ND Univ submits to the HHS Mandate

While the Little Sisters of the Poor are fighting for our religious freedom, the University of Notre Dame (which gave to the most infamously pro-abortion President of these USA ever the honor of a Doctrate in Law – of all things), has submited to their honoree’s HHS Mandate.

In the South Bend Tribune we read:

SOUTH BEND — The University of Notre Dame’s [Shame’s] insurance plan on Wednesday started providing contraceptive coverage for employees, as required by federal law.

But university leaders are continuing with a lawsuit they hope will result in an end to that benefit. [Meanwhile, they obey. Why wouldn’t they, given their past?]

Nonprofit organizations with religious affiliations across the country were required to begin providing contraceptive services to employees on Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act.

Paul Browne, a Notre Dame spokesman, said Thursday that the third-party administrator for the university’s insurance program has notified employees that contraceptive coverage is available while the university appeals its court case.

“As part of an ongoing legal action, however, the program may be terminated once the university’s lawsuit on religious liberty grounds against the (Department of Health & Human Services) mandate has worked its way through the courts,” Browne said. [Anyone taking bets?]

Notre Dame filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana seeking to be exempted from the requirement based on the university’s status as a Catholic institution. On Dec. 20, U.S. District Judge Philip P. Simon denied the university’s request for relief from the requirement for contraceptive coverage.

But similar cases by other religious-affiliated institutions have produced different results in court.

On Dec. 27, district judge Jon E. Deguilio granted injunctions in two other cases, one brought by Grace College & Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind., and Biola University of La Mirada, Calif., and the other by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and several other groups including Franciscan Alliance and University of St. Francis.

The differing rulings meant Notre Dame was legally required as of Wednesday to provide the coverage, while Grace College, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Franciscan Alliance were not, the Indianapolis Star reported.


Read the rest there.

Again, for your consideration, The Photo:


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. gracie says:

    The one card left to play is for the Congregation of the Holy Cross to de-certify Notre Dame as a Catholic institution. Any interest in guessing the odds of that happening?

  2. Bressani56 says:

    I must confess, it’s hard for me to understand these issues. Even before the HHS Mandate, Catholics paid taxes, some of which we KNOW pays for abortion, contraception, and sterilization. Even before the HHS Mandate, any Catholics who had health insurance gave money to an insurance pool where it might be used for abortion, contraception, and sterilization. Is anyone suggesting that Catholics are obligated to stop paying taxes?

  3. William says:


  4. catholic_at_nd says:

    While I am disappointed that ND is not taking a stronger stand, the portrayal here is a bit unfair. Both ND and the Little Sisters have gone to the courts. Notre Dame’s request for an injunction was denied twice in different courts (Hammond, Ind. and Chicago). I’m not sure why the Little Sisters request for an injunction went to the SCOTUS but ND’s has not. But let’s be fair — ND and the Little Sisters have functionally done the same thing — a court challenge.

    Now, I would rather ND have issued a statement that we will not comply. The Little Sisters haven’t yet been forced to make the choice to not comply.

  5. StJude says:


  6. mamajen says:

    I’m shocked.

  7. TNCath says:

    I don’t think the C.S.C.’s have the authority to revoke the Catholic status of Notre Dame. I believe that falls under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Fort Wayne South Bend, Bishop Rhoades. It’s certainly time for Notre Dame’s Catholic status to go, and the time has come for Notre Dame to not comply. But, unfortunately, we already know that neither Bishop Rhoades nor Notre Dame will act otherwise. Bishop Rhoades won’t do anything without the support of his brother bishops (i.e. the USCCB), and Notre Dame won’t do anything to jeopardize its political and financial clout as well as alienate its generally Obama supporting alumni.

  8. Cygnus says:

    So, Fr. Jenkins, how’s that “dialogue” working out for you? Seems like pretty much a monologue to me.

  9. incredulous says:

    Please help me understand what a Catholic martyr or many Saints or Jesus Christ himself gave up in pursuit of the truth. Is capitulation now a Catholic trait? Notre Dame is just a disgusting institution.

  10. Robbie says:

    Notre Dame, as a Catholic institution, is a disgrace.

  11. Legisperitus says:

    catholic_at_nd: The fact that Notre Dame is now complying eviscerates its entire “non possumus” argument — that they are morally incapable of complying with the mandate. That’s been thrown under the nun bus now. The remainder of the litigation playing out is just a formality.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    As an alum, I am ashamed…but I was ashamed before I left. As my son said, of me and of Michael Voris, who was an undergraduate the exact same time I was a graduate student, we are both “survivors, traumatized by the Notre Dame experience”.

  13. Uxixu says:

    They should be required to resist, as well as take an oath to obey the Holy Father and Church dogma, or lose their status. Perhaps an interdict?

  14. catholic_at_nd says:

    Legisperitus: I don’t disagree with you on this.

    My point was that the comparison between ND and the little Sisters isn’t fair: both challenged in court, and ND drew bad judges. The Little Sisters haven’t yet faced the choice of comply or pay fines.

  15. Fr. Hamilton says:

    Being somewhat facetious…

    Given that Notre Dame has been falling over itself to ingratiate itself with Obama I’d say this might be the first intellectually honest thing ND has done in a long while!

    For the rest of us, the issue here is really not THE issue. It’s not the HHS debacle. For this we ought not be surprised. Rather, we are lamenting that a once flagship Catholic University is no longer Catholic in any meaningful way as regards the mission of the Church to the world.

    We should save ourselves the frustration by looking away before we see the next pillow-talk partner ND snuggles up to.

  16. Gail F says:

    Bressani56: Despite the Supreme Court declaring this a tax, it’s not a tax. A tax is collected from everyone, and divided up into many many “pots.” There is no way to tell if your tax money goes to anything in particular. For this reason (and others), both American law and Catholic moral theology hold that money going for a product/service a person does not agree with does not directly infringe on religious liberty. This, however, is a direct payment for a product that includes these services, so even if the services are not used by employees, the fact that the payment is compelled is a direct infringement by the government on religious liberty. There is a difference between a person choosing to disobey his religion’s teachings (for whatever reasons he finds compelling) and being made to do so by the federal government.

  17. Nancy D. says:

    Regarding Notre Dame and the Obama Administration’s coercing The University of Notre Dame to condone the use of contraception while allowing third parties to choose whether or not they will provide contraception coverage:

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    How about someone initiating a sort of ‘I am Spartacus’ natural justice solidarity statement inviting every formal ‘beneficiary’ of this Notre Dame “contraceptive coverage” publicly to refuse to make use of it in support of the conscientious objection of whichever of their sisters and brothers (whether only in Adam or also in Christ) do so object, by signing it?

  19. lsclerkin says:

    They actively worked to elect that demon.

  20. zama202 says:

    I hope they only win one game next football season – that seems to be the only thing they care about at that place.

  21. trobles says:

    No Longer the Fighting Irish….a downward spiral

    I don’t believe we should give up on the university….let’s take it back!

  22. No surprise here. When Notre Dame aggrandized Obama with an honorary degree for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING . . . they only exhibited their true secularist colors.

  23. Priam1184 says:

    Yawn. I stopped thinking of Notre Dame as a Catholic institution a long time ago, whatever they want to call themselves…

  24. Priam1184 says:

    @Bressani56 What you say is fundamentally true. We have all been supporting abortion and contraception and sterilization de facto for quite some time now, the Hyde Amendment not withstanding, but now it is being thrown in peoples’ faces in such a way that they cannot find a way to hide from it anymore. And what will we do about it? Don’t know and can’t say, but the only thing that I do know is that all of this won’t last forever. The dawn will come (as Catholics we know that in our core) so we must do what we can in the interim.

  25. Kirk O says:

    I just can’t see why the argument can’t be won in court that contraception does not have to be FREE.

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The differing rulings meant Notre Dame was legally required as of Wednesday to provide the coverage, while Grace College, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Franciscan Alliance were not, the Indianapolis Star reported.”

    So, apparently, truth depends on what spot on earth one is standing on. Authority, ultimately, derives from the authorizing agent and, contrary to common legal theory, neither the people nor the law are, correctly, the authorizing agents of the authority of judges. As Jesus, himself, pointed out to Pilate, this authority comes from God and judges are authorized to dispense justice according to the moral law and the principles of right reason. If two judges rule differently, it is a sign of a disconnect with authority by virtue of a flaw in the application of either morality or right reason. Basically, ND got incompetent judges, because a five year old can see an evil for what it is.

    This being said, unless there is massive resistance, right now, to this, “mandate,” (read, power play) by the HHS (please, excommunicate Sebelius), along with a refusal to pay fines, then the cause is lost for our season of history. If police and the military only realized that their vow of service is to a God who has spoken in history in stone-hardened words, then they would, logically, refuse to cooperate with the enforcement of this immoral mandate. They will not.

    WWII was the war of steel and fire. This putrification – a subtle continuation of the forces that led to the last two great Wars – will be fought not with steel and fire, but mind and bone. In some ways, it will be worse than a nuclear war because a nuclear war aims at destroying the body. The war we will be forced to fight aims at destroying the soul.

    The Chicken

  27. Jean Marie says:

    I’m appalled every time I see that picture. What has happened to our country?

  28. Dennis Martin says:

    Please, please, folks, get one thing straight: contraception no longer means contraception. When HHS and the MSM use the word contraception today, you have to constantly remind yourself and, far more importantly, remind everyone you know, that because the pro-aborts have redefined pregnancy to begin with implantation, the word “contraception” is now ROUTINELY used to cover all abortion up to implantation. It’s not just the secondary effect of the morning after or regular Pill preventing implantation. In their view, any kind of abortion before implantation is merely contraception. In this Orwellian world we have to fight against this Newspeak.

    In this war of ideas we are engaged in, you must help inform people of this shift. Because they are using “Contraception” to drive a wedge between the two wings of the pro-life movement. True, many Evangelical Protestants oppose the HHS mandate because of the secondary abortifacient properties of the Pill. But for vast parts of the population, when they hear the word contraception, they think, fine and dandy, why is anyone resisting that.

    Finally, give Notre Dame credit for fighting this with a lawsuit. Some other “Catholic” universities that shall remain nameless simply went along with the “accommodation,” did not fight it in court and are presenting it to their employees as la de dah, the government accommodated us, all’s fine with the world, isn’t our alumnus who wrote those great speeches for Obama or serves as his chief of staff awsome, aren’t we proud (pat pat pat back . . . .)?

  29. MikeD says:

    Surprise, surprise. Does anyone doubt that the big whigs at Notre Dame are far more concerned about the almighty dollar than Church teaching?

  30. Mike says:

    Does the “Catholic” establishment believe that caving will save their souls, or their schools? Nothing indicates that the forces of evil in this nation will relent in their attack on the Church and Her institutions of higher learning (whether or not they have apostatized as have Notre Dame et al.), even as media “Catholics” will continue to simper and smirk about what it pleases them to call “social justice.”

    The phrase “thrown under the nun bus” is one of the few good things to emerge from this hideous affair. Legisperitus, I salute you.

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  32. benedetta says:

    They have triumphed in their war against secular hypocrisy!

  33. Bressani56 says:

    @Gail F., that’s precisely my point. (see also Priam1184’s comment) The tax money all Catholics pay each year might be directly used for abortions, or it might not. The fact is, without question, we can be sure that a small percentage of the taxes we pay each year are being used for abortion, sterilization, and contraception. The HHS mandate is similar, in that our money might (i.e. may or may not) be used for abortion, sterilization, and contraception. The only people who could answer that are the actual insurance people, who control the “pool” of monies. Whereas, with taxes, we can be certain that a small percentage of our money IS being used for abortion, sterilization, and contraception. Why are the bishops not fighting this with greater vigor than the HHS?

    I would suggest that, unless we can enunciate clearly why the HHS mandate is different, we won’t be successful fighting this. I haven’t seen it done yet.

  34. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Granting that there should be more opposition to ‘Caesar’ (and/or ‘SPQR’) pursuing the things which are not ‘Caesar’s’ (such as systematically facilitating killing the innocent), why should a more diffuse instance of this be fought “with greater vigor than” a more sharply-focused and emphatic instance?

    I do not suppose you are saying that Christians in the Empire before 313 should have objected more strongly to some of their tax money being spent on temples for this or that ‘Divine Caesar’, than to being personally expected to offer divine worship to the current ‘Divine Caesar’, but what are you saying?

  35. excalibur says:

    For shame.

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