Political Animal


June 16, 2012 9:05 AM Catholic Health Association Caves on Contraceptive Rule

By Randolph Brickey

For the past several years, the Catholic Health Association (CHA) demonstrated real political courage. When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) tried to condemn the Affordable Care Act and then the recent Health and Human Services contraceptive rule by associating them with abortion, the CHA challenged the bishops’ dishonest political rhetoric. For their honesty, the CHA faced enormous blowback from the Church hierarchy.

The CHA was a particularly effective voice of reason because they represent the actual health care providers of the Catholic Church. They are doctors, nurses, and hospital officials and staff. While the bishops lobby unto Caesar, the CHA saves lives. They speak with real moral authority. They spoke against the USCCB, who were doing their outraged utmost to pretend the HHS rule was anything more than a federal codification of existing state law.

Unfortunately, yesterday the CHA caved under intense pressure from the conservative upper echelons of the Church and reversed their earlier support for the HHS contraceptive rule. Before, the CHA stood with the majority of actual Catholics who support the HHS rule. They were a valuable reminder that the Catholic Church is actually far more than a conservative PR firm. Now, the CHA stands with the bishops instead, and there is that much less intellectual diversity and representativeness in the Church hierarchy.

Randolph Brickey is an attorney in solo practice in Northern Virginia.


  • stevio on June 16, 2012 9:38 AM:

    Organizations that hide pedophiles and those who oversaw their movements from parish to parish do these types of things so that their record of morality remains perfect.

  • ericfree on June 16, 2012 10:05 AM:

    "While the bishops lobby unto Caesar...." Nice.

  • c u n d gulag on June 16, 2012 11:00 AM:

    Talented and smart young booger, ain'tcha?
    And I echo what ericfree said abuot the Caesar line above - SAWEEEEEEET!

    Frighteningly, this reminds me of the early 20th Century, when the forces of ration, democracy, and Liberalism gave way to the barrages from the Conservatives, Reactionaries, Nihilists, and Fascists.

    And now, it appears that medicine and science are bowing to the forces of Christo-Fascism.

    The Catholic Church is desperate to regain some sense of moral authority after it was discovered, if not enabling, at least harboring and covering-up, countless child-feckin' Priests - basically "Three-card Montying" them from parish to parish.

    And so they pick the easiest, most convenient, and very traditional, targets they can find - women, sex, and their desire to keep them enslaved in the home, to their husband and master, and HIS children, and to the Church.

    We are entering a new "Dark Age" - and not just in this country, but in many places around the world.

    I keep reminding people:
    Liberals look at "The Handmaid's Tale" and see a novel about a dystopian future society.
    Conservatives see it as an Instructional Manual.

    Beware the gathering dark tide - it may turn out to be a tsunami, people.

  • Diane Rodriguez on June 16, 2012 11:02 AM:

    At least in my area of the country (Sacramento) a large Catholic health care agency is contracted to provide services by the local government. Sounds like time to find another provider.

  • Greg on June 16, 2012 11:05 AM:

    All the more reason to end the silliness that is the tax immunity of churches.

    If "The Church" wants to meddle in affairs of state, they should be more than welcome to.... AS TAXPAYERS!

    For one, I would love to collect the millions of dollars of local property taxes here in my town that the church avoids. That money would go a long way in ending the teacher layoffs and filling potholes.

  • JM917 on June 16, 2012 11:16 AM:

    Maybe the bishops threatened the CHA leaders with eternal damnation unless they caved, and so got a majority.

    That's the way the "spiritual power" of the RC church works--and it still can take its toll, even in this day and age.

  • david1234 on June 16, 2012 11:38 AM:

    It is sad that the Catholic Church is determined to disobey
    Chirst's command to "Do unto others as you would have them do onto you" (Luke 6:31) and insist on denying their employees' freedom to get health care benefits they are entitled to.

  • Emily on June 16, 2012 12:05 PM:

    It's the Affordable Care Act, not the American Care Act. But thanks for not calling it "Obamacare."

    Fixed. Thanks for the heads up!

  • LJL on June 16, 2012 12:20 PM:

    It may be assumed that Catholic health care professionals ar4e competent providers of modern medicine. But this would be a mistake. Many are better believers than physicians. In our small area one Catholic doctor assured a woman that she was pregnant, but in her eighth month she was diagnosed with a tumor. In one small town the sole doctor routinely prayer and lighting candles the way other doctors tell their patients to take two aspirins. When faith becomes more important that science, doctors turn into witch doctors.

  • Mimikatz on June 16, 2012 12:30 PM:

    This is of a piece with the Catholic Church's well-documented attempts to intimidate and rein in Women Religious in the Catholic Church. These sanctimonious old men who are interested only in perpetuating their crumbling facade of infallibility are a disgrace to Jesus and his teachings. They would bring back burnings and the public auto-da-fe if they could get away with it.

  • SBcardinal on June 16, 2012 12:43 PM:

    The CHA caving actually helps with my cognitive dissonance. I was having issues with possibly admiring a Catholic organization. Now I can get back to recovering from my early indoctrination without impediments. I loathe the Catholic church.

  • TCinLA on June 16, 2012 12:55 PM:

    John Paul II's counter-revolution against John XXIII and Vatican II is now complete. His ex-Nazi head of the Inquisition is now Pope, and is tranforming the church back into the totalitarian organization it was until the brief Spring 50 years ago.

    We're getting a first-hand demonstration of why every revolutionary movement of the past 200 years put priests at the top of the list of those to be put against a wall. Fascism? No protest. Nazism? No protest. Anything left? Total opposition.

  • dweb on June 16, 2012 4:56 PM:

    .....also making sure nuns shut their pie holes....

    Shorter version Pope and Bishops' policy...."When we want to know your opinion, we'll tell it to you."

  • schtick on June 16, 2012 10:21 PM:

    It's long past time to tax ALL churches. And the Catholic church wonders why people are leaving the church.