Cardinal Timothy Dolan has released a statement today on behalf of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Bishops have rejected the so-called “compromise” that the Obama administration proffered last week. The Bishops rightly conclude that the mandate still requires Catholic hospitals and schools to provide contraception and abortifacient drugs to their employees. Cardinal Dolan writes,
The Administration’s proposal maintains its inaccurate distinction among religious ministries. It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education, and Catholic charities. HHS offers what it calls an “accommodation,” rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our Church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches. And finally, it seems to take away something that we had previously—the ability of an exempt employer (such as a diocese) to extend its coverage to the employees of a ministry outside the exemption…Thus, there remains the possibility that ministries may yet be forced to fund and facilitate such morally illicit activities.
With this statement, it is clear that Obamacare’s abortion mandate has been rejected by all the major stakeholders that it has attempted to accommodate. The problem is that the Obama administration does not seem very concerned about violating the religious liberty of Americans. The administration is merely trying to set themselves up to defend the mandate in court. And it looks like that is exactly where this is going to be decided.