While my quote was accurate in The Blade, I was not ("Bishops condemn insurance mandate; Reproductive coverage at issue," Jan. 29).
I now understand that the federal decision is to require everyone to provide insurance that includes contraception and sterilization, but that religious hospitals would not be required to perform or offer those services directly. I assumed it was both. I retain my concerns, though they are less grave.
I applaud Toledo Roman Catholic Bishop Leonard Blair's wisdom in framing this not as a doctrine issue per se, but as a conscience and religious liberty violation. Catholic teaching on these matters is neither sectarian nor idiosyncratic, but based on positions that reflect both science and reason.
Although people of good will and intelligence can disagree, the Catholic position ought not to be easily dismissed or run roughshod over.
Chairman, Catholic studies University of Toledo
Nun's voice should be ignored
I commend The Blade for quoting Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in your article. It is fitting to quote a leader of the Catholic Church.
However, I was disappointed that you also quoted Sister Christine Schenk, director of FutureChurch, which is not representative of official Catholic doctrine. The Church has one voice that comes through our bishops.
The Catholic Church never has been or ever will be a democracy in which the leadership makes doctrine based on the whims of the people under its guidance, which seems to be the view of Sister Schenk. The Church is a theocracy with God at its helm.
President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, have decided that they know best what we should think and do. This is frightening, not only for the Catholic Church, but also for people who believe in a democratic government.
Other religious freedoms next?
The Obama Administration's mandate that Catholic schools, churches, and hospitals must sacrifice their religious freedom and conscience if they wish to provide health insurance to their employees isn't a pro-life versus abortion issue. It is a freedom of religion issue.
Maybe some people are indifferent about whether the administration attacks Catholics' religious freedom. How long before the administration attacks your religious freedom?
Health policies must reflect needs
While Catholic doctrine consistently condemns all forms of contraceptives except natural methods, 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptives and 2 percent rely on natural family planning, according to a 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute.
Our health-care policies must address the needs of all people in our secular society. No particular religious belief should interfere with the personal freedom of all to choose as they will.
Birth control alleviates issue
If the Catholic Church supported and followed the birth-control mandate, it would have less to worry about on the abortion front.
Mandate violates First Amendment
The Obama Administration is violating the First Amendment. Forcing the Catholic Church to violate its freedom of conscience is against everything this country was founded on.
It is unconscionable that the Department of Health and Human Services would issue a rule that goes against 2,000 years of Church teaching, and then give the Church a year to comply.
The First Amendment guarantees that Congress will make no law that infringes on the free expression of religion. Forcing the Church and its institutions to purchase a product that goes against what it teaches is against the U.S. Constitution.
When a President takes the oath of office, he promises to uphold the Constitution. President Obama is challenging the Constitution and thus violating his oath.
This mandate must be rescinded.
New HHS policy undercuts freedom
This is not about contraception or women's rights. This is about fundamental rights.
If this administration can force religious institutions to do something fundamentally against their beliefs, then the next administration can force atheists to go to church, force people to tithe 10 percent of their income to the government-sponsored First Church of Uncle Sam, or force government-sponsored religious education in public schools.
These new rules are not just anti-religious, they are anti-atheist and, in the end, anti-American.
'Pro-life' should be on voters' minds
I agree with Bishop Blair's stand on hospitals and medical establishments not wanting to go against their beliefs. I hope when people at these institutions get into the voting booth, they do the same and vote for those who are pro-life.
Corporation, church different?
There is a difference between a church and a corporation, but some people see them as the same. I didn't realize that only Catholics work at Catholic-run corporations, or that only Catholics use their services.
When people can convince me that Catholics, or adherents to any other religious belief, do not purchase birth control, then they may have a point. Just because an insurance company has to provide coverage, that does not mean people have to purchase the product.
Obama continues war against unborn
President Obama's decisions continue the war against the unborn.
Life begins at conception. The decision to wait until birth to ascribe legal personhood to a pre-born baby is the greatest moral travesty of our time.