Abp. Dolan: Obama needs to 'back out of intruding into the internal life of a church'
Catholic leader has harsh words for administration
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan came to the South Bronx to bless a
library. He offered no blessings for President Barack Obama, who wants
Catholic institutions to pay for birth control, the morning after pill
and other services for people who work for them. Dolan offered a sharp
rebuke that put even more pressure on the president to calm widening
election year uproar.
"The federal government should do what it's traditionally done since July 4, 1776, namely back out of intruding into the internal life of a church," Dolan told television reporters.
The leader of the New York Archdiocese won support from Speaker John Boehner, who said either Obama will need to reverse the policy -- or the House shall.
"The federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries. This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand," Boehner said.
The White House has been left foundering in the midst of the controversy. The administration wants to find some way to calm Catholic opposition -- but says it will not back down on the policy.
"I want to be clear today that the commitment to insuring the women has access to these important health care services remains very strong," Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Those rallying behind the president include New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, reports CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez.
"The power to decide whether or not to use contraception lays with a woman, not her boss," Sen. Gillibrand said.
"It's time to tell those Republicans mind you're own business," Sen. Lautenberg said.
One avenue of compromise may include granting leeway for a church-related organization not to cover birth control, but refer employees to another insurer that will provide the coverage.
Dolan declined comment on the proposal but added, "I would welcome the fact that officials of the government are saying we need to rethink that."
The Catholic Church is still developing its strategy on how to deal with the issue. Dolan met recently with members of the Catholic League and other organizations. Sources told Kramer a massive march on Washington is one of the possibilities.
The issue has also exploded on the campaign trail and in Washington. Carney made the unusual move of calling Mitt Romney by name, charging it is "ironic" for him to be against the policy, since as Massachusetts governor he presided over a similar one.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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