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
- Six more things everyone should know about the HHS mandate (USCCB blog)
- Archbishops Kurtz and Chaput join protests over 'unacceptable' attack on religious liberty (N.C. Register)
- How the White House's 98% Contraception Figure for Catholics is Wrong (Tom Hoopes/Catholic Vote)
- Obama seen working to splinter Catholic community (Catholic Culture)
- Cardinal-Designate Dolan says bishops are not 'Obama Haters' (John Allen / I don't normally link to the NCR, but John Allen's articles are an exception because he is the exception there)
- Fr. Jenkins: Where is your signature? (Pat Archbold/N.C. Register)
- Just a minute Mr. President (Cardinal Roger Mahony)
- The Audacity of Power: President Obama vs. the Catholic Church (Charles Kadlec/Forbes)
- Intolerance is at the heart of Obamacare (James Taranto/WSJ)
- Obama has stranded the Catholic 'left' (Elizabeth Scalia / First Things)
- Democrats to Catholics: We don't want you (Rod Dreher)
- The pseudo-magisterium needs to be neutered (Te Deum Laudamus)
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