Thursday, February 23, 2012


Posted by BH 9:18 pm 2-23

The  Compromise that Wasn’t

BY:  Bishop 
  James V. Johnston  Jr.
  The Diocese of Springfield - Cape Girardeau Missouri

Message of Bishop Johnston   Read in All Churches on  January 31, 2012 Click Below.

Compromise (n.)—from Latin compromissus, from com—“together” and promittere—“to promise.” The sense of a settlement of differences by consent reached by mutual concessions.
On Feb. 13, Pres. Barack Obama announced what he termed a “compromise” in the dispute arising from his administration’s mandate to force Catholic and non-Catholic religious, charitable, health-care, and educational entities to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization as part of their health care to employees. The same mandate requires individual employers to do the same. The Catholic Church has consistently taught that all of these “services” are gravely immoral.

The so-called compromise appears to be a concession by the administration of nothing, other than an administrative shifting of labels so as to give the Church the appearance of not providing the immoral services. In effect, the insurance companies will be required to provide the mandated services, but the Church will still be complicit in their provision. Furthermore, the president’s compromise does nothing to address those Catholic entities that self-insure, or those individuals who provide health insurance to employees, and who also object on moral grounds. In the end, this is still a grave attack on religious freedom—the state mandating what religious institutions and individuals must do, even if it is directly opposed to their beliefs.

Typically, when a compromise is reached, the parties with a dispute come together, at their own initiative or through an arbiter, and reach an agreement they both can accept. In this case, the administration did not consult with the Catholic bishops, the official teachers and representatives of the Catholic Church, but rather appears to have met with a few select people involved with Catholic charitable and health-care organizations. It is notable that the administration released these persons’ statements of approval before announcing the “compromise,” and before the bishops had been given a chance to see it.

Only the beginning

I get the sense that the administration is attempting to marginalize the bishops’ voice, and to divide the Catholic faithful along partisan lines. This dispute was not brought on by the US bishops, but by the unnecessary and unprecedented action of the government. The problem remains. Catholics of all political preferences, and all Americans of good will, should insist that the mandate be fully rescinded. Otherwise, freedom of religion will be further eroded, and we can expect more government mandates which violate our consciences in the future.   

For more information on what the Church in Missouri is doing on the HHS mandate or how to respond, log on to, or contact the Missouri Catholic Conference at (573) 635-7239.

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