New Memorare Win: HHS Mandate Conscience Fix
When the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate was first imposed on American institutions in 2012 Benedictine College began the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom.
Benedictine College quickly won pledges for 1 million Memorares. Those prayers have not gone unanswered.
On Wednesday, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor updated conscience protections under the HHS contraception mandate.
The HHS Press Release says “entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing contraceptive services (or services which they consider to be abortifacients) would be exempt from the mandate and no longer be required to provide such coverage.”
Mark Rienzi, president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the organization which defended the Little Sister of the Poor in their fight over the mandate praised the new rules. The Catholic News Agency quoted him saying they signal the end of a “long, unnecessary culture war.”
“All that is left is for state governments to admit that there are many ways to deliver these services without nuns, and the Little Sisters can return to serving the elderly poor in peace,” he added referencing efforts underway to penalize the Little Sisters of the Poor in Pennsylvania and California.
Read the whole story at Catholic News Agency.
The Memoare Army for Religious Freedom began with Archbishop Joseph Naumann’s response to the HHS mandate: ““We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law.”
The Memorare Army for Religious Freedom is only one of several actions the college has taken to protect religious liberty, including:
- A day of fasting and prayer for the defense of religious liberty when the Little Sisters of the Poor case came before the Supreme Court.
- 40 hours of prayer with a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima for the 2016 election.
- The college has been a major part of Religious Freedom Rallies at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka.
- The college was part of a joint filing in federal court against the HHS Mandate.
- The Gregorian Institute repeatedly presented practical tips on defending religious freedom in support of the U.S. bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom.
- The Dean of the College, Dr. Kimberly Shankman, has spoken in Washington, D.C., and New York about the “roots of religious liberty.”
- In 2012, Benedictine College was featured in a full-page ad in the Washington Post and New York Times promoting religious liberty against the HHS Mandate
- In 2011, officers of the college filed comments with the Department of Health & Human Services calling for health care reform that protected conscience rights.
Even Rwandan author Immaculée Ilibagiza joined Benedictine College’s Memorare Army for Religious Freedom. The Memorare Army has celebrated several wins recently.