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Catholic dioceses will close hospitals if HHS mandate survives, columnist warns

Catholic World News - September 19, 2012

In his regular weekly syndicated column, George Weigel predicts that if the contraceptive mandate survives judicial and political challenges, Catholic bishops will reluctantly close down institutions such as schools and hospitals rather than comply with the mandate. The conflict is a critical consideration in this election year, Weigel argues:

Rather than truckle to such coercion, Catholic bishops across the country have made clear that they will, if necessary, close the Catholic medical facilities for which they are responsible--a drastic action that would seriously imperil health services to the poor. But it doesn’t have to come to that.

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  • Posted by: filioque - Sep. 22, 2012 12:34 AM ET USA

    I completely agree that shutting down our institutions is exactly what Obama & Co. want us to do. We should defy the tyranny and stay open. But we have a very real problem in providing health care for our employees because no insurance company will be offering policies that don't comply with the mandate. We can't just tell them to get their own insurance because that would force them individually into the material cooperation we are refusing for our institutions. We are in a devilish dilemma.

  • Posted by: msorensen71798 - Sep. 20, 2012 8:02 PM ET USA

    I agree, JohnC: closing our doors plays into their hands. The bishops are our shepherds. Shouldn't they be fighting off the wolves, rather than giving up and leaving? I'd rather see the bishops leading in civil disobedience. Specifically: refusing to be coerced and also refusing to pay the fines for not being coerced. Then, let the gov't send in their foot soldiers to break down the doors of our hospitals and schools, if they dare. That would make great video... and a very strong statement.

  • Posted by: impossible - Sep. 20, 2012 6:51 PM ET USA

    Pope Benedict XVI said on January 19, 2012: “It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.”

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Sep. 20, 2012 2:05 PM ET USA

    Closing hospitals is just what the Obama government wants us to do which is why we should not do it. What is needed is civil disobedience, for us to keep our hospitals open and flat out refuse to comply. If we simply close them we are just allowing ourselves to be bullied right out of existence which is exactly what Obama wants. If we don't comply Obama will be forced to either allow us to exist or shut us down by force--both very hard decisions for a man who hates us yet wants good PR.

  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Sep. 19, 2012 9:02 PM ET USA

    The end goal of liberals is to get Christians and other peoples of faith to remove both themselves and their witness of their faith from the public square. Getting Catholics to close their own hospitals is one step. Remember how in Massachusetts the Catholic Church willingly bowed out of adoption services rather than fight an unjust law?

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