Tuesday, February 14, 2012

USCCB President says Obama offered next to nothing; expresses disappointment with Sr. Keehan

From Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York said Feb. 13 that President Barack Obama's proposed revision to the contraceptive mandate in the health reform law did nothing to change the U.S. bishops' opposition to what they regard as an unconstitutional infringement on religious liberty.

"We bishops are pastors, we're not politicians, and you can't compromise on principle," said Cardinal-designate Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "And the goal posts haven't moved and I don't think there's a 50-yard line compromise here," he added.

"We're in the business of reconciliation, so it's not that we hold fast, that we're stubborn ideologues, no. But we don't see much sign of any compromise," he said.

"What (Obama) offered was next to nothing. There's no change, for instance, in these terribly restrictive mandates and this grossly restrictive definition of what constitutes a religious entity," he said. "The principle wasn't touched at all."

Obama's proposed revision of the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate left intact the restrictive definition of a religious entity and would shift the costs of contraceptives from the policyholders to the insurers, thus failing to ensure that Catholic individuals and institutions would not have to pay for services that they consider immoral, Cardinal-designate Dolan said.

For one thing, the cardinal-designate said, many dioceses and Catholic institutions are self-insuring. Moreover, Catholics with policies in the compliant insurance companies would be subsidizing others' contraception coverage. He also objected that individual Catholic employers would not enjoy exemption under Obama's proposal.

"My brother-in-law, who's a committed Catholic, runs a butcher shop. Is he going to have to pay for services that he as a convinced Catholic considers to be morally objectionable?" he asked.

Cardinal-designate Dolan said he emailed Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who heads the Catholic Health Association, on Feb. 10 to tell her that he was "disappointed that she had acted unilaterally, not in concert with the bishops."

Read the rest at CNS: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1200596.htm

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    Kenneth Glenn Koons said...

    This is not new but as a retired Prot. pastor and fellow Christian, I cannot but stand with my fellow believers in the Catholic Church. I see where many liberal, whatever that means, Christians are wallowing in Obama's trail saying that Christians of all sorts want to pressure all Americans into a religious-spiritual position on...you name the issue. One knows why they fail to see this as a 1st Amend. right. As a teacher in public schools and college for nearly 50 yrs. I found that many many pupils had no understanding of not only our Const, Bill of Rights, history , heritage and values but no understanding of American culture. They had been brainwashed by liberal profs in schools from Jr. High on up. Talk about a cause that all Americans should be upset about?????? !!!!!!

    Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

    There's a reason that things like philosophy and rhetoric aren't studied any longer. I'm convinced these were among courses need to build a foundation for reason and dialogue. Today, everything is based on feelings.

    I watched a discussion on TV yesterday about the HHS mandate. As this one guy tried talking about the constitution, he kept getting interrupted by another woman talking about statistics (on the number of women who use contraceptives). She had no use for the constitution. I was shocked.