BY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
PITTSBURGH (CNS) — Officials in the Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses hailed a decision by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to temporarily halt enforcement of the federal contraceptive mandate against Catholic Charities and other social service agencies in the dioceses.
The U.S. government was ordered to file a response by April 20.
“This stay is a welcome but interim step in pursuit of the religious freedom that our laws and Constitution have guaranteed to all Americans,” Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh said in a statement April 17. “We remain in prayer that justice will prevail and that Catholic Charities will be allowed to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
Anne-Marie Welsh, spokeswoman for the Erie Diocese, said church officials there also were pleased with Alito’s order “responding to our emergency request to the Supreme Court to recall and stay the mandate.”
“We are grateful to the Jones Day law firm, which continues to pursue this on our behalf on a pro bono basis,” she added.