They may be called the Little Sisters but these Catholic nuns stood up to the Obama administration’s pro-abortion HHS mandate in a big way — ultimately winning their case at the Supreme Court. Now, these principled pro-life women have received an award from the Knights of Columbus for their dedication to life.
The Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion earlier this year in the case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, which have been fighting to not be forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees.
The Little Sisters of the Poor were asking the nation’s highest court to ensure they do not have to comply with Obamacare’s abortion mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
Without relief, the Little Sisters would face millions of dollars in IRS fines because they cannot comply with the government’s mandate that they give their employees free access to contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. The Supreme Court decision removes all of those threats of possible fines.
Last night at the 134th Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Toronto, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson presented the Gaudium et Spes Award to the Little Sisters of the Poor for their commitment to their Catholic beliefs even in the face of strong government pressure.
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Named for the landmark Second Vatican Council document, the Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope) Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal benefit organization, which has more than 1.9 million members. Awarded only in special circumstances to individuals of exceptional merit, the first recipient was Blessed Mother Teresa, in 1992, and the last recipient was the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, in 2015.
Upon accepting the award, Mother Loraine Marie Maguire, superior of the Sisters’ Baltimore Province, remarked:
Although we never would have chosen to become the public face of conscientious objection to the HHS Mandate, we felt compelled to take a stand for the sake of the elderly residents we serve. Our only desire has been to ensure that we will be able to continue to care for the elderly poor with dignity and love, just as we have for over 175 years.
Commenting on the spirit of the award, she said:
This joy and hope are the heart of Gaudium et Spes, which still beckons us — over 50 years after the Second Vatican Council — to allow our hearts to be moved by the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted. As Little Sisters of the Poor our hearts are uniquely moved by the plight of the elderly, whose numbers are rapidly growing and whose dignity is increasingly threatened. In this current cultural context we wish for nothing more than to be able to continue responding to the needs of the elderly poor, just as we have done since Saint Jeanne Jugan took in the first old woman in 1839.
Earlier on Tuesday, during his annual report to the 2,000-plus convention attendees, Anderson noted: “Today, the sisters are still helping the poor, the sick and the dying. They are still doing incredible work in their communities, and they are still doing all of this without violating their conscience.”
Shortly before the high court decision was handed down, a Marist Poll conducted for the Knights of Columbus found that, by a wide margin, most Americans (53 to 32 percent) said the process demanded by the government’s “accommodation” was “unfair” to the Little Sisters.
Shortly before the decision was handed down, a Marist Poll conducted for the Knights of Columbus found that, by a wide margin, most Americans (53 to 32 percent) said the process demanded by the government’s “accommodation” was “unfair” to the Little Sisters.