List of Catholic entities which filed against the Obama Administration

Our objections to Pres. Obama’s attacks…

  • are not about politics or political parties
  • are not about being Catholic
  • are not about contraception.

No, on the contrary, they …

  • are about conscience
  • are about religious liberty
  • are about our rights from God.

A reader sent me a helpful list of the Catholic entities which filed the federal suit against the federal government. More about that HERE.

As of 11:30AM:

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


I will need some help keeping track of additional plaintiffs.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. StJude says:

    Do you think more join?

    I would love to see my Diocese join in.

  2. Gail F says:

    Thanks! I just found out about this but could not find a list.

  3. Scarltherr says:

    Are there any Jesuit organizations on the list? I don’t know enough about the schools listed. Can you tell me if there are?

  4. Gail F says:

    You added the Michigan Catholic Conference but they are on the original list — right under Steubenville.

  5. ByzCath08 says:

    Received an email from the Rev John Jenkins at ND. In it he talks about ND filing suit and what it means & doesn’t mean. Following is an interesting quote from the email:

    “Let me say very clearly what this lawsuit is not about: it is not about preventing women from having access to contraception, nor even about preventing the Government from providing such services. Many of our faculty, staff and students — both Catholic and non-Catholic — have made conscientious decisions to use contraceptives. As we assert the right to follow our conscience, we respect their right to follow theirs.”


  6. Gail F says:

    Also, the Michigan Catholic Conference includes the Diocese of Marquette, so that’s another diocese! Here is a link:

  7. wolfeken says:

    At the same time, I wish Cardinal Wuerl would delete this sentence from his statement today: “The lawsuit in no way challenges either women’s established legal right to obtain and use contraception or the right of employers to provide coverage for it if they so choose.”

    No, the lawsuit is not about contraception, but do we really need the Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington saying a 40 year old invention of a right to privacy by the Supreme Court is an “established legal right” ?

    That is not a helpful statement for future Supreme Court cases on this so-called “right.”

  8. Titus says:

    Hmm, I would have expected to see the University of Dallas in there with its diocese.

    I’ve only read the ND complaint: no squishy common-ground nonsense there; it’s on the money. Those folks at Jones Day take care of business.

  9. Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Actually, Fr. Jenkins and Cardinal Wuerl’s statements are another form of Fr. Z’s at the end of the article: “are not about contraception.” Although they both go further, probably to have a clear quote to prove that this is “not about contraception.”

    While the “run them off at the pass” strategy is understandable, it is also very, very foolish. Jenkin’s gives currency to a bogus theory of conscience that makes a badly formed conscience as valid a norm of conduct as a properly formed one. Both explicitly or implicitly accept as valid law the totally fabricated and dishonest result of Griswold v. Conn. That decision make Roe inevitable. Anyone who treats Griswold as establishing good law, has signed on for Roe.

    Let us pray that no other Church leaders are ill-informed as to make legally foolish statements like this. Such statements will get thrown in their teeth the next time they argue against Roe.

  10. Mary Jane says:

    I see my family and I are “represented” in the list – yay!

    I do have to disagree with the “Our objections to Pres. Obama’s attacks…are not about contraception”…I think this is very much about contraception.

  11. ContraMundum says:

    I agree that we cannot allow contraception to be seen as anything other than (1) a serious sin (2) that is so due to the nature of human beings, not to an arbitrary tradition. As an example of the latter, I don’t know of any particular reason why Trinity Sunday has to be celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost; some other day could have been chosen without changing anything essential. Or, we could do like the Russians and continue to use the Julian Calendar for liturgical purposes. That might seem awkward, but it could be done.

    We have to emphasize that this is BOTH a religious freedom issue applying to Catholics in particular AND ALSO a natural law issue applying to everyone regardless of belief. In the long term, that will give us a stronger position, and it has the advantage of being the truth.

    And yes, we will probably lose the argument in the short term, just like Norway was overrun by Nazi Germany — in the short term. Norway saved their honor by not going down without a fight, so they are rightly listed among the Allies, not the Axis, and by the end of the war they won.

  12. Mary Jane says:

    After reading others comments, I guess I need to clarify – the lawsuit itself may not be about contraception, but I believe the fight in general is (in addition to other things) about contraception.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    Pretty sure EWTN also filed but perhaps it isnt on the list because strictly speaking it is not a Catholic entity.

  14. Pingback: More Fuel: Here is a post about the groups filing suit against the Obama administration | St Anne Center for Reproductive Health

  15. Clinton R. says:

    Sorry Cardinal Wuerl and Father Jenkins, but this is about being Catholic and it is about contraception. Contraception usage is a mortal sin. Contraception is largely the cause of the moral degradation of society. It’s pitiful how Cdl. Wuerl and Fr. Jenkins do not have the courage to use the moment to express Catholic teaching on contraception. It’s like they are ashamed or embarrassed of Catholic moral teaching. A poorly catechized Catholic will take their words and think to himself: ‘My conscience tells me it’s OK to use contraception, so I guess it is perfectly acceptable’. I would love to hear from Bishop Jenky and Bishop Morlino on this. I bet they would be saying something much different.

  16. Clinton R. don’t forget to include Pres. Garvey in the list since he writes, “[Contraceptives] are inexpensive and widely available. Those who can’t afford them can usually get them for free. The conflict is not about prohibition. It’s about subsidies. HHS has decided to coerce religious organizations into subsidizing activities which those organizations believe to be immoral. If the federal government thinks that the already liberal access to contraceptives needs to be broadened, the simple solution would be for the government itself to give them away.”

    Cardinal Wuerl made his point weeks (if not months) ago on “Morning Joe” of MSNBC, not just today.

    I think all three men have taken a solid path in this legal / political battle.

  17. Pingback: Comments on the Lawsuit by the President of the University of Notre Dame UPDATED

  18. OrthodoxChick says:


    I’m pretty sure that you are correct. I have heard that EWTN filed suit and then the attorney general from the State of Alabama joined EWTN in their suit. I’m guessing that they aren’t on the above list because they probably didn’t use the same law firm that all of those entities on the list used. Also, I believe that Priests for Life has filed suit as well. Priests for Life also has an online amicus brief (friend of the court, I think it stands for) and PFL has been asking people to go to their website to sign the amicus brief that will accompany their lawsuit.

  19. Dr. K says:

    No Diocese of Rochester I see.

  20. Papabile says:

    I’m sorry. I do not want to be a downer on this.

    I see the rationale in filing this lawsuit in multiple jurisdictions. However, I would expect that we would actually be paying for this. I know I would contribute substantially if I were asked by my diocese.

    Yet, I read in the New York Times that this is all being done pro bono. I wonder why.

  21. ajf1984 says:

    I see that my alma mater, Ave Maria University (officially a “Catholic Entity” since H. E. Bishop Dewane’s decision to name it as a Catholic University in 2011) has, like Franciscan University of Steubenville, has decided to end its student health insurance plan and no longer require students to have proof of insurance ('%20Images/statement%20on%20student%20insurance%20-%20may%2021%202012.pdf). Ave Maria has already had a suit filed against the mandate in Ave Maria University v. Sebelius.

  22. Not sure what the downer is.

    Feel free to contribute substantially to the Diocese of Biloxi….

  23. aviva meriam says:

    Scarltherr, John Carroll University (University Hts Ohio: Diocese of Cleveland) is Jesuit and even thought they did not particiapte in the lawsuit (neither did the cleveland diocese) they were cited in the cardinal newman society as NOT supporting the HHS mandate or compromise…

    Interesting that Jones Day is a Cleveland based firm but the cleveland diocese didn’t participate….

  24. Charles E Flynn says:

    Is it true that once the lawsuits have been filed and the merchandise has been manufactured, it is too late to turn back?:
    We Cannot, We Will Not Comply .

  25. silicasandra says:

    I’m happy to see that my diocese (Pittsburgh) is on this list!

  26. EXCHIEF says:

    Nothing on the west coast?

  27. ndmom says:

    Well, after reading several comments insisting that this litigation IS about the morality of contraception, I have changed my mind about Fr. Jenkins’ statement. Initially, his comment regarding the conscience rights of those who choose to use contraception seemed squishy and unnecessarily conciliatory towards the hostile faculty on campus. But now I see that, yes, it IS necessary to clarify the issues at stake, because some people are confusing the legal with the moral issues.

  28. frjim4321 says:

    Um pretty sure JCU removed womens health care but they still cover viagra.

    [This distinction must have caught your particular attention. Nice try.]

  29. Katylamb says:

    What am I missing here? People do have freedom of conscience, don’t they? It’s true that their consciences may be wrong, but they do have the right to determine that for themselves. Are some suggesting that we ought to force others to believe as we do? I thought this whole fight was about us Catholics being free to practice our religion, not about forcing others to believe as we do. Father Jenkins and the bishop said nothing wrong, as far as I can see. They made it clear that we are fighting for our first amendment rights. They made it clear that the Church teaches that contraception is wrong. That is why we don’t want to pay for it. If this is made to be about trying to force others to believe that contraception is wrong, instead of trying to keep our freedom of religion the Church in America will lose. How will that help the misguided secularists to see that they are wrong about anything?

  30. JuliB says:

    So thrilled my diocese is there!

  31. ContraMundum says:

    some people are confusing the legal with the moral issues

    The lawyers making the filings should take care of the legal issues, but priests and bishops must not altogether ignore moral issues.

    trying to force others to believe that contraception is wrong, instead of trying to keep our freedom of religion the Church in America will lose.

    The way you “force” someone to believe something is with solid arguments. It is arguments from the Catholic Church that used the weight of the evidence that “forced” me to accept that contraception is inherently evil more than 3 years before I converted to the Catholic Church. It is the evidence of science that “forced” me to believe that the universe is more than 6000 years old, even though I was raised as a young-Earth creationist.

    If fear of legal consequences is silencing bishops on moral issues, as you seem to be suggesting it should, then what good is freedom of religion anyway? It would be a terrible thing if the government were to prohibit the Church from speaking out against contraception, and to keep that from happening the Church should shut up about contraception?

  32. irishsmile says:

    Let’s get the list out to our own e mail friends. If we could encourage all catholics who read this to call and write to their dioceses (if their diocese is not on the list), courteously asking them to join the action. Every diocese in America should stand proudly together in this.

  33. Alan Aversa says:

    @Clinton R.: Yes, I agree! Cardinals Dolan, Wuerl, et al. should be saying the HHS Mandate is not only about contraception, but also about the freedom of the Catholic Church.

    Card. Wuerl’s video was very saddening because he said the HHS Mandate has nothing to do with contraception and actually gave a plug for buying cheap contraceptives elsewhere rather than taking the opportunity to condemn contraception!

    Contraceptives with potentially abortifacient properties have contributed to the deaths of an estimated 80 million unborn people since the ’70s!

    Kyrie eleison!

  34. JonPatrick says:

    Fr. Jim, there is a big difference between medications to treat Erectile Dysfunction (Viagra etc.) and contraceptives. One is used to treat a medical problem that prevents a couple from having normal intercourse, the other is to prevent intercourse from achieving what it was intended to do. That is unless you consider pregnancy to be a disease, as our present government appears to.

  35. Katylamb says:

    @ContraMundum: It doesn’t look to me as if you were forced to believe what you do about contraception, but that you were convinced. I too am convinced that contraception is wrong. Nowhere did I say the bishops and priests shouldn’t speak out against contraception, of course they should. However, I thought we were talking about US law here, not Catholic morality. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. If not I’m sorry. I do not think the Church can win in court with the argument that contraception is wrong. I do think they can win with the argument that our first amendment rights are being violated. I want them to win. Then they can teach the truth in freedom, and I hope they do.

  36. ContraMundum says:


    We are talking about the response of the bishops.

    I agree that in a court of law the argument from natural law against contraception is their weakest case. However, the statements that people are commenting on were not made to a court of law, but to the court of public opinion. There, too, no argument against contraception will be welcomed, but one must be made anyway, for at least these reasons: (1) it is the role of bishops to preach hard moral truths, and (2) the public needs to understand that this is neither an unreasonable nor an optional teaching of the Church.

  37. It is good that this is taking place, and I am glad we have a list here to track. One questions… on a topic that keeps being stated… why isn’t this about being Catholic… if it is about our natural rights, or religious liberty?

  38. Ed the Roman says:

    “Um pretty sure JCU removed womens health care but they still cover viagra.”

    This is an outrage. That women would be denied coverage merely for being women is criminal. I cannot imagine how JCU could turn half its students away from the infirmary, even if gravely injured, on the grounds of sex. I can’t believe the report is true, frjim; you must have been misinformed.

  39. Ed the Roman says:


  40. Cantate says:

    Has anyone seen anything about the Diocese of Arlington joining in this ? Diocese of Gaylord (MI)?

  41. PA mom says:

    Re: “why isn’t this about being Catholic?”

    Is it because other Christian denominations and Jews and Muslims also object to abortive drugs?

    Honestly, this is an amazing effort of coordination and cooperation among all of these people. They are to be applauded for it, and for making the size and timing of the effort result in news coverage. I think it will be good for many to see such unity and purpose within the Church.

  42. ContraMundum says:

    PA mom brings up a good point. Are any other religious bodies joining in this? The OCA, for example, or perhaps Orthodox Jews or Muslims? If so, we need to publicized that fact as well; it would build a stronger case that this is about freedom of religion for everyone.

  43. ndmom says:

    “I do not think the Church can win in court with the argument that contraception is wrong. I do think they can win with the argument that our first amendment rights are being violated.”

    Exactly. It is not necessary that the plaintiffs convince the court, or the general public, to accept the Church’s teachings on contraception. That is a battle to be fought in another forum. The critical point for these lawsuits is that religious organizations continue to be free to follow their beliefs in the operation of their institutions, regardless how many Catholics or non-Catholics agree with those beliefs. Making arguments about natural law or the evils of contraception plays right into the hand of the Obama Administration, which is counting on the widespread acceptance of contraception (both within and without the Church) to legitimize both the mandate and the alleged “accommodation.”

  44. ContraMundum says:

    But again, it is not necessary for the lawsuits for the bishops to make public comment at all. If the bishops intend to speak to the court, they are very foolish to do this except through their lawyers.

    For this reason, I assume that public comments are intended for the public, not for the court, and are made for reasons that go beyond the lawsuit.

    Quite aside from their duties as bishops to preach the truth, they should also be pursuing a political strategy that will put pressure on not just the White House, but also congressmen and senators.

  45. Sal says:

    It is no accident that lawsuits were not filed in any Federal District Court within the 9 western state area that makes up the Ninth Circuit. Ordinarily appeals from the District Courts will be heard by the Federal Circuit Courts before being considered by the US Supreme Court.

    This is smart lawyering. There are a handful of conservative judges on the 9th Circuit, but the majority of the judges are liberal. Thus, it is very predictable that a case that gets as far as the 9th Circuit will be a loss, so why even bother giving a boost to the Obama Administration?

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