Chan Lowe: The Catholic Church and contraception

Normally, matters of faith don’t fall within the purview of an editorial cartoon, unless they spill over into the public and political sphere.


This has done just that, specifically the brouhaha about whether the health insurance offered by organizations that are owned by the Catholic Church should be required to pay for contraceptives. The Obama administration (being highly politically attuned) knew when to back off on this contentious issue, and came up with a compromise (or fig leaf) wherein the insurance companies themselves would pay. Which means everyone will, one way or another.


I admit I haven’t checked to see if the Church has an issue with its insurance carriers over coverage of Viagra, Cialis and the rest of the smorgasbord of erectile dysfunction drugs, but I’m guessing it doesn’t. This leaves women at something of a disadvantage, one would think. But the beauty of faith is that it’s not predicated on consistency.


This leads us to a parallel story, the Vatican’s beef with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which includes a lot of American nuns who, in the opinion of the (male) honchos in Rome, have strayed off the reservation, doctrinally speaking, in matters like abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and the ordination of women. It would appear that the bishops are speaking out of both sides of their mouths when they plead a case for religious liberty on the one hand, yet step on faithful servants who, in good faith, dare to speak their consciences on the other.


It would behoove the Church hierarchy to work out its issues with the Women Religious in an amicable way, and in short order. As anyone who has ever attended Catholic school knows, it’s not a good idea to get on the wrong side of a nun.


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