Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cardinal Dolan says Catholic church could be Obamacare's biggest 'cheerleader'

Compiled by Matthew Brown, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Tue, Dec. 3 1:31 p.m. MST

 Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the church has been for universal health care for almost a century, but it can't support Obamacare as long as it forces Catholics to violate their conscience.

Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the church has been for universal health care for almost a century, but it can't support Obamacare as long as it forces Catholics to violate their conscience.

(Patrick Semansky, Associated Press)

Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the church has been for universal health care for almost a century, but it can't support Obamacare as long as it forces Catholics to violate their conscience.

In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Dolan said if it wasn't for the health care reform's mandate to provide contraceptives, the U.S. Catholic Bishops would be the Affordable Care Act's biggest "cheerleaders."

"We, the bishops of the United States, can you believe it, in 1919 came out for more affordable, more comprehensive, more universal healthcare. That's how far back we go in this battle, okay?” Dolan said, according to Politico.

“So we're not Johnny-come-latelies,” Dolan added. “We've been asking for reform in healthcare for a long time. So, we were kind of an early supporter in this. Where we started bristling and saying, ‘Uh-oh, first of all this isn't comprehensive, because it's excluding the undocumented immigrant and it's excluding the unborn baby,’ so we began to bristle at that.”

Secondly, “we said, ‘And wait a minute, we Catholics who are kind of among the pros when it comes to providing health care, do it because of our religious conviction, and because of the dictates of our conscience. And now we're being asked to violate some of those.’”

Several Catholic-affiliated schools and other organizations have sued the government over the mandate, claiming it violates their religious freedom.

But other Catholic organizations don't agree with the U.S. Bishops' stance on Obamacare. In June, the Catholic Health Association, which represents 620 Catholic hospitals and 1,400 nursing homes, said it can live with the birth control mandate.

On the topic gay marriage becoming legal now in 16 states, Dolan said the church has been "out-marketed" and "caricatured as being anti-gay."

"When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it's a tough battle," said Dolan, according to Opposing Views.

The Associated Press reported that Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said the church supports traditional marriage and is not "anti-anybody."

But Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, senior religion editor for the Huffington Post, wrote that no marketing or caricatures are needed to describe the Catholic church's well-known position against gay marriage.

"If you are against gay marriage you are against gay married people. In the future, if you want to know if your actions or words are anti-gay, try asking a gay person," Raushenbush wrote. "We'll be glad to let you know."

Email: mbrown@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @deseretbrown

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1. cjb
Bountiful, UT,
Dec. 3, 2013

I can understand Catholics not wanting to support Abortion in any way including not wanting to provide insurance benefits for it. I support them and anyone else who takes this stand. This because abortion is killing innocent children. This isn't a religious issue, it is a human decency issue.

However it is stepping over the line to insist that they as an employeer not provide birth control coverage for people when everyone else in the nation gets it. Birth control isn't inherrently wrong. It is just an arbitary rule by one particular religion.

A persons insurance coverage should not depend on the religion of their employer. For example Johovas Witness don't agree with blood transfusions. Christian Scientists don't believe in going to the doctor at all. If a person's employeer gets bought out by someone belonging to one of these churches is it not right that their health coverage be made to conform to the employeers religion.

2. Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT,
Dec. 3, 2013

“Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the church has been for universal health care for almost a century, but it can't support Obamacare as long as it forces Catholics to violate their conscience”.

"We, the bishops of the United States, can you believe it, in 1919 came out for more affordable, more comprehensive, more universal healthcare. That's how far back we go in this battle, okay?”

So, what happened to change your mind?
The Catholic Church has been around for centuries.

“We Catholics who are kind of among the pros when it comes to providing health care, do it because of our religious conviction, and because of the dictates of our conscience.”

Would you do it because you are part of the human race and not for the expected reward when you get to heaven?

I have no quarrel with the Catholic Church in what they believe and teach but I oppose their efforts to force other people to believe as they do. By extending their religion into their business activities they are playing dirty pool with the minds of the voluntary slaves they call employees.

3. American Patriot
Eagle Mountain, UT,
Dec. 3, 2013

At least that's a move in the right direction. There's so much more wrong with the ACA (Obamacare) that the whole 'law' should be scrapped.

There is nothing affordable about the ACA. It is a train wreck happening. Obama and his administration have dumped a completely asinine TAX program on the American people under the guise of an idiotic health law. Millions of U.S. get while others want their 'freebies' for life at the expense of others.

This is insanity - pure and simple.

4. Tyler D
Meridian, ID,
Dec. 3, 2013

I have two major problems with the Bishop’s statements – first is the quote below.

“On the topic gay marriage becoming legal now in 16 states, Dolan said the church has been "out-marketed" and "caricatured as being anti-gay."”

What is it with conservatives that whenever their views are not adopted en masse they automatically assume the unwashed masses are simply the victims of propaganda?

Did it ever occur to the good bishop that many people have heard all the arguments, have weighed the relative merits (and values) of each position, have applied their own values as well as reason & logic to the issue and have intelligently decided his views are wrong?

Second, 99% of all Americans (including 97% of Catholics) have used birth control. The people have spoken – they want it and are willing to pay into a prepaid plan to get it in the most convenient and cost effective manner.

The Constitution created a government of, by, and for the People, not for institutional religion. In fact the 1st Amendment specifically forbids passing any law for the sole purpose of respecting a church’s views.

5. Craig Clark
Boulder, CO,
Dec. 3, 2013

If Dolan's otherwise robust support for the ACA hinges on scraping the contraceptives mandate, his prospects of being an effective Catholics leader don't look too promising. Holding steadfast may be its own reward, but for a purist it's about as good as it gets.