Putting A Foot To It

Here’s one call to arms to which I’d like to put a foot.

Dolan, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told reporters after the speech that they are in discussion with legal experts and constitutional scholars to determine whether legal action is necessary.

How about instead they talk to insurance and medical experts too, and look into offering an alternate plan for medical care for those who would like to sign on for a comprehensive plan that doesn’t include the things we don’t like?

What Archbishop Dolan and all the others have missed here is what happens if they are unsatisfied with the eventual ruling on pennying in for contraception. I’m hearing threats all the way from himself to parish business managers that they may not be able to offer medical insurance. If my employers cut me off, as far as I can figure, I’m on my own to buy into a plan. And if I do that, will I likely be able to walk into a medical insurance office and say, “No abortions, sterilizations, or contraceptions, please. For anybody.” Not bloody likely. And if I buy into a plan that covers that, am I in violation of a morality clause in my contract? If somebody upstairs (but not all the way up) decides they don’t like me, they can just engage that clause.

Or maybe good Catholics are on our own when it comes to medical expenses. Sounds like a great GOP blow-up-the-culture tactic. I say no thanks to that.

So I’d like to publicly challenge my public bishops on this one. What are you going to do about the real issue here? Are you going to do the moral thing and provide for the employees who work and sacrifice to help further your ministry?

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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12 Responses to Putting A Foot To It

  1. FrMichael says:

    I don’t think they will rise to your challenge, given that you seem a bit undereducated about ACA.

    Part of the bishops’ fight, for which they have been derided by AMERICA magazine and elsewhere, is to fight for Catholic businessmen and individuals to be able to purchase these abortion-, contraception-, and sterilization-free policies. AMERICA derided the bishops for “moving the goals” instead of simply trying to protect Catholic institutions alone. Me, being the cynic, thought the US bishops would simply cut a deal to protect Catholic institutions (which is what happened in CA), but instead they are going all-in. God bless them!

  2. Todd says:

    Count me a skeptic, still. The bishops are coming off as shrill and self-seeking. Where were religious conscience considerations when our taxes were supporting foreign adventurism and its spinoffs (like Gitmo)? And they still don’t have any answers for their poor uneducated employees. (Lack of education is always such a challenge for the non-Catholic Right, isn’t it?) Somebody’s going to have to buy in for insurance, or will that be immoral too for us poor saps on church payroll? Can you answer me that, padre?

  3. crystal says:

    I thin America was right about the bishops in that they did change the argument when they got what they wanted. It seems it’s not about contraception coverage, it’s about pressing a maunfactured holy war that will, they believe, increase their power. I think, though, that the result will be the opposite.

  4. FrMichael says:

    “Where were religious conscience considerations when our taxes were supporting foreign adventurism and its spinoffs (like Gitmo)?” Different moral case: governments have the right to levy taxes on their citizens and we have a moral obligation to pay. There is no moral obligation to pay a private business such as a medical insurance company.

    I don’t know what the Church is like where you are, but in these parts there was lots of anti-Bush talk in the buildup to Iraq.

    “And they still don’t have any answers for their poor uneducated employees.” I’m not exactly sure what you are speaking about here, but I believe it is about what will happen if the rules in the end don’t have a conscience provision. I imagine the response will be diocese-by-diocese. Around here the thought is that we will turn to the money we use for medical insurance into increased salary. Quite frankly, since the political battle is only beginning, thinking of a fall-back position in the case of failure isn’t in the forefront.

    • Todd says:

      “I’m not exactly sure what you are speaking about here ….”

      Of course not. But that doesn’t make you uneducated.

    • Bill Logan says:

      “Where were religious conscience considerations when our taxes were supporting foreign adventurism and its spinoffs (like Gitmo)?” Different moral case: governments have the right to levy taxes on their citizens and we have a moral obligation to pay. There is no moral obligation to pay a private business such as a medical insurance company.

      So if this country had a single-payer plan organized at the federal level; and if that single-payer plan covered contraception, sterilization, and abortion; that would be A-OK then? Since the government would be levying taxes for the plan, we’d have a moral obligation to pay those taxes. Good to know.

      • FrMichael says:

        Mr. Logan: even though I believe you meant it in a snarky way, yes, if ObamaCare was a single-payer system, the debate from the Catholic point of view would be significantly different. We would still have the moral obligation to try to remove contraception, sterilization, and abortion from the list of “services,” by I couldn’t see how the bishops would say to the faithful not to pay their taxes.

  5. FrMichael says:

    crystal, since the bishops didn’t get what they wanted, either from what was published in the Federal Register (HHS Secretary Sebelius’ initial proposal) or the brief speech the President gave (the so-called “compromise”), I don’t see the validity of America’s position or yours.

    Bishop Lori had the best take-down of America’s editorial. Since I figured they would cut-and-run at the sign of the first fig leaf, I’m not especially put off by the magazine’s lack of fortitude. Obviously the bishop felt otherwise.

  6. Jimmy Mac says:

    I am sure that the Obama re-election campaign are quite happy about this cacophony of increasingly strident RC bishops weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Women, Catholic or not, will, in the main, agree with the ACA requirements.

    Non-Catholic (and a substantial number of Catholic) voters will see, rightly or wrongly, what the Protestants were fearful of with the election of a Catholic president when Kennedy ran. While it may not be overt papal attempts to influence US public policy, nonethess the pope’s boys are quite open in their less-than-subtle (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) messages to their sheeple.

    Incipient anti-Catholicism in this country has been fed a lot of fodder since this ACA brouhaha surfaced.

    It has been said that a key factor in the re-election of the President will be the hispanic/latino vote (http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/99862/hispanic-vote-obama-2012-election.) A Fox News Latino poll Monday showed Latino voters favor President Obama over any of the GOP candidates by 6 to 1 (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/03/05/gop-hopefuls-losing-ground-to-obama-among-latinos-poll-says/). Latinos still remain substantially Catholic, at least culturally.

    All of these factors will work IN FAVOR of a re-election of President Obama for another 4 years.

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