Today the U.S. Bishops issued a statement about the supposed “accommodation” proffered by the Obama Administration in regard to the anti-1st Amendment HHS Mandate.
HHS Proposal Falls Short In Meeting Church Concerns; Bishops Look Forward To Addressing Issues With Administration
February 7, 2013
Bishops look forward to finding acceptable solutions to shortcomings
Concerned that first-rate charities still given second-class status
Seek clarification on confusing finance plan
WASHINGTON—The Feb. 1 Notice of Proposed Rule making from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [Obamatax] shows some movement by the Administration but falls short of addressing U.S. bishops’ concerns.
“Throughout the past year, we have been assured by the Administration that we will not have to refer, pay for, or negotiate for the mandated coverage. We remain eager for the Administration to fulfill that pledge [Don’t hold your breath.] and to find acceptable solutions—we will affirm any genuine progress that is made, and we will redouble our efforts to overcome obstacles or setbacks,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in a February 7 statement. “Thus, we welcome and will take seriously the Administration’s invitation to submit our concerns through formal comments, and we will do so in the hope that an acceptable solution can be found that respects the consciences of all. At the same time, we will continue to stand united with brother bishops, religious institutions, and individual citizens who seek redress in the courts for as long as this is necessary.”
He listed three key areas of concern:  the narrow understanding of a religious ministry;  compelling church ministries to fund and facilitate services such as contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization that violate Catholic teaching;  and disregard of the conscience rights of for-profit business owners. These are the same concerns articulated by the USCCB Administrative Committee in its March 2012 statement, United for Religious Freedom.
Cardinal Dolan said the new proposal seemed to address one part of the church’s concern over the definition of a church ministry but stressed that “the Administration’s proposal maintains its inaccurate distinction among religious ministries. [Just as the President and the administration purposely is twisting the meaning of “freedom of religion” into “freedom of worship”.]
“It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities. HHS offers what it calls an ‘accommodation‘ [He’s sooooo gracious, the President!] rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches.”
Cardinal Dolan highlighted problems with the proposed “accommodation.”
“It appears that the government would require all employees in our ‘accommodated’ ministries to have the illicit coverage—they may not opt out, nor even opt out for their children—under a separate policy,” he said.
He also noted that “because of gaps in the proposed regulations, it is still unclear how directly these separate policies would be funded by objecting ministries, and what precise role those ministries would have in arranging for these separate policies. Thus, there remains the possibility that ministries may yet be forced to fund and facilitate such morally illicit activities.”
Cardinal Dolan also said the proposal refuses to acknowledge conscience rights of business owners who operate their businesses according to their faith and moral values.
“In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath,” [Yes. This rejoins what the President is trying to tear assunder. The President would stress “freedom of worship” only, which means, effectively, that we Catholics can shut the hell up in the public square. “Freedom of worship” is private not public. Freedom of religion is both.] Cardinal Dolan said. “We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences.”
The statement is attached.
Click HERE for the whole thing.
Remember my post on “The Most Tragikal Hystory of Obama I”? HERE.
I may need to write another scene.