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Missouri bishop objects to Catholic hospitals' choice to extend employee benefits to same-sex partners

January 19, 2015

A Missouri bishop has said that he is “deeply concerned” about the announcement that a Catholic health-care system has decided to extend employee benefits to same-sex couples.

Bishop James Johnston of Springfield-Cape Giradeau said that the Mercy Health System appeared to be ignoring Church teaching, bowing to pressure from “regulations, government funds, and fear of public ridicule.” He observed that a statement from the Mercy administration had not cited any government regulations requiring the move, but added that “no believing Christian worthy of the name should violate God's law because of 'regulations.'”

Bishop Johnston also took exception to the fact that, in announcing the change in policy, the Mercy Health System had said that it previously abided by the Church’s policies. The bishop remarked: “Recognizing God's plan for marriage is not a matter of 'the Church's position,' as Mercy characterized it, but rather, one of God's own Word.”

 
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