Legal Complaint Filed

Oct 28, 2020

Update on our Legal Complaint over K-5 Mask Mandate

A few weeks ago, I emailed to ask everyone to pray for the leaders of the Church and government after Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 185, which was scheduled to go into effect on October 5. It required, among other things, that K-5 students wear masks in the classroom. On Friday, October 2, the Michigan Supreme Court called into question all of the Executive Orders that Governor Whitmer had issued after April 30, including E.O. 185. The Supreme Court's ruling prevented it from going into effect. We were disappointed but not surprised that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an order that mirrored the contents of E.O. 185 on October 5th.

Since that time, we have prayed and consulted with Counsel on the prudence of challenging the actions of MDHHS and Ingham County Health Department, which followed the Supreme Court's decision. Based on concerns expressed by several families about the effects of this change, we explored our options. As we contemplated filing a Complaint, we benefited greatly from the work of the Great Lakes Justice Center and the American Freedom Law Center, along with Diocesan Counsel. We asked Bishop Boyea's permission to pursue this action, which he granted. These lawyers worked with other Plaintiffs and us to craft the Complaint which challenges the legality of the actions of MDHHS and the Ingham County Health Department regarding mandatory masking.

The Complaint was filed on October 22, the Feast Day of Pope St. John Paul II, in Western District Court of Michigan. Please pray for a just outcome of the legal proceedings.

Explaining Our Actions
Jacob Allstott, Resurrection School principal, and I sent a letter to parents in the school yesterday (see below), which explains the rationale for this legal action and summarizes our concerns. I offer it to you for your reflection and prayer. Some might be tempted to allege that we are unnecessarily politicizing this, but I want to make clear that we are reluctant litigators. Our concern remains the wellbeing of students in every aspect of their persons. The actions of the State and County, we believe, overreached their proper authority and have harmful consequences for our students and their families. We are most concerned about the least of these in our community, and hope and pray for a just outcome of this legal action.

With prayers for our Nation, State, and Community,

Fr. Steve


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