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Buffalo Catholic Bishop speaks out about contraception mandate

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Recently throughout the country, the Roman Catholic Church has been in an uproar over President Obama's contraception mandate in which the government attempted to require employers to cover costs for contraception. The Catholic Church traditionally opposes most forms of contraception and thus opposed the Health and Human Services rule that would require Catholic employers to pay for contraception.

Here in Buffalo and Western New York, opposition to this bill was no less than in any other part of the country. When President Obama first proposed this law, the Church in Buffalo, like their brothers across the country opposed it right away. Bishop Edward Kmiec of the Diocese of Buffalo said in a statement in late January, “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom.”

While many individual Catholics support the use of contraception, and some even think that it would be a good idea to make employers pay for contraception, the official position of the Church remains adamant.

After President Obama made revisions to the plan, some Church officials are more receptive to the plan, but Bishop Kmiec remained skeptical calling it a "distinction without a difference." Said Bishop Kmiec at the St. Gianna Molla Pregnancy Outreach Center benefit banquet, Feb 15, “The simple thing would be just leave it as it had been before. No mandate. Just leave it. Preserve our religious freedoms and religious liberties. This is an intrusion.” He then said, “Try to put this in a frame of health care... It’s not health care. If you’re dealing with abortifacients, with sterilization, this goes well beyond any kind of health care issue.”

The Bishop acknowledged that many Catholics, contrary to the official position of the Church, use contraceptives, but then added that the Church and Catholic institutions should not have to pay for something that goes against their beliefs.

From Western New York Catholic News:




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