Wonderful, awesome, fantastic news from the Catholic Health Association (“CHA”)! In an about-face, the CHA on Friday announced that it does not support the Obama administration’s attempt (commonly referred to as the “HHS mandate”) to force all Catholic institutions, including hospitals and schools, to provide health insurance that covers artificial contraception, including abortifacients. Earlier this year, in the face of the United States bishops’ unanimous opposition to mandate, the CHA had provided political cover for the administration’s plans. Well, not anymore, as my favorite part of the CHA letter from Friday makes clear:
To make [the administration’s] distinction [between parish churches on one hand and Catholic hospitals and schools on the other] is to create a false dichotomy between the Catholic Church and the ministries through which the Church lives out the teachings of Jesus Christ. Catholic health care providers are participants in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.
Our mission and our ethical standards in health care are rooted in and inseparable from the Catholic Church and it’s teachings about the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.
Well said, Sister Keehan!! And keep praying, everyone, that this mandate will end up in the dustbin of history–exactly where it belongs.