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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The Supreme Court today declined to hear a challenge to a New York rule requiring employers to pay for abortions, instead vacating a ruling that upheld the mandate and sending the case back to a state court for reconsideration.

A Monday order from the Supreme Court vacated a decision by the New York Court of Appeals that sided against a coalition of Christian charities suing over the abortion mandate. The brief order instructed the appellate court to re-examine the case, Diocese of Albany v. Emami, in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling favoring religious liberty.

Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch would have heard the case rather than remanding it.

The group of several religious charities petitioned the Supreme Court in April, stating that an abortion regulation issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services in 2017 forced them to violate their religious beliefs guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Under the rule, religious organizations that serve or employ people regardless of their faith must pay for “medically necessary abortions” in employee health insurance plans. The mandate covers abortions at least in cases of rape, incest, or fetal malformation, as well as in other cases as determined by a healthcare provider, according to the plaintiffs’ petition.

“The mandate thus appears to cover abortions of babies afflicted with Down Syndrome and other maladies,” the petition states.

Groups challenging the abortion mandate include the Catholic dioceses of Albany, Ogdensburg, and Brooklyn, Catholic Charities, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, several Protestant churches, and an order of monastic Anglican sisters.

Each of the organizations ministers to people of various backgrounds, like the Carmelite sisters, who operate an Albany nursing home, and the Anglican Sisterhood of Saint Mary, which works with local youth who lease their goats, according to Becket, a pro-freedom law firm representing the plaintiffs.

“But because they offer these services to people in their communities regardless of their faith background, the state holds that they must offer abortion services in their insurance plans — or else,” Becket said. Non-compliance would force the groups to eliminate their employees’ health insurance entirely, resulting in potentially millions of dollars in annual fines.

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PETITION: Pope Francis MUST clarify what he told pro-abortion Joe Biden about Holy Communion
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UPDATE 10/29/2021:

Joe Biden claims Pope Francis said he should continue receiving Holy Communion, despite the president's radical, anti-Catholic support for abortion. Biden asserted that the pontiff “was happy I’m a good Catholic,” and that the president should “keep receiving Communion.”

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to clarify what he told Biden at his private audience in Rome. Biden should be facing formal excommunication because of his public and obstinate promotion of abortion, but instead we have the perverse situation in which he claims to have the blessing of the pope to sacrilegiously receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Pope Francis must clarify what exactly was said in order to avoid scandal and being complicit in such grave sin. If Joe Biden wishes to return to communion with the Church he must immediately and publicly stop and repent from his active support of the culture of death.

To ensure that this petition reaches Pope Francis, it will also be CC'ed to the Papal Nuncio of the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, as well as to the Chairman of the Pro-Life Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

Indeed, Joe Biden recently proposed a budget which would eliminate the Hyde Amendment, potentially allowing billions of taxpayer dollars to go to the funding of abortion domestically.

So, it is now an indisputable fact that Joe Biden, himself, is forcing abortion on the American public as well as around the world (e.g., Biden's executive order abolishing the Mexico City Policy).

However, since we know that the Church prioritizes abortion as the "pre-eminent" moral issue, and also how the pope has recently reiterated the teaching that abortion is "homicide," we ask the Pope to ensure that Biden's scandalous claim be clarified and his support for abortion be condemned.

This is the prime opportunity for the pope to make it crystal clear to Biden: Promoting abortion is absolutely and utterly incompatible with being in communion with the Church, and that those politicians who publicly and obstinately support abortion effectively put themselves outside communion with the Church, but also merit formal excommunication.

Joe Biden's active and concentrated promotion of abortion since he took office only 9 months ago is a grave scandal to the faithful of the United States, and to Catholics everywhere.

But, perhaps even more scandalous is the USCCB's decision not to directly and publicly address how Biden's radical, public promotion of abortion affects his standing in the Church.

The silence from our American shepherds is deafening.

Therefore, Pope Francis must now intervene to protect both the Holy Eucharist and our preborn brothers and sisters from death, to protect authentic Church teaching from deceitful "Catholics" like Joe Biden, and to protect the faithful from the grievous scandal caused by Biden's claims, action and the intolerable dithering and "dialoging" engaged in by the USCCB.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Biden will meet with Pope Francis to discuss ‘human dignity,’ but abortion left off agenda'

'Biden restores foreign aid to abortion by repealing Mexico City Policy'

'Removing the Hyde Amendment in Biden’s proposed budget will set a precedent'

ORIGINAL PETITION:

Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Pope Francis in Rome in a rapidly approaching audience on October 29th.

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to tell Biden that he will face formal excommunication because of his public and obstinate promotion of abortion, and that if he wishes to return to communion with the Church he must immediately and publicly stop and repent from his active support of the culture of death.

To ensure that this petition reaches Pope Francis, it will also be CC'ed to the Papal Nuncio of the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, as well as to the Chairman of the Pro-Life Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

Indeed, Joe Biden recently proposed a budget which would eliminate the Hyde Amendment, potentially allowing billions of taxpayer dollars to go to the funding of abortion domestically.

So, it is now an indisputable fact that Joe Biden, himself, is forcing abortion on the American public as well as around the world (e.g., Biden's executive order abolishing the Mexico City Policy).

But, reports suggest that the pope and Biden are only supposed to speak about COVID and climate change...

However, since we know that the Church prioritizes abortion as the "pre-eminent" moral issue, and also how the pope has recently reiterated the teaching that abortion is "homicide," we ask the Pope to ensure that Biden's scandalous support of abortion become the central focus of their meeting.

This is the prime opportunity for the pope to make it crystal clear to Biden: Promoting abortion is absolutely and utterly incompatible with being in communion with the Church, and that those politicians who publicly and obstinately support abortion effectively put themselves outside communion with the Church, but also merit formal excommunication.

Joe Biden's active and concentrated promotion of abortion since he took office only 9 months ago is a grave scandal to the faithful of the United States, and to Catholics everywhere.

But, perhaps even more scandalous is the USCCB's decision not to directly and publicly address how Biden's radical, public promotion of abortion affects his standing in the Church.

The silence from our American shepherds is deafening.

Therefore, Pope Francis must now intervene to protect our preborn brothers and sisters from death, to protect authentic Church teaching from deceitful "Catholics" like Joe Biden, and to protect the faithful from the grievous scandal caused by Biden's action and the intolerable dithering and "dialoging" engaged in by the USCCB.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Biden will meet with Pope Francis to discuss ‘human dignity,’ but abortion left off agenda' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-will-meet-with-pope-francis-to-discuss-human-dignity-abortion-left-off-agenda/

'Biden restores foreign aid to abortion by repealing Mexico City Policy' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-restores-foreign-aid-to-abortion-with-repeal-of-mexico-city-policy/

'Removing the Hyde Amendment in Biden’s proposed budget will set a precedent' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/removing-the-hyde-amendment-in-bidens-proposed-budget-will-set-a-precedent/

**Photo Credit: CBSN / YouTube

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The Supreme Court order on Monday cited the court’s 9-0 Fulton v. Philadelphia ruling this summer, which held that Philadelphia officials could not deny contracts to Catholic Social Services due to the organization’s refusal to place foster children with homosexuals.

“CSS seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else,” wrote Chief Justice John Robert for the court. “The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services unless the agency agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny and violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”

The justices remanded Diocese of Albany v. Emami to the New York Court of Appeals for further consideration in accordance with the unanimous decision.

Becket and the Christian organizations fighting the New York abortion mandate welcomed the Supreme Court’s order, which they said signals that the rule is now likely be struck down.

“We are gratified and grateful that the Supreme Court has recognized the serious constitutional concerns over New York State’s heavy-handed abortion mandate on religious employers,” Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger said. “We are confident that now that the Court has ordered the case remanded for reconsideration in light of last year’s Fulton v. Philadelphia decision, the unconstitutional regulatory action taken by New York State will ultimately be completely overturned as incompatible with our country’s First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty,” he added.

“We believe that every person is made in the image of God,” Mother Miriam of the Sisterhood of Saint Mary said. “That’s why we believe in the sanctity of human life, and why we seek to serve those of all faiths — or no faith at all — in our community. We’re grateful that the Supreme Court has taken action in our case and hopeful that, this time around, the New York Court of Appeals will preserve our ability to serve and encourage our neighbors.”

“New York clearly learned nothing from the federal government’s own attempts to force nuns to pay for contraceptives and is now needlessly threatening charities because they believe in the dignity and humanity of every human person,” said Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel at Becket.

“Punishing faith groups for ministering to their local communities is cruel and counterproductive. We are thankful that the Supreme Court won’t allow the New York Court of Appeals’ bad ruling to be the last word on the right of religious ministries to serve New Yorkers of all faiths.”

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