Skip to comments.Churches balk at birth control rule - Catholics won’t comply, bishop says
Posted on 02/03/2012 3:40:14 PM PST by SmithL
FORT WAYNE A federal rule requiring religious organizations to pay the full cost of birth control, possible abortion-causing drugs and sterilization under their employees health plans has aroused local ire, including the local Catholic churchs refusal to comply.
On Sunday, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Roman Catholic Diocese will make the churchs case against proposed provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to the people in the pews with a statement that will be read at Masses.
He issued a statement Thursday.
District leaders of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are expected to discuss the issue at an upcoming national meeting, while the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, to which several area institutions belong, already has urged the White House to rescind the rule or expand its religious exemption.
Sean McBride, diocese spokesman, said the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes the measure because it compels the church to violate its conscience by paying for drugs and medical services that go against its teachings.
Rhoades statement, which calls the ruling an unprecedented attack on religious liberty, urges Catholics to contact their elected representatives to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act that would reverse the decision.
We cannot and we will not comply with this unjust federal order, the statement said. It adds: Many who do not share our beliefs also object to the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) rules, recognizing that they are a violation of religious freedom and the rights of conscience.
An exemption for religious groups that employ or serve primarily members of their own faith is too narrow and vague, McBride said.
The exemption would not apply to many Catholic schools, hospitals and social service agencies that are committed under church teachings to serving anyone, McBride said.
This is a major problem for us because we dont just serve Catholic people or employ Catholic people, he said, adding that, for example, only 25 percent of students at the University of Saint Francis are Catholic.
The gospel teaches us to go out and serve one another, McBride said.
The Rev. Daniel May of Fort Wayne, president of the Indiana district of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said that denomination does not share the Catholic position against birth control. But he finds the rule troubling.
To require offering things that are against the will, the teachings, the confessions, biblical understandings or the conscience of the church is very difficult for us, and it seems inappropriate that any government proposal would have that effect, he said.
May said the LCMS also employs people who are not members. Employees are part of a self-insurance plan that does not cover birth control unless required to maintain a womans health or used for reasons other than to prevent pregnancy, he said. The denomination opposes abortion, and employees insurance does not cover it, May said.
The issue likely will be discussed at an upcoming meeting of district leaders and the Rev. Matthew Harrison, LCMS president and formerly a pastor in Fort Wayne, May said.
At Huntington University, John Paff, vice president for university relations, said the college, founded by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, is following the issue closely because of its potential impact.
But I think the bigger question, regardless of how it might affect our plan, is what should the exemption be and if the federal government should mandate something in violation of conscience, Paff said.
Huntington University, he said, is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, a group that also includes Grace College, Taylor University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Bethel College, Goshen College and Anderson University. The group called the rule unconstitutional in a Dec. 23 letter to the White House.
The group Thursday issued a statement saying a one-year extension to comply did not address religious groups concerns.
Although St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne was founded and perceived as a Catholic hospital, health insurance for its employees would not be affected by the rule, said Eric Looper, hospital chief executive officer.
We are part of a non-Catholic network, the Lutheran Health Network, and our insurance benefits come through that network, he said.
But St. Joseph does conform to Catholic directives on health care and does not offer contraception, abortion or sterilization, Looper said.
Rhoades, McBride said, was en route to Rome on Thursday for a papal visit that occurs every five years and could not be reached for comment. But the bishop, McBride said, is choosing to not let the arguments get old and stale but is keeping this out in front of the people and keeping people engaged in the process.
Gee, I wonder what the ELCA thinks about this?
Obama thanks Notre Dame for endorsement
Just reminder, it is a diktat, not a law.
Article 1 Section 1 . . . Congress has legislative power . . . not HHS.
I am all over my Congressional delegation whenever a petty dictator does this or similar, IOW quite often.
catholics won’t comply?
we freepers should stop paying federal taxes.
we freepers should start withhholding for 10 dependents.
we freepers should start civil disobedience.
That’ll wake’em up.
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
Obama got the LCMS and the Catholics to join forces.
Christians should occupy the white house, home of dastardly moose limbs.
The Moslem Turks accomplished the same thing in AD 1530.
Hmmmmmm.....you don’t suppose?
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We should do something but even half joking like you are about the White House will get you a SS visit...Stay safe.
I am not saying that Christians should do to the zero admin what the Moose Limbs did to our troops. But, we should not comply with the unconstitutional laws from zero. I certainly don’t plan to comply with dictatorial and unconstitutional laws. And not to sharia BS laws either. Fear of SS or brown shirt army is what they are counting on. Not going to silence me.
Well said, fully understand.
Did the SS pay visits to lib/commies who had BusHitler stickers on their cars? That always made me laugh! It was like the leftists were claiming Bush was like them.
This is almost completely unanimous. There are only a very few bishops who haven’t put out a statement, regardless of the fact that some of them are at the Vatican for their Ad Limina meetings, and one is in the hospital very ill.
Every single one in the North Central/Midwest area has been very clear and very vocal on this issue.
Don’t know but the Lutherans Church, Missouri Synod came out with a statement yesterday in full protest of the mandate. So did the National Association of Evangelicals, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and the all the Orthodox bishops of the United States—every single one of the 65.
Yeah, we now know who are our real enemies, I guess. And it wasn’t the protestants after all. =) (I knew that!)
A president cannot vote a bill into law by himself. It’s important to remember this.
We have three branches of government as every one who grew up before the schools hit the dump knows: legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative branch makes laws. In this case, Obamacare has this gaping whole that allows the executive branch to pretend they’re making laws, and that’s one of the biggest reasons it’s unconstitutional. IT allows the 1st amendment to be overrun by the executive branch.
It needs to be FIXED in a big way. MY suggestion? Repeal it and run the remains through the shredder and down the crapper. That’s where it belonged from the start and more than half the American people knew it all along!
Yeah, I hope Notre Dame thinks about that good and hard. They didn’t even get taken out to dinner first.
Pass it and then well see what’s in it, INDEED.