Washington D.C., May 14, 2012 / 23:32 pm
The Archdiocese of Washington’s newspaper has said that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ appearance as a featured speaker at a Georgetown University awards ceremony is a sign that the prestigious Jesuit school is not standing with the Catholic bishops in defense of religious freedom.
“One can only wonder how the selection of Secretary Sebelius for such a prominent role as a featured speaker can be reconciled with the stated Catholic mission and identity of Georgetown University,” The Catholic Standard editorialized May 10. “Secretary Sebelius' vision on what constitutes faith-based institutions presents the most direct challenge to religious freedom in recent history.”
In light of the struggle of many Catholics, the U.S. bishops and others to “preserve freedom of religion,” choosing Sebelius for special recognition “can only be seen as a statement of where the university stands – certainly not with the Catholic bishops,” the editorial says.
The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a new rule mandating that employers provide insurance coverage for sterilization, contraception and abortion-causing drugs. Its narrow religious exemption would not cover most Catholic institutions like health systems, charitable organizations and colleges and universities.