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Note to Readers

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Friday, I am going to try and leave earlier than usual for the drive back to DC. Picking the departure time is always a challenge - if you leave too early, you hit NYC traffic, but if you leave too late and have to make a pit-stop to answer the call of nature, who wants to leave the dogs in the car on a hot day, even for a matter of seconds. So, I am planning a 6:30 a.m. departure from Connecticut. Consequently, I shall not be posting on Friday morning.

Dems For Life on HHS Mandate

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Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) has filed a comment with the HHS regarding the contracpetion mandate. In a press release, Kristen Day, executive director at DFLA said, "The passage of the ACA was successful due to the support of DFLA and pro-life Democrats who supported passage of the bill after the President assured, through the Executive Order, that conscience rights would be protected and no funding would be used for abortion. The HHS needs to respect the promise made by the President."

"The religious organizations that are at the center of the contraception debate are in many cases the very same organizations who are helping the sick, the needy, and the poor," said Day. "We recognize the Administration's goal to provide free contraception, but it could be done without compromising the rights of religious-based organizations who oppose abortion. The clearest and best path is to apply one of the many current and tested statutes that provides conscience protection to those organizations whose charitable or educational activities are deeply religiously motivated."

Dems For Life on HHS Mandate

 | 

Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) has filed a comment with the HHS regarding the contracpetion mandate. In a press release, Kristen Day, executive director at DFLA said, "The passage of the ACA was successful due to the support of DFLA and pro-life Democrats who supported passage of the bill after the President assured, through the Executive Order, that conscience rights would be protected and no funding would be used for abortion. The HHS needs to respect the promise made by the President."

"The religious organizations that are at the center of the contraception debate are in many cases the very same organizations who are helping the sick, the needy, and the poor," said Day. "We recognize the Administration's goal to provide free contraception, but it could be done without compromising the rights of religious-based organizations who oppose abortion. The clearest and best path is to apply one of the many current and tested statutes that provides conscience protection to those organizations whose charitable or educational activities are deeply religiously motivated."

Why Catholics Leave & Where They Go

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Terry Mattingly at Get Religion expresses the same frustration I was feeling about recent stories that focus on Catholics who have left the Church. He is interested to know how many have left – 10% of the entire population of the U.S., which would make ex-Catholics a larger denomination than Episcopalians, Presbyterians or Methodists if ex-Catholics were a denomination. But, he also wants to know where they have gone.

One More Reason to Nix the Restrictive HHS Exemption

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In her interview with Kaiser Health News, Sr. Carol Keehan said this:

The Catholic Health Association has worked for decades to get more coverage for people. So when we heard about the preventive services provisions, we were very pleased. Take a single mother with two children. A $20 co-pay for a mammogram may be the difference between dinner for the two days before payday or filling her child’s asthma prescription.

So the preventive services to allow for physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies, etc. were, to us, very, very important. That HHS included contraceptive coverage and sterilizations was not unexpected but, frankly, we did expect and felt all along that the typical exemption for a religious institution that has religious objections to it would be honored.

Contra Keller

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It seems that Bill Keller’s op-ed in the New York Times has created more of a stir than I had anticipated and, consequently, must be answered not ignored.

I do not know Mr. Keller. He may have once harbored grandiose ambitions for his understanding of Vatican II. He may have been treated shabbily by a priest or bishop. (Who hasn’t?) He may have been poorly catechized. Such questions come naturally to a pastor, and I wish Keller – and everyone – always had the kind of pastor who could apply balm to troubled souls.

But, Keller has put forth his argument, such as it is, as an assertion. He is pronouncing himself on ideas, not experience, and so we can assess his ideas no matter what experiences he has had. Are they true? Do those ideas show a basic grasp of history and, in this case, theology? Could the type of claims Keller makes be made, say, about economics or geo-physics, and stand up to scrutiny? Sadly, the answer to all these questions is undoubtedly negative.

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May 22-June 4, 2015

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