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Falangists in Fleet Street

It’s interesting how cheerfully unabashed the Telegraph is in its belief that Catholic bishops should tell US presidents and legislators what laws to make. It’s interesting that they take theocracy – and reactionary all-but-falangist Catholic theocracy at that – for granted. It’s interesting and somewhat surprising. Would they really like reactionary Catholic bishops making laws in the UK?

Roman Catholic leaders have furiously criticised President Barack Obama for approving new regulations that compel religious organisations to include morning-after pills and other contraceptives in employee health insurance coverage.

New rules, introduced under Mr Obama’s overhaul of the US healthcare system, mean that religious charities, universities and other groups must now provide contraception in staff insurance packages.

At least 153 US bishops have spoken out against the change. A letter from a leading bishop, accusing the president of waging a “severe assault on religious liberty”, has been read to dozens of congregations.

“We Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so,” wrote Alexander Sample, the Bishop of Marquette.

Mr Obama has been accused of backtracking on an assurance that he made in a 2009 speech at the University of Notre Dame, a leading Catholic university in Indiana.

Speaking specifically about his planned health reforms, he said: “Let’s honour the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause”.

Interesting that the Telegraph so casually conflates abortion with contraception.

Timothy Dolan, the Cardinal-designate of New York and president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged Catholics across America to bring political pressure to bear.

“Let your elected leaders know that you want religious liberty and rights of conscience restored and that you want the administration’s contraceptive mandate rescinded,” he said.

A very uncritical report of a very theocratic illegitimate power-grab by the Catholic bishops. The Telegraph is strange.

Comments

  1. says

    Given that some overwhelmingly-high fraction of US Catholics use contraception, this is best seen as the bishops trying to assert their non-irrelevance. And failing.

  2. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    The bishops are complaining that the law prohibits them from freely exercising their religious beliefs. In this case, the religious belief is authoritarian control over everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

  3. F says

    The law doesn’t tell religions what to do, it tells businesses how they must operate. Get over it, idiots.

  4. AsqJames says

    Would they really like reactionary Catholic bishops making laws in the UK?

    We don’t need them, we’ve already got the Anglican “Lords Spiritual” so we’re good for now thanks.

    Actually given the Telegraph’s usual political stance I expected a quick search to find indignant condemnation of the coalition’s recent (Bishops led) Lords defeats on the Welfare Reform Bill. Pleasantly surprised that this was the best I could find: I agree with the bishops on welfare reform – but they shouldn’t be in the House of Lords at all.

    I don’t see why an unelected figurehead of a minority group should be allowed to block the democratic decision of the nation’s chosen representatives.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    “We Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so,” wrote Alexander Sample, the Bishop of Marquette.

    Funny, the Archbishop of Cincinnati said the same thing, in the exact same words.

    And some people still don’t believe in conspiracies…

  6. Brigadista says

    Talking of Falangists, now the PP are back in power here in Spain, many recent reforms relating to abortion and homosexuality are about to be swept away, the unelected bishops again being the power behind the throne. Even the morning-after pill is under threat, as the PP have called for an examination of its potential side-effects (oddly not such a concern in the many countries in which it has been in use for several years). They also have experts like Aquilino Polaino who explain to us that homosexuality is a disease caused by alcoholic fathers and over-protective mothers. In the meantime, Garzon is still in the dock for trying to rescue some justice for the thousands who died under the former church-supported regime. Hey ho. Ring in the Dark Ages.

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