Press releases

On SCOTUS Ruling on Little Sisters of the Poor

May 16, 2016

Today the Supreme Court made it clear that the government still has not done enough to accommodate the conscience rights of the Little Sisters, whose plan they have tried to hijack for things like abortion pills. For now, this is an interim win for the nuns, who just want to get back to their work caring for the poor without interference from government bureaucrats. Ashley McGuire, The Catholic Association

In a move welcomed by all those who cherish religious liberty, the Supreme Court has unanimously decided to send back to the lower courts the case of The Little Sisters of the Poor. The fines that threatened the Little Sisters with the end of their work caring for the poor elderly will not be imposed. Instead, the government will have to find a way to fulfill their mission— massively increase access to contraception, including abortifacient drugs–while respecting the deeply held religious beliefs of these good women and not “hijacking” their insurance plans. Grazie Christie, The Catholic Association

Today’s Supreme Court decision makes it clear that the government must back off and allow people the freedom to practice their faith as they wish, without fear of draconian fines. The Court agreed that government must find a way to reach its goals on contraceptive and abortifacient coverage, without coercing involvement of the nuns or other religious charities and educational institutions. The unanimous decision portends a huge win for religious liberty. Maureen Ferguson, The Catholic Association


On USCIRF’s 2016 Annual Report

May 5, 2016

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has just released its 2016 Annual Report, which confirms that the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria constitutes genocide. The report states, “ISIL’s summary executions, rape, sexual enslavement, abduction of children, destruction of houses of worship, and forced conversions all are part of what our commission has seen as a genocidal effort to erase their presence from these countries.” The State Department in March also officially recognized and designated this as genocide, and the question now is, what will the Obama Administration do about it? It would be beyond tragic to recognize this persecution is genocide, but then take no meaningful efforts to stop it. Maureen Ferguson, The Catholic Association


On Second Round of Briefs in Little Sisters Supreme Court Case

April 20, 2016

According to a new Marist poll, the majority of Americans side with the Little Sisters of the Poor in their fight against the government’s suppression of their First Amendment religious liberty rights. In the supplemental briefs requested by the Court, which are being filed today, the Little Sisters reiterate that there are any number of ways for the government to provide contraceptive and abortifacient drugs without involving the nuns health care plan. Instead of threatening millions of dollars in fines for nuns who serve the elderly poor, the government could simply exempt the Little Sisters just as they have exempted big corporations like Pepsi and Exxon. Maureen Ferguson, The Catholic Association


On House Select Panel Hearing on Planned Parenthood Sale of Fetal Parts

April 20, 2016

When fetal tissue research was first authorized in 1993, pro-choice proponent of the research, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Ca.), insisted on legal safeguards that would take profit out of the research equation, saying, “It would be abhorrent to allow for a sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created for that sale.” Today’s hearing documented that just such a marketplace has evolved, complete with a horrifying style drop-down menu for the selection of various fetal organs such as ovaries, spleen, tongues, or eyes at different stages of gestation. The procurement company’s own marketing material promotes the “financial benefit” that “fiscally rewards clinics.” The Committee investigation has turned up invoices, instructions for procurement kits, contracts, and more that independently verify what was on brazen display in the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. It is becoming harder and harder for the abortion industry to continue to obfuscate and defend it’s dealings in the gruesome marketplace of aborted baby’s organs. Maureen Ferguson, The Catholic Association


On Papal Exhortation on the Family

April 8, 2016

The Holy Father has given the Church what Archbishop Chaput called “a serious and extensive reflection on Christian marriage.” Its very length, over 60,000 words and more than 250 pages long, is a manifestation of just how seriously the Church and Pope Francis take the institution of marriage.

Its length and breadth are also why the Pope has asked us to work through the document slowly and prayerfully, and to avoid rushing to fit it into the brief soundbites that pundits are always looking for. As Archbishop Gomez said in response to Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis “has asked us to read his reflections slowly and carefully and I am going to continue to do that.”

But a few initial and important points stand out. One is that Pope Francis reiterates yet again that Amoris Laetitia is in no way a change in Church doctrine. His choice of using an exhortation rather than an encyclical underscores this and is consistent with his repeated emphasis that he does not want to change doctrine. Rather, he seeks to present the Gospel in a merciful way that resonates in today’s broken world.

Amoris Laetitia abounds with beautiful language that affirms the unique gift of Christian marriage. It reminds us marriage is an essential vessel for the discovery of the joy of the Gospel and the loving message of Jesus Christ who used the metaphor of marriage to describe his own relationship with the Church.

The Catholic Association looks forward to working through this gift from the Holy Father with prayerful patience with the guidance of our bishops and theologians. Ashley McGuire, The Catholic Association


On Oral Argument for the Little Sisters of the Poor

March 23, 2016

Today in oral argument, Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts suggested that the government was “hijacking” the healthcare plan of the Little Sisters of the Poor to advance its agenda. That’s exactly what they are doing. And today outside the Court, an overwhelmingly female crowd filled with hundreds of nuns stood in protest of the last relic of a mandate that would force the Little Sisters to violate their deepest beliefs or pay 70 million dollars in fines. As a Catholic woman, I was proud to stand with the Little Sisters in their fight against government bullies for religious liberty. Ashley McGuire, The Catholic Association


On President Obama’s Nomination of Merrick Garland to SCOTUS
March 17, 2016

An initial review of President Obama’s selection of Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court raises grave concerns at a time when religious liberty is under assault and when the stakes in the fight for the unborn have never been higher. Catholics have special cause for concern at his vote to deny a rehearing to the Priests for Life in their lawsuit against the HHS mandate. Despite opposition from Garland, that case moved forward and now sits alongside the case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor before the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the high praise from the CEO of Planned Parenthood raises major red flags, but is unsurprising given the president’s extreme position on the issue of abortion and given that Garland himself called the author of Roe v. Wade “a great gift to the country.” We support the Senate in its right to withhold consent on such a concerning nominee and to let the American people, already casting votes in a very divisive and contentious election, decide who should replace Justice Scalia and thereby shape the direction of the Court for decades to come. Ashley McGuire, The Catholic Association


On the Second Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Election

March 13, 2015

“In the two years since I saw him appear on that Vatican balcony asking for our prayers, the Holy Father Pope Francis has captured the world’s attention and stirred us to a new thoughtfulness toward the forgotten and marginalized.  Very often we’ve been caught off guard by his words and deeds which challenge us all: trading in the papal palace for a humble apartment, choosing to ride in a Ford Focus, taking on as Shepherd what he called “the smell of the sheep.”  He sets a pattern to be followed and at the same time mercifully reaches us where we are, at a level we can understand, take to heart, and turn into action that brings Christ to our world. We look forward to the future of his papacy, and especially his visit later this year to our nation.” Ashley McGuire, The Catholic Association

“With the second anniversary of the inauguration of Pope Francis, the first Pontiff to hail from Latin America, we reflect on the exciting two years, with special significance for Hispanics.  His deep love for the poor, colored by an intimate knowledge of the difficulties that beset them from every side, fills us with a corresponding affection for him. In his short Papacy he has made the Universal church feel warmly universal to those of us who live in or originate from the second and third worlds.  He has also not neglected to remind us, day in and day out, of the importance of our families and how each one is a domestic church, where we learn generosity and fidelity from one another.   Every day of his Papacy is an opportunity for us to grow in hope and love to (in his words) “ensure that love for others increases until it is equal and possibly exceeds love for oneself.”  Dr. Grazie Christie, The Catholic Association


ACLU Tries to Force the Church to Pay for Immigrant Abortions

April 23, 2015

“Young women and girls who have illegally crossed the border, in many cases trafficked and abused, may soon find themselves without the tender and familiar help of the Catholic Church. The ACLU is suing the federal government, irate at the fact that Catholic charities will not provide abortions.  The Church holds true to its mission of supporting all vulnerable people, even the smallest and most defenseless. Abortion advocacy is so important to the ACLU that they are willing to destroy what has been a wildly successful partnership between the federal government and the Catholic Church in the care of these vulnerable women.” Dr. Grazie Christie, The Catholic Association

“Throughout it’s history, the Catholic Church has been a preeminent leader in providing exemplary care for immigrants.  Yet the ACLU, with this lawsuit, seeks to force Catholic charities out of this space by forcing them to provide abortions.  Apparently the ACLU cares more about abortion advocacy than care for this incredibly vulnerable population.”  Maureen Ferguson, The Catholic Association

“The ACLU cares more about placating the abortion lobby than helping immigrant women in desperate need of aid. The Catholic Church has been leading the effort to help immigrants and women and girls who have been victimized. That the ACLU, supposedly a champion of civil liberties, would put the Church through a costly lawsuit in an attempt to make them violate their core beliefs speaks volumes about the ACLU.” Ashley McGuire, The Catholic Association