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Catholic Bishops not satisfied with Obama’s contraception compromise
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Thursday rejected the Obama administration’s revised mandates on contraception.
February 7th, 2013
03:34 PM ET

Catholic Bishops not satisfied with Obama’s contraception compromise

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support the Obama administration’s revised proposal for providing insurance coverage for contraception, saying it falls short of addressing concerns about religious freedom.

In a response to the policy update announced last week by the Department of Health and Human Services, the church leaders said the policy offers “second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities.”

“Because the stakes are so high, we will not cease from our effort to assure that healthcare for all does not mean freedom for few,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the conference, said in a statement. “We will continue to stand united with brother bishops, religious institutions, and individual citizens who seek redress in the courts for as long as this is necessary.”

Although the bishops identified the changes as a step in the right direction, they made it clear that they were not satisfied.

The proposed guidelines would allow religious-affiliated organizations opposing contraception to opt out of a federal mandate requiring that they provide their employees with insurance coverage for birth control.

The policy would give women at non-profit, religious-based organizations, like certain hospitals and universities, the ability to receive contraception through separate health policies at no charge.

CNN Belief: Obama proposal would let religious groups opt-out of contraception mandate

Following an uproar among religious institutions that didn't want to pay for contraceptives, the administration in March offered several compromise alternatives. The plan unveiled on Friday was a result of that effort.

The proposed update continued the administration's attempts to resolve the contentious issue of how non-profit organizations can decline to provide contraception coverage to their employees on religious grounds without facing a penalty.

An original mandate on providing contraception was part of the new federal healthcare law spearheaded by Obama, the Affordable Care Act. It required that insurers provide, at no cost to those insured, all forms of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

A number of high profile lawsuits have been filed against the federal government on the issue, including from the craft store giant Hobby Lobby.

CNN Belief: Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

A group of 43 Catholic organizations challenged the rules in federal court in May.

In Thursday’s announcement, Dolan also said the change in policy showed a “disregard of the conscience rights of for-profit business owners.”

As part of the new initiative, groups that are insured - such as student health plans at religious colleges - would be required to let their insurer know that certain participants would like contraception coverage.

“The insurer would then notify enrollees that it is providing them with no-cost contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies,” the HHS statement on the policy said.

Although the agency has not estimated final costs of the plan, it said that offering free coverage would actually lower expenses over the long term, partly due to improvement in women's health and fewer childbirths.

CNN Belief: Catholic groups sue over federal contraception mandate

Because the insurer would be covering the costs, the administration hoped the changes would allow religious organizations morally opposed to contraception to avoid paying for it.

The updated rules proposal will be open for public comment through April 8. The administration would then decide whether to make it final.

The Catholic Bishops indicated in their statement that they look forward to working with the administration on the final policy.

“We welcome and will take seriously the administration’s invitation to submit our concerns through formal comments, and we will do so in the hope that an acceptable solution can be found that respects the consciences of all,” Dolan said.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Health care • Politics

soundoff (482 Responses)
  1. Calvin Hobbes

    Anyone who takes their orders about what they can or cannot do with there partner carnally from a senile, celibate, octogenarian, demagogue, who has spent decades protecting pedophile priests from being exposed to and prosecuted by the law...needs there neuronal function checked out by professional.

    February 8, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • sam stone

      Anyone who takes orders about what they can or cannot do with their partner carnally needs there neuronal function checked out by professional.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing
    Prayer changes things

    February 8, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • ironman59

      Prayer does nothing. More to the point is that it doesn't allow the church or any organization to abdicate their requirment to follow Employment Law. The compromise would make it available without the church paying for it so they need to shut their pie hole already. It is the same inept argument given by places like hobby lobby screaming religious freedom in a secular workplace.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 8, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • IreneNY

      You don't need to belong to an organized religion to pray or have a relationship with a Higher Power.
      Churches should stay out the family planning decisions of families.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  3. fernace

    It's hard to fathom the arrogance of the RCC! Just last week lawyers for a Catholic hospital claimed that "a fetus is not a person" & still these old, white men in robes feel their religion has the right to dictate policy for not just their congregants, but the whole nation! Religious freedom means to be free to chose between religions, to chose no religion & To Be Assured That Our Government Policies Are Not Based On Religion!! The "problem" has been solved & these men should'nt have any more say in the matter! Any more imput from the RCC erases the Separation of Church & State boundaries! Nothing is stopping them from worshipping how they see fit, they're just being stopped from trying to control Individual Freedom!!

    February 8, 2013 at 7:07 am |
  4. Switters

    When american catholics start dong what the american bishops tell them to do

    Now THAT would indeed be news....

    February 8, 2013 at 6:21 am |
  5. vince

    I think the Bishops need to worry more about the ever-growing and expanding pedophilia problems within the hierarchy than they do about contraception...

    February 8, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • Domine

      They won't. Their main goal is to protect the Church from scandal. They do not care for the priest or the victim, unless they squeal of course.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:46 am |
    • JOHN

      Separate issue... don't muddy the water. Conscientious objection based upon religious moral values is what is at stake here. Christians/Catholics understand what is going down. How this humanistic government is seeking to get them to violate their conscience. They are as as subtle as the devil. Just a step Christian just take a little step with us away from God... then there will be another and another. Since when does the govt. tell the church what to do? Let the govt. run its business and the church hers. What ever happened to separation of church and state. It only works when the govt. wants to brainwash our kids in their schools with humanistic thought.

      February 8, 2013 at 5:56 am |
    • sam stone

      oooh.....the devil

      February 8, 2013 at 6:12 am |
    • Science

      FACTS

      This is what the wedge strategy is trying to discredit, evolution.

      News Release Jan 30 2013

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      Going forward, Seelig plans to create enzymes with useful applications while he continues to explore the underlying basic science of enzyme structure and function, aiming to learn more about the origin of enzymes and how proteins evolve.

      "Enzymes have always fascinated me," he says. "It’s rewarding to do work that has practical applications yet provides the opportunity to better understand how life on earth evolved."

      http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2013/UR_CONTENT_429344.html

      February 8, 2013 at 6:31 am |
    • Get Informed

      John
      Government trying to force its will on Christians, please! The issue has been amended twice to provide exceptions for religious insti-tutions. The only ones still complaining are the RCC, it is as usual their way or the highway. In my opinion they have gone too far to satisfy a fringe group that does not waht to obey the law, no other religions are following the RCC lead.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • Science

      No wedgie needed ok

      February 8, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • independant jim

      when did freedom to worship become freedom to dictate

      February 8, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • mikael

      I whish so called Christians would not confuse God with their religion, that was man made. Being a recovered catholic I have seen enough of the catholic church to know they are the true evil is this world.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Science

      RCC is trying

      February 8, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  6. me

    Do you people think those hats are reversible?

    February 8, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • sam stone

      the ones they wear in prayer have little helicopter blades on top, to take the little boy boinkers to heaven

      February 8, 2013 at 6:14 am |
  7. wut?!?

    ". . . saying it falls short of addressing concerns about religious freedom."

    "Religious freedom" ?!?!? . . . what's so free about a religion that sucks you dry of your money and offers you absolutely nothing in return, except some stale holy water and pedophile priests.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • h

      sounds like your government

      February 8, 2013 at 5:27 am |
    • JOHN

      I do not hold with some Catholic doctrines. But when Jesus is Savior and Lord giving to support His work is an honor. One finds the church where their money (Lord's) is well spent. Like getting season tickets to the Yankee games.. an honor to attend. Doing both is really cool!

      February 8, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • sam stone

      " But when Jesus is Savior and Lord giving to support......."

      blah, blah, fvcking blah.....more conjecture from the truly pious

      February 8, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  8. tallulah13

    Each of those bishops who was an American citizen had the right to cast their own single vote. That's where their ability to influence our secular government should end.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  9. CarrotCakeMan

    Would someone please tell these silly bishops they are not above the law? They have no right to deprive non-Catholic employees OR Catholic employees of hospitals the same health care coverage everyone else gets.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • End Religion

      People are telling them as loudly as possible by dropping out of religion altogether. The clergy isn't listening since they still have a bunch of 3rd world countries (and 3rd world American States) they can control.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Domine

      The level of education and exposure to other ideas really helped me drop the religion. With one low price, you can be free from the mental chains that enslaved me for 16 years. But in all seriousness, a comprehensive education and introduction to other world-views will cause them to die very quickly.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:52 am |
    • JOHN

      So it is now legal for the government to intrude into church affairs and force them to violate their conscience. This court battle is huge... Christians pray concerning this. Remember in the book of Daniel? Fiery furnace, Lion's den, mid-wives in Egypt, Apostles before Jewish courts? Every situation they are asked, demanded to reject God's Voice in order to yield to the contradictory voice of government. Christian read Mind Seize by LaHaye... understand where you are in history. The culture war is here again... this time is is called humanism. Ephesians 6:11... put the armor on and stand!

      February 8, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • sam stone

      john: i sincerely believe that consuming a handful of magic mushrooms allows me to see god clearly and communicate with her. does the government have the right to criminalize my sacrament?

      February 8, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • 5 wives

      I was a very carnal Mormon untill the governmet stepped in and actually charged me because of the three wives that were under age. Government interference at its worst.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:33 am |
  10. The Crazy Jew

    Interesting how atheists say the Church (or religion as such) is irrelevant. Lets do some math: Stalin, an atheist, killed 20,000,000. Chairman Mao, an atheist, killed 40,000,000. Pol Pot, an atheist, killed 2,000,000. Mengistu Haile Miriam, head of the Derg, and an atheist, killed 3,000,000. This counts for the USSR, the PRC, Democratic Kampuchea, and Ethiopia. There are several more nations I could list (the DPRK, East Germany, other East European states, etc), but I won't. 65 million people killed in just 4 countries! Of course, the atheist will say those abuses were not comitted in atheism's name, but they were. Each leader possessed an undying hatred for believers, and attempted to install their own belief structure in the people, all of which involved the forced study of Marx, Lenin, etc in re-education camps, and sometimes worship of the leader (Stalin, Mao, the Kims in the DPRK). So, how healthy IS atheism? Its not, IMNSHO. And, religion, while growing somewhat less pervasive in the West, has grown exponentially in the Global South, where the majority of people live, and in the former Communist lands. Sorry, atheists. The world has tried your prescription for a better world, and it has failed. Now, children, sit down, and let the adults who respect G-d and decency get things sorted out. The kids have been in charge long enough, and we see the results.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Bet

      Another day, another sock puppet.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Rozecki

      Let's do the math. Spanish Inquisition. Hitler. Witch trials. The dark ages. Various serial killers throughout history. The Crusades. These were all causes because of either the church directly or because of the churches inability to allow change. The only difference between the Pope hearing God and anyone else is a group of zealots said it's OK for the Pope.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • End Religion

      Debunked and refuted about 10 times a day. None of these characters, whether they were atheist or not, killed in the name of a lack of belief in a god. Some of them suppressed religion as a tool to further the goal of totalitarian control.

      "State-imposed atheism" is a misnomer; there can be no such thing. Imposed irreligion is not atheism. Atheism is only the lack of belief in a god; one can't force people to not believe in a god.

      The actions of Mao, Pol and Joe (who attended seminary) were totalitarian opportunists. They sought total authority and banned religion that would compete with that authority. The pursuit of control over a people was the cause for the bloodshed.

      Although Stalin initially sought to rid Russia of religion, once firmly in office he re-instituted the Russian Orthodox Church and re-opened theological schools. Suppression of religion was a tool not a reason.

      Pol Pot is said to have practiced some Theravada Buddhism (and his Khmer Rouge were radical Buddhists. He studied at a Catholic school in Phnom Pen for 8 years. This mad man targeted not only religion but science, medicine and education. Political dissent was not permitted, with torture a common sentence.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

      Hitler was raised Catholic. In his book Mein Kampf and in public speeches he made statements affirming a belief in Christianity. He called the purge of Jews "positive Christianity." While there is debate over his actual private feelings about the faith, he was a publicly practicing Christian. There exists no known evidence that Hitler was an atheist or agnostic. Again: evidence he was Christian; no evidence he was otherwise.

      Hitler said: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

      The Reichskonkordat was a treaty signed on 20 July 1933 between the Holy See (Catholic Church) and Nazi Germany, guaranteeing the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, giving moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime soon after Hitler had acquired dictatorial powers, and placing constraints on Catholic critics of the regime, leading to a muted response by the Church to Nazi policies. Yes, the Catholic Church colluded with Nazis.

      http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?ti.tle=20th_century_atrocities (take dot out of 'title')
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      February 8, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • Evelyn Connaway

      You need to go back a little farther to the Inquisition – and see who ran that show. They chased the jews, muslims and all who didn't believe as they believe. They claimed to be teaching the word of God and Jesus. Can you tell us what great church that was. Check the guys in the red caps and flowing robes who believe in Mental Reservation – (it's okay to lie if your are protecting the church).

      February 8, 2013 at 1:49 am |
    • Steve

      Sorry EndReligion, you could use the same excuse to defend Religon then that you used to defend atheism. Religion was used by those in power to gain more control. Ie the Spanish inquisition where the rulers used the church to rid threats to their sovereignty. Also you could add up the numbers of those killed in the witch hunts, crusades, inquisitions and the numbers wouldn't even come close to the leaders mentioned. Not even close. People try to claim millions but the populations back then make their numbers impossible. Yes the Vatican did make a concordat with Hitler. Only to make sure that the church could survive under a totalitarian regime. Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't most of the world's countries recognize his government as well?? Didn't most of them send athletes to the Olympics? Hmm, chamberlain from Great Britain. Because they had agreements with hitler does that mean they colluded with him? Hitler put priests and nuns in concentration camps. I would hardly call him a Catholic. The verdict is far from decided over how the Church reacted to Hitler. The Pope on no way was Hitler's Pope. The Vatican hid allied soldiers and Jews in convents and monasteries in Rome. Historical fact, not fiction, could she have done more. Possibly. But so could other countries, the u.s. turned an entire ship European of Jews away. I digressed sorry. The issue was who killed how many etc and if that proves atheists or reliigious people are bettter. Neither I am afraid. We are all human. With all the same faults. Christians just believe that someone died to make reparation for those faults, not that we are cured of them ourselves. So atheists and religious are all susceptible to abuses of power. Unfortunately neither one better than other

      February 8, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • End Religion

      Steve,

      The thing religious folks never understand is the argument is usually started by a religious idiot stating "atheist regimes have killed more people argument" when it is FALSE for the reason I provided. It's a bit absurd to bring in death tolls and who was naughtier but if I'm going to have to constantly battle stupidity then I need to drag out the stupid communist leaders versus religious leaders arguments. Yes bad people do bad things, whether they are religious or not, however religious folks do fail to comprehend another simple thing: communists do not kill people "in the name of atheism" but religious people can, do and have killed people "in the name of their god".

      February 8, 2013 at 2:44 am |
    • Domine

      They were atheist, but also religious. They strived for a totalitarian state, where say Stalinism or Maoism was the unofficial state religion. They killed anyone in their way. This is about religion, not theism.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:54 am |
    • Josh

      End Religion,

      And I think what you're not seeing is that just because someone kills in the name of a God doesn't mean that it is "right" according to that faith. In fact, I can't think of any religions that actually say "Kill the infidels". Have people botched the heck out of religion in the past and present? Sure, there are examples like the ones stated above. However, just as many people botch the heck out of life who aren't religious, as our friend Steve stated. Both are guilty of atrocities because they both involve 'people'. People are all flawed. I'm not going to condemn atheism as violent because the actions of those men, it doesn't matter if they "Did it in the name of atheism". So do me the same favor. What Christian, or I guess Catholic since that is the focal point of a lot of this, actually condones the Holocaust? What Catholic or Christian says that Which-Burnings were a good idea nowadays? They would get chased out of town. Plenty of atheist will claim hearing "someone said they heard from someone that said they were there when someone said they think witch hunts or holocaust were a good idea or God's will" (See what I'm saying? People create outrageous examples that don't really exist. They just think they might exist so they get fired up about it.) If anyone ever told me that it was "God's Will" to set young women on fire or kill 6,000,000 people who called God by a different name I would hit them over the head... Repeatedly. You and I are on the same page when it comes to that, trust me. People using God's name for evil infuriates me. The foundation of Christianity is love God, and love people. Period. End of story. Anything that goes against that isn't Christian. Simple as that. Bringing insults in, like saying you're arguing against stupidity, does nothing to help your cause. Have a discussion, don't just see who can call the other stupid the quickest.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:25 am |
    • mikael

      do you know how many people have died in the name of religion???

      February 8, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • sam stone

      god, despite knowing the billions of people who will not accept his son (himself) as a savior, allows them to be born anyway. what would be the point, other than to torture them?

      February 8, 2013 at 8:05 am |
  11. Reality

    Condoms are available over the counter for less than 50 cents each. Make the Pill (type dependent on doctor’s evaluation) available over the counter and there will be no more debate. Planned Parenthood can offer deep discounts for those who say they cannot afford said protection.

    Or better yet, put a pack of condoms and a box of Pills in cereal boxes. Unfortunately, that would not ensure the condoms and/or Pills would be used. Based on Guttmacher Insti-tute data, said condoms and/or Pills are currently not being used as they should. (one million abortions/yr and 19 million cases of S-TDs/yr because either the daily Pill was not taken or a condom stayed in the pocket.)

    Obviously a perfect contraceptive/STD barrier system does not exist. Time to develop one.

    In the meantime, mono-masturbation or mutual masturbation for heterose-xuals are highly recommended for those at risk. Abstinence is the another best-solution but obviously the se-x drive typically vitiates this option although being biological would it not be able to develop a drug to temporarily eliminate said drive?

    Maybe selling Pill-enriched sodas??? Hmmm?

    Condom-fitted briefs for men?? Hmmm?

    The door is open for other ideas!!!

    February 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • breathe deep

      I think you have some fantastic ideas. Contraceptive pill that you can drink or eat or spread on toast? Fantastic. Boxers or briefs with built-in condoms? Not bad but meaningless unless your dressed.

      But where you go wrong is the first sentence. I sure wouldn't trust in a condom that costs 50 cents.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Domine

      Well, the cereal box idea is a little extreme, but other than that. I agree.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:44 am |
    • Reality

      From amazon.com:

      100 Okamoto Crown Condoms, World Famous Super Thin and Sensitive Condom, for Extra Sensation by Okamoto
      $15.47($1.53/oz) (15 cents each)
      Order in the next 11 hours and get it by Monday, Feb 11.

      #1 Best Seller in Condoms

      Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  12. xyzzy

    You wouldn't expect pork roast in the cafeteria if you worked at a Jewish or Muslim organization.
    Why do people working for a Catholic organization expect birth control?

    February 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Because they want to reduce the 700,000+ abortions believers have each year in the USA?

      February 7, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Reality

      Beyond politics and religious beliefs:

      The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      February 7, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • breathe deep

      I wouldn't expect a jewish or muslim or even a catholic/christian organization to serve anything to eat. What I wouldn't expect though is a catholic/christian organization to use aprons or any kind of uniform that uses more than one type of fabric.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:01 am |
  13. enuff

    According to the catholic church, when is a fetus not a person? When it is mentioned in a lawsuit

    February 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Steve

      That was one catholic hospital. And it was the lawyers, not the church who said it. If that same hospital would have provided abortions you would have cheered them on correct, but would you say the Catholic Church said abortions are ok. That like some idiot person who works for the U.S. government in an office job says killing kids is ok would you then extrapolate that to saying Obama says killing kids is ok because one person in a low level government job said it? There are one billion Catholics in the world. Lots of catholic hospitals. Contrary to what an idiot like you might believe, the pope isn't watching over all of them anymore than Obama is watching of thousands of government workers.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • enuff

      I never said I cheered abortion. I do not agree with it. BUT I have used birth control, so I do not want anyone telling me what to use and what not to use. I always thought of my children inutero as people. I find it hypocritical that the church, regardless of one or many, would use such an argument to avoid litigation after their very public stance. Don't tell me that someone in the administration of that catholic hospital did not know that their attorneys were going to use that defense. I don't buy it.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  14. Agapatos

    Dear Bishops, Even if the secular world doesn't understand your actions, and doesn't understand what it means to DEFEND A FLOCK, and ALL of the flock, not just the "official" members of the flock, but the private ones too, even if they can think of nothing more than political reasons for your actions, yet we understand your actions, and WE LOVE YOU, because you are good and you are showing us the path to salvation. Keep it up, and GOD BLESS YOU, because if they can't understand you, then maybe one day they will ask themselves why you are so persistent. Hatred could never keep this up after 2000 years. Love can.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • AVB

      Finally someone who gets it! God bless you

      February 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      YAWN...........

      February 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Bet

      I just threw up in my mouth a little.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • breathe deep

      You actually make a good point, it's because I would never think of myself as an authority over other people. I would never look at other people the way I would look over an ant farm that needs my hand to survive. I can already answer the question that "I might myself ask why they are so persistent", power and control are hard things to give up willingly.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  15. Grahame Rhodes

    Who cares what the church thinks anyway. Bunch of child molesters

    February 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • AVB

      Seriously? First of all, you obviously don't think before you put stuff online, otherwise you would have kept that little comment to yourself. Second, you clearly aren't Catholic, so there is no reason for you to be here. Now take your half-witted remarks and go back to praising satan, you moronic imbecile.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "...you clearly aren't Catholic, so there is no reason for you to be here." I was unaware this was an official, Catholics-only blog. Where was that disclaimer ?

      February 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Bet

      @ AVB

      First of all, you obviously don't think before you put stuff online, otherwise you would have kept that little comment to yourself

      What, exactly, is there to "think" about? It's been proven over and over that the RCC knew that children were being abused and did nothing more than to move the abusers to a new place so they could continue preying on children. When the allegations became public, they did their best to conceal the conspiracy of silence.

      Now take your half-witted remarks and go back to praising satan, you moronic imbecile.

      You've got to be kidding. Who's a bigger imbecile? Someone who recognizes the evil that the RCC has hushed up and calls it out, or someone who refuses to face the fact that the church hierarchy has betrayed not only their faith, but their faithful, and their children? You're not only a moronic imbecile, you're also a horrible excuse for a human being. I pray that you don't have children of your own.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • mikael

      directed at avb. if you don't think the church is filled with pedophiles you need some medication

      February 8, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  16. MarkinFL

    What a bunch of control freaks. They want nothing less than the ability to control what a woman does with her body. What possible argument do they have against this "compromise" which is wholesale caving in to them in the first place? At this stage the Obama Administration needs to hold fast and let it go to court. They have no leg to stand on since they do not have to spend money or do anything to help these women obtain contraceptives (Heaven forbid!).
    Whatever else, they are just going to lose what support they did have from their followers(who mostly all use contraceptives anyway) with this absurdity.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Evelyn Connaway

      MarkinFl- The church and these men who do not believe in marriage should have no right over any girl or woman, in regard to whether these use birth control or not. Most married women use birth control, usually at their husband insistence. It is really sad that so many people actually allow the priests to dictate their man made religious doctrine – so many that have nothing to do with the Bible. Now they want to dictate to our government. After their disgraceful actions for hundreds of years in abusing children and using their church doctrine of Mental Reservation which states they may lie to protect the "holy catholic church"! There is nothing holy about them, except for the misused and mistreated nuns. I wouldn't give an inch to the church – it isn't for them, it's for the citizens of USA, especially we women. President Obama take it back and don't give in any more, give women what they need and want – their own choice!

      February 8, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • Josh

      How in the world are they telling or forcing them what to do with their bodies??? That is the point I don't get about this whole 'war on women' nonsense. There is a big difference between "not allowing them" and "not enabling them". In other words, it's different to say "You can't have s-ex" and "You can't have s-ex in the church" See the difference? These women can have s-ex however much they stinking want. Nothing the church can do about that. Why does the Catholic Church have to pay for it? You act as if s-ex is some unavoidable act that a woman HAS to do. It is a choice that they make, or is that not true anymore? Don't want to get pregnant? Don't have s-ex? Don't have that much self control? Pay for your own birth control then. See what the actual argument is? Government thinks every women should be able to have all the s-ex she wants without getting pregnant? Great, then the government can pay for it. The Catholic Church is simply arguing against being forced to pay for something it doesn't support. I'm not Catholic, but I am Christian. I have nothing against contraceptives (abortion sure but that is another issue entirely) but still, the government is overreaching its power in this case and trying to encroach upon others' religions freedoms.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:50 am |
  17. TrumanTown

    Get rid of Bishop Finn. Then we can talk about what's right and wrong about health care.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  18. Jenna Jameson

    I'm personally very surprised that the bishops aren't satisfied.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Smeagel4T

      Interesting how the nuns were more than satisfied even before the change. But then again, it really is important that men decide women's issues.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Jenna Jameson

      Nuns aren't usually really my cup of, well, anyway

      February 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  19. Smeagel4T

    Catholic Church explanation for being against birth control: "That's why God created young boys."

    February 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  20. Smeagel4T

    Interesting how the Catholic bishops haven't seemed able to convince Catholic women to not take birth control. 🙂

    February 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.