“No other federal rule has so narrowly and discriminatorily defined what it means to exercise religious conscience, and no regulation has ever so directly violated plain statutory and constitutional religious freedoms.”
So declares a memorandum to the Obama Administration , signed by Thomas Aquinas College and 21 other Catholic institutions of higher education, formally protesting the HHS mandate that would compel Catholic organizations to participate in the provision of contraceptive, abortifacient, and sterilization coverage to employees and their dependents.
The joint comments, organized by the Cardinal Newman Society  and prepared by the Alliance Defending Freedom , asks the Administration to exempt “all stakeholders with a religious or moral objection from being forced to provide, offer, pay for or in any way participate in a health insurance plan that covers or specifically triggers coverage of ‘contraceptives’ … sterilization, and related education and counseling.”
The College has also submitted its own comment  in conjunction with the statement, stressing “in the strongest possible terms” its “vigorous opposition” to the mandate.
“Central to the mission of Thomas Aquinas College is its fidelity to the teachings of the Church and its commitment to reflecting those teachings in its educational program,” writes President Michael F. McLean. “Thomas Aquinas College is also committed to maintaining a student residential community and a workplace fully in accord with the moral principles of the Catholic faith.”
Posted April 5, 2013