For years now, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York has paid for employees’ birth control
HERE‘s a bit of hypocrisy:
As the nation’s leading Roman Catholic bishop, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan [above] of New York has been spearheading the fight against a provision of the new health care law that requires employers, including some that are religiously affiliated, to cover birth control in employee health plans.
But even as Cardinal Dolan insists that requiring some religiously affiliated employers to pay for contraception services would be an unprecedented, and intolerable, government intrusion on religious liberty, the archdiocese he heads has quietly been paying for such coverage, albeit reluctantly and indirectly, for thousands of its unionized employees for over a decade.
The Archdiocese of New York has previously acknowledged that some local Catholic institutions offer health insurance plans that include contraceptive drugs to comply with state law; now, it is also acknowledging that the archdiocese’s own money is used to pay for a union health plan that covers contraception and even abortion for workers at its affiliated nursing homes and clinics.
“We provide the services under protest,” said Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York.
As president of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Dolan has consistently rejected similar arm’s-length compromises offered by the Obama administration, which has agreed to exempt many religious institutions from the provision, but not religiously affiliated employers like schools and hospitals that employ people of many faiths and do not exist primarily to inculcate religious values.
In February, the bishops opposed a proposal that would have allowed employees of those nonexempt religious institutions to receive contraceptive coverage through policies paid for directly by insurance companies. The New York Archdiocese is also suing the federal government to stop the mandate.