Where do Obama and Sebelius get the power to do this?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, the colloquial name for which is "Obamacare."
NARAL Pro-Choice America is celebrating the new policy. Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, calls it a "health care issue ... based on what's best for women's health." Others have argued that many Catholic women practice birth control.
But that Catholics choose to ignore doctrine does not justify the U.S. government imposing on Catholic institutions a policy that violates Catholic teaching.
Even Washington Post liberal E.J. Dionne, in a Jan. 30 column titled "Obama's Breach of Faith," charges that the president "threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus. ...
"Speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government ... the Church's leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings."
Why did Obama do it?
Facing a close race for a second term, Obama chose not to antagonize his left. Yet he must have known that siding with them meant leaving Archbishop Dolan with egg all over his face. Obama, calculatedly, came down on the side of those he believes to be more crucial to his re-election.
This affront should tell the Catholic hierarchy, if they did not already know, where they stand in the party of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebilius. And where they sit -- in the back of the bus.
Yet if the bishops will look upon this crisis of conscience, this insult, as an opportunity, they can effect its reversal and recapture a measure of the moral authority they have lately lost.
Not only should the bishops file suit in federal court against the president and Sebelius for violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, they should inform the White House that no bishop will give an invocation at the Democratic Convention.
Then, they should inform the White House that in the last two weeks of the 2012 campaign, priests in every parish will read from the pulpit at Sunday mass a letter denouncing Obama as anti-Catholic for denying the Church its right to live according to its beliefs.
If Obama loses the Catholic vote, he loses the election.
The White House will come around, fast. Rely upon it.