'The priests and lay leadership of the Brazilian Apostolate were present, along with the team, who presented me with a team jersey with the colors of the Brazilian flag as well as a medal.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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This week (5/21) we were pleased to express our support for the 43 dioceses and Catholic institutions that filed suit in federal court to prevent the implementation of the federal mandate that would require most health plans offered by Catholic employers to cover drugs and procedures they find morally objectionable. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops continues in its efforts to counteract the nefarious effects of the mandate, which is an intrusion into the practice of religion in our country. There is an ongoing dialogue with the White House (which has not been terribly fruitful) and there continue to be efforts in Congress, but it was thought that the courts must be also part of the strategy. So, a number of dioceses and institutions were identified in different areas of the country to join in a lawsuit. Those suits are going forward and we are also waiting to hear what the Supreme Court will decide in their review of the Affordable Care Act. In light of these events, we can see that the observance of the Fortnight for Freedom (a special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action proclaimed by the U.S. bishops for June 21 to July 4) will serve as an important tool for Catholics to understand the issues that are at stake.