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Cardinal Wuerl Explains Why the Catholic Church is Suing the Government Over Contraception Mandate

Catholic organizations sued the government last week in an attempt to overturn the mandate that requires some religious institutions to offer health insurance that covers contraception. Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl joined Fox News Sunday to provide his insight on the matter. While the White House calls it a women’s health issue, Cardinal Wuerl says, “This whole lawsuit isn’t about contraception, it’s about religious freedom.”

He explained, “Embedded in the mandate is a radically new definition of what constitutes a religious community, what constitutes religious ministry. Brand new, never before applied at the federal level. That’s what we’re arguing about. The lawsuit says we have every right to serve in this community as we have served for decades and decades. The new definition says you’re not really religious if you serve people other than your own and if you hire people other than your own.”

Wallace asked Wuerl what he thinks of the government’s change to the mandate

that religious institutions don’t have to directly cover contraception, but instead it’s the health insurance companies that provide it for free. Cardinal Wuerl says the accommodation “didn’t really change anything because so many of our institutions certainly the archdiocese is self-insured. We are the insurer.”

He continued, “The last time the government said we’re going to hear from you on this, 200,000 suggestions went in and not one of them was accepted … It’s law right now. All of this conversation about well maybe we’ll find a way around it, that’s conversation. What’s law right now is that that definition is what we’re going to have to live with. And that’s why we’ve gone into court because in the United States if there is an impasse on something as fundamental as your rights, you go into court and that way you scrape away all the politics.”

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