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Mary Ann Glendon: Why the Bishops Are Suing the U.S. Government
Wall Street Journal ^ | 5-22-12 | Mary Ann Glendon

Posted on 05/22/2012 11:24:42 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

The main goal of the contraception mandate is not to protect women's health. It is a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda.

This week Catholic bishops are heading to federal courts across the country to defend religious liberty. On Monday they filed 12 lawsuits on behalf of a diverse group of 43 Catholic entities that are challenging the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) sterilization, abortifacient and birth-control insurance mandate.

Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation's diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide "the full range of reproductive services," including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right.

Along with leaders of other faiths who have conscientious objections to all or part of the mandate, they hoped to persuade the government to bring its regulations into line with the First Amendment, and with federal laws such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that provide exemptions to protect the conscience rights of religious institutions and individuals.

On Jan. 20, however, HHS announced it would not revise the mandate or expand its tight exemption, which covers only religious organizations that mainly hire and serve their co-religionists. Instead, the mandated coverage will continue to apply to hospitals, schools and social service providers run by groups whose religious beliefs require them to serve everyone in need.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholics; contraception; deathpanels; gaymarriage; homosexualagenda; kenyanbornmuzzie; obamacare; swrdswllwngsdshw; zerocare

1 posted on 05/22/2012 11:24:53 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
FTA: Religious freedom is subject to necessary limitations in the interests of public health and safety. The HHS regulations do not fall into that category. The world has gotten along fine without this mandate—the services in question are widely and cheaply available, and most employers will provide coverage for them.

I can't agree with the Bishops on this part. Are the services moral? If the church believes that the services are immoral, it shouldn't matter that they are available "cheaply" elsewhere. They should preach to their flock (of whicih I am one) that contraception and abortion are wrong and evil -- NOT that their employees can get these services elsewhere while Mother Church averts its eyes!

Otherwise, I like this lawsuit, and I love Cardinal Dolan and Mary Ann Glendon.

2 posted on 05/22/2012 11:30:58 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic; narses; Salvation; NYer; marshmallow


3 posted on 05/22/2012 11:32:26 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited government and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.

Some guys come up with all the great quotable quotes.

4 posted on 05/22/2012 11:33:42 AM PDT by Jacquerie (No court will save us from ourselves)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Does Canada and the Euro-nations have a mandate for their socialized healthcare? What did/does the Church do in those countries?


5 posted on 05/22/2012 11:35:58 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Ransomed

I think the Church has been gutted in those countries. Certainly, I hear complaints all the time from Canada about restrictions placed on their clergy. More importantly, none of those countries was founded upong “Freedom of Religion” like we were. It is one of the most important Constitutional guarantees of this nation.

6 posted on 05/22/2012 11:40:40 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right.

Or no right at all. The liberal social engineers don't want competition. The state is the only supreme being they have in mind.

7 posted on 05/22/2012 11:59:18 AM PDT by oyez ( Yomomacare going done once, going down twice, going---..)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I tried to google it before, but of course all that comes up is the obamacare fiasco. I would really like to know how it is different in places that have socialized healthcare for years and years compared to the US and what the Church did or didn’t do about it in those places. It might give a clue as to what they will actually do here about it.


8 posted on 05/22/2012 12:20:45 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Catholic Church HITS BACK HARD!

This is the most in your face advertisement so far this year. This is a sleeping Tiger being awakened!

A must see:

9 posted on 05/22/2012 12:44:18 PM PDT by DeweyShootem
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To: afraidfortherepublic

At last the bishops are starting to get a spine!

10 posted on 05/22/2012 1:42:53 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Ransomed; afraidfortherepublic; Biggirl; annalex
I'm not sure --- and I hope others will chime in to make up for my deficiencies here --- but I think part of the difference here is the distinction between

The first, is almost always innocent. All taxpayers are paying for things they don't intend, and may even oppose. But you simply don't have the power to stop the government for funding the evil things they want to spend your money on.

The third, is always morally culpable. If you cooperate with intent to enable an evil thing to be done, you are an accessory and share in the guilt.

It's that second thing, "proximate material cooperaiton," that's iffy. Grant that a Catholic insitution does not INTEND that its employees alter themselves hormonally to impair their fertility, or spay themselves, or kill heir newly-begotten offspring. Can they provide funding into an insurance polcy that is clealry inended to facilitate these practices?

Abp. Raymund Burke, the head of the canonical equivalent of the SUpreme Court, recently stated that no, they cannot. The degree of cooperation is too direct: they would still be considered accomplices.

Long story short: in other countries with a fully-socialized, tax-funded, singke-payer system, you do not incur moral huilt for murder simply by paying your taxes.

But in a system like Obamacare, where you (the employer or the insurer) are paying into a fund that is not technically "taxes" but rather is a purchase of goods or services, you CANNOT purchase these goods or services (even by simply purchasing an insurance policy) without becoming an accomplice.

Yes, I think it's haisplitting, too. But I also think it's true. You know what the policy provides. When you buy into the polic, you buy into the moral responsibility.

I think it's a good thing that Obama has forced the Bishops into a corner where they don't even have a mousehole to escape into anymore.

Now they have no choice. Now they have their game face on. Now they'll fight.

Now that they're learning to flex heir muscles, they may even save their souls.

Thank you, Mr. Obama.

11 posted on 05/22/2012 3:28:34 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Here is the list of entities that filed suit by state:

District of Columbia

1. Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

2. Consortium of Catholic Academies

3. Archbishop Carroll High School

4. Catholic Charities of D.C.

5. The Catholic University of America


6. University of St. Francis, Joliet, IL

7. Diocese of Joliet, IL

8. Catholic Charities of Joliet, IL

9. Diocese of Springfield, IL

10. Catholic Charities of Springfield, IL


11. The University of Notre Dame

12. Diocese of Fort-Wayne-South Bend, IN

13. Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN

14. St. Anne Home

15. Franciscan Alliance

16. Our Sunday Visitor


17. Michigan Catholic Conference


18. Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO

19. Catholic Charities of St. Louis, MO


20. Diocese of Jackson, MS

21. Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS

22. Vicksburg Catholic School

23. St. Joseph’s Catholic School

24. Diocese of Biloxi, MS

25. De l’Epee Deaf Center, Inc., Biloxi, MS

26. Catholic Social and Community Services, Inc., Biloxi, MS

27. Resurrection Catholic School, Pascagoula, MS

28. Sacred Heart Catholic School, Hattiesburg, MS

29. St. Dominic Health Services, Jackson, MS

New York

30. Diocese of Rockville Centre

31. Catholic Health Services of Long Island

32. Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre

33. Archdiocese of New York

34. ArchCare


35. Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH


36. Diocese of Erie, PA

37. St. Martin Center, Erie, PA

38. Prince of Peace Center

39. Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA

40. Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh, PA

41. Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA


42. Diocese of Dallas, TX

43. Diocese of Fort Worth, TX

This list is also available on our website:

12 posted on 05/22/2012 3:34:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Mary Ann,
Where are the rest of the dioceses and Bishops.

This needs to be 100 percent all out against Obama and his minions.

Otherwise it’s for naught.

13 posted on 05/22/2012 3:35:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Look for more to come into the fight.

14 posted on 05/22/2012 3:39:16 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
the services in question are widely and cheaply available, and most employers will provide coverage for them

I don't see that Glendon is citing the bishops here; sounds more like she is pointing out the transparent falsity of the claim that "women's health" is the issue.

15 posted on 05/22/2012 3:41:17 PM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz

You are right, when taken in the context of this article. However, I think she is using the same arguments that I’ve read Cardinal Dolan using elsewhere — w/o using the word “cheap”. I did not phrase my objection correctly. It’s just a bogus argument that grates on me whenever I see it used. If any part of Obamacare is immoral for anybody, the Catholic Church has no business saying that their employees are free to get those services elsewhere and pay for such services out of their own pockets.

Of course that is always an alternative, since we all have free will to sin, or not to sin. But, the church shouldn’t be recommending it, or using availablilty from other agencies as an excuse. If Obamacare is unethical for practicing Catholics, the Catholic church has no business recommending it for anybody else. I’m not saying that they should take steps to oppose it, but they shouldn’t be recommending it.

That’s sort of like saying that the Church opposes prostitution for Catholics, but it is OK for other religions to engage in it. And (wink, wink) if one of their employees REALLY needs a prostitute, he can just go get one at the local Methodist church, as long as he pays for it himself. Ludicrous!

16 posted on 05/22/2012 4:16:58 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Salvation

Wisconsin **crickets**.

Our new Archbishop cannot hold a coat for a man such as Cardinal Dolan, Until then, sign me *disappointed*.our former Archbishop. Praying that Listecki and the others stand up soo and whip the priests of the diocese into shape.

17 posted on 05/22/2012 4:26:46 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Thanks for taking the time. Americans have been forced to pay for abortions for a long time, through public money given to PP. I reckon I’m not seeing how being forced to pay into a fund that is required to pay for things against your faith by the state is any different from having to pay a tax that goes to killing people in the first place, at least as far as morally. Like you said, hairsplitting, at least as far as I can see, but this stuff is probably over my head anyhow. If the SC leaves it up to the bishops to then do something, not sure what is going to happen.

I find it almost beyond belief that they are taking a case against the state all the way to the supreme court and still haven’t deigned to use any form of real public discipline besides hollering a lot.

I wonder if there are any other countries where Catholic employers have to carry policies that have the bad stuff in them, or if they are all straight from the state somehow?

I agree that the bishops would seem to now be forced to act and actually do something about it, but I have thought that before and nothing really came of it, the archbishop of SF and Pelosi comes to mind. He summoned her, and to all outward appearances they might have only discussed baking cookies or something.


18 posted on 05/22/2012 6:11:26 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Good point. The public service rationale against the mandate undermines the moral arguments.

19 posted on 05/22/2012 7:16:51 PM PDT by STJPII
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To: Ransomed
I share your frustration.

Like I said, THEY'RE IN A CORNER NOW. We'll see if they figure out what they carry those croziers for. If they fight, I'm in. In fact, I am even at the present moment organizing a rally in support, in Johnson City, TN.

20 posted on 05/23/2012 5:22:53 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
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21 posted on 05/23/2012 8:37:25 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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