Skip to comments.Xavier University to halt contraception, sterilization coverage
Posted on 04/05/2012 5:13:15 AM PDT by NYer
Xavier University president Fr. Michael J. Graham, S.J. has directed the Jesuit school to stop its health plan's insurance coverage of contraception and sterilization.
As a Catholic priest and as president of a Catholic university, I have concluded that, absent a legal mandate, it is inconsistent for a Catholic institution to cover those drugs and procedures the Church opposes, he said in an April 2 letter to members of the Xavier University community.
Fr. Graham said he reviewed the universitys policy amid controversy over the Obama administration's federal mandate requiring insurance coverage of contraception and sterilization under the new health care law.
The priest explained that the Catholic Church finds these drugs and procedures morally problematic. He has asked the universitys Office of Human Resources to work with Humana, the universitys insurance carrier, to no longer cover sterilizations and contraceptives except for cases of medical necessity for non-contraceptive purposes.
The change is intended to take effect July 1.
While I recognize the inconvenience and potential hardship this may cause in some circumstances, I trust you will understand why I have required that these steps be taken, Fr. Graham said.
The move drew some criticism the Xavier University faculty committee, which questioned whether the university presidents decision violated the principle of shared governance with the faculty. It also asked whether he has the right to make changes to health coverage plan in the middle of the year.
We would like to see if insurance law permits an employer to change benefits after six months that employees are expecting for the entire year, the committee said in an April 2 letter.
The committee also questioned the decisions timing, observing that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Health Care Act which allowed the mandates, then the coverage will be mandatory. It speculated that the U.S. bishops were involved.
We can only assume (the) U.S. Catholic bishops decided to compel Catholic institutions that are not already mandated by state law to provide this coverage to come out publicly against it, the faculty letter said.
The committee said it is very concerned about the precedent the bishops possible involvement may set in weakening the semi-autonomous status of our university.
CNA contacted Xavier University to determine whether the bishops were involved in the universitys decision. Spokeswoman Debora Del Valle said the university is not making any statements on the topic.
The faculty committee added that it was heartened by Fr. Grahams distinction between birth control and medical need.
Shannon Byrne, Xavier University faculty committee chair, has invited faculty to a meeting to discuss the new policy.
Under the current Health and Human Services contraception rule, by next year all employers that do not qualify for a narrow religious exemption must provide insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. The Obama administration has proposed a change to the rules mandating that insurance companies, not employers, provide the coverage.
While supporters of this proposal see it as a compromise, Fr. Graham said the proposal is insufficient for a number of reasons.
(I)t is likely that the constitutional issue of religious freedom at the heart of the controversy will be decided by the courts, he said. Several lawsuits have already been filed toward that end.
But what good is it to gain the world, but lose one’s soul?
Expel theology professors who lack a mandatum.
(List of “mandatum colleges:” http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=18505)
As an aside, it seems to me that as a follow up, those members of the Xavier University faculty committee who protested should be reconsidered as far as their retention as faculty. I’m sure there is an abundance of lettered, good Catholics more than willing to take their places.
Why did the University cover contraception and sterilization in the first place?
Seems like weak convictions to me.
What a lovely surprise!
Clear and decisive action from a liberal Jesuit university based on Humanae Vitae - stunning!
It's a no-win for them.
A. They know that now and SOMEONE is going to be fired, transferred or excommunicated. No, not really, but there WILL be some homework done as to why that got offered in the first place. That is my guess.
B. If they hadn't stopped it IMMEDIATELY they would have been n criticized for waiting "too long."
If they waited longer they would have been criticized for stalling.
I think they know that they are going to take big hits for this, deservedly so, but they are NOW finally doing the right thing. Better late...
I always wondered why Jesus CHOSE Judas Iscariot as an Apostle knowing that Judas would be the Betrayer of all time. I opine that Jesus was giving us a TEMPLATE of men of the cloth. Their human frailties are just like everyone else's. We hold Catholic priests to a MUCH higher standand than any other man of the cloth, I think.
The same holds true, I think, for Catholic schools, ESPECIALLY universities.
I don't have ANY experience of women of the cloth so I can't even make an UNeducated guess about our general attitude towards them.
See my post #9.
if this communist monster is re-elected - we are heading to CW2
"The committee said it is very concerned about the precedent the bishops possible involvement may set in weakening the semi-autonomous status of our university."
It seems to me that the semi-autonomous status stuff has been tried long enough and should now be offically declared a failure with a return to what existed and worked so well in the past.
Glad to see I’m not the only one to think that.
More seriously, it's about bloody time. Coverage of contraceptives and sterilisations should never have been offered in the first place. God bless Fr. Graham for stopping it.