A leading Catholic cardinal at the Vatican has essentially said that complying the with Obama birth control mandate would have Catholics and Catholic organizations participating in sin.
The mandate compels religious employers to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions in health coverage for their employees and a revised mandate will compel them to refer employees for free coverage from their health insurance plans, which will eventually have the payment mandate.
In an upcoming episode of Catholic Action Insight hosted by Thomas McKenna to air on EWTN on Wednesday, Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks out for the first time on the controversial mandate.
Jenn Giroux, the former Executive Director of HLI America, profiles some excerpts from the interview:
Thomas McKenna: “It is beautiful to see how the faithful have rallied behind the Hierarchy….How does your Eminence comment on the union of solidarity of our bishops?”
Cardinal Burke: “Yes, I have received emails and other communications from lay faithful who say that they are supporting their bishops 100% and they have communicated to their bishops their gratitude and assured them that they want them to continue to be courageous and not to be deceived by any kind of false accommodations which in fact continue this same kind of agenda which sadly we have witnessed for too long in our country which is totally secular and therefore is anti-life and anti-family. I admire very much the courage of the bishops. At the same time I believe they would say it along with me that they are doing no more than their duty. A bishop has to protect his flock and when any individual or government attempts to force the flock to act against conscience in one of its most fundamental precepts then the bishops have to come to defend those who are entrusted to their pastoral care. So I am deeply grateful to all of the bishops who have spoken about this and who are encouraging the members of their flock to also speak up because our government needs to understand that what is being done with this mandate is contrary first of all to the fundamental human right, the right to the free exercise of one’s conscience and at the same time contrary to the very foundation of our nation.”
Thomas McKenna: “So a Catholic employer, really getting down to it, he does not, or she does not provide this because that way they would be, in a sense, cooperating with the sin…the sin of contraception or the sin of providing a contraceptive that would abort a child, is this correct?”
Cardinal Burke: “This is correct. It is not only a matter of what we call “material cooperation” in the sense that the employer by giving this insurance benefit is materially providing for the contraception but it is also “formal cooperation” because he is knowingly and deliberately doing this, making this available to people. There is no way to justify it. It is simply wrong.”
Responding to the comments, Giroux says, “This comment by a high ranking Cardinal is the clearest explanation to date on the issue of an employer’s culpability when providing contraception, sterilization, and abortion inducing drug options in the insurance plans for employees.”
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“Cardinal Burke has illuminated with piercing clarity the controversial issue which has seen dissent from Church teaching on this matter among Catholic institutions and universities here in the United States,” she added.
“There are many liberal Catholics and Obama supporters who are trying to divide and confuse the faithful on the issues surrounding this attack on religious liberty and the impending mandatory requirement for employers to provide insurance plans which provide free contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization,” Giroux continued. “Still others that oppose the mandate are advocating that the issue of contraception should be separated from the discussion of religious liberty all together. The reality is that these issues are quite inseparable as it relates to the practice of Catholicism and the moral burden that is placed upon the conscience of employers who provide contraceptive services. Only those who understand the grave moral evil of contraception and abortion understand that the Catholic Church will never compromise on these issues because to do so would lead to eternal ramifications for those involved.”