“Church steps up fight aganist law” by Bronislaus B. Kush, Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette”

Sharing news from one end of the American continenet to the other, the following re-typed article is infomative.  It’s a large factor in the ceaseless debate of Religion v. Politics.   “Suppression” is my word for this!  Enjoy… Comments are welcome….

“The already roiling political outcry from the American Roman Catholic Church (ARCC) over a new federal regulation that will force religious organizations to provide their employees with health insureance plans that cover contraception is expected to become even more turbulent this wekend – with prelates from across the country, including Worcester [Massachusetts] Bishop Robert J. McManus, asking their flocks to lobby Congress to overtur4n the controversial directive by the Obama administration. 

“The brouhaa erupted in several quarters of the church January 20 [2012] after Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced that the new federal health care law will require that insurance plans at many religious institutions, including colleges, hospitals, and social service agencies such as Catholic Charities, to cover birth control without co-payments from employees.

“Several Catholic organizations including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the national Knights of Columbus, expressed outrage, saying the mandate forces Catholics to violate their religious beliefs and teachings.

“In one of the more strongly worded reactions, Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh wrote that Ms. Sebelius, a Catholic and Mr. Obama’s administration have said, “‘To hell with your religious beliefs.  To hell with your religious liberty. To hell with your freedom of conscience.'”

“This weekend, many bishops, including Bishop McManus, are asking their congregants to express their displeasure by writing to their congressman. 

“‘In a letter that will be read from pulpits or published in church bulletins, Bishop McManus charged that the mandate “‘strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.'” 

“In so ruling, the administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics and people of other faiths our nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, the free exercise of religion,'” wrote the bishop.  “‘As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health care coverage for our employees and suffer the penalities for doing so.'”

“Bishop McManus said that ‘”we cannot and will not comply with ths unjust law.'”

“Federal officials are giving church organizations one year to provide the coverage and employers who do not could be fined $2,000 per employee per year.

“The White House, in a statement issued Wednesday [past] by Cecelia Munoz, the director of the Domestic Policy Council, stressed that churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship are exempt and that health care providers with moral objections will not be forced to prescribe contraception.

“She added that abortion services are not include in the mandate. 

“Meanwhile, local Catholic institutions said they are evaluating the directive and are expecting that it will be challenged in court.

“‘We think that this is an unreasonable decision by the government,” said Dennis L. Irish, spokesman for St. Vincent Hospital [Worcester, Massachusetts].  “‘The regulation strikes at religious beliefs.  It is clearly troubling to us.'” 

“St. Vincent, which employs about 2,200 full and part-time workers is owned by Vanguard Health Systems Inc. of Nashville.

“The for profit Vanguard agreed to abide by Catholic doctrine and social teachings when it acquired the hospital, which was owned at one time by the Diocese of Worcester [Massachusetts].  The bishop sits on the hospital’s board.

“Meanwhile, officials at the College of the HolyCross [located in Worcester, Massachusetts] said they are still examining the mandate’s implications with affiliated organizations such as the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.”

And so dear readers, I once again welcome comments/feedback.  Truly… A. K. Buckroth.





“Church steps up fight aganist law” by Bronislaus B. Kush, Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette” — 1 Comment

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