Cardinal Dolan Decries lack of media attention to favorable court decision in battle over HHS Mandate

By Dave Andrusko

In today’s interconnected informational galaxy, there is a close to limitless array of information to choose from. With all that to select from, there are two thoughtful intellectuals whose columns I try NEVER to miss: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

On his blog at http://blog.archny.org/index.php/hhs-mandate-decision, Cardinal Dolan politely trashes the New York-area media for its failure to give virtually any attention to the favorable decision rendered last week “in the lawsuit brought by the Archdiocese of New York, ArchCare, (the agency coordinating our Catholic healthcare in the archdiocese) and three plaintiffs from the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island, against the administration for the unconstitutional HHS mandate.”

For our take, see www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/12/there-is-no-trust-us-clause-in-constitution-ny-archdiocese-wins-ruling-on-hhs-mandate. To quote John Jalsevac,

“After announcing the mandate in February, the Obama administration had announced a ‘safe harbor’ that would prevent the mandate from applying to certain religious employers until August 2013.

“However, Judge Brian Cogan slapped down the ‘safe harbor’ argument, saying, ‘the First Amendment does not require citizens to accept assurances from the government that, if the government later determines it has made a misstep, it will take ameliorative action.’

“There is no, ‘Trust us, changes are coming’ clause in the Constitution,” said the judge. “To the contrary, the Bill of Rights itself, and the First Amendment in particular, reflect a degree of skepticism towards governmental self-restraint and self-correction.”

Cardinal Dolan contrasts the virtual absence of local media attention to Judge Cogan’s decision (including the powerful New York Times) with the editorial the Times “couldn’t wait to publish this past October, admonishing the bishops, when a federal judge in Missouri found for the administration and dismissed a similar case brought by a private, for-profit, mining company.”

Dolan explains that Judge Cogan’s decision doesn’t settle the case; it allows it to go forward. So what?

“That’s significant,” Dolan writes, “because the administration has been successful in getting some of the other cases dismissed, but in his decision Judge Cogan found that there was very real possibility that we plaintiffs would ‘face future injuries stemming from their forced choice between incurring fines or acting in violation of their religious beliefs.”

Dolan reminds us of that day last May when theirs was one of more than two dozen similar lawsuits filed around the country. (See www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/05/43-catholic-dioceses-universities-and-other-groups-sue-to-stop-hhs-mandate.)

“These lawsuits argue that the mandate from Health and Human Services would unconstitutionally presume to define the nature of the Church’s ministry, and force religious employers to violate their conscience or face onerous fines for not providing services in our health insurance that are contrary to our consciences and faith,” Dolan explains.

Some believe the Obama Administration sincerely wishes to find an “accommodation.” Personally, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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