The various plaintiffs, including Franciscan University in Steubenville, reflect a broad cross-section of Catholic institutions and together, represent the wide variety of issues, impacts, economic consequences, and divergent facts that exist among Catholic organizations nationwide. These cases seek to protect core constitutional principles - - - the free exercise of Religion.
It was not necessary to include every single diocese or other Catholic organization to sue in order for the rights of all to be protected. The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland fully supports the legal actions.
The HHS mandate requiring Catholic institutions to offer medical services contrary to the Church's moral teaching is to become effective August 1, 2012 with some extensions until August 1, 2013.
The Church is seeking relief from this over-reaching mandate which includes requirements for Catholic institutions to offer abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraceptives, within employee healthcare. Those issues are directly in conflict with Catholic moral teaching regarding human sexuality, marriage, and family, and those requiring service to all in need regardless of their religion. The suits also cite the mandate as running contrary to decades of federal laws that have consistently honored and respected the conscience rights of religious institutions and individuals.