Archbishop Coakley on Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby case:

“As fellow religious objectors to the mandate, we are pleased and hopeful”


OKLAHOMA CITY (June 30, 2014) – In a 5-4 decision in one of the most closely watched cases of the term, Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services et al. vs. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., et al., the Supreme Court of the United States today ruled that closely-held for-profit employers cannot be forced to offer insurance coverage for birth control methods they equate with abortion.

 Today, the Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, said he was pleased with the ruling, even as he continues to pray for the broadest possible societal understanding of religious liberty.

 “We are overjoyed and grateful that the Supreme Court found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects these employers from a heavy-handed regulation that clearly burdens their exercise of religion,” the archbishop said.

 “Even as we are examining the ruling closely to see whether it provides the real relief from the mandate that employers with religious objections need, we are hopeful that this signals the Court’s understanding of the fundamental importance of religious liberty, our first and most cherished freedom,” he continued.

 “As Catholics and fellow religious objectors to the mandate, we continue to pray that the courts, the administration and all Americans will again recognize the constitutional right of all individuals – including all employers – to allow religion to inform not just their private beliefs, but also their public actions, including the way they engage in business and commerce,” he added.