- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
- Holiday cheer: Airline grants Christmas wishes for 250 unsuspecting passengers
- U.S. vet held in North Korea says statement was coerced
Obama contraception mandate gets support from Catholics
A group of Catholic leaders went against the church’s bishops Wednesday and called for support of President Obama’s latest contraception-insurance policy, though the call happened the same day a prominent group of Catholic priests filed a federal lawsuit against it.
Nicholas Cafardi, dean emeritus and professor of law at Duquesne University, said the bishops got what they wanted when Mr. Obama agreed Friday to expand the religious-conscience exemption that churches enjoy to include church-related institutions such as Catholic hospitals and schools.
“The bishops have prevailed … I think the bishops should be gracious in their victory,” said Mr. Cafardi, one of five Catholic leaders who talked with reporters Wednesday in a phone call organized by Faith in Public Life.
Stephen Schneck, director of Catholic University of America's Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, said that while a requirement that insurers pay for contraception costs might be passed on to the religious institution, this is not a new situation and the bishops have said such “remote participation” in an evil such as contraception is not immoral.
“Catholics have, since World War II, have been paying for contraception through their federal taxes … military health plans, in Medicaid, in government employee’s insurance programs and so forth,” Mr. Schneck said. “We have been told by our bishops that because of the very remoteness of our participation in those contraception offerings, we were not in any way morally compromised.”
“In my estimation,” he added, “Mr. Obama’s announcement that insurance companies will pay for contraceptive coverage in cases where religious employers object means that there’s “even greater moral distance between Catholic institutions and contraception. So I feel completely satisified with that particular mechanism.”
Today, nine religious leaders are scheduled to testify about religious liberty and conscience clauses before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.
The Rev. John Garvey, president of Catholic University of America, is one of the witnesses expected to speak against the policy. Mr. Schneck said Wednesday he was not speaking on behalf of the university.
William K. Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College, is also scheduled to speak at the House hearing. Belmont Abbey College, founded in 1876 by Benedictine monks in North Carolina, is the first to file a federal lawsuit against the administration’s contraceptive mandate, according to Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
In a separate lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Priests for Life said the contraceptive mandate — which includes sterilization services and products like Plan B and Ella, which pro-lifers attack as an abortifacient — is unconstitutional.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor. Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Panel seeks 'surveillance' system for gay blood donors
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Embryonic stem cell research falls out of favor as scientists go ethical
- With new HIV research, FDA may let gay men donate blood
- HHS report shows a decrease in blood supply but also a drop in demand
Latest Blog Entries
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
- House votes to reject Obama welfare shift
- Report: Two out of three Democrats support gay marriage
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- PRUDEN: Waiting for Nelson Mandela without the tears
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Global economy, the civilizing power of markets and public morals.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow