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Catholic college seeks ‘financial freedom’ from federal mandates

The Belmont Abbey College, located outside Charlotte in North Carolina, has started a fund with the aim of gaining “financial freedom” from the federal government’s “intrusive mandates” associated with financial aid. The college reported on its fundraising website that without being financially independent, the faith-based practices of the institution are threatened by the federal government’s intrusiveness and hostility towards faith. The campaign to raise a fund of 100 million was started in February. The institution had confrontations with the federal government previously as well. It was the first college that filed a lawsuit in relation to the contraception provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Fox News reports:

A Roman Catholic college in North Carolina has established a fund with the ultimate goal of obtaining the “financial freedom” to cut ties with what it has described as the “intrusive” mandates attached to federal aid.

“Without the ability to remain financially independent and secure, we place our faith-based practices at risk from a federal government both increasingly intrusive to private institutions and increasingly hostile to faith,” Belmont Abbey College wrote on its fundraising website.

The small Catholic college of approximately 1,500 students outside Charlotte launched the campaign in February with the goal of raising $100 million to beef up its endowment and phase out dependence on federal financial aid, according to The College Fix.

“First and foremost, the federal government has historically used the funding to mandate policies inimical to Catholic education,” Philip Brach, vice president of college relations at Belmont Abbey, told the outlet. “These policies have often risen to the level of serious moral violations to the freedom of conscience of our community.”

Belmont Abbey College has been at the forefront of some of the clashes between the federal government and religious institutions.

The Charlotte EEOC office ruled in favor of the college after eight faculty members filed a complaint for not covering abortion and oral contraceptives under its healthcare plan in 2009, though the Obama administration reversed the ruling and dragged out the case for years before the school eventually prevailed, the Fix noted.

Belmont Abbey was the first college to file a lawsuit regarding the Affordable Care Act’s contraception provision, which Brach said would have forced the school “to provide healthcare coverage for abortion and contraception or face bankruptcy as a consequence of punishing fines.”

Read the full article here

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