordinator for his parish.
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