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Biden inaccurate on HHS mandate, says US bishops' conference

Catholic World News - October 12, 2012

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement rebutting Vice President Joseph Biden’s claim that Catholic institutions will not be required to subsidize contraception under the new federal health-care mandate.

Without mentioning Biden by name, the USCCB statement quoted a remark that the Vice President made in his October 11 debate with Republican challenger Paul Ryan:

With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.

“This is not a fact,” the USCCB statement insisted. The bishops’ statement continued:

The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain "religious employers." That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to "Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital," or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional "accommodation" for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as "non-exempt." That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation "to pay for contraception" and "to be a vehicle to get contraception." They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: dagbat - Oct. 12, 2012 4:05 PM ET USA

    The Bishops should also speak out directly against all of the high profile Catholics (like Mr. Biden) who continue to publically defy Church teachings on intrinsic evils such as abortion and who (through their examples) are leading many Catholics astray. Likewise it is time for the Bishops to begin taking firmer ACTION - starting with announcing that henceforth there will be direct consequences for Catholic politicians and celebrities who continue to personally support intrinsic evils. Actions would include: public warnings (first offense), denial of holy communion (second offense), and Church banishment (third offense).

  • Posted by: Fiducia - Oct. 12, 2012 3:36 PM ET USA

    And why not mention Biden by name? Why not publicly correct him? Cowards.

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