In his weekly column, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia addresses the latest attempt by the Obama administration to finesse a “compromise” with regard to the mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services.
As we know all too well by now, the HHS mandate requires that all employers, with very few exceptions, regardless of their religious beliefs or the dictates of their conscience, provide coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
With the able assistance of Notre Dame Law Professor Gerard Bradley, Archbishop Chaput explains that the revised “accommodation” proposed by the administration, while appearing to extend exemptions to certain entities such as some hospitals and universities by shifting the responsibility for paying for the objectionable coverage, in fact does little or nothing to change the moral implications of the mandate’s requirements:
The White House has made no concessions to the religious conscience claims of private businesses, and the whole spirit of the “compromise” is minimalist.
Archbishop Chaput concludes his column with a more personal plea: Things are getting bad…pray for me and my brother bishops.
One of the issues America’s bishops now face is how best to respond to an HHS mandate that remains unnecessary, coercive and gravely flawed. In the weeks ahead the bishops of our country, myself included, will need both prudence and courage – the kind of courage that gives prudence spine and results in right action, whatever the cost. Please pray that God guides our discussions.