Friday, July 29, 2011
Steve Schneck writes, at the National Catholic Reporter, in defense of conscience-protection regarding "medical procedures that must be covered by new insurance policies offered under the health care reform law." He writes as someone who was a Catholic supporter of Kathleen Sebelius (despite her bad record on abortion) and of President Obama:
Those of us who supported Sebelius’ nomination argued forcefully that she should not be penalized because her conscience reached different conclusions on contentious issues from those reached by the leaders of the Catholic church. But it would be a tragic irony if, in adopting the new rules, Sebelius declined to afford to Catholic church organizations the same conscience rights we invoked when defending her nomination. Those of us who joined “Catholics for Sebelius” did not do so to see our conscience rights eviscerated.
Now, in my view, this is not quite the right way to put it. Even assuming that it was / is "conscience" that has animated Sebelius's abortion-related actions and positions, the issue is not merely her disagreement on "contentious issues" with conclusions on reached by "leaders" of the Catholic Church, but rather her active support for policies that, the Church authoritatively teaches, are unjust. In any event, I hope that the President, and Sec. Sebelius, listen to the voices of people like Mr. Schneck. At the same time, I do not believe, with all due respect, that it should come as a surprise if they do not.