We don’t need no stinking Bishops! – UPDATE

I guess this is like "smart" diplomacy, right? If you need to affirm your special relationship with the United Kingdom you ship back the bust of Winston Churchill, and if you are having trouble with Catholic bishops, you go talk to...anybody but Catholic bishops. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the Obama administration plans to issue a rule "in the near future" on its compromise plan on contraception coverage and is meeting with insurers, clergy and health leaders to get feedback on how … [Read more...]

All Your Conscience Are Belong to Us


My First Things column from today: Through its mouthpieces, the administration has already begun to argue that “an institution does not have a conscience.” This is utter nonsense. The missions of the church are predicated on conscience, and conscience and mission feed and build upon one another. Conscience is what sent Catholic religious women to drag Civil War soldiers off the battlefields and into their hospitals, regardless of uniform; it is what put Catholic charities and hospitals … [Read more...]

To Defend HHS Mandate: Look at Anything but Constitution


The vacationing Deacon Greg Kandra has still managed, between spending time with Mickey and Minnie to post this interesting piece by Dave Gibson, who has written an informative article about what I called my First Things piece, yesterday, the "nuances between direct and indirect co-operation with evil". Gibson does his usual brilliant job in expanding on it, but he does so from a place accepting that President Obama's recent "accommodation" did actually accommodate the churches. Completely … [Read more...]

The Stranding of the Catholic Left – UPDATES


Literally bleary with fever last night, boxing metaphors came tumbling out of my brain and into my column over at First Things: To that end, the White House seemed to have conferred not with the concerned Bishops but with members of the “Catholic Left” whose criticism of his original plans had had a weighty effect on others, and whose progressive credentials made their alliance vital to retain; he effectively went to Sr. Carol Keehan, President of the Catholic Health Association, and … [Read more...]

Obama’s HHS: Bring on the Penal Laws! – UPDATES!


Sure and it begins to feel like Grandad's auld sod, what with the elites getting comfortable with the notion of telling us what we can and cannot do, what business we may or may not conduct, what materials we can or cannot own...because we're Catholics. Over at NPR's Bench Memos Ryan T. Anderson ponders illegalities in the making: Here’s an aspect of the HHS preventive-services mandate and the “compromise” announced on Friday that has gone unnoticed: It will soon be impossible, … [Read more...]

WH never “botched” contraception question

I have my own thoughts about last Friday's "accomodation" by the White House and the HHS, but I am saving those for my First Things column, tomorrow, so here is what has developed over the weekend on that front: Law Prof William Jacobson remembers the "odd" debate question: Remember when George Stephanopoulos, at the New Hampshire Republican debate on January 7, brought up and harped on whether the candidates thought states could ban contraception? Everyone, at least on our side of the … [Read more...]

Bishops to ‘Bam: “Nice first step…” -UPDATED

dolan cardinal designate

Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia has it: BISHOPS STUDYING INITIAL WHITE HOUSE MOVEMENT ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY *New opportunity to dialogue with executive branch, obtain details ::: *Too soon to tell whether and how much improvement on core concerns::: *Commitment to religious liberty for all means legislation still necessary::: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sees initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after President … [Read more...]

Obama “Accommodation” Reactions

This morning I wrote what I had anticipated in the Obama "accommodation" and the reaction. I expect President Obama will come out and say something that sounds wonderful and conciliatory and that seems reasonable to people who are eager to reconcile with the president and give themselves permission to vote for him again in November. I also expect that beyond the words, what the President offers will be too little — the government miserly granting to us pieces of freedom we are utterly … [Read more...]

WH “Accommodation” Trustworthy? UPDATED

UPDATE::: Read Bishops first and second responses::: From Jake Tapper at ABC News, Obama to Announce Contraception Rule ‘Accommodation’ for Religious Organizations: With the White House under fire for its new rule requiring employers including religious organizations to offer health insurance that fully covers birth control coverage, at 12:15 p.m. ET, President Obama will announce an attempt to accommodate these religious groups. The move, based on state models, will almost … [Read more...]

Epistle of Obama 1:10 (Formerly Ephesians)

new bill of rights

Found this floating around twitter; wish I knew who to credit. As concerns the Obamacare HHS Mandate forcing religious entities to pay for insurances covering employee sterilization, contraception and abortifacients, the more worn-out and tired non-thinking, knee-jerk phrase I've encountered this week in my email or in various comboxes and more than a few op-ed pieces or columns is "it's just birth control." As Kathleen Parker neatly informs: No, it ain't Actually there may be a tie … [Read more...]

Coupla Catholic Chicks, talkin’ Shop

Yesterday K-Lo at Large (aka Kathryn Jean Lopez) and I had an opportunity to spend twenty minutes or so talking together with Pat Gohn at her great Among Women Podcasts, specifically about the HHS Mandate, and why it is a destructive and illiberal business. Do listen online, here or at itunes. Pat is a golden-voiced and knowledgeable moderator, and there is a wee inside joke going on at one point, about how we speak when we are passionate. What can I say...Lizzie almost blew out a mic. … [Read more...]

Business Insider: Church is Right on Contraception


(Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty) Well, slap my face and call me Sally, what a surprise to read this in a secular paper, where Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry write: Painting the Catholic Church as "out of touch" is like shooting fish in a barrel, what with the funny hats and gilded churches. And nothing makes it easier than the Church's stance against contraception. [. . .] Here's the thing, though: the Catholic Church is the world's biggest and oldest organization. … [Read more...]

Did Daley leave WH because of the HHS Mandate?


Found over at New Advent (which you should be visiting every day!) there is this headline: Anonymous White House sources: Sebelius led fight for contraception edict, while VP Biden warned Obama about backlash from Catholic voters..... President Barack Obama ended months of internal White House debate by siding with a group of mostly female advisers who urged him not to limit a health-care law mandate to provide contraceptives, even at the risk of alienating Catholic voters in November, … [Read more...]

Axelrod: Might be room for “compromise” on HHS Mandate UPDATES!


UPDATE II: Steven D. Greydanus spells it out: Sure enough, in a press conference this afternoon, press secretary Jay Carney reaffirmed Obama’s commitment to the HHS mandate as it stands, though he declined to comment on whether the president would override a veto promised by Republican leadership. We are committed, the president is committed, to ensuring that woman have access to contraception without any extra cost, regardless of where they work. So, there you have … [Read more...]