Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the recently appointed President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked President Obama in a December 31, 2013 letter to grant a temporary stay of the implementation of the HHS mandate.
Archbishop Kurtz’s writes, “Many Catholic and other nonprofit institutions caring for those in need through education, health care and other services are not exempt from the contraceptive mandate. For reasons articulated by the courts, the Administration’s final rule of July 2013 does not alleviate the burden on their religious freedom.” He asked the President to offer temporary relief to these organizations, just like the Administration has offered a reprieve to others whose health plans were cancelled due to those plans being deemed inadequate.
Days after the letter was sent, Justice Department lawyers filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting the court deny relief to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who were granted a temporary reprieve from the mandate by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor just before the new year.
Posted: January 10, 2014