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US voters doubt Catholic bishops would close down hospitals, schools

Catholic World News - May 25, 2012

Most American voters doubt that Catholic bishops would shut down schools, hospitals, and charitable institutions in response to the federal government’s contraceptive mandate, a new Rasmussen poll shows.

Only 16% of those surveyed said that it was “very likely” that the Catholic Church would choose to close down institutions rather than comply with the federal mandate. A bare majority of 51% said that it was unlikely.

However, the Rasmussen poll found that voters support the argument of Catholic Church leaders that religious institutions should not be required to furnish contraceptive coverage in violation of their beliefs. Just 36% of the voters surveyed said that the policy should be enforced even over religious objections.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 26, 2012 2:06 PM ET USA

    Earlier this year I asked our local Catholic Hospital, St. Joseph's, if I, as a Catholic, would be able to continue to use their services next year. I was told that they are merging this year with a nominally Methodist hospital, Emory University. This merger is supposed to allow them to remain Catholic in the face of the Obama. I don't see how this will be possible, but will continue to use their services until they commit their first anti-Catholic act.

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - May. 25, 2012 8:12 PM ET USA

    Be careful. I really don't know but it seems the Bishops may not be able to actually close all or most of the hospitals unless the hospitals actaully fall under direct Church control. The Bishops can take away an institution's Catholic identification and remove an Order of Sisters but given today's business law and hospital status shut down may be impossible. Does anyone know if the Church can actually shut down any of the hospitals?

  • Posted by: FrPhillips1125 - May. 25, 2012 6:30 PM ET USA

    Closing down Catholic hospitals, schools, etc. is exactly what this government would like to see happen, making people understand that all things come from Washington DC. Not only must they not be closed down, but no fines should be paid, either. The apostles knew what the inside of a prison cell looked like. That day may have to come for some of their successors...and I would willingly stand with them if necessary.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - May. 25, 2012 6:15 PM ET USA

    Let us pray that the bishops (some of whom advanced their ecclesial careers by being non-confrontational) will now find the Christian courage to handle the confrontation with the government which may well be coming.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - May. 25, 2012 4:34 PM ET USA

    The sensible thing would be for the Church to simply not comply with the mandate and see if the State actually comes with tanks to shut down hospitals. The State wants control of the Church or at least a say in what the Church can "acceptably" say and do in a "polite" society that has no room for transformation of all things in Christ. As for the bishops, we ought to pray that they actually do receive the grace to stand firm but their general secularism and laxity leaves me skeptical.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - May. 25, 2012 4:28 PM ET USA

    I hope and pray we are not put in a position to have to prove the majority wrong.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 25, 2012 3:26 PM ET USA

    And the majority of dioceses didn't sign on for the legal suit against the government. Hmmm, maybe the 51% are correct, given the bishops' track record in letting politicians and catholic schools say what they want, invite who they want, publish what they want, etc - all against what the Church teaches and fearing no recrimination.

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