Early this year, NCR called out the Obama administration for overstepping a boundary by issuing through the department of Health and Human Services a mandate that required insurance coverage for contraceptives, with a too narrow exemption for religious institutions. We took this stance based on the principle that government should not define what a religious institution is and what religious ministry is.
The principle we sought to defend was clear: “Our faith is not confined to a building. Aiding the poor and marginalized, educating people, taking care of the sick are not add-ons to our religious convictions. They are core religious activities; they are who we are as Catholics.”
Our stance was not popular with a good number of NCR readers because many construed defense of the principle to mean agreement with another issue to which it had become inextricably linked -- contraception.