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Cardinal Dolan: US bishops won’t comply with Obama rule on birth control coverage in insurance

 

A top American bishop said Tuesday the Roman Catholic church will not comply with the Obama administration requirement that most employers provide health insurance covering birth control.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said church leaders are open to working toward a resolution with federal officials, but will meanwhile press ahead with challenges to the mandate in legislatures and in court.

“The only thing we’re certainly not prepared to do is give in. We’re not violating our consciences,” Dolan told reporters at a national bishops’ meeting. “I would say no door is closed except for the door to capitulation.”

The bishops have been fighting the regulation since it was announced by President Barack Obama early this year. Houses of worship are exempt, but religiously affiliated hospitals, charities and colleges are not.

Obama promised to change the requirement so that insurance companies, not faith-affiliated employers, would pay for the coverage. But details have not been worked out. And not only the bishops, but Catholic hospitals and some other religious leaders generally supportive of Obama’s health care overhaul have said the compromise proposed so far appears to be unworkable.

Dozens of Catholic dioceses and charities have sued over the mandate, along with colleges, including the University of Notre Dame. The bishops have made the issue the centerpiece of a national campaign on preserving religious freedom, which they consider under assault on several fronts from an increasingly secular broader culture. The Department of Health and Human Services adopted the rule as a preventive service meant to protect women’s health by allowing them to space their pregnancies.

It’s unclear what, if any, influence the bishops have with the administration. [more]

SOURCE

AP via The Republic

 
 
 
 

69 Comments

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  3. [...] these things allowed that clearly go against Catholic social teaching. Read about his statement here. Some have said that the bishops are not being open enough to work with the government on this. I [...]

  4. Florian says:

    Cardinal Dolan might have a viable case if he were a woman of childbearing age who practised Natural Family Planning. As it is, the cardinal is a male dogmatist who delights in inflicting his opinions on others, oh never nind the truth.

    • Catholic Lady says:

      I do not have to put my hand upon the heated stove to know that it is hot and that I will suffer a burn, Florian. Neither do the bishops have to practice “Natural Family Planning to advocate for it and/or be opposed to artificial contraception in any form.

  5. [...] only thing we’re certainly not prepared to do is give in,” Dolan said at a news conference. “Not violate our consciences, and not obey what we consider to be [...]

  6. [...] only thing we’re certainly not prepared to do is give in,” Dolan said at a news conference. “Not violate our consciences, and not obey what we consider to be [...]

  7. Letslipthedogs says:

    This is “war”. Catholics cannot be forced to do something that is considered a sin and condemns us. We cannot be forced to facilitate sin – that is our faith and should be respected.

    This is not some Youtube video insulting our faith..this is practically persecution.

    Lets see Obama try this on the Moslems and he will really know what Moslem rage means.

    The Catholic faith is based on love and martyrdom by the example given by Jesus. The secular world has taken advantage of this time and time again and continues to insult, mock, ridicule..etc our faith and at the end we can only take it and pray for those who abuse our faith. May God have mercy on them all.

  8. Concerned says:

    The Bishops need to rethink their position and their righteous indignation. Nothing is forcing Catholics to use birth control – even though the vast majority do. If you are Catholic and not using birth control, no one is going to force you to start. The Church has every right to teach that something is wrong. (although they certainly do a very bad job giving all the reasons or defending their case as being more than – “it’s a rule”) Jesus told people was was right and what was wrong – he then left the choice to them. Why is the Church embroiled in this belief that they must legislate morality? It is no more than a power struggle. The Bishops want power more than they really care about the morality of any issue. They are not taken seriosly – and it is their own fault. The Bishops have done this to themselves.

    • savvy says:

      Concerned,

      You might want to check some facts. The issue is not contraception. Its the mandate’s reasoning that could shut everybody down. It says, a Bible publisher is not religious, a kosher butcher is not religious, a religious order that produces jams and sells them to make a living is not religious.

      Anything you do outside a church is not religious.

      This is an all out attack.

      Why is the govt, taking away religious freedom and expression?

      The President is not above the courts and the constitutions.

    • james says:

      if you believe their is a life at conception.
      and birth control aborts this life.would not providing birth control be the same as assisting in the abortion ?
      yes , I made the decision to kill myself; will you assist ? maybe. Ok, I made the decision to kill someone else; will you assist ?
      I don’t think it is a matter of letting someone else to what they wish with their body or even someone else’s body. But why must I or you be forced to assist ? This is the controversy at present.
      We don’t sell guns at this store !. You’ll have to walk a few blocks to the left !

  9. Cephas says:

    @Cindy-If you’re referring to the possible canonization of Dorothy Day I would suggest you read a little more before you judge so harshly.

    • Cindy says:

      Yes, I am referring to Dorothy Day. As for judging harshly, I tend to evaluate people based on the groups and associations one binds himself or herself to in their life. As a young woman she surrounded herself with communists, socialists, anarchists and social justice activists. Her movement supports labor unions, which have been corrupted, and is, in my opinion, anti-capitalist. I have yet to read any comments from her where she denounced these affiliations. She was an injured person, as we all are, whose political views I do not condone; however, I commend her heartfelt aching for the poor and the work she did for them. But, when a former “Occupy Wall Street” protester converts to the Catholic Worker Movement, I think that is the “here’s your sign” moment. “Truth must be sought at all costs, but separate isolated truths will not do. Truth is like life; it has to be taken on its entirety or not at all. . . . We must welcome truth even if it reproaches and inconveniences us — even if it appears in the place where we thought it could not be found.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen

      • Tony says:

        Wow Cindy you are more Catholic than the pope, a dangerous position to be.

      • Cephas says:

        @Cindy-You say in your posts “you have yet to read….” or “from all the accounts I’ve read.” Ok….so you admit to not reading everything on Dorothy Day, why the Church is considering canonization, her conversion, all the incredible good that she did…..and yet you hold fast to your opinion. I think that if you were to really do your homework you would be entitled to your opinion. Is it possible that the Church knows some things you don’t concerning Dorothy Day?

        • Cindy says:

          Are you a Dorothy Day scholar? I’m entitled to my opinion only if I am? How deep does one have to dig? How many books on her good works does one have to read? How many documentary films does one have to watch? How many “houses” does one have to visit? At what point is an opinion well formed?

  10. Cindy says:

    These guys are such a joke. On the one hand they cry for religious freedom to be upheld and to keep the sacred the teachings of the Church and the Faith untouched, yet set forth for canonization a woman who, from all the accounts I’ve read, is a communist who infiltrated the same Church. For the past forty years, if not longer, secularism has been creeping into the pew because of the lack of fortitude (you know, the one that enables the individual to live the other virtues heroically, to suffer with patience and joy, to overcome all lukewarmness in the service of God) on the part of the bishops and their priests. Pitiful.

    • Suz says:

      Yes Cindy, it is sad. Our Lady has asked us for years to pray for our priests and clergy. Are you doing that? If so, have a little faith in God that when the time is right, he will fix everything!

      • Cindy says:

        This is the prayer I have on my “wall of prayer” on my fridge: “Eternal Father, I lift up to you these and all the priests of the world. Sanctify them, heal and guide them, mold them into the likeness and holiness of your Son, Jesus, the Eternal High Priest. May their lives be pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

        I have no faith in the leadership and the sad thing for me is that when they pass from this life to the next, how will these men explain their negligence? They have millions of souls in their hands.

    • Joe W. says:

      Dorothy Day had a conversion and became a faithful Catholic.

      • Cindy says:

        Agreed, but did not cut her ties with militant groups who wish harm to the Faith.

        • Aloysia Moss says:

          Cindy , Dorothy Day was a lone Catholic presence standing with the poor and the workers who were being taken advantage of . The other people who cared about justice for the oppressed happened to be anarchists and communists et al . Not too many Catholic clergy .
          Jesus ate with sinners and was forever being condemned for it . Saints are always people who see things wisely as Jesus did .
          A New York City Archbishop long ago tried to forbid Day to use the word Catholic in her paper . He felt she was not officially recognized by church authority . Sounds to me that it makes her all the more just like the Savior who was constantly asked , ” By whose authority ? ” .
          Recall the story of the wheat and the darnel ( a weed ) left to grow together until harvest . Yes , we all have “strange bedfellows ” . And sometimes we are the strange bedfellow ourselves . Occupy was joined by rabble who saw an opportunity to spread destruction . That does not make Occupy a bad thing . Didn’t Benedict say that the harm to the faith lay within the Church ? He affirmed what we already knew .

    • Catholic Lady says:

      Cindy: You are entitled to your opinion on Dorthy Day. You are not however entitled to be disrespectful of the leaders in the Catholic Church- ie; your comment: “These guys are such a joke”. You lack the humility that Dorothy Day was a model of, this was a woman who sacrificed her own comforts to help others..perhaps instead of being so very judgemental of other christian women you like I can learn from them.

  11. Janet says:

    Sorry – it should read The Year of Faith and 400 million girl babies in China

  12. Janet says:

    For the Year of Dauth please start with reading Genesis and then the Catechism of the Catholic Church as Benedict has suggested. Then the truth will reaffirm the truth and meaning of human sexuality. humane Vitae was both a blessing and a warning. There have been at least 60 MILLION unborn children killed in just America and 400 MILLION girl children killed. Mercy is being given us and now comes His justice. He won the war we have to just fight the battle.

  13. Charlie46 says:

    It is interesting how Obama challenges the Church on this mandate and Catholics women vote for Obama knowing that birthcontrol kills as does abortion and that it is a sin to use birthcontrol. The first sin of a woman cause the lost of Paradise and the now the sin of reproductive rights will cause the lost of our freedom of religion and the lost of our country. Women need to support the church in this attack on our freedoms. Women stop killing your children and repent and our country will restored by God.

    • Paul says:

      What an ignoramus. Blame the woman. Would be more practical and humane to neuter all the men at birth. Starting with the clerics.

  14. Angelo says:

    The Bishops are now sounding like leaders. Thats the way it should be. We have freedom of religion and we will not have anyone take it from us. I read that all 50 States are now gathering petitions to succeed from the US. I believe their sending Obama a clear message.

    • blag says:

      Yes but the message is one that they are completely unhinged and are ignoring the entire outcome of the American Civil War that individual states do not have the right to secede. So what’s their point again?

      I will fall off my chair laughing if the US falls into another civil war over secession rights while an African-American is president.

  15. Michael says:

    Commenter @ #26: wrong, wrong and wrong.
    Three strikes. Opinions don’t count- FACTS do: please spend some time brushing up on them before you comment.
    BTW: anyone who says they’re Catholic and pro- Choice is a hypocrite in denial- a lukewarm “Catholic” in NAME ONLY… who scandalized and calumnies Christ’s Church and Teachings….!

  16. Michael says:

    No God in public gov’t run schools – then no gov’t in God’s Church run hospitals. It’s that simple.
    Put the Stimulus Dollar$ to use building gov’t hospitals- again: it’s that simple!

    • Donna says:

      I believe what the government wants is to take over all our Catholic hospitals by trying to force this on us knowing we will not give in. Then they will have more government control.

      • blag says:

        Yes, the control to allow non-Catholic women to decide for themselves if they would like birth control. You know, in accordance with the idea that the government cannot impose religious laws to define the beginning of life, you know, like the while point of Roe v. Wade?

  17. Vin says:

    It is so discouraging to read about the insidious evil which has permeated our church. It is unbelievable that after what this country has gone through to acheive freedom for all, in four short years we have fallen so far into immorality that there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of us. If that isn’t proof of something malevolent, I don’t know what is.

    • Rose says:

      Well said. Pray hard. We know who wins this war. God bless!

    • RuthAnn says:

      Vin, not in ‘four short years” but in forty LONG years, when ROE vs WADE became law – allowing LEGAL abortion. Why hasn’t any president since then moved to change this immoral law???

  18. Noel says:

    What an un Christ-like tirade Bill Sr! It seems that many “Catholics” mistake the institutional church – bishops – and church teaching for God Almighty!Allo God`s Spirit to move freely among all God`s people, and not merely within the tribal boundaries of the Roman Catholic Church`s bishops and their OBEDIENT followers.

    • TDJ says:

      I think you are the one who misunderstand, Noel. All Catholics belong to the “institutional Church.” The Church is the Body of Christ in which the People of God are gifted and called to work on different ministries, some ordained and most not ordained.

      Since the Church is the Body of Christ, the Spirit animates her and therefore, “moves freely” within the Church. I can’t tell the Spirit where “not to move,” but I can tell with certainty that the Spirit moves freely within what you term “the tribal boundaries of the Roman Catholic Church.”

      Those Catholics who live in accordance to the Teaching handed down by the bishops in communion with Peter’s Successor do indeed hand down God Almighty’s infallible Word and teaching. Obedient Catholics do well to follow their bishops because, as St. Ignatius of Antioch used to say, “there where the bishop is, let the faithful gather just as where Christ is, there the Catholic Church is.” Or words to that effect.

      I don’t know what you are but if you are Catholic, you better check your bearings because you are not representing Catholic ecclessiology correctly.

      +JMJ,
      ~Theo

    • Bill Sr. says:

      I never meant to hurt your feelings NOEL. Unless you are of the belief that Catholics and our hierarchy do not and have not always tried to preach and teach on behalf of all Christians in the name of Christ.

  19. Kevin Doyle says:

    Regarding the Calif. effort to repeal the death penalty, in making a hefty (for me) contribution to the effort, I learned that the Bishops had been instrumental in even getting it on the ballot. Our church leaders are often wrong, but we should give credit when they are right. We Catholics are polarized enough.

  20. catholic and voting says:

    I agree with the Bishops. We cannot and should not betray our consciences and Church teaching. We cannot obey a mandate that is evil and made by an misguided person. Abortion and contraceptives have no place in politics, they are being used by this administration for their own gains. If they want to pay for free contraceptives which are not for a women’s health, than they should pay for diabetes medicine, high blood pressure medication and asthma medication to name a few – these truly affect the health of the person taking them.

    • blag says:

      Giving others the freedom to follow their non-Catholic beliefs is evil?

      And preventative medications is one of the best things the government could ensure non-Catholics have the freedom to use because it would lower costs on the healthcare system.

  21. Recovering Catholic says:

    Obama is a bigger fool that I thought if he thinks he can take on the Catholic Church and win.

  22. N says:

    Uh, I just want to know why in the world the dear Catholics (of which I am one) are now upset? Why weren’t ALL of them preaching this a couple of Sundays ago? Why is the homily about nothing but the poor? Isn’t pro-life an issue? Traditional marriage? Now they stand there, pistol in hand, claiming they won’t give in? WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS? If I remember correctly, Catholics are the ones who voted for the Dictator, and now, lo and behold, they are upset. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!

    • guest says:

      N, I’m curious as to whether your parish is a liberal one or not. My parish ALWAYS talks about abortion issues, homosexuality issues, and other issues that MOST parishes seem to refuse to comment on because where I live (West Los Angeles) many parishes are VERY liberal and secular. My parish is an exception, a gem in a liberal and secular city but I’m glad I found it. They are very conservative, but not judgmental. You’re also unclear as to whom you’re blaming on why these issues are at the forefront: the priests or the parishoners. Let me remind you that there are WAY more parishoners than there are priests, so why did the parishoners vote for the “Dictator?” I certainly didn’t vote for him, but people should also make it their responsibility to fill themselves in on these kinds of social issues because they are also religious ones. The priest is usually someone most people see for 1 hour on Sunday. It seems to me you’re taking your anger out on the priests when you and others should be directing your frustrations on yourselves for having not educated yourselves and each other on the teaching of the Catholic Church. I’m talking about REAL Catholicism here, in-depth study. A priest can only do so much. If you’re a true Catholic, you’ll do more than just listen to a homily; you’ll LIVE the word of God every day.

  23. Marty says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. They will give in because they are spineless.

  24. Joanna says:

    Could we take a step back and ask, “Does contraceptive use really promote good health?” There are many arguments against the use of artificial hormone-based contraceptives. The long term health consequences are still being studied–cancer and fertility, for two. Add to this the environmental impact of the presence of artificial hormones in our water supply. I do not accept the premise that contraception is good for women’s health.

    • A Barruel says:

      Contraceptives are not only polluting our water supply, our husbands and children are drinking our excreted birth control hormones. And I have never been comfortable with taking hormones long term (check estrogen replacement and ovarian cancer).

  25. Joel Fago says:

    The more bishops who publicly state strongly that the Catholic Church will DEFY! Obama abortion-HHS mandate, the more likely it will not be enforced which would raise the national unemployment rate with the closing of Catholic hospitals, schools, media and other institutions.

  26. Liesa says:

    No one is forced to go to Catholic hospitals. No one is forced to be employed by Catholic institutions. If you want your abortions or your contraception, go elsewhere for employment or healthcare. But the federal government should not be forcing Catholic institutions and employers to pay for something that is against Catholic doctrine. And by the way, if you are pro-choice, you should not self-identify as Catholic.

    • Rosemary says:

      Liesa – I agree. Also, no one who worked for the Church or a Catholic organization had ever complained about lack of these services. It was accepted that it was part of the employment agreement that health services that violated the conscience and teachings of the Catholic Church would not be provided. There was no problem to fix and the exemption should be given without the need for lawsuits, etc.

    • Michael Joseph Francisconi says:

      It is simple collective bargaining, everyone has a right to choose there own bargaining unit. First universal health care is universal health care, second many catholics believe in choice. Third hospitals have a moral obligation to offer care to christian, atheist or buddhist.

  27. Mary Bethany says:

    A few things bother me about this entire issue. First, what if every religion refused to obey law because of their beliefs? For example, what if Jehovah’s Witnesses ran our major hospitals? Under this rationale, they could refuse blood transfusions to all. What if Quakers refused to pay the portion of taxes used for the military because they are against war? We have a mechanism in place. Quakers do not have to fight in wars and people who believe contraception is wrong do to have to use it. No one is mandating use.
    Then there are my concerns as a woman. It is curious that the one issue the Bishops are going to the mat over is reproduction. It smacks of elitism or sexism or something that just does not sit well with me and most women I know.
    California had a capital punishment issue on the ballot. I did to hear a peep about it. To after the election. True I do to live in CA but if there had been an abortion measure on te ballot, you bet your life it would have been blasted all over.
    Then there was the proposed paper at this week’s bishops’ conference.on our troubled economic times. One sentence on labor unions? No economist consulted? But they managed to workin gay marriage.
    I am sad that, especially among the more educated, they are rapidly turning themselves into a joke. It makes them appear more than irrelevant.

    • David Castaneda says:

      The Bishops cannot change what is writtwillen!!!
      Either you are with Obama’s/yours way of thinking
      Or follow God’s Word? Killing a little human being is your gig. You will have to answer someday!Simply put!!!

      • RuthAnn says:

        David, I’m anti-abortion; I’m not anti-Obama. I’m pro-life, but I do not stop just at pro-birth. it is our right and obligation as Catholics to be beyond pro-birth and beyond anti-abortion. Neither of the presidential candidates respects the dignity of every human being from womb to tomb. I didn’t vote ‘anti-obama’ not anti-Romney. After prayerfully discerning “Faithful Citizen” neither candidate follows Catholic Church teaching nor the Gospel to the fullest!

    • Marty says:

      They are “going to the mat” over this issue because it is the most important of all the issues. A dead baby had no need of any other issues.

      (not that I personally think they will really go to the mat, but this is the reason if they do_)

    • Marty says:

      Also, the ‘you don’t have to use contraception’ argument is a lame one. Yes, its true, but this whole mandate IS forcing everyone to foot the bill. If you want to use contraception or kill your baby, go for it, but pay for it yourself.

    • Matthew Jay says:

      The Church has never attempted to be “relevant.” The desire to be relevant follows from a focus on the ways of the world. The Church serves but one master, the Lord God. Whether or not that leads to popularity or relevance among the people of this world is absolutely immaterial. What matters is if the Church is being faithful. Proclaiming the truth of the faith in oppostion to abortion, contraception, redefining marriags and other threats to religious freedom are what matters to the Church – not what the “more educated” people think.

    • Catholic Lady says:

      Mary; this is just a thought but I wonder if contraception has become a very important issue in the free world, because women are just not having the numbers of children our great grandmothers and even our own mothers had. While in Muslim countries the population continues to grow rapidly..

    • Ed says:

      Mary Bethany, thank you. I think your points are all well taken. You deserved better comments then you received.

    • Janet says:

      Mary, to address your concerns, here’s the thing about religions and obeying the law…there are actually laws regarding that.

      It starts with our constitutional rights to practice our religion. The reason the bishops are so upset about this is it is basically the government telling them they are required to commit grave sin. It’s not just the person using birth control who is sinning; providing it is being in compliance, so it is also a sin.

      Of course, sometimes the government does force the issue, but the law says they must have compelling interest to do this. So this would apply, for example, in cases where people belong to a religion where they only believe in prayer, not medical care, to cure illness, and they refuse to give their children medical care when lack of it might kill them. Then the government sees a compelling interest because of the right to life. This does not apply to birth control for a number of reasons, but in part because the fact that most people use it shows that it is easily accessible. People can get it on their own; there is no reason to force others to provide it.

      Second, even if it was compelling interest, the law states that the next step in those cases is to find the least restrictive means. This means that if providing “free” contraception was of compelling interest, they should try to find a way to do it that would not violate the religious freedoms of others. And they could easily distribute it in ways other than through health insurance.

      So think about this: why is this administration going against established law and violating our religious freedom, when they could easily use other means to distribute “free” birth control?

  28. Florian says:

    What under the sun is “Catholic” about “Catholic healthcare”? How does the “Catholic” in “Catholic healthcare” actually benefit the patient, Catholic or non-?
    Wellness and healing do not thrive on this kind of controversy. Sadly, the bishops’ quest for doctrinal control over Catholic institutions has greatly interfered with meeting patient’s needs. Maybe the time has come for the Catholic church to exit the social service and healthcare fields, as a sensible alternative to imposing Catholicism on a nation that would be better off without it.

    • Brigid says:

      This is not about ‘healthcare’. Birth control is not healthcare as fertility is not a disease. Are there diseases where some physicians use the hormones that are in birth control to address medical problems? Yes, but that is not for the purpose of birth control. Additionally, there are cases when an unborn child dies due to a procedure performed on the mother to save the mother’s life. That is not an abortion as the death of the child is not the purpose of the procedure. These cases are not what the Bishops are dealing with. Don’t give in to the devil.

    • James says:

      You invite people to infer that Catholic teaching does not allow use of birth control pills for truly medicinal (non-birth control) purposes. If you read section 15 of Humanae Vitae, you will see this is allowed. Nor is the Church imposing its teaching on the country, it is only doing so for instituions that are already Catholic.

  29. Bill Sr. says:

    Dolan told reporters at a national bishops’ meeting. “I would say no door is closed except for the door to capitulation.”
    Lord God, we have finally heard the words we have longed to hear from the Bishops for over fivty years. Alleluiah
    It is far too late in these social justice debates with outright disobedience and political correctness approaches to today’s perversions of human behavior and betrayal of biblical truth for our hierarchy to simply urge the Laity into action. Our actions are of little consequence within the media and for the most part futile if we do not have the weight of authoritative clerical discipline and/or pronouncements supporting our voices.
    Unless we witness prominent church officials and bishops condemning, defrocking and excommunicating these self styled ruling class individuals who present themselves as equally prominent laymen and/or politicians who openly challenge church law while imposing pain and suffering on the people with ill fated self endowed elitist rhetoric and socially lethal legislation the laity will continue to be recognized and labeled just as our president assumes us to be, uneducated uninformed homophobes clinging to our guns and Bibles.
    It is spiritually inhumane for hierarchy and church leadership to not display promptly and publicly their condemnation of obvious Evil policies and practices by groups and individuals calling them by name defining the consequence of their actions for the discernment of the faithful as we would expect from truly devout shepherds.

 
 

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