Archive for the ‘Religious Freedom’ Category

Fr. Pavone on Obama Administration’s Opposition Brief in Supreme Court Case

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 11, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented today on the opposition brief the Obama administration filed in the Supreme Court case Zubik vs. Burwell, of which Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases.

“This is a clash of worldviews,” Father Pavone said. “The Obama administration and other powerful forces on the other side of this battle see abortion, contraception and sterilization as goods to which all must have access. For them, it is the most natural conclusion in the world that these ‘services’ should be mandated and to accomplish this, they are willing to bulldoze over the religious liberty on which this country was founded.”

Father Pavone continued: “The administration contends that our objection to having to sign what amounts to a permission slip to allow our employees to get their contraceptives and abortifacients covered is a ‘stretch of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.’ That is precisely what the Supreme Court will decide and I remain confident the court will rule on the side of religious liberty.”

Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and a named plaintiff in the case – along with Father Pavone and Executive Director Janet Morana – commented that the Obama administration’s insistence that these drugs and devices are crucial to women’s health is nothing short of sinister.

“A disproportionate number of women suffer serious medical side effects from abortions and use of artificial contraceptives,” she said. “I am one of those women, and I oppose this mandate on behalf of all women.”

The seven consolidated cases at the Supreme Court are as follows:

14-1418 ZUBIK, DAVID A. ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1453 PRIESTS FOR LIFE, ET AL. V. DEPT. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1505 ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-35 E. TX BAPTIST UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS
15-105 LITTLE SISTERS, ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-119 SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-191 GENEVA COLLEGE V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.

For information on the Priests for Life and other cases, go to www.IStandWithPFL.com.

To participate in the prayer campaign for victory in these cases, see www.SupremeCourtVictory.com

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Priests for Life launches “SupremeCourtVictory.com” Prayer Campaign Continues Against HHS Mandate

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 10, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Priests for Life has launched a new web domain for its prayer campaign for success at the United States Supreme Court.

SupremeCourtVictory.com will lead visitors ten prayers that focus on various aspects of religious freedom, and the need for the People of God to defend that freedom against the unjust “HHS Mandate”, based on Obamacare. This mandate tries to force groups like Priests for Life to include abortion-inducing drugs and other objectionable services in its health insurance coverage for its employees.

Priests for Life’s federal lawsuit challenging the mandate is one of seven cases now being heard by the US Supreme Court. Oral arguments are on March 23.

“We are asking the other plaintiffs in the six cases that will be heard with ours, as well as all those who have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in our favor to help us promote this prayer campaign, so that all citizens can unite with us in prayer for religious freedom,” Father Pavone said. “The Supreme Court’s decision in this case will be one of the major events in 2016 and it will greatly impact the pro-life movement. A major response of prayer is essential.”

Priests for Life as an organization is challenging the mandate, and Father Pavone, Janet Morana, executive director, and Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach, are additionally challenging the mandate as named plaintiffs.

The seven consolidated cases at the Supreme Court are as follows:

14-1418 ZUBIK, DAVID A. ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1453 PRIESTS FOR LIFE, ET AL. V. DEPT. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1505 ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-35 E. TX BAPTIST UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS
15-105 LITTLE SISTERS, ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-119 SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-191 GENEVA COLLEGE V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.

The primary sponsors of this prayer campaign are Priests for Life and the National Pro-life Religious Council, and they are joined by a coalition of 43 national and pro-life groups, including: American Life League, American Values, Americans United for Life, Americans United for Life Action, Anglicans For Life, California Civil Rights Foundation, Catholics Called To Witness, CEC For Life, Citizens for a Pro-life Society, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, Evangelical Church Alliance, Expectant Mother Care, Faith and Action, Faithful Catholic Citizen, Gospel of Life Ministries, Heartbeat international, Hispanics for Life, Human Life Alliance, JillStanek.com, Life Coalition International, Life Issues Institute, LifeNews, LifeSiteNews.com, Lutherans for Life, MO Blacks for Life, National Black Pro-Life Union, National Clergy Council, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, National Life Center, National Pro-life Center, Operation Rescue, Presbyterians Pro-Life, Pro-Life Action League, Pro-Life Action Ministries, Rachel’s Vineyard, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, The Children First Foundation, The Heidi Group, The Justice Foundation/Operation Outcry, Tubman Truth, WallBuilders.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Media advisory: Reporting on Zubik vs. Burwell Supreme Court Case Against HHS Mandate

Monday, February 8th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 8, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — As a service to reporters and media outlets covering the Supreme Court case of Zubik vs. Burwell, we have listed here again the seven cases that have been consolidated. On November 6, 2015, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to the following cases challenging the HHS mandate, and consolidated them. The Court listed them here in the order in which they reached the Supreme Court:

(ORDER LIST: 577 U. S.)

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2015
CERTIORARI GRANTED
14-1418 ZUBIK, DAVID A. ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1453 PRIESTS FOR LIFE, ET AL. V. DEPT. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1505 ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-35 E. TX BAPTIST UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS
15-105 LITTLE SISTERS, ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-119 SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-191 GENEVA COLLEGE V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.

Within each of these cases are multiple plaintiffs who, while their names do not appear in the titles of the cases, each have their own stories and histories with these lawsuits.

Additionally, we want to advise reporters that there are four separate law firms representing the various cases, and they are as follows:

American Freedom Law Center (www.AmericanFreedomLawCenter.org)
(counsel for Priests for Life v. HHS)
Jones Day (www.JonesDay.com)
(counsel for Roman Catholic Archbishop v. Burwell and Zubik v. Burwell)
Alliance Defending Freedom (www.adflegal.org)
(counsel for Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell and Geneva College v. Burwell)
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (www.becketfund.org)
(counsel for East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell and Little Sisters v. Burwell)

As these consolidated cases move forward to oral arguments on March 23 and to a decision in June, we urge reporters to remind their audiences of the diverse scope of the groups challenging the mandate and to respect that diversity.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Supreme Court to Argue Priests for Life Case March 23

Monday, February 1st, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Prayer Rally set in Front of Court

Priests for Life will be in the US Supreme Court for oral arguments on Wednesday, March 23 in the case of Priests for Life vs. HHS. On that day, Priests for Life will hold a prayer rally in front of the steps of the Supreme Court, and invites all who are in favor of life and religious freedom to join them.

There will be prayers, speeches, and educational talks regarding what is happening in this case, and various church leaders, politicians, Presidential candidates, and pro-life leaders are being invited to take part in the rally.

Leading up to the oral arguments, and then leading up to the decision which is expected in June, Priests for Life invites all to take part in the prayer campaign against the HHS mandate, found at www.PrayerCampaign.org.

Six other similar cases have been consolidated by the high court with the Priests for Life case. Among the unique elements of the Priests for Life case is the fact that the entire mission and purpose of the organization is to end abortion, while the HHS mandate tries to force the plaintiffs into helping the government expand abortion. Moreover, in the Priests for Life case, there are three personal plaintiffs in addition to the organization itself: Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, and the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Alveda King, who serves fulltime as Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Priests for Life files opening brief with Supreme Court in HHS mandate challenge

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 6, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Priests for Life, along with other non-profit religious organizations challenging the Obamacare HHS mandate, has filed its opening brief with the Supreme Court. The filing sets the stage for oral arguments that will be held this spring in one of the most closely watched cases of the year.

“Priests for Life has been fighting the Obama administration’s attempted suppression of religious beliefs for four years,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and an individual plaintiff in the case. “We are excited the Supreme Court accepted our case. This brief marks an important step in determining, hopefully once and for all, that the government may not target charitable religious groups with heavy handed, politically motivated attacks.”

Priests for Life filed one of the first lawsuits against the Obama administration’s mandate that would require religious organizations to take part in practices that flagrantly violate their own teaching. The case, which has been consolidated with six others from across the country, is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court by the end of its term this June.

“Our brief makes clear that the Obama administration has no valid reason to require religious non-profit groups to comply with this regulation when it has already granted exemptions that allow tens of millions of other Americans to avoid it,” added Fr. Pavone. “Frankly, the President and his bureaucrats have far easier ways of achieving their stated goals than singling out Christians for coercion. As I’ve said before and will continue to declare, Priests for Life will not be complicit in evil, no matter who is mandating it.”

Priests for Life is leading a prayer campaign for victory in the Supreme Court and asks all believers to join this effort. Go to www.prayercampaign.org to find the prayer.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Fr. Pavone: Pope Francis Upholds ‘Convictions of Conscience:’ Is Obama Listening?

Friday, September 25th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 24, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

PHILADELPHIA – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization, today issued the following statement on Pope Francis’s address to Congress.

“Pope Francis reminded us today that our government must have ‘respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.’

“We at Priests for Life applaud Pope Francis’s affirmation of religious freedom in his remarks to Congress. His words highlight the need for Congress to take direct steps toward protecting rights of conscience and religious freedom, which are currently being violated by the HHS mandate. Priests for Life has been challenging this mandate in court for the last three-and-a-half years, and recently petitioned the Supreme Court to hear our case. We await the court’s decision.

Also, when Pope Francis declared that we must ‘protect and defend human life at every stage of its development,’ he reminded Congressional lawmakers of a fundamental principle of lawmaking, namely, that the law must protect human life from the moment it begins. Currently, our Congress, our president and our courts are failing to do that.

“This is not just one among many failures; it is a failure that redefines us as a nation. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, this failure turns us into a “tyrant state.’

“This affirmation of Pope Francis to Congress today is not made in a vacuum. Every pope speaks and writes in the context of established Church teaching. His reference to the need to protect life from conception involves the body of teaching found in so many Church documents.

“There is no question that this is the most important foundation for advancing other human rights.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Circuit Split on HHS Mandate Good News for Priests for Life

Friday, September 18th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 18, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement regarding the mixed rulings from the federal courts on Obamacare’s HHS mandate and the unconstitutional burden the mandate places on religious non-profits.

“Given that there is now a circuit split regarding whether the HHS mandate accommodation for non-profit groups violates their religious freedom, it is more likely that the Supreme Court will have to decide that point. In our own case for Priests for Life, we have already petitioned the Supreme Court to hear our appeal.

“But no matter what happens – whether or not the Supreme Court decides to hear the case and whether or not it ultimately rules against us, Priests for Life will not obey this mandate.”

Priests for Life is represented by the American Freedom Law Center.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Supreme Court Considering Priests for Life Case Against HHS Mandate

Monday, August 17th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 17, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — The Supreme Court will meet on September 28 to consider whether or not it will hear Priests for Life’s challenge to the HHS mandate.

In the lead case for the Churches and religious non-profits objecting to the HHS mandate, “Priests for Life, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services,” the Court consolidated the Priests for Life petition with that of the Archdiocese of Washington. Petitioners in the Priests for Life case include not only the organization, but also, in their personal capacities, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and full-time Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, as well as Janet Morana, co-founder of Silent No More, and Fr. Frank Pavone.

The Obama administration’s response to the joint petitions contends that the new “accommodation” for faith-based ministries does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior co-counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said that, “In arguing, contrary to Priests for Life’s contentions, that it would be consistent with Catholic Church teaching for Priests for Life to comply with the challenged regulations, the government is taking on the impermissible role of deciding what does or does not violate Church teaching and then asking the Court to exceed both its judicial function and its judicial competence by confirming the government’s position. If the Court accepts this argument, it will destroy religious freedom as we know it.”

Priests for Life will submit its reply to the government’s objections on August 26.

Father Pavone said the government’s arguments are unpersuasive and dangerous:

“They are saying, in effect, that they know better than we do what violates our faith. It’s ridiculous, and it undermines all that American was founded on. It is the believer who believes, and the government is supposed to respect his right to believe, not control it.”

A Friend of the Court Brief supporting the petition of Priests for Life in this case has been filed, with the assistance of Americans United for Life, by the following groups: Association of American Physicians & Surgeons; American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Christian Medical Association; National Catholic Bioethics Center; Alabama Physicians for Life; National Association of Pro-life Nurses, and the National Association of Catholic Nurses.

Attorneys at the American Freedom Law Center have indicated that because Priests for Life, in addition to being a religious non-profit entity, is particularly well-suited to challenge the HHS mandate, because the very mission of the organization is to protect human life from precisely the activities that the mandate wants to expand.

To read the government’s response to Priests for Life’s petition, go to http://www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/15-08-supreme-court.pdf To see all the documentation and commentary on this case, visit www.IStandWithPFL.com.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Dr. Alveda King Reminds Mayor, Fire Chief: “It All Started With An Apple.”

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

ATLANTA, GA – The growing controversies surrounding 1st Amendment religious and freedom of speech rights are reaching fever pitch, now in Atlanta between the Mayor and Fire Chief.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment to the Constitution.

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life states: “A current classic example of miscommunication of these truths recently occurred in Atlanta between two beloved and respected leaders: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran over the seemingly never ending debate over sexuality”.

1Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

These conflicts over religious freedom are not limited to issues of sexuality. For instance, in an ongoing lawsuit against the HHS Mandate, Priests for Life is doing exactly as instructed in 1Corinthians. Not only is it important to stand firm in the faith but we must stand up against the limiting of our 1st Amendment rights. This is especially important when it comes to the harmful effects of contraception, abortion and reproductive rights.

In fact, contraception and abortion have done so much damage to our nation and world that Priests for Life just last week announced a year-long initiative: “Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion.” The initiative seeks to bring healing to everyone impacted by abortion by concentrating on a different segment of the population each month.

“In all matters of conflict, love, dignity, clarity and communication are key, even when viewpoints differ,” added King.

As my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish as fools.”

My father, Rev. A. D. King, speaking from Acts 17:26, said, “We are one blood, one human race.”

“From one blood GOD created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall and he determined their boundaries.”

Dr. King has posted a developing commentary: It All Started with an Apple which is available at http://priestsforlife.org/library/5154-and-it-all-started-with-an-apple

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Lead Nonprofit Case against HHS Mandate Moves Forward

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 15, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Washington, DC – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that its case is moving forward in the federal courts to challenge the HHS mandate. The fourth such case to be introduced, back at the start of 2012, the Priests for Life lawsuit will now be appealed to the full body of judges of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, where a three-judge panel issued an adverse ruling in November. “We are determined to go all the way to the Supreme Court, which we are convinced we will need to do in due time. But what we are doing now is the next step in that process. Ultimately, no matter how the courts rule, we will not obey the mandate, no matter what the consequences.”

The Court has consolidated the case brought by the Archdiocese of Washington (which case includes Catholic University of America, Thomas Aquinas College, and other plaintiffs) with that of Priests for Life. This consolidated case is at the lead of the religious non-profit cases against the mandate.

Lead attorney Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center explained, “Priests for Life is requesting that the D.C. Circuit rehear the case en banc (full court) because the panel’s decision directly conflicts with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hobby Lobby. Just as in Hobby Lobby, Priests for Life believes that if it complies with the regulation, it will be facilitating immoral conduct in violation of its Catholic faith. And just as in Hobby Lobby, if Priests for Life does not comply, it will pay a heavy price. That is the very definition of an unlawful burden on religious exercise. And should the full court refuse to rehear the case, we will seek review in the Supreme Court. This battle is not over.”

The filing of the case with the Court will take place today or tomorrow.

Fr. Pavone added, “We have been receiving statements of support from priests across the nation indicating that they stand with us in this battle for religious freedom. They know that this is not only a matter of the HHS mandate, but of the principle behind everything they do each day: the freedom of the Church to exist and function in society according to her beliefs.”

To keep up with the Priests for Life case and the arguments and talking points involved, see www.IStandWithPFL.com.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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