Diocese of Erie wins federal lawsuit

The Diocese of Erie making a statement after winning a federal lawsuit involving religious liberty.  

In 2012, the Diocese of Erie filed just one of more than a dozen federal court cases as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  The diocese, challenging its participation in the health care program because it would have been required to provide its employees with contraceptives. 

The Bishop of Erie saying they joined in on the suit because they wanted to protect religious liberties.  While churches were exempt from following the ACA, most church-affiliated organizations were not.  That included Catholic charity agencies, Catholic hospitals, schools and universities. 

Bishop Lawrence Persico is saying Catholicism teaches to put faith into action.  All of these affiliated organizations are part of the basic belief of following the mandate of Christ. "I'm glad it has come to a successful conclusion. I think that we probably could have gotten here sooner if the government would have been willing to negotiate, but I'm pleased that we have it. I'm so grateful to Jones Day who did all of this work pro bono for a number of Dioceses, schools, and universities."

The federal litigation was argued before the supreme court in March of 2016.  Last Friday, the federal government finally signed a settlement agreement that brings these lawsuits to a close.   Another reason the diocese filed the court case is because they would've been facing fines.  

The Erie Diocese, alone, could have been subject to fines as high as $100,000 per day.


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