Mar 30, 2017 by Will Maule

Supreme Court Set To Decide Whether Religious Hospitals Should Be Part Of Church

A concerned group of religious hospitals are asking that the Supreme Court to protect it from a group of lawyers that claim the hospitals are not a part of the church, reports Fox News. An argument has been stirring through litigation that several religious hospital networks should not be allowed to provide their employees with church pension plans. 

Subsequently, this has put the livelihoods of nuns from the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in jeopardy. “If you find yourself arguing that the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor are not part of the Catholic Church you are doing it wrong,” Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund said. “Lawyers have no place saying that nuns are not part of the church—not to mention soup kitchens, homeless shelters, seminaries, nursing homes, and orphanages. These nonprofits are a core part of the church, not an afterthought.”

“[B]eneath the surface of this case lurks a more fundamental question: What is a church?” reads the introduction of the brief. “In their [the plaintiff’s] view, a religious organization must own and operate one or more houses of worship to qualify as a ‘church’ or part of a ‘church,’” reads the summary. “Venture outside the four walls of a religious sanctuary, and one has ceased to part of a church.”

"Yet this Court has long recognized that what churches do is not limited to worship and prayer, but often includes serving and teaching others as well.”

“For most religious Americans, faith is not some secretive activity conducted behind closed doors,” said Rassbach. “Faith for them means being out in the community serving with and for others, particularly the least among us.”

“The Supreme Court should recognize that fact.”

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