Catholic World News

Archbishop Wenski: Obama administration ‘running roughshod’ over conscience rights

December 05, 2011

The Obama administration is “running roughshod over conscience protection provisions long part of the law,” and Catholic supporters of health-reform legislation were “played by the president,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami said in an op-ed column.

“It seems that pro-life Catholics such as Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak and the Catholic Health Association’s Sister Carol Keenan — who trusted the administration’s position that abortion was not part of the healthcare bill — along with Notre Dame’s leadership have been played by the president,” the prelate wrote. “His administration is running roughshod over conscience protection provisions long part of the law that find their justification in the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion, a foundational human right.”

“It is one thing for an administration to support and promote an agenda; it is quite another to force those who disagree with it to violate their moral and religious principles,” he added. “The long line of evidence is disturbing … Catholic social and healthcare providers — the largest private network in the nation — are at risk of being left out of all federal programs, despite their well-earned reputation for providing superlative service to the American public. In effect, the Obama administration is telling these Catholic providers to surrender their conscience rights and their Catholic ethos or shut their doors.”

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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Dec. 06, 2011 2:20 AM ET USA

    I have three thoughts about this: 1. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. These folks are well past that. 2. Do not perform abhorrent procedures in "Catholic" facilities. Physicians should not perform procedures that are abhorrent either. The government will not pay for the work that was not performed, no problem. 3. There is already a shortage of doctors. I do not see the government forcing the issue. I doubt that it would go well for them . . .

  • Posted by: filioque - Dec. 05, 2011 11:56 PM ET USA

    Maybe we Catholics and our bishops will now understand the fundamental incompatibility of government funding and charity. How can coerced funding through taxation possibly be charity? Yet Catholic Charities in the US gets 2/3 of its funding from government entities. The greatest witness we can give is to go it alone, fund charities from donations, and let God take care of us. It will break the deal the Democrats-at-heart bishops have with the abortion-loving, so-called Catholic politicians.