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Obama seen working to splinter Catholic community

February 13, 2012

On the MSNBC Sunday show “Meet the Press,” a network reporter said that the Obama administration’s “compromise” plan for a contraception mandate is a bid to split Catholics.

Joe Scarborough reported that the White House had recognized that it could face serious opposition from Catholic voters, and President Obama decided that “all he needed to do” was break the unity of the Catholic community.

Listen, at the end of the day, substantively there was no change. You have a president saying, "You don't want to pay for health care? Fine, we'll give it away for free!" There's a free lunch. All you're doing is shifting the burden to all Catholics now who are all paying for these contraceptive devices that they may--they may find to be immoral.

But at the end of the day, this is all the president needs politically because now we have--we have sisters debating bishops, and we've got liberal Catholics debating conservatives Catholics. You've got Peggy and E.J. now once again where they should be, on opposite sides of an issue. For the president that's all he needed to do. He had a unified Catholic front against him, he split that in half now and now he can move on.

Earlier on the same “Meet the Press” program, former Senator Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate, said that the administration’s proposed compromise was “outrageous.” Senator Santorum said that the White House plan suggested a dangerous understanding of religious rights, in which “you have the federal government now saying we're going to give you a right and then saying, by the way, we're going to tell you how to exercise that right.”

Senator Santorum, who is Catholic, said that he accepted the Church’s teaching on contraception, but would not make that teaching a matter of public policy. “You know—public policy—women should have access to contraception,” he said. “I have no problem with that at all. The question is whether some religious organization should be forced to pay for something that they believe is a moral wrong.”


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  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2012 12:56 PM ET USA

    Mr. Obama is not seeking to split the Church. He is simply using the existing split. With disobedient nuns, heretical Jesuits, "Catholic" colleges promoting sexual freedom ... he does not seek to promote the split. The Catholics are doing it themselves. Perhaps the Notre Dame honorary degree was a foretaste of this. An award for a job to be done.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Feb. 13, 2012 8:17 PM ET USA

    We have a whole generation of Catholics (going on a second generation) who don't understand Catholic teaching on many key matters. Contraception (actually, usually a misnomer)is just one of the areas. I try to imagine the Apostles flying off to get a Cardinal's hat or sending out a letter about climate change while unborn babies are bloodied each day and the basic teachings of our church and our religious freedom are under such assault. How did our Church get so out of touch with itself?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2012 5:49 PM ET USA

    Obama does not need to split the Catholic community: the CC is already split. Obama is just bringing the split to the surface. And the only one responsible is the Church itself by allowing all the internal dissents to be unaddressed for decades. How is it possible that 80% or more of Catholics use contraception! How is it possible that 50% of Catholics voted for Obama(the only president ever to vote against a law protection babies born alive after a botched abortion)? We know the answer!