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The editors on the revised HHS mandate

Just posted on our homepage: The editors on revisions to the contraception mandate.

On February 1, the Department of Health and Human Services released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that included two important changes to its controversial requirement that most health-insurance plans cover contraceptives at no cost to women. Together, these two changes should put to rest the claim that the HHS mandate wantonly violates religious liberty. Questions may remain about the wisdom of the mandate as a matter of public policy, but its critics should at least stop claiming that its motivated by hostility to the Catholic Church.

Read the whole thing.

About the Author

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s digital editor.



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Probably to nobody's surprise, hierarch's like Archbishop Chaput are ready to die in the trenches for their Republican masters.

Those nice folks in Rome probably have a long list of like-minded replacements.

Not die in the trenches but in the prisons - keep in mind Francis George who told Chicago that whoever comes after him will probably die in prison.What bubble do they live in?And how does Chaput's statements align with Dignitatis Humanae:"The dignity of the human person is a concern of which people of our time are becoming increasingly more aware. In growing numbers, people demand that they should enjoy the use of their own responsible judgment and freedom to decide on their actions on the grounds of duty, conscience, without pressure or coercion." ......"this freedom is a good to be cherished and secured as the opening declaration of Dignitatis Humanae...."John O'Malley, SJ in his book, What Happened at VII? talks about the tension at the council between the center (Vatican, papal authority, curia) and the periphery (think far away episcopal conferences from diverse cultures e.g. Asia, South America, Africa). Yet, what we know today is that the minority was the *center* (as represented by Chaput's style) and the periphery (as represented by John Courtney Murray or bishops from then mission lands) and majority did not prevail in terms of VII's style of mercy; no anathemas; no canons; pastorally inclined; different vocabulary; and having the church meet the world rather than a fortress or triuphant attitude and approach to the world.

What has Archbishop Chaput done See this: "Abp Chaput Throws Gauntlet at +Dolan's Feet"

Here is the link to Archbishop's Chaput's statement.

Speaking as a Philadelphia Catholic I cannot understand where Archbishop Chaput is coming from at all. One of the commenters on the NCR article that Claire cited (7:46) wrote: "This past Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C. Archbishop Chaput accepted the annual Meese Award from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which specializes in the legal defense of religious liberty. This is what he said in his acceptance speech:'Ed Meese, Robert Bork, Chuck Colson, Robby George all of these men whom the ADF has honored in the past are heroes to me. Im grateful to be included in their company."

Helen--Thanks for the link. Archbishop Chaput quotes a Notre Dame law professor's concerns regarding the alleged compromise. Is it your opinion that Notre Dame law professors should not be taken seriously in this matter?

No, Chaput need not be taken seriously because he unfairly and incorrectly extrapolates from the professor. Do you see this distinction?Or should I explain it in more detail?

Mark Proska:"Is it your opinion that Notre Dame law professors should not be taken seriously in this matter?"I dont know why you are asking that question, since I did not indicate whether or not I respect (take seriously) ND law professors in this matter, but since you brought it upI usually evaluate opinions expressed on the Internet or in the Media by looking up other things that such people have written or said. That gives me an indication of how they will react to a particular situation or issue. So far it has been pretty accurate in even predicting what a persons opinion will be.On the other hand, it is nice to be surprised when a person does not express a true to form opinion. It gives me confidence that I have the capacity to think critically and do not have to just read or hear ideas that reinforce my own opinions.Also, I know from my Philosophy courses in college that there is a difference between opinion and truth.

Chaput's position seems to be:* The HHS mandate is objectionable, perhaps not only for reasons that are directly related to contraception, but for other reasons - for example, because of the precedent being set in regard to how various religious institutions are classified, or for the intrusiveness of governments requiring employers to offer a specific benefit* The latest coat of lipstick put on this pig does not change these fundamental flawsIt's an eminently reasonable position. The implied solution is to repeal the HHS mandate in its entirety. If that should happen - say, after 2016 - Archbishop Chaput can then go off and worry about other things.

Jim Pauwels:How did you come to that conclusion from Archbishop Chaput's statement?

Joe--Can you explain in more detail? Even some detail?

I dont know why you are asking that question, since I did not indicate whether or not I respect (take seriously) ND law professors in this matter...HelenI inferred you found fault with the Archbishops statement which you linked to. In that statement, the Archbishop cited an analysis by a ND law professor. Ergo...

OK, Mark:Never assume... .I wouldn't try to read my mind. My husband has been trying to do that for years.

Helen - I inferred it from what Chaput wrote, particularly the analysis from the ND law professor that Chaput highlighted. I've been wrong about many things, including, quite possibly, this, and will add for good measure that I've never successfully divined what is on my wife's mind, either.

I think Chaput is to Dolan as Cantor is to Boehner.Watch your back, Timmy.But they BOTH had better watch out for Cordileone. He truly IS an ambitious little man with his sights set much higher than San Francisco. He and his mentor Burke even like to dress alike.

In the words of Elvis the king, and dont try to read my mind, because its full of disappearing inkFor what it's worth, I don't see Chaput's statement as in any way showing disrespect to Dolan. I like it when the bishops speak as one, but I also like it when a bishop speaks as one.

Mark:Are you referring to Elvis Presley when you cited Elvis the king in your quote? I think you meant Elvis Costello.

Of course I meant Elvis Costello. Who is Elvis Presley?

Nice spin, Mark; nice try but no cigar.

"Who is Elvis Presley?"He's an elderly fellow who's still alive, somewhere in Tennessee or Nevada. Made a couple of records a long time ago.

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