- The Washington Times - Monday, February 13, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Obama administration’s decision to mandate contraceptive coverage, including abortifacients and sterilization, in health insurance plans offered by religious institutions such as colleges and hospitals has awakened the wrath of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (“Contraception compromising comes to end,” Page 1, Monday).

Bishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently said, “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.” Bishop Paul S. Loverde, bishop for the Diocese of Arlington, soon followed, saying, “The decision by the Department of Health and Human Services is a direct attack against religious liberty.”

Unfortunately, this refreshing clarity was absent during the congressional battle to pass Obamacare. Back then, the Conference of Catholic Bishops acquiesced to “abortion-neutral” language and ultimately gave its substantial stamp of approval for the final legislation.

Also, “pro-choice” Catholic politicians are rarely publicly chastised by their bishops. The notion that such political leaders can be both pro-choice and devout Catholics is at best unclear and at worst inviting of tacit approval. How confusing for Catholic voters of conscience.

Good Catholics everywhere are longing for “clear bright lines” to be drawn, separating the immoral state of our union from the enduring truth of our faith. Hopefully, our bishops have begun this process.

JEFFREY E. KNIGHT

Washington, Va.

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