New federal guidelines are so narrow that Jesus himself would not qualify for the Department of Health and Human Services “religious employer exemption,” says Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. Neither would the Good Samaritan.
The HHS rules has so many rules that “it protects almost no one, said DiNarto, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Both would be disqualified because they had a record of “helping people who did not share their view of God,” notes Jeremy Kryn of LifeSiteNews, a Christian advocacy website.
DiNardo was citing the HHS requirement that goes into effect in 2012 requiring all insurance programs nationwide to cover all forms of contraception — including aborion-inducing drugs and sterilization as “preventive services for women.”
Under the mandate only faith-based institutions that serve members of the same faith would be able to claim an exemption, thereby excluding any religious organizations that offer their services to the general public regardly of their religious affilication — or lack thereof.
The cardinal accused the HHS of “a distorted view of sexuality and a disdain for the role of religion,” during the USCCB’s 40th annual “Respect Life Month” observed during October, noted Kryn:
“The decision [by HHS] is wrong on many levels,” the cardinal said. “Preventive services are aimed at preventing diseases (e.g., by vaccinations) or detecting them early to aid prompt treatment (e.g., screening for diabetes or cancer). But pregnancy is not a disease…. Mandating such coverage shows neither respect for women’s health or freedom, nor respect for the consciences of those who do not want to take part in such problematic initiatives,” he said.
The cardinal blasted the Obama administration for their “misguided efforts to foster false values among our youth, to silence the voice of moral truth in the public domain, and to deprive believers of their constitutionally-protected right to live according to their religious convictions.”