Monday, May 28, 2012

Sister Simone Campbell of Network Calls Out Knights of Columbus and American Bishops on HHS Mandate Lawsuit " Scandal "

I note today that Sr. Simone Campbell NETWORK Executive Director Lawyer, advocate, poet. Catholic Sister, member of the Sisters of Social Service. Noted speaker and educator on public policy tweeted on that rather bad New York Times Editorial on the HHS Mandate.

She tweeted:
The Politics of Religion -- the Times is corect. The lawsuits are part of the PR paid for by the USCCB & Knights of Columbus--a scandal.

I take it by implication that see thinks the lawsuits are merit less.

As I tweeted back it's my understanding the the global Law Firm Jones Day is representing the Church free of charge here.

Network is of course involved and was mentioned in the Holy See report on the Leadership of an association of American nuns. So tensions might be hot still.

I have said for a couple of weeks that a cooling off getting off the TV might be good for everyone involved as to the Leadership discussions. From what I can note many of the American Bishops have done that as t that issue. Sister Simone Campbell of Network not so much where you can feel something else is going on.

A good read about her recent appearance on the Chris Matthews Show is here at the Catholic legal blog Mirrors of Justice. See Seeing the Church in Red and Blue.

Network ,and Sister Simone might not want to give this impression , but that show appearance seems to validate some concerns Catholics have and this Holy See Concerns.

I have tried to point out why the precedents such as What is a Religious Institution? in this mandate should be of concern to pee involved in Catholic Social justice work. See my post Illegal Aliens and Church Sanctuary Versus The HHS Birth Control Mandate .

I do wonder if some anger on non HHS religious liberty issues is clouding people's judgment here. As Douthat at the NYT pointed out this increasing entanglement in Church affairs represented by the mandate issues is not likely going to just be one sided.He said in part :

the way that government crowds out and co-opts the private sphere, first by making it impossible to run an institution that serves the public without having some sort of entanglement with the state, and then by using that entanglement to pretend that institutions with explicit religious missions and histories are somehow de facto secular instead. Once the state grows large enough, there will always be some theoretical justification available for imposing a governmental norm — or, more aptly, a purely partisan one — on private institutions that seek to go their own way instead. But the mere fact that such justifications can be dreamed up by creative regulators doesn’t make them reasonable or just.

This is one reason why so many non Catholic religious groups are outraged. ( With all due respect to Sister I don't think the Knights of Columbus are footing the bills on Baptist or Missouri Synod Lutheran concerns on this).

As to how you can't control this Douthat made another great point.

.....Critics of the administration’s policy are framing this as a religious liberty issue, and rightly so. But what’s at stake here is bigger even than religious freedom. The Obama White House’s decision is a threat to any kind of voluntary community that doesn’t share the moral sensibilities of whichever party controls the health care bureaucracy.

The Catholic Church’s position on contraception is not widely appreciated, to put it mildly, and many liberals are inclined to see the White House’s decision as a blow for the progressive cause. They should think again. Once claimed, such powers tend to be used in ways that nobody quite anticipated, and the logic behind these regulations could be applied in equally punitive ways by administrations with very different values from this one.

The more the federal government becomes an instrument of culture war, the greater the incentive for both conservatives and liberals to expand its powers and turn them to ideological ends. It is Catholics hospitals today; it will be someone else tomorrow.....

I totally agree with that , and I am amazed more people can't see the long term problems here.



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