Michael Sean Winters comments in National Catholic Reporter on Monday about Friday's announcement from Health and Human Services on adjusting the contraception lobby in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision. You can read his comments at http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/hhs-contraception-saga-pa.... Then you should read mine (which is based on his - so do read his first). Here now are mine:
In the order of MSW's points - first, it is clear that this is still a staff driven exercise and it saddens me that Archbishop Kurtz is participating in it.
Second, there is no difference between a form or a letter in participating in covering contraception - which is not evil in any circumstances unless it is provided for Eugenic reasons, which removes power from the patient - as does the Church's policy. The bishops are under the misapprension that life begins at conception. It does not. It begins at gastrulation - as any high school sophomore who is paying attention should notice when the difference between generative and regulative development is explained. Generative development is not life. As for the goal that all religious employers who object should be provided an exemption - that is not possible since all such employers have been providing contraception if they provide preventative care since 2000 - and because it is not the place of the USCCB to ask - it is the Chamber of Commerce - and they hav been silent on this issue.
Third, the Conference's lawyers won on Hobby Lobby - which was an easy lay-up. As for the accommodation - Biden won, not the USCCB staff - and Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Health caved so fast, it almost looks like this was all planned. The Bishops are losing, by the way. They are keeping alive the perception that they are part of a War on Women - whihc is very believalbe as they continue the fiction that women have some kind of inherent characteristic that does not allow them to be priests (like ovaries?). The Conference is not in melt-down. It is just being clumsy enough to show itself to be an integral part of the Republican Party - including the staff. Its not that too many are leaving - it is that not enough are.