Dolan’s Conversation with Obama*
In pursuit of the truth - www.cinopsbegone.com - Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Preface: The best way to understand this conversation is to imagine yourself as a Christian talking to President Barrack Obama. Then figuring out the mindset of this man, Obama!
“Last November, at the end of their 45-minute discussion, the archbishop summed up what he understood as the president’s message:
“I said, “I’ve heard you say, first of all, that you have immense regard for the work of the Catholic Church in the United States in health care, education and charity… I have heard you say that you are not going to let the administration do anything to impede that work, and … that you take the protection of the rights of conscience with the utmost seriousness … Does that accurately sum up your conversation?’ [Mr. Obama] said, ’You bet it does.’”
The archbishop asked for permission to relay the message to the other bishops. “You don’t have my permission, you got my request,” the president replied.
“So you can imagine the chagrin,” Archbishop Dolan continues, “when he called me at the end of January to say that the mandates remain in place and that there would be no substantive change, and that the only thing that he could offer me is that we would have until August … I said, ’Mr. President, I appreciate the call. Are you saying now we have until August to introduce to you continual concerns that might trigger a substantive mitigation in these mandates?’
He said, ’No, the mandates remain. We’re more or less giving you this time to find out how you are going to be able to comply.’ I said, “Well, sir, we don’t need the [extra time]. I can tell you now we are unable to comply.’”
The administration went ahead and announced the mandate…
Archbishop Dolan explains that the “accommodation” solves nothing, since most church-affiliated organizations either are self-insured or purchase coverage from Catholic insurance companies like Christian Brothers Investment Services and Catholic Mutual Group, which also see the mandate as “morally toxic.”
He argues that the mandate also infringes on the religious liberty of nonministerial organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Catholic-oriented businesses such as publishing houses, not to mention individuals, Catholic or not, who conscientiously object.
“We’ve grown hoarse saying this is not about contraception, this is about religious freedom,” he says. What rankles him the most is the government’s narrow definition of a religious institution. Your local Catholic parish, for instance, is exempt from the birth control mandate. Not exempt are institutions such as hospitals, grade schools, universities and soup kitchens that employ or serve significant number of people from other faiths and whose main purpose is something other than proselytization.
“We find it completely unswallowable, both a Catholics and mostly as Americans that a bureau of the American government would take it upon itself to define ‘ministry’” Archbishop Dolan says. “We would find that to be - we’ve used the words ‘radical,’ ‘unprecedented’ and ‘dramatically intrusive.’”
It also amounts to penalizing the church for not discriminating in its good works: “We don’t ask people for their baptismal certificate, nor do we ask people for their U.S. passport, before we can serve them, OK? … We don’t serve people because they are Catholic, we serve them because we are, and it’s a moral imperative for us to do so.”…
George H. Kubeck - *The above are excerpts from the Wall Street Journal - The Weekend Interview with Timothy Dolan by James Taranto - Sat./Sun. -March 31st/April 1/12 This is a classic must read.