In today’s News:
New archbishop chosen for St. Louis
Pope Francis has named Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of Springfield, Mass., as the next Archbishop of St. Louis, Succeeding Robert J. Carlson, who last year reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 and submitted his resignation to the pope. Rozanski, who will be formally installed on Aug. 25, will become the 10th archbishop of St. Louis, leading the region’s largest faith group, with more than 505,000 Roman Catholics spread over 179 parishes.
Illinois taken to court
In the aftermath of covid-19-related religious liberty lawsuits, the Thomas More Society has now sued the state of Illinois to challenge a law requiring all health insurance policies sold in the state to provide coverage for elective chemical and surgical abortions, with no exemptions, even for churches. Yesterday, the Thomas More Society filed a complaint in the Sangamon County Circuit Court, charging the state with abuses of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act in relation to the abortion insurance mandate. The case was filed on behalf of a Baptist church association, a dental practice and its owner, and a freight company and its owner. The lawsuit charges that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker; the Department of Insurance, and its director Robert Muriel; have refused to protect the plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs, which forbid them from funding and providing coverage for elective abortions.
Satanic Temple loses in court
States may inform women that life begins at conception before they go through with an abortion, a federal appeals court said this week. The case — a victory for pro-life advocates, unborn babies and mothers — involves a Missouri informed consent law and a challenge by “Judy Doe,” a member of the Satanic Temple. Doe claimed the law violated her religious freedom because she does not believe that “the life of each human being begins at conception.” That information is included in the Missouri informed consent booklet, which abortion facilities must offer women prior to an abortion. Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed doe’s case and allowed the law to stand.
Churches defy a mayor’s order
First Liberty Institute and the Massachusetts Family Institute yesterday sent a letter to Somerville, Massachusetts Mayor Joseph Curtatone informing him that several churches in the city will immediately resume in-person church services on Sunday. Curtatone arbitrarily requires all places of worship in somerville to limit attendance to no more than 10 congregants. On May 18, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued order 33 providing that churches and other places of worship “may open [their] premises to workers . . . And the public” so long as such places of worship followed specific health and safety guidelines and limit to 40 percent occupancy. Further, Baker’s order clearly states that “[n]o municipal or other local authority should adopt or enforce any workplace health or safety rule to address covid-19 that is in addition to, stricter than, or otherwise in conflict with any covid-19 workplace safety rule adopted in [order 33].”