Wednesday, February 8, 2012
MORLINO AND OBAMA -- DISAPPOINTED
As Catholics and as supporters of President Obama, we are disappointed in our leaders over the issue of contraception in health care plans offered by parachurch organizations. Contrary to the advice given to him by many of his Catholic supporters, the President allowed the Department of Health and Services to only grant an exemption to the Church herself and not to organizations independent of the Church but who have a Catholic identity such as universities and hospitals. We think this is a mistake and urge the President to reconsider. We also urge our Bishops to use the judicial and legislative process to reverse this rule.
We are also disappointed in one of our bishops, the Most Rev. Robert Morlino of Madison (WI). The State of Wisconsin passed a similar mandate several years ago, but with some exceptions. While Bishop Morlino rightful protested the Wisconsin law, once it was passed, he looked at his options to provide health care to employees with or without contraception. He found it would cost him more money to exclude contraception and therefore took the path of fiscal conservatism rather than Catholic doctrine.
Actions like this undercut the efforts of lay Catholics to protest the HHS mandate. Morlino did not even make an appeal to the lay faithful of Madison to help cover the higher costs (this was before so many of the Catholics of Madison who are public employees lost pay, benefits and bargaining rights under Governor Walker).
It is our hope that both President Obama and Bishop Morlino would move to a place where they do not disappoint us.