In a recent legal brief, the Little Sisters of the Poor told the Supreme Court, “Religious sisters should not be forced to choose between caring for the poor and obeying their conscience.”
“As Little Sisters of the Poor, we offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they are welcomed as Christ.” said sister Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial.
The case will be heard during this Supreme Court term, as part of a bundle of cases against the Obama administration’s HHS Mandate (Department of Health and Human Services) that requires employers offer health plans covering free contraception, sterilization and certain drugs that cause early abortions.
The Affordable Care Act requires all U.S. insurance plans to cover 20 varieties of FDA-approved contraceptives at no cost to patients.
Representing the Little Sisters along with several other plaintiffs in the case, is the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
Pope Francis offered a gesture of support for the sisters when he made an unscheduled stop Sept. 23rd, at their Jeanne Jugan Residence for the low-income elderly in Washington, D.C. during his U.S. visit.
The brief filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, claims that the government is violating federal law by speaking for the sisters in saying that the accommodation is compatible with their religious beliefs.
That federal law in question is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA); a federal statute which provides a test for sorting out whether a law places an undue burden on a person or organization’s religious beliefs.
Sister Loraine Marie continued, “We perform this loving ministry because of our faith,” adding that the Little Sisters “cannot possibly choose between our care for the elderly poor and our faith, and we shouldn’t have to.”
Please keep the Little Sisters of the Poor in your prayers.