I am a Roman Catholic. I always have been and most likely always will be. My relationship with the Church is much like a marriage. We have our disagreements but we’ll get over them and move on. I know this post will be controversial to some but I hope it makes people think.
Recently the United States Conference of Bishops asked dioceses across the United States to speak to their congregations about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ decision that Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals and any other Catholic run venture that does not solely employ Catholics must provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. The Roman Catholic Church is against all contraception including sterilization. The Conference believes that the act of providing this kind of insurance to it’s employees, be they Catholic, Protestant, or other; violates their religious exemption. The official position is that the Obama administration – and yes they are clear to point out whose administration it is – does not have the right to force Catholic money to be spent to support a government program. The letter read to our parish also stressed several times that some of the allowable contraception in the plan would be abortion inducing medication. For many people this statement may have needed some clarification. Abortion is a very strong word to many people and in fact the allusion was to the “morning after” pill.
I will state here briefly that I don’t agree with that position and have a fair amount of difficulty with the Church’s position on contraception. I will also state that I don’t believe that the pulpit should be used to promote one political candidate over another which I think it clearly has in this case.
The hypocrisy comes in at his point. Earlier in the week the Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Most Reverend Joseph McFadden, in a televised interview, came out in favor of vouchers for private schools. He even went as far as to compare the public school system to the totalitarian governments of Hitler and Mussolini. The comparison was meant to highlight the fact that public schools do not support different beliefs. One of those flames that is constantly fanned by the religious right. McFadden later apologized for that comment but it is not an unknown fact that the Catholic Church strongly supports vouchers. Vouchers that would pull money into Catholic schools. Schools that are not subject to the same regulations as public schools. Schools that do not necessarily have an “open door” policy.
Do you see the hypocrisy? Vouchers would be paid for with taxes: public money. Public money that would support a program provided by the Church.