Joliet Bishop Slams Obama Administration Over Birth Control Rule

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Roman Catholics in the Joliet Diocese will be hearing about birth control from their bishop at mass this weekend.

As WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Joliet Bishop Daniel Conlon will have a letter read at masses throughout his diocese this weekend. It criticizes an Obama administration rule that takes effect next year.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The rule requires religious-based hospitals, schools and charities that employ non-Catholics to pay for “all FDA-approved forms of contraception” for employees.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requirement was issued on a recommendation by an arm of the arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The academy considers access to birth control improves maternal and infant mortality rates.

Conlon says he knows that many Catholics ignore Church teaching on the subject, which states that birth control is never acceptable under any circumstances.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the teaching thusly: “Every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.”

But regardless, Conlon says, the federal rule breaches the wall of separation between church and state.

Conlon’s letter will be read before all masses on Saturday and Sunday.

  • BobH

    So is molesting little boys

  • Kate

    How about that separation of church and state where our government issue money says “In God We Trust?”

    • montclareresident

      You understand the irony of your statement, right? The federal government is forcing religious institutions to provide a service which is deemed objectionable by their faith. Isn’t this a violation of the separation of church and state? The principle isn’t just about church influencing government, it was actually created for just the opposite reason. And what’s your complaint? “In God We Trust” on money? Which act is a more dangerous precedent- a stupid motto on coins or the state intervening in the free exercise of religious institutions?

      • Alfred Haynes

        If those religious institution don’t want the government in their business, DON’T TAKE THE GOVERNMENT’S MONEY.

  • C

    Most of the people working in Catholic schools, and charities, are Catholic. They have insurance if they have a child, it’s not the state is picking up the tab. It’s like the government is trying to reduce the number of Catholics for some reason. It’s World War II kind of creepy. The government is too big, and involved in EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE.

    • Mike Fangman

      No, the government has no need to reduce the number of Catholics. The Church has done good enough on its own. It’s hardliners like Conlon and Dolan (an Oak Park native) that have driven people away. “You must do this or you’re going to Hell!” I had a priest like that growing up. His name was Fr. Tom Raftery. My sister and I, and eventually my parents, called him “Father Hellfire”. In the case of Dolan, it just proves Ernest Hemingway right about his boyhood home: “It’s filled with people with broad lawns and narrow minds.”

      Also, here’s a question to the ‘pro-life’ people: Do you want more single mothers on food stamps, WIC and TANF? If you were truly ‘pro-life’, you’d be willing to supoort those programs. You tend to stop caring about the baby once it’s outside of the womb.

      • C

        You don’t seem to know a lot about Catholic Charities. My neighbor, through Catholic Charities, picked up unwanted babies (of any religion) at the area hospitals, and after the paperwork was complete, would hand them over to couples for adoption. She had fund raisers at her house to help couples adopt the babies, which I attended and supported. There are long lists of couples wanting to adopt unwanted babies.

      • Mike Fangman

        C, Yes I do know about Catholic Charities. They’re getting out of the adoption business because of the Church’s opposition to birth control.

  • SamIAm

    The government isn’t forcing Catholics to have abortions or use birth control. That is the distinction.

    • montclareresident

      No, they are, however, forcing catholic institutions to pay for these services through their healthcare plans. The alternative, under your logic, therefore, would be for the church to stop providing health insurance for employees, thereby increasing the number of uninsured.

      • SamIAm

        And part of the law is also to reimburse customers for any costs not used. This is the rebate portion that Republicans ignore. Therefore, if the church is paying $100 per employee (example) but they never use the insurance, they get reimbursed for it. In other words, if Catholics don’t use their insurance for birth control or abortions, they won’t have to pay for it.

        Note, this is a simplified example. Not real numbers.

      • montclareresident

        That’s a good point SamIAM, but you still see how being legislated to even offer this option is against the Church’s beliefts. It is still government interference into church affairs. Point well taken, though.

      • SamIAm

        Well, since the Supreme Court has recently ruled that “religious” employees are not the same as other employees, this may not even apply to those cases. However, if a church, as a business entity, hires a “non-religious” employee, it would probably need to cover them as any other business would.

      • SamIAm

        One thing I’ve been wondering lately is what constitutes government interference with a church? If my church didn’t believe in a mandatory minimum wage, could I pay employees less than the law specifies? If my church didn’t believe in a minimum age for sexual behavior, could my priests diddle as they pleased? Surely those would be examples of the government interfering in a religion. Look west at polygamy for another example.

        What goes against a Church’s beliefs has very little to do with what is legal.

  • southside

    Bishop Conlon needs to send another letter in the week before the November election reminding them of the Obama war on religion. Time for Catholics to boycott the socialist.

    • Mike Fangman

      I’m a Catholic. Tell me why I should boycott the “socialist” Obama.

    • Mike Fangman

      Still waiting for a reason to boycott the “socialist” Obama.

    • SamIAm

      Please explain how this is a part of a war on religion. Site specifics, please, as I just don’t see it.

      • montclareresident

        SamIAm your examples of the minimum wage and pologamy are obviously not government intrusion into the affairs of religion. According to the Supreme Court’s interpretation, because these laws were not passed specifically targetted toward a religion than they do not violate the “free exercise” clause. The difference is that those are laws, passed by Congress, this act is an administrative rule, dictated by unelected bureacrats.

        Further, as far as your example of the minimum wage, religions are in fact exempt from some labor laws, such as discrimination laws. The issue here is that this is the specific interference with hiring practices of the church (something that according to the Supreme Court may vilate the “free exercise” clause). Ultimately I think it doesn’t pass constitutional muster, but that has to be decided by the Supreme Court.

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