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US bishops’ spokeswoman welcomes injunction against HHS mandate

Catholic World News - August 03, 2012

The director of media relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed a federal judge’s decision to issue a temporary injunction halting the implementation of the HHS mandate at a business owned by Catholics.

Hercules Industries--a firm owned by a Catholic family, the Newlands--had argued that the mandate would force the owners either to violate their consciences or to suffer severe financial penalties. Judge John Kane agreed, saying that the government’s interest in a health-insurance program “are countered, and indeed outweighed, by the public interest in the free exercise of religion.”

“In some ways this is a small victory, for the injunction stands only until the court case is decided,” says Sister Mary Ann Walsh. “It affects but one company. It is huge, however, because it is the first HHS mandate case to consider religious freedom issues, and religious freedom won. Caesar may figure out a way to rain down contraceptives from the clouds, but in no way should the government order religious groups and individuals to violate their consciences and underwrite the mandate that opposes the clear teaching of their Church.”

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