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Pay for my Pills

posted by awelborn

That California decision

A California law that entitles women to birth control coverage in their employee drug plans doesn’t discriminate against church-affiliated agencies like Catholic Charities that object to contraceptives, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.

In a 6-1 ruling, the court said the 4-year-old law was a valid anti- discrimination measure that didn’t interfere with religious beliefs or practices. Catholic Charities remains “free to express its disapproval of prescription contraceptives and to encourage its employees not to use them” as long as it treats male and female employees equally, said Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar.

The ruling applies statewide to the charitable agency’s 1,600 employees and to 52,000 employees of Catholic hospitals. It does not cover church employees, who were exempted from the law.



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Christine

posted March 2, 2004 at 10:25 am


So,one would ask, how long will it be before Catholic Charities will be forced to provide abortion coverage?
That’s what happens when religious organizations accept government funding.



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Ann

posted March 2, 2004 at 10:56 am


I believe Justice Janice Rogers Brown, the lone dissent, is/was nominated by President Bush for a seat on the DC Circuit Federal Appeals Court (if I have that right). Talk about a voice crying out in the wilderness!



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Barbara

posted March 2, 2004 at 11:10 am


There are actually many states that already require insurers — whether sponsored by churches or otherwise — to cover all “mandated benefits,” and employers are not permitted to pick and choose among benefits. The employers in question can opt out of the law by self-insuring. Many employers nationwide do this. What I’m saying is that, while this may be a change in California, it is already quite common. The degree to which laws may be avoided for religious reasons is really quite limited. For instance, imagine an employer who objects on moral grounds to organ transplantation. Should he be able to insist that organ transplants be excluded from any insurance coverage he purchases on behalf of his employees? The church is organized, and its opposition to contraception is longstanding, nonetheless, the conscience of the employer is not normally recognized as a reason for avoiding state insurance mandates –as opposed to requiring Catholic hospitals to make contraception or infertility services available through their facilities, which would be much more problematic.



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T. Marzen

posted March 2, 2004 at 11:16 am


When are American Catholics going to realize that normative American culture is not simply neutral toward Catholic values, but aggressively hostile? This sort of litigation and legislation is just another step in the legal direction of forcing Catholic hospitals and agencies to provide assorted abortion and sterilization services as the price of receiving public benefits – a conscious strategy of the advocates of “reproductive freedom” (a strategy that will be repeated to enforce providing recognition and benefits to “non-traditional” unions and marriages in Catholic facilities and agencies).
In any event, this particular problem could be solved if Catholic Charities were actually an identifiably “religious” agency under California law – if it actually proselytized and required its employees to be Catholics in some substantive sense. But then, it could not receive tax dollars to support its activities . . . which would mean than many or most of its services would cease, thus “hurting the poor.” Of course, it becomes increasingly hard to see why the poor would be any worse off if the services Catholic Charities presently provide were instead provided by pagans or secularists since most “Catholic” agencies/facilities are Catholic in name only both by choice and in order to qualify for government funds. Ah, the moral quandaries that arise from being on the dole!



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Joel Martin

posted March 2, 2004 at 12:00 pm


I wonder how the court would have ruled if a kosher deli were required to sell ham sandwiches.



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Claude Muncey

posted March 2, 2004 at 12:02 pm


First off, this case has been one of the biggest concerns of the bishops here in California — at least according to my bishop the last time I talked with him.
The issue now is whether to take this to Federal courts to see if some of the new federal laws in this area apply.



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ERISA geek

posted March 2, 2004 at 12:04 pm


Although non-church private employers are able to escape state mandates by self-insuring, that is not necessarily true for church-related employers.
If a self-insured health plan is deemed a “church plan” under federal law, states can require the plan to pay for contraceptives.



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Christine

posted March 2, 2004 at 12:08 pm


I think T. Marzen is quite correct. It’s only a matter of time before Catholic Charities is also pressured to cover abortion services for non-Catholic employees. That will be a real problem for me. Catholic Charities may be the “employer” in the government’s eyes, but its the dollars of faithful Catholics helping to fund the “employer”.
In sacrificing a truly Catholic structure and identity, Catholic Charities may soon have to bow down to the altar of mammon.



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Sheila

posted March 2, 2004 at 12:17 pm


A similiar ruling happened in the 1980′s and the Cardinal (O’Connor I think) of NY threatened to close all the Catholic hospitals. Suddenly—everyone backed off. The Cardinal in CA should take a stand and not condone evil. Threaten to Close Catholic Charities and then see what happens—the state will then have to pick up all the work done by the Catholics—maybe we’ll get a little respect.



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Greg Popcak

posted March 2, 2004 at 12:28 pm


Sheila,
I suggested the same thing on HMS yesterday. Shut it down. If the State wants to dictate the terms, the State can provide the services.
Regardless of how it has been functioning, CC cannot be seen by the Church as primarily a social service agency. Catholics do not feed the hungry because we have a fetish for the poor. We feed the hungry because our love for Christ and the Gospels compels us to attend to the dignity in even the least. But if our mission to the poor threatens our ability to serve the Gospel, the Gospel must come first.
Shut Down CC in CA. Shut it down.



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Gerard E.

posted March 2, 2004 at 12:53 pm


Same with Greg. Now a matter of over which issue will compel bishops to go to jail- this or gay marriage. Fun times coming.



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Patrick Quinlan

posted March 2, 2004 at 1:00 pm


A suggestion and a question:
I understand the desire to shut it down in order to be faithful to moral principles. How about a similiar but slightly different idea. Give it away. Keep it open but give the facilities, personnel, etc to either the government or a different church organization. That way the poor are still served, the work still done, and Catholic moral principles have not been sacrified. What do the people who are suggesting shut down think of this idea?
Peace,
Patrick



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Donald R. McClarey

posted March 2, 2004 at 1:02 pm


Interesting. In 40 years we go from being told that birth control should be decriminalized to being told that a Catholic institution must pay for it. I wonder, or rather dread, what the next 40 years will bring. Time for the Church Militant to resume a vocal role in the Public Square.



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Keith Klein

posted March 2, 2004 at 1:13 pm


Why let the state dictate how we can serve the poor? Don’t shut down CC in CA. An unjust law should be fought in court as faw as possible, but disobeyed if necessary.



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Michael Tinkler

posted March 2, 2004 at 1:34 pm


On NPR this morning (yes, I know, but it’s a clock radio and you don’t know how irritating the only A.M. station in this town of 10,000 is!) someone said “Catholic Charities [in California] is no different from other employers.”
I wonder, all in all, whether or not that’s true. Given what one reads about Catholic Charities ask yourself this — how many of them ALREADY have prescriptions for birth control pills? Do you really think Catholic Charities employees a lot of NFPers?
Of course, if no Catholics used birth control pills wouldn’t the sales in America in general be a little lower?



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Barbara

posted March 2, 2004 at 1:37 pm


ERISA geek — church plan status doesn’t flow automatically. It must be requested from the IRS. Many Catholic institutions pursued church plan status in the late 80′s specifically to avoid federal continuation of coverage and other ERISA requirements. I know: I helped more than a few write their applications for exemption.



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Christine

posted March 2, 2004 at 1:57 pm


I just took a look at the Catholic Charities USA website to see what kind of response was given to the court ruling. It is stated that Catholic Charities is “disappointed” in the court’s ruling and regards it as an intrusion. No mention — yet — of any plans to fight it, but I realize it’s still early.
If they capitulate — that tells me a whole lot about what to expect for other CC agencies around the country.



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Peggy

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:10 pm


Some commenters are suggesting that if CC did not take gov’t $, it would not have to meet these requirements in CA. I don’t think that’s right from what I’ve read. It had to do w/their status as an employer that is not primarily a religious operation. Nonetheless, I do generally see lots of other problems w/taking money from the gov’t.
I like the idea of threatening to shut down. They should. They could also say they will operate only w/faithful Catholic employees and serve only faithful Catholics, if they operate at all in order to meet these requirements. That’ll upset the libs in CA.



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Daniel Lanterman

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:15 pm


I’m surprised no one here has proposed dropping health insurance for CC employees (and using to the money previously used for that as a pay bonus so employees could buy insurance privately). It would be unfortunate, but it would seem better than shutting it down.



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Julianne Wiley

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:20 pm


The rationale for this is that the state’s obligation not to discriminate on the basis of sex. Is it too late t demonstrate that, since Church’s insurance program funds neither ma;e contraceptives (condoms, vasectomies) nor female contraceptives (OC’s etc.) there is no sex discrimination hre?



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Gypsy Boots

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:40 pm


Add my voice to the “shut it down” chorus. A line needs to be drawn in the sand. The issue isn’t just whether or not the services of CC will be provided by someone else. It’s whether the state will be allowed to intimidate the Church. Years ago, Bishop Levada of San Francisco failed to stand up to the city of San Francisco when it similarly mandated obnixious policies to Catholic agencies. The shameful compromise that was reached was just blood in the water. Evasion is never the answer.
And don’t just shut CC down–make a big public stink. Shout “anti-Catholicism!” from the rooftops. Put the onus of lack of services for the poor squarely on the state. Go on TV and demand that the court explain to poor women why they can no longer get quality service from CC.
Go appear on EWTN and raise a legal war chest. Any bishop who did that would be staggered by the amount of money he would raise in a matter of a few weeks from fed-up Catholics of all persuasions. Once the other side is faced with a few tens of millions for legal bills, they’ll begin to see things the other way. They sure won’t be convinced by rational arguments.



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Gypsy Boots

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:42 pm


Add my voice to the “shut it down” chorus. A line needs to be drawn in the sand. The issue isn’t just whether or not the services of CC will be provided by someone else. It’s whether the state will be allowed to intimidate the Church. Years ago, Bishop Levada of San Francisco failed to stand up to the city of San Francisco when it similarly mandated obnoxious policies to Catholic agencies–I believe it was benefits for gay partners. The shameful compromise that was reached–benefits for “non-family members of the household” or some such nonsense–was just blood in the water to the Church’s enemies. Evasion is never the answer.
And don’t just shut CC down–make a big public stink. Shout “anti-Catholicism!” from the rooftops. Put the onus for lack of services for the poor squarely on the state. Go on TV and demand that the court explain to poor women why they can no longer get quality service from CC.
Go appear on EWTN and raise a legal war chest. Any bishop who did that would be staggered by the amount of money he would raise in a matter of a few weeks from fed-up Catholics of all persuasions. Once the other side is faced with a few tens of millions for legal bills, they’ll begin to see things the other way. They sure won’t be convinced by rational arguments.



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Gypsy Boots

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:44 pm


Add my voice to the “shut it down” chorus. A line needs to be drawn in the sand. The issue isn’t just whether or not the services of CC will be provided by someone else. It’s whether the state will be allowed to intimidate the Church. Years ago, Bishop Levada of San Francisco failed to stand up to the city of San Francisco when it similarly mandated obnoxious policies to Catholic agencies. The shameful compromise that was reached was just blood in the water. Evasion is never the answer.
And don’t just shut CC down–make a big public stink. Shout “anti-Catholicism!” from the rooftops. Put the onus of lack of services for the poor squarely on the state. Go on TV and demand that the court explain to poor women why they can no longer get quality service from CC.
Appear on EWTN and raise a legal war chest. Any bishop who did that would be staggered by the amount of money he would raise in a few weeks from fed-up Catholics of all persuasions. Once the other side is faced with a few tens of millions to fund litigation, with all its bad publicity, they’ll begin to see things the other way. (There’s a thought: use fear of bad publicity against the ENEMIES of the Church!)



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Gypsy Boots

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:52 pm


Add my voice to the “shut it down” chorus. A line needs to be drawn in the sand. The issue isn’t just whether or not the services of CC will be provided by someone else. It’s whether the state will be allowed to intimidate the Church. Years ago, Bishop Levada of San Francisco failed to stand up to the city of San Francisco when it similarly mandated obnoxious policies to Catholic agencies–I recall it was mandated benefits for homosexual partners. The shameful compromise that was reached–nondescript benefits for “non-married household members” or some such nonsense–was just blood in the water to the Church’s enemies. Evasion is never the answer.
And don’t just shut CC down–make a big public stink. Shout “anti-Catholicism!” from the rooftops. Put the onus of lack of services for the poor squarely on the state. Go on TV and demand that the court explain to poor women why they can no longer get quality service from CC.
Appear on EWTN and raise a legal war chest. Any bishop who did that would be staggered by the amount of money he would raise in a few weeks from fed-up Catholics of all persuasions–including Catholics who have been withholding their contributions lately. Once the other side is faced with a few tens or hundreds of millions to fund litigation, with all its bad publicity, they’ll begin to see things the other way. (There’s a thought: use fear of bad publicity against the ENEMIES of the Church!)



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Gypsy Boots

posted March 2, 2004 at 2:57 pm


Sorry-I didn’t mean to post so many times. I’m getting used to this posting delay. Please remove all but my last, Amy.



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Tom

posted March 2, 2004 at 3:44 pm


I think this is yet another example of what’s wrong with our health-care “system” and the insurance monster that it feeds. I think this is the genuine crisis that will make us or break us–as a nation and as Catholics living in the U.S.–over the next 20 years. Physicians are increasingly unhappy, patients detest their treatment, and the employers are being conscripted into ongoing social battles. When will it end?



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Larry Tierney

posted March 2, 2004 at 3:45 pm


Line in the sand, shut it down, etc., etc.
The hell with the poor.
Lent seems to be over early.



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Anne

posted March 2, 2004 at 3:45 pm


Not to be a moral minimalist here, or anything, but would it be strictly speaking immoral for an employer to fund a plan that covers contraception? What we’re talking about here is paying for an employee to have a relationship with a third party that carries the possibility of the third party’s faciliating an immoral act of the employee, should the employee be inclined to commit said immoral act, which the employer has no particular reason to believe is the case…
I don’t know my degrees of cooperation in evil theology as well as I should, but it does seem to me that we’re talking about a pretty remote degree of cooperation here.
I do realize there are larger issues of religious freedom at stake here. But I’d be curious if someone else who does know his or her theology better would like to comment.



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Paul Scheibmeir

posted March 2, 2004 at 3:46 pm


Greg,
Is there a way that we can push the issue with Catholic Charities? Could we threaten to withhold Diocesean funding?



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S.F.

posted March 2, 2004 at 4:10 pm


Joel Martin,
If kosher delis were required to sell ham sandwiches, the court would rule in favor of the deli. You can not single out a person or entity for its relgious beliefs.
UNLESS, all delis were required under law to sell ham sandwiches. In that case, the court would rule against the deli. In Smith v. Oregon (1990), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Free Exercise Clause does not exempt religious persons from generally applicable laws.



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S.F.

posted March 2, 2004 at 4:34 pm


Daniel L. wrote, “I’m surprised no one here has proposed dropping health insurance for CC employees (and using to the money previously used for that as a pay bonus so employees could buy insurance privately). It would be unfortunate, but it would seem better than shutting it down.”
Actually, not even that mcuh would be required. CC could offer health insurance without drug coverage and not be impacted by this law. Fair? No. But that is one option. As you say, they could provide additional salary, but this won’t work for people who need expensive drugs. They’ll have to work elsewhere, thanks to the California legislature.



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Regina

posted March 2, 2004 at 5:38 pm


“Shut it down” puts the burden of upholding Catholic moral teachings on the poor and needy. That’s hardly in keeping with our faith’s preferential option for the poor.



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Patrick Rothwell

posted March 2, 2004 at 6:05 pm


Is there a moral philosopher/theologian in the house? Isn’t there a distinction between “immediate material cooperation with evil” and “material cooperation with evil? in which the former is always illict, but the latter is sometimes licit? Is paying for insurance benefits that an employee *might* use to purchase contraceptives an example of the former or the latter? If it is the latter, couldn’t Catholic Charities, in a pinch, pay for such insurance benefits?



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Christopher H.

posted March 2, 2004 at 6:40 pm


But if our mission to the poor threatens our ability to serve the Gospel, the Gospel must come first. – Greg Popcak
Those are not separate items. Our mission to the poor IS the Gospel to a large extent.
Anyway, I don’t really view this issue as an either/or issue. It is not, “either shut down or provide the controversial benefits”. I think that Catholic Charities must continue to operate while pursuing legal relief in every way possible.



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Elaine

posted March 2, 2004 at 6:57 pm


FWIW, there seem to be several “Catholic Charities” and some of them already provide such benefits. My local one was quoted as saying they had had to add that coverage to retain employees. The spokesperson didn’t appear to have any heartburn over the issue. Do I like this? not particularly.
I wonder what some of the other Catholic charitable organizations do?



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Greg Popcak

posted March 2, 2004 at 7:48 pm


To the person who suggested that I was implying, “to hell with the poor” I would suggest getting a clue. I’m a social worker for crying out loud.
Worst case: we as a Church take the dollars that we plow into a broken, Catholic-in-name-only system and rebuild something truly Catholic.
But c’mon, do you REALLY think the State wants to make up the difference CC makes? Not bloody likely. The legislature would push through an emergency reform bill in about two seconds flat.
But if not, fine. We take our ball and go home. Feed the poor through the parishes. Rebuild a system that actually reflects Gospel values instead of the broken, godforsaken mess CC currently is.
All that said, it isn’t as if anyone is going to take my suggestion seriously. I’ll tell you exactly what’s going to happen. CC and the various dioceses will cluck about the good of society and flush our moral principles down the toilet so that CC can continue to suck at the government teat under the banner of virtue.
The gospel will go unheard because “Charity” will be reduced to doing well by doing good. The Episopoids won’t do anything because the liberal gun that is “the poor” is pointed squarely at their heads. And God-forbid any 21st Century Catholic ever commit the one remaining mortal sin that is insensitivity.



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Jimmy Mac

posted March 2, 2004 at 9:38 pm


The English have a saying: If you take the Queen’s shilling, then you have to do the Queen’s bidding.



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Gray

posted March 2, 2004 at 9:50 pm


the social work of the church is to be a part of evangelization instead many if not all of the church’s social iniatives are just that social and don’t promote Christ or catholic teaching in what they do .Catholic Charities is just like the Red Cross or the United Way there is nothing Catholic about it except it’s name



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caroline_gissler@testlabs.com

posted March 2, 2004 at 10:11 pm


Totally agree with last two comments, right above. What Mr. Popcak outlines has already been happening.
I believe this law of having to provide the contraceptives took effect Jan. 1, 2000. From that date forward CC had to obey the law even while CC of one diocese, Sacramento, fought it in the courts. For four years now CC of the various dioceses in California have been providing the contraceptive insurance rather than taking the other alternative of providing no prescription coverage.
It comes down to the same old dilemma: social justice or sexual morality. The culture approves our social justice and hates the sexual morality.
I think of that temptation to turn the stones into bread. He could have fixed all the social justice problems for all time. It is the great temptation of our Church today.



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Donald R. McClarey

posted March 2, 2004 at 10:12 pm


Jimmy Mac, an old American saying: We have no King but Jesus.



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Sulpicius Severus

posted March 2, 2004 at 10:17 pm


As one internet pundit notes, file this one in the already bursting Reaping What We Sow file. Church Militant fights Satan with full effect only if it is armed with Tradition. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. UIOGD,



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Mark Gordon

posted March 3, 2004 at 8:29 am


Let’s not forget who heads Catholic Charities: Fr. Bryan Hehir, liberal priest extraordinaire, lately of the Harvard Divinity School faculty. Catholic Charities will roll over quicker than you can say “latex.”



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Christine

posted March 3, 2004 at 9:05 am


No, the Gospel is NOT our “mission to the poor.” As Jesus said, we will always have the poor with us as long as this world exists. The Gospel mission is to announce that in Jesus Christ God calls us to a conversion of hearts, minds, souls and lifestyles. That does INCLUDE feeding the poor and clothing the naked, but the Gospel is first and foremost the good news that God has come in the flesh to save us because we could not save ourselves and that this poor, broken world is not the final answer to the mystery of man and creation.
I must admit I have more respect for the Salvation Army and the local City Mission right now than I do for Catholic Charities. They are not ashamed to make works of mercy integral parts of preaching the Gospel.
But then, I’ve heard sisters in some of our local religious orders practically brag about how the mission of Catholic Charities has nothing to do with preaching the Gospel.
Just take a good look at the state of the Episcopal Church today. Social justice and outward liturgical conformity reign, but the image of Jesus Christ as the God-man has been so marred in a few years one will be hard pressed to find him.
Sad.



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brendan

posted March 3, 2004 at 12:25 pm


As a social worker who has applied for many positions and seen the workings of agencies, I can say that Catholic Charities is merely a wing of the government that delivers the services that have been funded by the state and federal governments. Most employees seem to be nominal Catholics or dissenters with many non-Catholics employed there. Many years ago they decided that service providing was more important than Catholic identity.
I did my Master’s Thesis on Faith-based social services and those groups that did not take monies from any government source were able to maintain their identity. Unfortunately, they were not able to serve as many and the types of services did not address the scope and depth as catholic Charities. However, conservatives have been clamoring for changes to the sysyem to allow religious organizations that provide services to be able to get funds and maintain their identity and hire believers only. This is stuck and won’t pass now. However, the flaw is that we as a people state that government should not provide these services directly but fund agencies to do it. So, we get this situation. Somehow, we need to remind ourselves that The Church states that government should work for the common good. The debate is how-we need to address this.



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S.F.

posted March 3, 2004 at 12:59 pm


Jimmy Mac,
This isn’t an issue of government funding. The California law requires ANY employer that gives prescription drug benefits to include contraceptive coverage. There’s one execption. And that is “religious employers,” which is defined vary narrowly in the bill.
This is more than just Catholic Charities. If you are a Catholic man who owns a print shop, a corner store, a delivery service, whatever, and you provide prescription drug coverage to your employees, the state of California now forces you to pay for contraception.
So, how is a Catholic business owner to live out the Church’s teaching of just wage, which in this country, pretty much includes health care coverage? But, if Catholics in California voted like Catholics, the legislature would have never passed this bill.



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K

posted March 3, 2004 at 12:59 pm


I have to agree with Christine. The Church’s
primary mission is to preach the Gospel, not
serve the poor. Serving the poor is a means
to preaching the Gospel. If the serving
does not serve the preaching, then there is
no point. Especially in this case, where you
have to teach against the Gospel to continue
serving.
-K



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Geraldine

posted March 3, 2004 at 3:29 pm


I have worked food lines and “Catholic” organizations serving the poor. From my experience it is about “food for the body and not food for the soul” There is little if any Catholic evangelization going on. I recently asked a very popular priest building homes in the inner city. A very worthy project. He has been successful putting up the houses. I asked him how many converts into the Catholic House of God? No answer. There are Religious Orders who are operating houses of need giving to the “poor in spirit and body” what they truly own, their love for the gospel Jesus laid down for them.
Usually these are working in and by the providence of God.
Catholic Charities all over this country are basically secular organizations. (Look at the
monies alloted to them in their State’s Budget)
2 examples on the issue of abortion, about ten years ago Catholic Charities had to be removed from a Catholic High School. They were giving referrals for abortion. In the last year or so, there was an office in Boston, where one of the workers was walking girls across the street to an abortion clinic.
My final point, bottom line and realisticaly, the saddest in my estimation, is that Catholics are asking for the contraceptives. That is the real issue!



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Barbara

posted March 3, 2004 at 4:11 pm


The law mandating coverage applies to insurers NOT employers — it’s just that the state agreed to exempt certain employers if they meet various criteria, one of which is serving individuals who share their religious tenets –such as churches and Catholic schools. Catholic Charities’ main argument is that the law wasn’t broad enough. This is almost always a losing argument.
If you are a Catholic employer (or a Catholic employee) who buys any insurance you are helping to absorb the cost of providing services you might disagree with. This is how insurance works. If you really wanted to exempt yourself you’d make insurers establish separate risk pools for religious and non-religious purchasers.
At some point doesn’t the purchase of insurance become so attenuated from the illicit act that it should no longer matter?



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Fr. Matthew K

posted March 3, 2004 at 9:21 pm


Actually what Julianne Wiley wrote may eventually
provide a way out for CC. The ruling said that they
did not have to express approval for contraceptives,
just that they had to treat male & female employees fairly.
If and When male contraceptives come into widespread use, CC
simply has to not allow them for men or women. Or so I understand
the ruling said. Plus I am sure there are other technical
ways out of this: alternate medical plans etc…
We’re still a free country last time I checked, despite
what the judges say.



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Barbara

posted March 3, 2004 at 10:03 pm


Yes, Father, these organizations can and do self-insure to limit the extent to which they have to provide mandated benefits. However, a whole host of federal regulations come into play that many so-called church plans have long sought to avoid. They could also see if they could design a high deductible Rx plan that would effectively not cover (or at least not pay for) the overwhelming majority of contraceptive care. I would like to say that these laws, by and large, were enacted to protect employees and were certainly not passed in order to inconvenience the Church. The church is asking for special status here. Normally, purchasers of insurance do not get to pick and choose among benefits or decide which protections to give their employees.



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Therese

posted March 4, 2004 at 1:19 am


Given that many health plans do not include adequate prescription coverage to prevent low income people from choosing between their health or even their life and a roof over their head (most notably Medicare), I find it interesting that this is particular class of drugs gets a special law requiring full coverage. I wish they required full coverage for drugs to treat life-threatening diseases.



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Geraldine

posted March 4, 2004 at 8:28 am


Father Matthew,
I am in my 40′s, married mother of 7. I cannot remember hearing a sermon in a Catholic parish regarding the teachings of the Church on contraceptives. It seems the topic is taboo.
Except that is until the Church thinks its rights are being violated.
I held a Mother’s Rosary group in my home for over 10 years. Literally hundreds of women came through that group. One of the consistent topics relating to our faith was contraception. I cannot recall one woman saying they heard a sermon or talk on the subject or the very serious fact that many Catholics were choosing more permanent forms of sterility. In fact often, we had to tell women that it was contrary to our faith.
Here’s one for you, my husband and I wanted to stress Naturally Family Planning at Pre Cana. My husband’s theory was “lets help the 50 percent who might stay together.” (Can you imagine that here we are at Pre Cana and already realizing 50 percent will become divorced in a church that is against divorce!) It was too much for the group. We were “politely” asked to withdraw.



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Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But here's the thing.Whether or not Yates' original novel in

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No?Okay...how about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »




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