Providence, R.I., Mar 4, 2012 / 13:07 pm
Noted author, theologian and widely read Catholic columnist George Weigel weighed in on the controversy over President Obama’s Health and Human Services mandate during a speaking engagement last week at a dinner meeting of the Providence chapter of the international Catholic business organization, Legatus.
During a dinner at the Hope Club in Providence, R.I. , Weigel expressed optimism that the courts would support the Catholic Church’s position that a religious organization must not be forced to comply with a public policy that violates its religious freedom.
The federal mandate, set to take effect in 2013, requires employers to provide and pay for contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services as part of the medical insurance coverage it offers for employees.
The president recently revised the mandate in an effort at an “accommodation” with the Catholic Church by placing a buffer between the employer and the insurance company, which would become responsible for providing the services at no cost to the insured. But with many church organizations self-funding their health plans, a diocese such as the Diocese of Providence would still be responsible for paying for coverage that violates its core beliefs.