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Bishop sees slender hope for talks with White House on HHS mandate

Catholic World News - March 13, 2012

The chairman of the US bishops’ committee on religious freedom still holds out hopes for negotiations with the White House on the contraceptive mandate, but indicates that the talks have reached an apparent impasse.

Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, said that he would be happy to negotiate with Obama administration officials, but “the conditions for the possibility of success” must be present. The bishop suggested that the exchange to date has not indicated any real prospect for a mutually acceptable agreement.

"I think the hardest thing is that the administration deals with us in a segmented way," Bishop Lori said. The Obama administration has sought to enlist the support of liberal Catholic groups for the HHS mandate, and put pressure on the bishops to follow the lead of those groups, rather than attempting serious negotiations with the hierarchy.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: impossible - Mar. 16, 2012 12:33 PM ET USA

    Let's face it, “conscience” has been sorely abused and misdefined for decades. Regardless of belief, it’s the act of “mandating” that is offensive and should be the target of Bishops and everyone else. Federal govt mandating that one buy health insurance or any other product or service is patently unconstitutional, regardless of who pays for it. The bishops lost credibility by going along with Obamacare and its other mandates plus 44 years loss of credibility on birth control.

  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Mar. 14, 2012 7:26 AM ET USA

    Hold firm, Bishops. NO compromises; don't do the talks if they're acting in their usual bully way.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Mar. 14, 2012 12:25 AM ET USA

    I think they have to try to negotiate even if it appears approximately futile. For one thing, in reality the bishops are continuing to offer mercy to the members of the Administration, who may yet repent, believe in the Gospel, and live forever in Christ. This isn't just politics. There are more important things than politics.

  • Posted by: dagbat - Mar. 13, 2012 6:39 PM ET USA

    Is there anything to negotiate, except rolling the mandate back to the way it was before (religious exclusion clause)? How do you negotiate with someone who can not be trusted? I hope the Bishop knows what he is doing.

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