The Catholic Health Association has issued its comment on the proposed rule regarding mandated care under the Affordable Care Act, specifically on the issue of conscience protections. The Obama administration ignores CHA at its peril, not least because picking a fight over conscience protections now would only give more ammunition to those who wish to defeat the ACA in its entirety.
From the Holy Father's remarks at the Augustinian abbey in Erfurt:
It would be going too far to say that Mitt Romney “won” last night’s Fox News debate. Anytime something you said appears in an ad for the other side within 24 hours, you did not exactly “win” and Romney’s prolix attempt to set up one of his answers included these unfortunate words, already in a Democratic ad, “There are a lot of reasons not to elect me,” which were unfortunate and on-tape. That is why these debates live after themselves in a YouTube age.
The always readable Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete at il Sussidiario, takes on the idea of Doominionism.
I almost feel sorry for Speaker of the House John Boehner. Almost. He brought a bill to the floor, a continuing resolution to fund the government while Congress works out the appropriations bills. The bill lost when 48 Republicans refused to sign on.
The Speaker needs to get his house in order. Or, in the alternative, he could reach out to enough Democrats to pass such basic, essential legislation. But, this latter course would require that he give something up, that he actually compromise and in today's Tea Party-ridden Republican Party, compromise is a very naughty word.
David Gibson at the Religion News Service weighs in on the decision of St. Francis University to cancel Ellen Goodman's appearance. He rightly points to the out-sized, and self-defeating, defensiveness of the Cardinal Newman Society.
Last night, a group of Catholic University students huddled around some candles and a sign that read, “Prayer Vigil for Troy Davis” on the sidewalk of the Pryzbyla Center, which serves as the campus’ student union. As his scheduled execution at 7 p.m. approached, the students took turns coming forward and extinguishing one of the candles. Finally, the last candle was extinguished. The students prayed silently. Some were in tears. They did not get the word of the last minute delay, as the Supreme Court considered granting a stay of execution. The students dispersed into the night.
If you want to know about “Catholic identity” at CUA, there it is: Prayer in the face of evil. Students, whose lives are not un-busy, taking time to express their solidarity with a man they did not know apart from the evident injustice of what was about to happen to him. Students overcoming all the noisy distractions of this noisiest of cultures, and finding, even creating, silence.
Not sure about you, but I feel safer already. Don't Ask/Don't Tell, the compromise policy, which was a step forward in its day, has officially ended. So, servicemen and women who happen to be gay, no longer have to worry about their personal lives being discovered and can better pay attention to their mission. Nor do they have to worry about being blackmailed by anyone. Nor do commanders have to worry about losing key staff at critical times.
I will venture the prediction that five years from now, people will have a hard time remembering what DADT was like. The military rose to the challenge of racial integration and it will rise to the occasion again. And, we will all be safer because of it not least because our values of equality and a decent respect for the privacy of others will be more fully enfleshed by consigning DADT to history.
John Feehery, a former Republican Capitol Hill staffer who now works for a Republican media outfit, has an article up at The Hill regarding the issue of conscience protections currently being formulated by the Department of Health & Human Services. He wonders why the Obama Administration would risk alienating Catholic swing voters.
That is a good question, but Feehery is not very good at reporting the issue. He writes: "At issue is a new government mandate that Catholic hospitals provide contraception services, a mandate that directly contravenes church teachings." No, actually, what is at issue is whether or not Catholic institutions, including colleges and universities, social service agencies, and hospitals too, would have to purchase insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraceptive services.
Isaac Chotiner, at The New Republic, wonders what happened to those Republicans who used to be concerned about poverty and compassion. His essay is brief and brilliant, the best kind of essay.