Nun’s media network files suit against Obama administration

Caroline May | Reporter

The Catholic media network started thirty years ago by Mother Angelica, a cloistered nun, is now taking legal action against Obama administration officials over the new mandate requiring health insurance plans, including those offered by religious organizations, to cover contraceptives.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed suit Thursday morning on behalf of Mother Angelica’s network against the federal government “for the right to remain faithful to the teachings” of the Catholic Church.

“The federal government cannot force people to violate their religion like this,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund. “Mother Angelica founded EWTN to spread the teachings of the Catholic Church — not to betray them.”

The network is refusing to go against its religious teachings and cover contraception.

“If we are willing to compromise our Catholic faith, we are selling the soul of the network,” said EWTN’s president and chief executive officer, Michael P. Warsaw. “The mission of EWTN is not negotiable.”

According to Warsaw, the network is also rejecting the administration’s one year timeline to “adapt” to the new mandate.

“Maybe they missed the word ‘Eternal’ in the name,” Warsaw added. “Betraying God’s love for every human person –even ones who are small and vulnerable — just isn’t something we’ll ever be able to adapt to.” (RELATED: Full coverage of the health reform law)

This is the third suit the Becket Fund has brought to challenge the administration’s contraception mandate. The group also has similar lawsuits pending on behalf of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and Colorado Christian University.

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