From AP:

Amid a backlash from many Catholics and proponents of religious liberty, President Barack Obama announced Friday that his administration will not require religious institutions like hospitals and universities to provide free contraception to their employees in their health insurance.

Speaking to reporters at the White House Friday, Obama offered a compromise that would allow women to obtain free contraception but would require them to obtain it directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control because of religious beliefs.

“Whether you’re a teacher or a small businesswoman or a nurse or a janitor, no woman’s ‘s health should depend on who she is, or where she works, or how much money she makes,” Obama said, calling free contraceptive care a “core principle” of his health care law, which requires that all preventive services be provided at no cost to patients.

Obama went out of his way to say that he supports freedom of religion, pointing out that one of his stints as a community organizer in Chicago was funded by a Catholic group.

“As a citizen and as a Christian I cherish this right,” Obama said. “I saw that local churches did more good for a community than a government program ever could.”

Planned Parenthood and the Catholic Health Association each approved of the compromise, which the White House is calling an “accommodation,” in statements on Friday.

Some reaction:

Experts on religion said the accommodation isn’t enough. “It’s a shell game,” says Robert Destro, law professor at Catholic University.

Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said he remained unsatisfied.

“A resolution to this issue cannot only cover ‘religious’ employers,” Pavone said. “Religious freedom, which includes freedom of conscience, does not belong only to religious entities but to every American. There are many non-religious reasons to object to the Administration’s policy.”

Marie Hilliard, director of bioethics and public policy at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, a registered nurse and a canon lawyer, took note, however, that the administration has still not changed it’s definition of who is exempt. Instead, Obama just established, for this controversy, a special provision for “non-exempt religious groups.”

It’s still a narrow definition focused on churches that employ and serve people of their faith, not schools, hospitals, social services or other ministries that are recognized under the tax code as exempt religious organizations.

Until that’s changed, Hilliard says, the government is still “cherry picking to see which groups will be seen by our government as worthy of exemptions and which wont. “

More reaction, as it trickles in, right here.


  1. I’m with Destro, Pavone and Hilliard. The requirement must be stricken in its entirety. Seriously, contraception qualifies as preventative medicine? This is all so George Orwell.

  2. Henry Karlson says:

    See, now when the demands had been given into, it’s still not good enough. The shell game is not with Obama, but the people who just want to make an outrage against him. If he gives in to what they said, they are upset; just like if he proposes something Bush or GOP people propose, when he does it, it is outright tyranny. Seriously folks, let’s get real. Religious liberty is not every man and woman for themselves; our society has limits and it is a difficult balance. And once again, if one follows through with the argument being made, Mormons should be free to have multiple wives, religions which allow for gay marriage can sue for discrimination against their religious liberty, et. al. It’s not a free for all.

  3. I think now is a teachable moment for priests to be explaining WHY the church is against contraception.

  4. Mark LaVergne says:

    Looks like this afternoon’s Obama announcement was nothing more than a clever head fake.

    Notre Dame law professor Carter Snead writes: “Today’s rule still requires religious institutions (on pain of ruinous treasury fines) to purchase insurance that covers these same objectionable services. It is irrelevant that the rule requires the insurance company (rather than the religious institution) to explain to employees that the policy purchased for them by their employer includes the 5-day after pill. For institutions that self-insure, the situation is even worse; they will be forced to contact their employees and pay for such services themselves … It is naïve to imagine that the services are truly cost-free and that these costs will not be passed along to the employers who purchase these plans. More importantly, the simple fact is that under this policy the government is coercing religious institutions to purchase a product that includes services that they regard as gravely immoral.”

    The fact that Sr. Carol Keehan joined Planned Parenthood in approving this “accommodation” does nothing to assuage anyone’s conscience on this.

  5. Mark LaVergne says:

    If the demands had indeed “been given into,” as you put it, then of course it would be “good enough.” But the “accomodation” announced a little while ago is just a head fake. No one is fooled by this who doesn’t want to be.

  6. Oregon Catholic says:

    I disagree. We have to keep the focus on religious liberty because that is what the admin. is going after. Contraception is the means, restriction of religious liberty is the end goal. It is no accident Obama chose such a divisive topic to use as the tip of the spear.

  7. This is slightly off the subject, but I would love to know when Contraception (and women’s access to it) became the defining issue of Catholicism in this country, the place where we draw the line in the sand, the issue that puts us into the pro-Catholic or ant-Catholic, the good-Catholic or bad-Catholic camps.

    I realize that those who speak so ferociously on this topic see this as an issue of religious liberty, and they obviously have a point. But as we define ourselves around this issue and us it as our rallying point, we risk losing more of our young people, especially women, who already see us as sexist and out of touch. (I’m sure the response to this will be: We can’t change who we are! If they don’t like it, too bad! The Truth is the Truth and we will not compromise on the Truth! Especially if it involves sex!) I’d love if the official Church could show such passion on political issues like poverty, immigration, war, violence in our communities….instead of contraception and same-sex marriage.

  8. I think it’s overstating the case to see this as a malicious attack on religious liberty; as well as implying that Obama is some sort of secular Machiavellian prince who is literally hell bent on destroying religious liberty in this country. Of course, it will be impossible to convince Obama haters otherwise.

  9. The argument that employees of parachurch organizations will be able to get contraceptives, therefore the outcome is unacceptable is interesting, but certainly not a question of the employer’s religious liberty, whatever the merits of that liberty. Parachurch organizations had not been arguing they had the right to direct the conduct of their employees while not employed. As I made clear previously, I found the parachurch organizational claims that the prior policy amounted to material cooperation were wrong. Now that the contraception benefit is not entangled with the health care benefit, the argument of material cooperation falls flat. Subsequent arguments against this, at least intellectually honest ones, will be about the employer’s right to direct non-job actions by employees.

  10. Go to the Catechism for answers:

    2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:

    Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.

  11. “I would love to know when Contraception (and women’s access to it) became the defining issue of Catholicism.” It’s not quite a defining issue, but it became an issue two weeks ago when Health and Human Services announced a severely restrictive definition of a religious institution. The Bishops and the Church didn’t start this–Health and Human Services did. If you go the website of the Conference of Catholic Bishops and read their position papers, you will see that they are very active (almost Democrat-like) in the issues of poverty, torture, immigation, war and violence.

  12. I have been thinking the same thing JAM. In fact, I doubt that most Evangelicals and other Protestants even realize that up until the overturning of the Comstock Laws in the US, ALL Christians Faiths (and it certainly wasn’t the Catholics who were in power), were against the use of artificial birth control.

    It’s only the Catholics who have never caved to the culture, despite the fact that all Christian and Orthodox Jews taught against its use.

    It’s truly one of the greatest blasphamies against God, as it is first and foremost God to whom we are saying “no” to the gift of life. God has asked us to participate in His creation, even making it pleasurable, however never intented to be a self serving source of pleasure often with the objectificaton of other human beings.

    Rest assured, it’s God we are “contracepting.”

    p.s. For everyone who is going to blast me with “Well, God didn’t intend for us to have 20 kids each”, I would agree. He also invented the female body with “natural” days of ‘contracepton’, however, that requires a bit above an animal instinct of self discipline, all compatible with the sacredness of sex.

  13. The issue isn’t that employees will get contraceptives, but that even if the insurer provides information about contraceptives and sterilization the Church will have to pay for the contraceptives and sterilization. The Church won’t be expected to state that the benefit is provided, but it will still have to pay for the benefit.

  14. So your argument is that parachurch organizations have the right to direct insurance companies on what they may do with money they collect after providing for contracted services (in other words their profit)? Even if this were so, how would this entail material entanglement for the parachurch organization?

  15. The fawning over Obama is getting really sickening. Calling himself a Christian and now trying to cajole Catholics is beyond the pale. He sat in Wright’s church for 20 years–is that hate that was spewn there Christianity?
    What is this nonsense about free contraception anyway? How much does the pill cost or a box of condoms for that matter? If people want them they know where and how they can.

  16. Wow, you left out global warming in your leftie talking points.

    Obama is the one fixated on the free contraceptives. It because of him that this all happened.

  17. Except that they put up their biggest public battles on Republican issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

  18. friscoeddie says:

    As Catholic Dem I say keep on rejecting the Obama compromise and that will insure he will get 56% of the Catholic vote. Cardinal-to-be Dolan said on Charlie Rose show “having to tell people where to get BC is like telling kids where to get porno” An you guys think Romney makes gaffes!

  19. No. I’m saying that insurance companies are not just going to give benefits for free. Someone is going to pay for it, and it won’t be the insurance company. I think the Church will be expected to pay for it through hidden premium increases.

    I’m not saying that Church has the right to tell insurance companies what to do with their money. I’m saying that the government doesn’t have the right to tell Church what to do with it’s money (specifically purchase contraception/sterilization benefits for employees).

    What’s the para-Church thing you’re talking about? Do you mean Church sponsored social service agencies, hospitals and schools? Running those organzations is an essential part of the Church’s mission. They are not peripheral.

  20. That’s what get’s reported by the public media. Look at the bishops news feed, you will see a great deal of advocacy and position paper on a multitude of issues. They are far from quiet and inactive on a mulitude of issues.

  21. Henry Karlson says:


    Do you have insurance? Does your insurance company offer policies which include contraception? Even if your policy isn’t the one which does, if your company has it, then you are already doing that which you say should not be done. If that is the case, are you going to get off insurance now?

  22. I’m not saying that we don’t have to keep on it, what I’m saying is that all over the news I heard that 98% of Catholics are using BC. Now I know that stat is not fully true, but the fact is that many DO use it, and now is a teachable moment as to why the Church stands against it.

    You don’t teach something is abstract-you teach when it’s relevant. It’s relevant now.

  23. Go to NASA and NOAA websites about climate change information.

  24. I agree.

  25. It would appear you’ve never read any papal encylicals or USSCB statements on the issues you raise. They are there. I suggest you do some homewor, before you say such ridiculous things.

  26. Mark LaVergne says:

    It’s no gaffe and, in any event, Cardinal Wuerl used a similar analogy on “Morning Joe” this morning. Don’t know about a “Catholic Dem” like you. But all voters who care about religious freedom (and don’t want the govt sticking its nose in) will see this “accomodation” today as a head fake.

  27. By leftie, I’m curious…would Jesus not be concerned about poverty, immigration, war, violence in our communities? Or how about someone like St. Francis, or Mother Teresa, or other famous lefties? If they were seated at dinner, would their main talking points be gay marriage and contraception (you’ll notice that heterosexual males are not challenged in any way by either gay marriage or women’s access to contraception)? I’m not saying they aren’t important, but I’m getting tired of having my Catholicism defined by these issues.

  28. Underneath the sheep’s clothing is still the wolf, the same thing, i.e. requiring Catholics to fund promotion of and access to contraception, abortificients and sterilization (and don’t forget euthanasia is just around the corner). The emperor is still does not have clothes on. And, I don’t like what I see!

  29. Henry Karlson says:
    February 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Do you have insurance? Does your insurance company offer policies which include contraception? Even if your policy isn’t the one which does, if your company has it, then you are already doing that which you say should not be done. If that is the case, are you going to get off insurance now?

    Henry–that’s not the issue facing the Bishops and that’s not the reason for the accomation that Obama made. The bishops are concernd that the Church will have to pay premiums–not whether my employer (not the Church) is paying premiums.

    You’re very right–maybe I should consider getting off of insurance based on my beliefs, but that still doesn’t short circuit the Bishop’s argument that Church based organizations should not have to pay for benefits that they believe are sinful and immoral.

    Don’t pull the “you’re a hypocritical Republican” card on me. I’m a Democrat and have never voted Republican–although I’m reconsidering that position since Catholic Charities was forced to close down in Illinois and Obama pulled this crap. I am very far from thinking that the Republican party is the more Christian party and I agonize over voting Republican. I was one of the fools who believed the Catholic Apologists for Democrats. I think I was a fool.

  30. Deacon Jose says:

    Every month I need to fork out $100 as copay for hypertension medication. Contraception and abortion inducing pills will be completely free. Why is the latter “a right” and the former not?

  31. On EWTN and my Catholic radio stations, 90% of the air time is dedicated to issues like gay marriage and abortion and contraception….I hear almost NOTHING about poverty, immigration, violence, etc. The Bishops do speak on them, eloquently, but you never see a full court press on those issues like you do the ones trumpeted by Political Conservatives.

  32. ron chandonia says:

    From the hair-splitting casuistry of this decision, you’d think President Obama had some Jesuit training under his belt. Frankly, this latest ruling sounds very much like what Archbishop Dolan asked for in that video Deacon Greg posted yesterday, but it says nothing about the religious liberty of employers in private businesses not run by the Church. Rather, “no cost” contraception and, evidently, sterilization are seen as the paramount goods to be preserved, while religious sentiments (of the institutional sort, anyhow) are merely to be accommodated.

    I suspect most Catholics who are neither bishops nor Republican social conservatives will probably agree with those priorities, but I wonder what happens when and if abortion is also listed as mandatory insurance benefit. Won’t happen because the President promised otherwise? I suspect we may see an adjustment in that executive order during a second term.

  33. You should read the bishops documents they are far more interesting and challenging than EWTN. EWTN has it’s own niche that is quite different than the interests of the bishops.

  34. It’s not a compromise. It’s a thinly veiled attempt to pacify Catholics and those who stand with them, otherwise why would it be insisted that someone else provide the same things for employees of Catholic institutions instead of the institutions themselves? The Catholic employers will still have to pay for the insurance that covers it. A murderer is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for hiring someone else to do the dirty work. Ooooh!! Just get someone else to do it and you can’t be held responsible. What kind of infantile reasoning is this?!!

  35. Henry Karlson says:


    If the Bishops (as they have) work with companies which give out contraceptives, indeed, if they in some states have approved policies which include them, again, there is something not right here. I keep thinking about the burdens the Pharisees put on others while not living them out themselves. If one thinks remote material cooperation like this is unacceptable, live it out before demanding it of others.

  36. Henry Karlson says:

    And, truth be told, the US policies have long been demanding we pay for things which many think are evil or sinful. The Catholic moral calculus has long accepted that possibility with right (proportionate) reasons. It’s impossible to live in the world without material cooperation with evil.

  37. Where’s the gaffe? It is true.

  38. I think abortion was a major issue for Mother Teresa and doubt if she would have voted for BHO. If you are tired of what defines “your Catholicism” then go somewhere where you are more comfortable.
    Funny how this issue has devolved into poverty, immigration etc. That’s not the issue at hand but I guess that’s how the left spins things.

  39. The Pope is very concerned about the environment.

  40. Scout, I don’t think “Contraception (and women’s access to it) became the defining issue of Catholicism in this country”; but maybe an important defining issue of the Kindom of God and an important issue that the secular world is forcing the the Church to address.
    As above per Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said. “Religious freedom, which includes freedom of conscience, does not belong only to religious entities but to every American. There are many non-religious reasons to object to the Administration’s policy.” What is at stake that the mandate of HSS actually violates religious freedom – freedom of conscience.
    Are you aware that the Catholic Church does and ‘has’ the the most evident passion when it comes to poverty, immigration, war, violence, etc ? Please research the Church’s participation which leads all other entities [organizations] regarding Social Justice and Charity.
    Please see what the Church teaches regarding contraceptions – the Catechism of the Catholic Chuch and/or encyclical letters [i.e. Humanae Vitae], will expain it very well for you. For example: CCC 2370 “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil … contraception and same-sex marriage does not lead to procreation of God’s Kingdom, they are not open to life, the truest meaning for the conjugal act. These unfortunately are two issues that the secular world tries to push their views on and against those who truely try to live out their faith, and violates religious freedom – freedom of conscience.
    Regarding contraception [contra = against; conception = life; against life] – since the “pill”, men now have an even more skewed view of women, women seen more as sex objects. Women even have a less feeling or sence of dignity because they now can be viewed and even view themselves more as sex objects since they can have sex “freely” and not have to “worry” about having a baby. They can do it at any time – any time a man is ready, which is basically all the time. Where as with natural family planning the couples learn the ‘workings’ [pathophysiology] about their bodies and come to respect their bodies and each other more, living as a true gift for each other.
    We are all made in God’s image, out of love for love, and to be a gift for the other – not an object for the other. Please review the many books on the Great John Paul’s Theology of the Body. We should teach [live] the Gospel at all times and when neccessary use words. Simple yes, but simple does not mean easy. Some times it is very difficult to being a disciple of Christ. Find, see, and teach the truth – searching for the truth, searching for God, for God is the truth.

  41. This is hardly an accomodation. The Church still has to get its hands filthy with supporting contraceptives and abortion, though they don’t have to pay for it. They still are in effect violating their conscience. No, this will not satisfy. And as a starter, how about the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius? A good Catholic like William Daly had to resign. Now it’s time for the one who’s driving for this immorality.

  42. An adjustment for that and for gay marriage. Don’t forget, Obama has said he’s “evolving” on that issue.

  43. Oregon Catholic says:

    “Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other.”

    Say what? Did that come out of an NFP manual?
    I really don’t want to argue contraception teaching because I think we need to focus on religious liberty. But I couldn’t let this one go by. Let me state unequivocally that I am not pro-ABC in hopes that I might get more than a knee-jerk reading the moment I criticize NFP. I am for clarity and congruency.

    You find 2 irreconcilable differences between total self-giving and contraception to which I agree. But, I also find a similar dissonance in NFP teaching which I think is contraceptive. Where individual sex acts may be “open to procreation”, the totality of the sexual relationship is contraceptive in that great effort is made to still have sex while avoiding any sexual union when there is any possibility of procreation. This includes the denial of unitive love when it may be most desired by both spouses (at ovulation) which I hardly see as a definition of total self-giving. In fact it is no more total than the infertile sex of ABC simply because the individual acts have no barrier at a time when the woman is infertile anyway. The problem I see is that NFP requires a person to ignore this dissonance and pretend that there is a huge difference between what is going on in the NFP sexual relationship as compared to ABC. This dissonance is what I believe causes many to reject the Church’s teaching even if they have not sorted out the source of that dissonance themselves.

    It wasn’t that many years ago that the Church thought even the rhythm method was sinful. Sex was for marriage and procreation, procreation was an obligation of marriage, and any attempt to avoid procreation apart from complete abstinence was sinful. (That is still the case in Orthodox Judaism, extending even to the prohibition of intercourse during menses and certain phases of the menstrual cycle when infertility is most likely.) The teaching was very black and white and no one had ANY trouble understanding it. We didn’t need a Theology of the Body to explain it. It wasn’t until the secular world began using artificial contraception in the early part of the 1900s that the rhythm method was formally approved by the Church (rhythm had been discussed in medical literature and had been in use for a long time by then). Things got muddled once ‘contraception-lite’ entered the Church by making it acceptable to separate sex from procreation under certain conditions.

    Humanae Vitae was probably about 50 years too late. By then, the Church had already seen that once the rhythm method was embraced, the camel’s nose was well under the tent and straining forward. I wonder what might have been different today if Pope Paul had pointed out the consequences of allowing the rhythm method and returned to a requirement of abstinence instead of focusing on the one-off consequences of ABC. (Perhaps this is a downfall of infallible teaching which doesn’t allow the admission of sometimes getting it wrong.) It became necessary for a new theology (and books and classes) to teach and convince the faithful to remain ‘natural’ in their contraception in an attempt to keep that nose where it was. But now that nose is even further under the tent as we approach near 99% effectiveness of some NFP practices, equal to the best artificial methods. And the Church is still trying to ignore the dissonance of it’s teaching that NFP is “open to life” and ABC is not.

    I am not arguing for a return to total abstinence nor conversely for acceptance of ABC. All I’m arguing for is clarity and congruity whatever that ends up being, which IMO requires an examination of the dissonance that exists with NFP.

  44. Oregon Catholic says:

    “It’s only the Catholics who have never caved to the culture, despite the fact that all Christian and Orthodox Jews taught against its use”

    Are you so sure we didn’t “cave” too? I posted a reply to joan57 below that addresses that point.

  45. Not to the detriment of the those in the womb.

  46. Please don’t compare protecting the environment to protecting life in the womb. Not even close Will.

  47. Oregon Catholic says:

    You are correct that it is remote material cooperation for Catholics to participate in some way with a company that does evil. Probably very remote for those who have no choice (and no money) to self-insure. Perhaps less remote for those who do, including the Church. One of the reasons the Church has to fight this newest version of the mandate is because self-insurance may be the best long-term strategy to avoid a constant assault on our freedom as the healthcare system becomes more and more perverted from our values in what it forces us to cover.

    We all have freedom of choice to sin and most of us do. That is totally different than the government forcing you to do so either by commission or by penalty upon omission. That is precisely why this is not an issue of contraception, it is an issue of religious freedom.

  48. It is designed to give cover to his Catholic supporters. In the end, you pay.

  49. Bruce in Kansas says:

    Hedonism, our un-official state religion, is willing to tolerate the existence of the Church’s backwater enclave of medieval objection. Let’s call it a win and back to our finances. After all, what’s a little whiff of incense to homage the greatest civilization ever when our twilight years of golf and consumerism are at risk?

  50. Henry, if the bishops are hypocrites and Pharisees who bind up heavy burdens–why stay Catholic? If Catholic moral reasoning is so immoral, why stay Catholic? The bishops and the Church have committed a lot of sin and cooperated with evil. Does that mean they can change?

  51. Key element here has planned parenthood and the katholic organization that supported ObamaCare as the negotiation partners is typical of the so called Obama compromise. It would be like have a negotiation between the unions and politicians who support unions dictating the results of the compromise that the employer would have to accept.

    If he cares about religious freedom, the two parties negotiating should be the USCCB right to life organization with their legal team to examine the wording and loopholes and Obama’s partner the abortion mills. The USCCB should say outright that this group who calls themselves Catholic does not speak for the Catholic Church in any way. The nun should be called into a meeting with the USCCB and told in no uncertain terms that she does not have the right to use the Catholic name to bypass Church authority on matters of faith and morals.

    Bottom line to the lie is that the Church insurance company has to provide the services at additional expense because they now have to contact each of the individuals and furnish the product for free. This expense is still part of the overall cost to the church so they are still paying for it. Only a desperate fool would not clearly see this is the case and as such is in fact worse. What is needed is to give the Church based on first amendment rights the ability to avoid anything that violates their conscience rights. If they give in to this, more will follow based on this precedent.

    Everyone needs to write to congress to continue to push for this to be changed by law and to the USCCB to stand firm for they have now seen the full intent of this evil president who tramples the constitution.

  52. Scout, you are out of your depth here. Mother Threresa made it a point of her acceptance speech for the nobel prize to talk about he culture of death. She fought for Church teaching on NFP and made sure that all her sisters taught this to those they treated as well as the evil of abortion. Her point on arrival in the USA was to make sure that her point that the culture of death had to stop and would bring on every other evil as outlined in Humanae Vitae. If a government makes legal the killing of babies, what we see with Obama today and the attack on relgious freedom is certain to follow. They could care less about the poor or the trillions spent on helping the poor would have had a huge impact on the numbers still living in poverty in the USA and not turned them in government slaves for votes.

    And be certain Christ would have advised those in grave sin though the practice of sodomy would not hear that marriage laws should be changed to make the behavior normal. The Pope has defined this as a non negotiable teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman and this has to be accepted by all Catholics. It is magesterial teaching. Humanae Vitae has made it clear Church teaching that continues to this day. If some choose to live a life in grave sin shutting out God, that is their free will choice, but does not make it right. When did we start to decide what is sin by the number of sinners who practice the sin? If we had 60% of Catholics committing murder, should we make that no longer a sin? What is shows is a failure of teaching, not a problem with the teaching itself. It also shows an amazing number of lazy Catholics who unless they are spoon fed the teaching seem to think it is not their problem for them or their children.

  53. Great points Scout. Don’t be intimidated into silence. Your comments are thoughtful and civil.

  54. RomCath…
    Please don’t tell me to go somewhere else. That is not your place and is not a very Catholic thing to do. I also do not appreciate you dismissing my comments as “leftie” or a “left spin”. I ask legitimate questions and you are dismissive and condescending and telling me to leave my faith…it is the height of arrogance to think you can do or say these things.

  55. Have the Bishops challenged Mr Romney on his promise to veto the Dream Act if it should ever reach his desk?

  56. I appreciate your thoughtful reply. My point was not to question the Church’s position on contraception, but rather the way in which it has become the focal point and issue over which we have decided to make a stand. I personally (and realize this is my opinion) would prefer that we speak just as loudly on those other issues…I don’t think it needs to be a choice…we can be just as vocal on immigration and poverty as we are contraception and same sex marriage.

  57. Henry Karlson says:


    You are confusing many issues. They can be wrong when dealing with secular matters, in interpreting secular laws. The principles can be right but one doesn’t have to accept their prudential decision as to how they apply. There is realm for freedom to disagree within non-dogmatic declarations, especially those which deal with difficult questions of the secular sphere.

    Moreover, if you look to what Jesus said, he criticized those who had the Seat of Moses for making unjust demands which they didn’t follow, but on the other hand, he didn’t outright dismiss the authority of the Seat of Moses. Again, it is not so simplistic, and the Church and even the bishops recognize this (which is why so many who disagree with them are not excommunicated merely for disagreeing with a bishop).

    And if you look at what I say, I promote the Catholic principles. The question is in their application. So many people are treating the debate as if Obama is forcing people to take contraception: he is not. That would be a much different question than the remote material cooperation with evil involved here. And since we already have bishops show (New York, Wisconsin, etc) that they can and do follow this remote material cooperation with evil, this raises questions.

    It is one thing to say HHS is wrong in making this decision and desiring they turn it around. I think if the discussion was there and not with added extreme posturing after that, there would be basic unity. It is when it begins to be treated as if this is the worst thing to ever be demanded, that Obama has become a tyrant, and all other exaggerations of that level, one can (if one knows history) disagree.

  58. “If you are tired of what defines ‘your Catholicism’ then go somewhere where you are more comfortable.”

    So, if a Catholic expresses a opinion about a teaching, you would want that person out of the Church. Well, good-by Cardinal Newman, who expressed the opinion that the definition of papal infallibility at Vatican I was inopportune. Oops, he was just beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.

  59. The difference is that the couple deny themselves when they deny God the right to create life so there is a discussion and sacrifice on their part. The Church still does not advocate that NFP be used to deny God the right to create life unless there is a significant reason to do so and that this then helps the couple to have a discussion about their priorities and life in general. I think that the divorce rate is much less with couples using NFP than with birth control from everything I have read as well. Nothing like shared sacrifice and discussion that can help couples stay in focus with each other and their faith. If a couple is unsing NFP for the wrong reasons or selfish reasons, it is wrong. When we deny God or say no, we should do so with a clear understanding as to why and be comfortable telling God our reasoning in prayer. the pill came along and nothing is to be denied and no thought or discussion are necessary in any ongoing basis. The pill also destroys life and that is another factor in using it versus NFP.

  60. Scout, The issues such as poverty do not have a defined solution. How we deal with poverty does not necessarily mean that big government solutions paid for with taxes is a Catholic position. If one provides a better environment to create jobs, then it helps fight poverty and does so with the dignity of work over hand out solutions that often go on for generations. There is also room for discussion on immigration. Both parties support legal immigration. The issue is how we deal with breaking laws and there is solid teaching that the state has the right to protect borders. There is also a debate on how to deal with those who break laws and there is a history of our country once before giving amnesty with the government promise to seal the borders and have a solid immigration program. Catholic teaching on these issues. The same is true of war where we can have just wars and debate about what is just war.

    Magesterial teaching that is defined and required for all Catholics to believe is limited to specific areas that are clear. Popes have defined these teaching and life is essential in all teaching thus the grave sins involved with birth control, abortion, and even sodomy which offers no possiblity of life and is against natural law as well are all grave sins. How I support illegal immigration is not magesterial teaching. Even in an issue like race, the church is clear that we should love and not hate, but how the government deals with race issues are open to debate as long as the no one is pushing something like slavery or lynching both solid democratic positions for generations. No repbulcian candidate has fought against civil equality rights.

    So please define what you would like to see the Catholic Church do differently in these issues as they do with magesterial issues around grave sin.

    The democrats are so tied to being the party of death and have been since their founding from slavery to lynching to abortion. History and facts are a hard thing to hide.

  61. Barbara, you keep talking about the Dream Act as if it had any magesterial backing. The USCCB has stated a view on this issue, but last time I looked, I find no where that the Catholic Church teaches that we must believe and support this government action as part of our faith. The last time I looked, the current president did not make this a priority item when he had both houses of congress with huge majorities so there is nothing to veto. If someone robs someone because they are poor, should we support giving the money stolen to the children of the theif? If we do, we would have a lot more theft and give open incentive to the poor to steal whatever they want. Republicans who have been supportive of immigration have not been for the Dream Act without the legislation shutting off the borders first. After the last amnesty program, the American people were promised the borders would be sealed and we would never again face having 8 million illegals. We now have best estimates of 13 million. States whose budgets are being blown out by this onslaught are trying to deal with the problem with no help from this administration. So I would hope that a president would veto the bill unless there is a complete package for the borders. But Barbara, please adress why this was not a priority of the Demcrats when they held all the power? The president never gave it any serious support as detailed by many immigration groups.

  62. Henry, I think the bishops have done a lot of things wrong. One of the main ones is allowing an infestation in the varous diocese and even at the USCCB of pro abortion personnel who have filtered money to pro abortion organizations. When it has been pointed out, many have wanted to shoot the messenger rather than run out of position these pro abortion pro gay marriage personnel.

    But this issue seems to have provided a wake up call as to what they are dealing with in the party of death. soon to be Cardinal Dolan I think is now understanding that this president looked him in the eye and lied to him face to face. I think Dolan is one of the Bishops that is open to hearing both sides and trying to find compromise and anything but a hard line conservative. When you see him and Cardinal Roger Mahoney united on an issue with Archbishop Chaput, you know you have created a serious mistake. I think walking this back is not a mission for the Bishops if they are going to have any moral ground going forward and could well provide fuel for them to really get involved in teaching as they should have been for years. God works in mysterious ways. He might even use someone as gravely flawed as Obama to wake them up to the party of death.

  63. I hope that as many of the people I read here are bemoaning the interference with church on the part of Obama will be as quick to support Muslims when they claim that Sharia law is what drives their consciences. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. A bit trite, but I am dubious that I would see that support. Just saying. How about supporting bullying gay youngsters because my conscience as formed by my religion says that gays are an abomination. Be careful what you ask for and then receive – these requests can cut many ways.

  64. what in the world does the Dream Act have to do with this issue?????????????????

  65. Oregon Catholic says:

    So, if a couple using ABC chose to make a self-sacrifice of 10 days in a row without sex each month would that be a sufficient offering to God for their denial of life? Not everyone who uses ABC does so to act like hedonists. Some believe it is the best or only viable choice for them to space births.

    What about barrier methods that have 0% chance of causing abortion? That nullifies your pill objection. Condoms have a higher fail rate than NFP. Are condom users actually more open to life and willing to leave more control in God’s hands?

    What I’m trying to show is that once a couple separates their sex life in any way from an intent to procreate or an intent to leave it entirely up to God, then it’s possible to start with the “yea, buts…” in which NFP isn’t a lot different than ABC.

  66. Mary Russell says:

    A few corrections to the above from a medical and historical perspective:
    Ovulation is not necessarily the time of greatest libido for human females. It is for dogs and rats, but humans may have great libido during menstruation, the literal phase, or throughout the cycle.
    Also, the rhythm method was not worked out until the 1930s, so could not have been in wide use before then. Before Pius’ Casti Conubii came out, the morality of the rhythm method may have been questioned by individual priests or bishops, perhaps, but there was not yet any definitive teaching.

  67. Oregon Catholic says:

    I also have a medical background and a historical perspective. The rhythm methodology and basal temp. observations were being studied and are found in the medical literature by the mid-1800s. The Church didn’t invent it, they took it from (then) current day medicine and practice.

    Women can have a high libido any time but you cannot argue with the common biological sense that a woman and a man will both be stimulated by the hormonal changes around ovulation. We are mammals after all and our bodies function in very similar ways. The fact that men don’t sniff the air and women don’t rub against trees and bushes doesn’t mean that biological communication isn’t going on at a sub-conscious level.

  68. RomCath, the dream act has nothing to do with this in any way. It is a desperate attempt by those who have supported the party of death to the tune of 54 million dead babies trying to find some way to justify grave error in complicity.

  69. Yes, Henry, lets not treat the Partner of abortion mills harshly.

    There is no way to treat evil any other way and Archbishop Dolan learned that in spades in the last month. Anyone who is part of the party of death responsible for the 54 million dead babies should be expected to also be a liar and a tyrant. It goes with the turf as we have seen in others who associated with death camps and gulags.

    I notice none of the defenders are willing to take on the abortion mills own website that names Obama as a partner and those in congress that support them as allies. Only the most pro abortion president in history could be listed as Planned Parenthood Partner and none are as they relate to their entire history of the march to kill innocent life.

  70. Mary Russell says:

    But throughout the 19th century it was incorrectly thought that the most fertile window of the menstrual cycle was during menses-based on the observation that dogs and some other mammals bleed during estrus, their time of ovulation.
    It wasn’t until the 1920s that the time of ovulation was established to be around 14 days after the first day of menses, and widely accepted by gynecologists.
    The fact that libido is not necessarily highest at the time of ovulation in human females is based on studies which ask women to document over a period of time when their desire for sex is highest- very little correlation was found between the phase of the menstrual cycle and libido.

  71. Oregon Catholic for sure, many of the members caved (of the Catholic Faith), but certainly, unlike the Protestant Churches, the TEACHING of the CC never changed.

    Once again it proves how much it matters for Catholics to “live the faith (as the church teaches it).

    That “98 % of Catholic women use birth control” democratic talking point line actually came from the former president of Planned Parenthood. Most Catholics don’t even know enough to defend that idiotic overused Planned Parenthood line.

    Even worse, are Bill O’Reilly and Shan Hannity, both outspoken and on record against the chruch’s teaching on ABC, now, “playing it up” as they always do for “all things Catholic.”

    Well, to O”Reilly and Hannity, I say, “It’s people like you, in positions to make a difference, that are largely responsible for how we got where we are now. No one requires you to use your pulpit to teach the Catholic Faith. However, if you are going to play the Catholic Card whenever it suits your needs, you have a responsibility to defend the teachings, not your point of view.” Bewtween your arrogance and 3rd grade understanding of the faith, you both are much accountable as to not only the current situation, but Obama being elected in the first place, as you were largely also silent on his “death culture” mentality.

  72. Oregon Catholic says:

    I don’t know where you get your info. The Jews knew over 3000 years ago that the menses represented a failure to conceive.

  73. Oregon Catholic says:

    I think the Church “caved” in 1930 when it reversed nearly 2000 years of procreation teaching and approved the rhythm method of contraception in response to the growing secular use of contraception. The outcome was foreseeable given human nature. Give ‘em an inch and they’ll fight to take a mile has certainly proven to be true hasn’t it?

  74. I read one study that found religious conservatives are the largest supporters of charities. Why do “lefties” (your words, not mine) falsely accuse them of not having any concern for the poor? So if I am against abortion that means I don’t care about poverty or I am pro death penalty? I happen to be against the death penalty too. Neither party is perfect. But if I have to choose, I will choose the party that supports the death of a man who rapes and kills a thriteen year old girl, over the party who celebrates the death of an innocent baby.

  75. Eva’s Village, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services? Hundreds more Church sponsored Charities for the poor – Are they not speaking loud enough, Scout? It’s not a case of either/or. Many of us are perfectly able to defend the rights of the unborn AND help families in need. Please stop suggesting that anyone who is pro-life is doesn’t care about those already alive. That is not true. You are bearing false witness against your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Overall, the Church is very consistent on all of these issues. Pro-Life means you value the dignity and wellbeing of the living as well as those yet born.

  76. Mary Russell says:

    I am a physician. I am getting my info from medical textbooks and online physician resources. Where are you getting your info from?

  77. Sounds like Obama has an agenda to become the dictator of the USA. I could hear it now, “Hail Obama.”

  78. Yes you are right the Church does not get recognition in her devotion and service regarding social justice and charity, nor does she need or look for it; however, the Church continues her services when it comes to poverty, immigration, war, violence, etc., as our Lord and Savior did.
    But now the issues [focal point] at hand have been “forced” by the secular world and needs to be answered now by our Bishops, all Catholics, Christians and other religious [who have also answered] regarding ‘contraceprtion’ but more importantly religious freedom, and freedom of conscience.
    If these ‘focal point’ issues are not addressed, then many of the Church’s service in social justice and charity may also suffer.


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