He made the remarks last night:
Soon-to-be elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict, Dolan said Wednesday night that the White House was wrong to require the Catholic Church to provide employees with health insurance that includes contraception coverage.
Dolan said Obama called Friday morning to say he has no plans to change the policy, which is part of the President’s national health care reform.
“You bet we got a disagreement,” Dolan said following a lecture at Fordham University Law School at Lincoln Center.
“It’s not about contraception. It’s about the right of conscience,” he told reporters.
“The government doesn’t have the right to butt into the internal governance and teachings of the church,” Dolan said. “This is not a Catholic issue, it’s an American issue. We’re strong on this issue of conscience, and that’s what’s at stake here.”
Dolan said he had been hopeful Obama would change his mind about the policy after he paid a recent visit to the Oval Office.
But on Friday, Obama made it clear he’s not budging, Dolan said. Experts predict an epic court battle.
“While I appreciate his courtesy Friday morning to give me a call with the somber news, I had to tell him I was terribly let down, disappointed and disturbed.”
There was no immediate response from the White House.
UPDATE: A commenter alerted me to this item from yesterday:
National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill says that it is “poppycock” for America’s Roman Catholic bishops to say that Catholic institutions have a conscience.
“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ claims that institutions can have consciences–that’s poppycock,” said O’Neill.
“[F]or a bunch of men who, forgive me, don’t get pregnant and who refuse to allow women into their own ranks of leadership, to presume to say that they can make a thing that has a conscience that trumps the conscience of an individual woman is simply laughable, but in a sad way,” she said.