Pro-life demonstrators celebrate June 30 outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington as its decision in the Hobby Lobby case is announced. (CNS photo/ Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
The president of the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops, together with the chairman of the
conference’s Committee for Religious Liberty, released
a statement earlier today in response to the US
Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby religious freedom case.
The joint statement from
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Archbishop William Lori praised the Supreme Court
that Americans can continue to follow their faith when they run a family
business.” They also pointed out that the ruling has no clear
implications for religious freedom cases challenging the Obama administration’s
“accommodation” for religious employers, such as the
lawsuit filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Earlier this year the USCCB filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court
in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, both family-run
businesses whose owners object to providing employees with insurance plans
covering contraceptives that can act as abortifacients. In the brief, the USCCB
voiced its objections to “any rule that would require faithful Catholics and
other religiously motivated business owners to choose between providing
coverage for products and speech that violate their religious beliefs, and
exposing their businesses to devastating penalties.”
Today’s statement from Archbishops Kurtz and Lori
We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize that Americans can
continue to follow their faith when they run a family business. In this
case, justice has prevailed, with the Court respecting the rights of the Green
and Hahn families to continue to abide by their faith in how they seek their
livelihood, without facing devastating fines. Now is the time to redouble
our efforts to build a culture that fully respects religious freedom.
The Court clearly did not decide whether the so-called ‘accommodation’
violates RFRA when applied to our charities, hospitals and schools, so many of
which have challenged it as a burden on their religious exercise. We
continue to hope that these great ministries of service, like the Little
Sisters of the Poor and so many others, will prevail in their cases as well.