Religious Liberty: Notre Dame, OSV, and 41 Others Sue

UPDATE: Father Z has a roundup of those filing suit, by the Federal District they filed in, I believe:

1. D.D.C. Lawsuit
o Archdiocese of Washington
o Consortium of Catholic Academies
o Archbishop Carroll High School
o Catholic Charities of D.C.
o The Catholic University of America

2. E.D.N.Y. Lawsuit
o Diocese of Rockville Centre
o Catholic Health Services of Long Island
o Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre
o Archdiocese of N.Y.
o ArchCare

3. W.D.Pa. (Erie Div.) Lawsuit
o Diocese of Erie
o St. Martin Center
o Prince of Peace Center

4. W.D.Pa. (Pitt. Div.) Lawsuit
o Diocese of Pittsburgh
o Catholic Charities of Diocese of Pittsburgh
o Catholic Cemeteries Association of Diocese of Pittsburgh

5. N.D.Tex. (Dallas Div.) Lawsuit
o Diocese of Dallas

6. N.D.Tex. (Fort Worth Div.) Lawsuit
o Diocese of Fort Worth

7. S.D. Ohio (Columbus Div.) Lawsuit
o Franciscan University of Steubenville
o Michigan Catholic Conference

8. S.D.Miss. (Gulfport Div.) Lawsuit
o Diocese of Jackson
o Catholic Charities of Jackson
o Vicksburg Catholic School
o St. Joseph’s Catholic School
o Diocese of Biloxi
o De l’Epee Deaf Center Inc.
o Catholic Social & Community Services Inc.
o Resurrection Catholic School
o Sacred Heart Catholic School
o St. Dominic Health Services

9. N.D.Ind. (South Bend Div.) Lawsuit
o The University of Notre Dame

10. N.D. Ind. (Fort Wayne Div.) Lawsuit
o Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
o Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend
o St. Anne Home
o Franciscan Alliance
o Our Sunday Visitor
o University of St. Francis

11. N.D.Ill. Lawsuit
o Diocese of Joliet
o Catholic Charities of Joliet
o Diocese of Springfield
o Catholic Charities of Springfield

12. E.D.Mo. (St. Louis Div.)
o Archdiocese of St. Louis
o Catholic Charities of St. Louis

Breaking news from Our Sunday Visitor editor John Norton:

At 11 a.m. Eastern time today, 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations — including Our Sunday Visitor and the University of Notre Dame — filed religious liberty lawsuits against the federal government in dozen different jurisdictions around the country.

At issue are regulations that require Catholic organizations, employers and insurers to provide or facilitate abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception — in violation of their consciences.

Equally troubling is the extreme narrowness of the government’s new test for determining which religious organizations are exempt from this mandate — which would appear to exclude Catholic schools, health care facilities, charities and others like Our Sunday Visitor.

In an editorial in OSV Newsweekly explaining why we’re filing suit, we write:

“Today, Our Sunday Visitor stands proudly with our fellow Catholic apostolates and with our bishops in resisting this challenge. We ask all of our readers to stand with us – in charity, praying first and foremost for conversions of heart; in civility, arguing the facts of this case without recourse to bitter partisanship or political rhetoric; and in solidarity, knowing that whatever sacrifices we bear and whatever challenges we endure, we are only doing what is our responsibility as American citizens practicing our faith in the public square.”

Our Sunday Visitor’s participation in the religious liberty lawsuit is consonant with our mission of service to the Church and the nation instilled by our company founder.

“It seems to us hardly a coincidence that this suit is taking place in the centennial year of Our Sunday Visitor. Founded 100 years ago by then-Father John Noll, Our Sunday Visitor from its beginning sought to inform Catholics about the issues of the day, form them in the Faith, and defend that Faith from attack. It was Father John Noll who stood up to those who attacked Catholic immigrants as un-American and seditious. It was Father John Noll who faced down false preachers who spread slanders about the Church. It was Father John Noll who resisted the power of the Ku Klux Klan when it was such a powerful political force. And it is in his courageous spirit that we invoke as we engage in this great struggle today.”

For more information about this lawsuit — including a full list of the other litigant Catholic organizations, a link to the filing itself and a wealth of background material — go to


Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., where he teaches in the Journalism and Mass Communications department and edits the college’s Catholic identity speech digest, The Gregorian.



  • SDD

    I believe Ave Maria University is also suing.

  • Brad Birzer

    Thanks much for putting this together, Tom. A brilliant moment for the cause of truth.



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