Posted tagged ‘cardinal timothy dolan’

Philadelphia’s Big Decision

December 23, 2012

Thinking back over 2012, do you remember the wild claims that the Obama Administration was against “religious freedom”?  A number of faith based organizations, most notably the Catholic Church cried foul over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers provide health care insurance which contain full woman’s reproductive health coverage… read birth control.

These religious groups claimed their deeply held beliefs would be violated if they were forced to pay for birth control means.  These same groups vehemently denounced abortion, but incredulously were against family planning and birth control.  What were they thinking?  Certainly not about the needs of women.

The Philadelphia School District has announced that in January following the year end school break, they will install condom dispensers in 22 of Philadelphia’s public high schools.  OMG…  Is this another assault on religious freedoms?

The school district explained that the 22 high schools selected already had unacceptably high rates of STD (sexually transmitted disease).  Providing condoms was an act of public health, not a statement about birth control.

Time will tell whether this step will impact STD or the number of unwanted pregnancies.  It is, however, a prudent step and a positive sign of common sense.


Thinking Outside The Condom

February 2, 2012

The latest brouhaha over fundamental women’s rights has lassoed men too.  For unknown political reasons, but eminently sensible medical ones, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has issued on behalf of the Obama Administration a ruling which mandates that all employers must offer health care plans which include contraceptive methods free of charge to all employees.  The Catholic Church is up in arms about this, claiming it violates their freedom of religion.  Can you say that with a straight face?

Soon to be Cardinal Timothy Dolan can.  Somewhat like Bill Clinton, Cardinal Dolan expressively tells interviewers that birth control of any type, save abstinence, violates Catholic beliefs.  On this point there is no question the Cardinal is telling the truth.

On a visit to aids infested Africa, Pope Benedict told his hosts they should not use condoms and instead not engage in sex.  The Pope’s advice needless to say shocked the world and appeared totally out of touch with how the real world operates.  While theologically sound, the Popes words echoed an unreal quality.

In an ABC News report citing a Catholic University study, 95% of catholic women use birth control methods and 85% favor a change in church teachings.  We must also remember that the Catholic Church lobbied hard during the formation the Affordable Health Care Act to strike any provisions that might condone abortion rights.  To Catholic officials, no reform, meaning the continuation of 30 million without coverage and the arbitrary right of insurance companies to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, was preferred over respecting a woman’s right to choose.

The Catholic Church should remember the government ruling applies to everyone and are not targeted at Catholics.  Individual Catholics are under no pressure to use contraceptives.

And most obviously, the end of the bus line is where the non-catholic (or catholic practicing) world begins.