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Catholic Charities caves. Now what?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 10, 2012

Father Larry Snyder, the president of Catholic Charities USA, has welcomed the Obama administration’s “compromise” on the contraceptive mandate. He says:

This compromise enables Catholic Charities USA to not only continue to provide access to quality healthcare to its 70,000 employees and families across the country of many different faiths and backgrounds, but also guarantees the continued delivery of vital services to the more than 10 million people living in need across the country.

So here’s where we stand: Within hours of President Obama’s announcement, without waiting for guidance from the US bishops, the heads of the Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities USA—two of the largest Church-related employers in the country—have announced that they are now satisfied with the plan. Their defection will make it all the more difficult for the bishops to hold the line in defense of religious freedom.

There is a solution ready at hand, however. The US bishops could announce that, No, Catholic Charities USA will not provide healthcare under the terms of the HHS mandate—or it will cease to be called “Catholic.” (It would be a small loss; Catholic Charities USA today is mostly a conduit for government funds, carrying out government contracts.) And No, the Catholic Health Association will not accept the Obama “accommodation,” or else its member institutions will cease to be known as “Catholic” hospitals.

Then the institutions that truly want to be known as Catholic, and want to live in accordance with Church teachings, could fight this political battle on their own. Their numbers would be diminished, but they would be buoyed by the knowledge that they all really were fighting on the same side.

 

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Feb. 10, 2012 9:17 PM ET USA

    This is exactly what Obama meant to do with this -- peel off the lefties from a united front just as he did with ObamaCare. I only hope that the bishops like Hubbard, Clark and Mahoney get it and keep their traps shut.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 10, 2012 5:44 PM ET USA

    So is anyone here surprised about Catholic Charities' response? I'm beginning to feel like Martin Luther: Hier standt ich. Ich kann nicht anders.

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