Skip to comments.Dolan describes Obama’s about-face on contraception mandate
Posted on 04/01/2012 6:16:01 AM PDT by NYer
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto has a fascinating interview with New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in which the president of the US bishops’ conference discusses the interactions he’s had with President Barack Obama over the last several months regarding the birth-control mandate handed down by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dolan describes the 45-minute meeting he had with Obama last November, at which he understood the president to say that the Catholic Church’s religious freedoms would be protected as the health-care law was implemented:
“I said, ‘I’ve heard you say, first of all, that you have immense regard for the work of the Catholic Church in the United States in health care, education and charity. . . . I have heard you say that you are not going to let the administration do anything to impede that work and . . . that you take the protection of the rights of conscience with the utmost seriousness. . . . Does that accurately sum up our conversation?’ [Mr. Obama] said, ‘You bet it does.’”
The archbishop asked for permission to relay the message to the other bishops. “You don’t have my permission, you’ve got my request,” the president replied.
Dolan describes himself as “chagrined” at Obama’s apparent change of heart when, at the end of January, he received a call from the Oval Office telling him that not only would the birth control mandate be enforced, but that the bishops had until August “to find out how you're going to be able to comply.” Dolan says he told the president: “Well, sir, we don't need the [extra time]. I can tell you now we’re unable to comply.”
Dolan tells Taranto that for the USCCB, the primary issue remains religious freedom, not contraception.
What rankles him the most is the government’s narrow definition of a religious institution. Your local Catholic parish, for instance, is exempt from the birth-control mandate. Not exempt are institutions such as hospitals, grade schools, universities and soup kitchens that employ or serve significant numbers of people from other faiths and whose main purpose is something other than proselytization.
“We find it completely unswallowable, both as Catholics and mostly as Americans, that a bureau of the American government would take it upon itself to define ‘ministry,’” Archbishop Dolan says. ...
It also amounts to penalizing the church for not discriminating in its good works: “We don’t ask people for their baptismal certificate, nor do we ask people for their U.S. passport, before we can serve them, OK? . . . We don’t serve people because they’re Catholic, we serve them because we are, and it’s a moral imperative for us to do so.”
Dolan does say that a lack of clarity on Catholic teachings regarding sex is partly to blame for the recent furor over contraception; even many Catholics don’t understand the Church’s prohibition of birth control, and use it without scruple.
For this he faults the church leadership. “We have gotten gun-shy . . . in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality.” He dates this diffidence to “the mid- and late ‘60s, when the whole world seemed to be caving in, and where Catholics in general got the impression that what the Second Vatican Council taught, first and foremost, is that we should be chums with the world, and that the best thing the church can do is become more and more like everybody else.”
Dolan also takes aim at the attitude of many American Catholics toward public service and religion, epitomized by John F. Kennedy’s assertion that, as Dolan puts it, “my Catholic faith will not inspire my decisions in the White House.”
“That’s worrisome,” Archbishop Dolan says. “That’s a severe cleavage between one’s moral convictions and the judgments one is called upon to make. . . . It’s bothersome to us as Catholics, because that’s the kind of apologia that we expect of no other religion.” Read all of Taranto’s interview with Dolan here.
The archbishop asked for permission to relay the message to the other bishops. You dont have my permission, youve got my request, the president replied.
obama is pure evil, and someone needs to tell him that the church DOES NOT need his permission to do what is right.
satan was smiling the day obama was born.
What rankles him the most is the government's narrow definition of a religious institution. Your local Catholic parish, for instance, is exempt from the birth-control mandate. Not exempt are institutions such as hospitals, grade schools, universities and soup kitchens that employ or serve significant numbers of people from other faiths and whose main purpose is something other than proselytization.
This is what "rankles him [Dolan] most" ... because ObamaCare is forcing the Catholic bishops to do something they never wanted to do: Take their institutions -- such as hospitals, grade schools, universities and soup kitchens -- and return them to what should have been their main purpose all along: PROSELYTIZATION
Careful now. Everyone knows that Catholics don't proselytize. That's for congenitally unintelligent sub-human Bible-thumping trailer trash, not persecuted intellectuals.
Catholicism continues via the sexual reproduction of Irish/Hispanic/Italian/French/Portuguese/Vietnamese/Polish/Filipinos, not by anything so declasse as proselytization. That's only for bigoted religious fanatics. [/sarcasm]
Be careful. Your co-religionists might label you a "Protestant" or "anti-Catholic" and hound you off the forum. And unfortunately, that ain't sarcasm!
Can we all agree that the USCCB ought to be shut down?
You think anything has really changed in the last few months?
I’m puzzled. Did you not notice that 100 percent — that’s all of them, BTW, spoke out AGAINST Obamacare?
Hooray for the Bishops.
Get on board and stand up for religious freedom!
What an awesome list, Salvation! This is a treasure of linked resources.
I was reading the transcript of an interview of Cardinal Dolan earlier this afternoon...and with each interview we can glean a bit more about how Obmama totally went back on his word to this good man. To my mind, either Obama lied outright...or was convinced/ordered/pressured to make this attack on freedom of religion.
We can speculate....but only God knows.
However, I am CONVINCED that this attack on freedom WILL be a disaster for his administration in its bid for reelection.
My pleasure. I knew when it all started that we would need a history of it. So I started compiling. I know I don’t have everything, but it’s what it is.
Im puzzled. Did you not notice that 100 percent thats all of them, BTW, spoke out AGAINST Obamacare?
Hooray for the Bishops.
Get on board and stand up for religious freedom!
What it is, Salvation is excellent!!!!!!!!
Thank you ....and Blessed Palm Sunday to you and yours.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan is an honest man. Typically, honest people look for the best in all people & expect they will be honest too.
Jesus Christ to his 12 disciples, Matthew:10:16, “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves, so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” God understands the hearts of men & how they think. = Maybe, that’s why Jesus Christ gives a warning.
Bishop Robert F. Morneau wrote a small article about Matthew:10-16, in ‘Staying on the Right Path.’ The opening paragraph is: “Jesus was a realist. The world, although “charged with the grandeur of God,” is also an environment scarred by sin and evil. There are wolves that do violence to the sheep; there are individuals and nations that misuse the gift of freedom. For centuries Christian writers spoke of life as a warfare, a battle unto death.”
Thanks for the list of articles and the list of Bishops who have joined their voices agaisnt the HHS mandate.
Human nature being what it is, - we see it all the time - that a strong, concise, charistmatic leader does wonders in growing spines in weaker followers. Thank God for the gifts of Dolan, Lori, Chaput, Carlson, et al. Notice how these leaders have been appointed to the premier dioceses of the US? They are the archbishoprics which usually end up with red hats (i.e., Cardinals).
While some of the posters are lamenting the past, I prefer to look to the future with such good leaders coming forth.
He argues that the mandate also infringes on the religious liberty of nonministerial organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Catholic-oriented businesses such as publishing houses, not to mention individuals, Catholic or not, who conscientiously object.
Many bishops are political and so comfortable with government-financed health care. But not if it means government control of all aspects of it. This is a complicated mess, because the state has come to control a large and large share of the national wealth and the national elites —including Catholics—have become more and more statist in their views. These lay elites have grown less comfortable with the idea that they owe as much allegiance to the Church as to the state. Both clericalism and anti-clericalism are both disruptive to the unity of the Church. The former is the result of clerical arrogance, the latter of lay impatience with any reminders of their duties to God and man. The USCCB, I have come to believe, is the result of a clerical rebellion against Rome, an assertion of national feeling of resentment of the papacys assertion of authority especially after Vatican I. But its turn to politics is, as Dolan suggests, a reflection of its losing control in the American church. Until recently, it was dominated by a few liberal bishops who could count on the many theological and political liberals in academic, in the chanceries, and of course in the Catholic social services. Dolan may be cautious, but he knows he has the support of a growing number of bishops who think much as he does. and who are also opposed to the developments of the past thirty years. Compare him with the likes of McCarrick and Bernardin.
Quite a compendium of links. Great resource - thanks for the ping.
That is true of him personally, but I am not so sure about the spirit which controls him..
ETernal blessings to you and yours...
Well, in the sense that they only serve other Muslims, you may be right. Imagine what the Federal Govt. would do if a Catholic organization decided it would ONLY serve Catholics? How long do you think it would be before it was hauled into Court for practicing discrimination? Have you seen any Muslim organizations treated in that fashion? No, and you won't, because the Govt. is scared of the backlash from the MSM, liberals, and Muslims in general.