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April 9, 2012

Cardinal Dolan on Obama's 'Radical Intrusion' Into Church

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Via Joel Gehrke:

Cardinal Timothy Dolan faulted President Obama for making "a radical intrusion" into church life with "strangling HHS regulations" such as the contraception mandate.

"The President told me ... his conviction is that the government would do nothing to impede religion," Dolan said during an Easter Sunday appearance on CBS's Face the Nation. "It's tough for me to see how the strangling HHS Regulations do anything but that."

Dolan described the contraception mandate as "a dramatic, radical intrusion of a government bureaucracy into the internal life of the church ... the life of faith." He explained that President Obama's so-called "accomodation" doesn't protect churches from paying for contraception because they are largely self-insured, and so their insurance policies will fund the product.

"We still find ourselves in a very tough spot, and we're still going to continue to express what we believe is just not a religious point of view but a constitutional point of view that America's at her best when the government doesn't force a citizen or a group of citizens in a religious creed to violate their deepest held moral convictions," he said.

As George Weigel points out, Obama's HHS mandate involves an "unwarranted" and "extremely narrow" definition of who is a "religious employer " -- a definition that "creates and enforces a new distinction" between Catholic houses of worship, on the one hand, and, on the other, the Church's charitable activities and its educational efforts:
This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive. ... This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the bishops' somehow "banning contraception," when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is, instead, about the federal government forcing the Church . . . to act against Church teachings. This is not a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops' Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue.
That last line bears repeating: "This is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue." As Weigel also notes, Barack Obama's HHS mandate involves an attempt by the government to compel Catholic institutions that serve those of many faiths and no faith to violate Catholic teachings within the Church's own institutions, which is both an intrinsic injustice and a gross intrusion of state power into the Church'¢s evangelical mission. It also involves a violation of the civil rights of individuals, who will be compelled to act against their conscientious convictions, whether in their sponsoring of, and payment for, insurance as employers; their payment of insurance premiums as employees; or as insurers themselves.

And simply put, it's hard to come up with something more un-American and against the principles upon which our nation was founded.

Related: Rick Warren Schools Barack Obama on Freedom and the Gospel

Posted by Hyscience at April 9, 2012 12:26 PM

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