(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama, whose administration is being sued by several Catholic diocese for infringing on freedom of religion, met with a liberal nun who leads a “social justice” organization about comprehensive immigration reform.
Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, met with Obama in the Oval Office on Thursday. She spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in the midst of the controversy over the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services mandate that insurance cover the cost of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and birth control.
The 40-year-old NETWORK refers to itself as a national Catholic social justice organization. It was founded by 47 Catholic nuns.
“Sister Simone Campbell dropped by the Oval Office on day three of the latest ‘Nuns on the Bus’ tour, which is focusing on the need for commonsense immigration reform,” the White House blog said on Thursday.
Obama and the NETWORK support a Senate immigration proposal that would allow an estimated 11 million illegal aliens to gain legal status providing they meet certain criteria.
Supporters call this a “pathway to citizenship,” while opponents call it “amnesty.”
“The ‘Nuns on the Bus’ launched their tour from Ellis Island in New York City and will culminate on June 17 at Angel Island in San Francisco, highlighting the coast to coast beacons that have welcomed immigrants to our shores since the early days of our Nation’s founding,” the White House blog continued.
“The Sisters are traveling across the country, stopping at cities from Durham, North Carolina and Tampa, Florida all the way to El Paso, Texas and Modesto California, to engage and provide a forum for communities of faith to speak out in support of commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform,” the blog added.
In 2012, the HHS imposed the abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and birth control mandate on nearly every health insurance plan in the United States. The Catholic Church considers each of these things intrinsically immoral, and last June, the Catholic bishops of the United States unanimously adopted a statement declaring the regulation an unjust and illegal mandate.
Multiple Catholic diocese and archdioceses, colleges, universities and other institutions, as well as Catholic laypersons who own businesses filed suit against the Obama administration. They argue that the administration is violating their First Amendment-guaranteed right to the free exercise of religion.
Among those suing the Obama administration are the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the Archdiocese of Miami and the Archdiocese of New York.