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January 30th, 2012
06:49 PM ET

Catholic clergymen come out swinging against HHS regulation

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - Catholics around the country got an earful on Sunday from the pulpit over a new health insurance policy by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that forces employers to cover contraception and abortion as part of preventative care regardless of religious beliefs. The use of abortion and contraceptives violates Catholic teachings.

In Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bishop David Ricken denounced the policy at Mass in St. Francis Xavier Cathedral on Sunday and received a standing ovation, CNN affiliate WLUK reported.

"If we pay for those services for people who work for us, we are in effect saying don't do it, but then giving the money to pay for it," said Ricken.

In a letter read to congregants in the Atlanta Archdiocese, Archbishop Wilton Gregory called the policy "a matter of grave moral concern."

"In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty," the letter continued and was read at all English and Spanish language Masses, the diocese said in a statement.

The policy goes into effect on August 1, but U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced in a statement January 20 that religious organizations that do not provide contraceptive coverage based on religious belief will have until August 1, 2013, to comply.

"This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty. I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services," Sebelius said in the statement.

“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan in a statement.

“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty," said Dolan who is also the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the public policy arm of the church in the United States.

Just before the release of Sebelius' statement, President Barack Obama called Dolan to discuss the change in policy, Dolan's spokesman told CNN. Dolan expressed his disappointment to the president and asked if the measure could be changed to include more religious exemptions, to which the president said no. Dolan's spokesman said the two had discussed the measure earlier in November before the HHS policy was set.

A White House official told CNN's Dan Lothian late on Monday that "there are Catholics who support the administration's decision." The official also noted support from other religious groups for the policy.

A spokesperson for the conference said there was no way to tell how many parishes  addressed the issue this weekend, but said after receiving multiple queries from dioceses around the country, they posted a draft letter on an internal website for churches to adapt and read to congregants.

The Conference of Bishops is also urging congregates to reach out to the White House and members of Congress to express their disagreement with the measure.

The Food and Drug Administration first approved the birth control pill in 1960.  When  oral contraceptives first entered the market, theologians across the religious spectrum wrestled with how to the deal with new medication.  Many Protestant denominations said the use of contraceptives was OK for married couples.

The Catholic Church came out against the use of any type of contraceptives in 1968.  In an encyclical letter to Catholics entitled Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI outlined the church's teaching on the matter.

"Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children," the letter reads.

The encyclical also reiterated the church's ban on sterilization for men and women, either temporary or permanent, and left no room for interpretation on the new birth control medications.

"Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means," it reads.

Birth control is the most common type of medication taken by young and middle-aged women. Women’s health advocates said the new rules would affect millions of women. Currently, 32 states require insurance plans to cover contraceptives, but 16 of them provide a “conscience exception” for religious employers, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Contraceptive coverage is one of several services that must be covered without co-pays or deductibles in the new Affordable Care Act, which critics have dubbed "Obamacare."  Other such services are annual checkups, mammograms, testing for HIV and breastfeeding support.

The Sebelius statement also said the rule won’t affect existing conscience laws, which allow doctors and hospitals to avoid providing services, such as birth control, that violate their religious beliefs.

CNN's Caleb Hellerman and Dan Gilgoff contributed to this article.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Health care • Mass • Politics • United States

soundoff (740 Responses)
  1. JennyTX

    These people believe in a mythical demigod of 2,000 years ago so they think they're justified in forcing women to have unwanted pregnancies???

    January 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • jon

      which is not quite as bad as having to read your nonsense

      January 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Chris

      And I suppose you think man came from a bacteria that crawled out of the ocean by random chance. Every cause had to have a cause which had to have an eventual "first cause". What do you think that first cause was? God. An infinite regress is practically and theoretically impossible.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      So God created a bacteria billions of years ago and that began evolution?

      January 30, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Chris

      Obviously you don't know any facts at all. The Church has never taught against evolution within a species – that is clear from evidence. However, evolution between species has never been proven and never will.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Logic Fail

      "Every cause had to have a cause which had to have an eventual "first cause""

      Holy Logic fail batman. What caused the first cause? What caused god?

      Causality is a human created concept that is only relevant when traveling in a single direction in the dimension we call time. Using it to try and prove your mythical being is a waste of everyone's time.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • ex-Catholic

      @Chris,

      Actually, the church is find with macro evolution, except where it regards humans. Perhaps its time for a catechism brush up.

      And how does a process become self aware. If evolution stops at the species level, it must be a self aware process that knows how many mutations it must not exceed. Funny how it would also have to be aware of the arbitrary human classifications for living beings.

      And we most certainly do see inter-species evolution. Pick up a high school biology book sometimes. Most macro-evolution deniers recognize this, because it's a fact.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Yeah, right, Chris. You are so steeped in facts. Wasn't it the Church that said the Earth was proven to be the center of the Universe?

      January 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Mark

      You know Chris, a person whom has earned a BA Philosophy, I have to say your argument, the "first cause" argument is a logical fallacy. It simply leads to an infinite regress. The "argument from design," and the "ontological argument" are logical fallacies as well. Period. Your preacher, priest, minister, shaman, whomever has studied the same subjects that I have studied. They know that these arguments do not stand the test of logic, as well as I. They just take advantage and assume that their followers do not. Analytical statements hold up, contingent statements do not. Now go ahead and rip me out of blind ignorance. It is your right to do so. Unfortunately.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Chris

      There never has been any scientific evidence of evolution of man from another species. I'm talking about man.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Chris

      What liberal secular university did you attend? St. Thomas Aquinas' five proofs of God and Aristotle's proof of the "First Mover" (if you know what that even is) have never been proven fallacy. It can't be... you with a "BA" should know that. So whatever your liberal atheistic professor or Shrink is telling you, it still remains only their conjecture. Maybe you need a Masters Degree to know that Thomistic Philosophy can't be "proven to be a fallacy" because it is based on faith with reason, not emperical evidence. Geez.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Secular Nation

      @Chris

      Moron.

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

      January 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Man, I gotta get me some of the Thomastic "Faith with reason"–by definition, can't be proven wrong because there isn't any proof.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Let it Be

      Why is he the moron?

      January 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Let it Be

      That is what faith is – it can't be "proven". That is why it is called "faith."

      January 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Chris

      @ Secular Nation
      The word "secular" says it all for you.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Let It Be, that's the exact point. How can you call Thomas Aquinas's "Five proofs of God" proofs if you can't prove them?

      January 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Chris

      Read about it.... it uses reason, not emperical evidence, as its "proof." The existence of God cannot be proven emperically... Aquinas "proves" it through the use of reason.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • RJT

      @Chris.. you've covered quite a bit of ground here tonight... I mean you know about biology, philosophy, pedophilia, who gets to heaven who doesn't. Keep in mind a number of different people have been tossing around discussion points...but you sure have an answer for everything. Now really, when you go to sleep tonight and you have your discussion with god (small g)... you really believe he is going to be pleased with you. You've called people morons, stated that some won't go to heaven (pretty gutsy move considering that is the one job the big guy wants to keep to himself). If i were you...i would lay low and "..if i die before i wake" would make me very nervous

      January 31, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Let it Be

      @RJT
      Yes, actually I will say my prayers and I will sleep soundly knowing that I believe in God (with a big G) and that we are all part of his creation. I don't recall using the word "heaven" and who will get there, however. I don't recall claiming to know it all. What I do claim to know is that God exists – look around you. Something cannot come from nothing. It sounds like you are trying to justify something wrong in your life.... I am only trying to justify my faith in God. That is all.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Let it Be

      @RJT
      FYI I changed my screen name because I see there are other postings by someone else named CHRIS that is not me. The references you made were my comments, however, so I addressed them in two different places.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Let it Be

      @RJT
      On your other post I have now addressed the comment you made and I do mention the word Heaven and who the Bible (not me) says will get there. Please read it.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  2. bspurloc

    why are these places tax exempt? why are my hard earned tax dollars being sucked away by religions?
    It is time to get rid of tax exemptions for these places.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Indigo

      Because they are defined by laws written by representatives of the people as a non-profit organization and donate money to charities.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • jon

      first hospitals and schools in america were catholic…and they did things for free

      January 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • bspurloc

      tax exemption status dictates u must not take political stands are do anything political. these places violate that law and have so for many years. tax exemptions should be removed..... if a mosque was caught doing it there would be an UPROAR... but catholics.. hush hush point finger at others....

      January 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • janelle

      How are your hard earned tax dollars being sucked away by religion. Churches don't get tax money. If you don't want your money to go to a church, don't give it to a church.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Chris

      That is why they are called "charities" moron. They don't maintain a profit base with which to pay taxes, they distribute it to the community rather than the government. Are you in first or second grade?

      January 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Yeah, Vatican City really looks like a nonprofit.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Chris

      When did you last look at their financial statements? They made less money last year than a medium-sized American company. And what they did make was given back through Catholic Charities international. Know your facts before you make stupid comments.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Chris, so you think Vatican City does look like a nonprofit? What do you think their art collection is worth?

      January 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Know What

      Up to 2009 alone, U.S. dioceses have paid more than US$2.6 BILLION in abuse-related costs since 1950. That's just the U.S.!

      January 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Chris

      Do you really believe all those cases were true? Some, yes. All – hardly. Especially when the dead priests can't defend themselves? How can the church defend itself when the defendant is dead and the plantif is alive and they "suddenly" remember being abuse 30 years ago. Forgot about it until now... yah, right.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • J.W

      How are your tax dollars being sucked away? You make no sense.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  3. Lenny Pincus

    Ask these holy rollers if RC hospitals overdose patients with morphine in end-of-life situations. That's murder too. It's also SOP.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  4. sarah

    I had to help pay for a war I didn't want. And a tollroad I didn't want. Plus, an interstate that destroyed my neighbor's ranch. I have to help pay for an excess of prisons, the "war on drugs", and the death penalty. All things that are against my beliefs. That's what happens when you live in a democracy. It's not a violation of rights. The funny thing is I know a lot of Catholics sitting in those pews were shifting around uncomfortably because more than half of them are using BC.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Chris

      And catholics pay taxes for all sorts of things they dont like either. But their is a difference in supporting your govt, which then makes awful decisions, and the govt coercing you to make the decisions too. You may agree that the wars are wrong, but at least the govt doesnt force you to go out and recruit for it. There is a clear difference in the level of cooperation.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • sarah

      They can choose not to cover their employees. It's not as if the Catholic church didn't get by without health insurance before.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Mark

      Great point Sarah. I feel the same way you do. I'm tired of the whining. It's all about the control of women. My mother was treated like a brainless ninny by the Catholic Church back in the 50's and 60's. I have two daughters. I'll be hanged if I'm going to just stand by and watch a race backward! Thanks.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  5. Lee

    Fine!!
    Want to be fair about it.
    I don't support organized religion. But my tax dollars are forced to support you. Take away the tax exemption to the Catholic Church and then you'll have something to argue about.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Rwraith

      Those who scream the loudest about seperation of church and state are also the ones screaming the loudest about tax exemption for churchs. You cant have both..pick one.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • janelle

      Sorry, but your tax dollars do not support organized religion. Churches are supported by member donations only. There is no money from the gov't. Church members not only support their local churches, but much of the money those churches collect support various charities sponsored by the church.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • RJT

      @Janelle... Perhaps the fire dept shouldn't show up when the church burns down.. I mean, per your request that no gov't / tax payer funds be utilized

      January 31, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  6. jim

    Contraception via condoms is not the same thing as playing words out of context, abortion is not contraception it is murder.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  7. An RC

    Many Catholics use birth control with a very clear conscience. The RCC leadership is completely out of touch with reality – no surprise there. The level of indignation is amazing given that not even a fraction of that was displayed when the rampant abuse of children WORLDWIDE came to light. Bunch of pompous male hypocrites!!

    January 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Chris

      Just keep telling yourself that there is no such thing as objective moral truth. Morals are relative, right? Wrong.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Logic Fail

      @Chris, even the biblical gods morals are relative, as are all christians morals. The Abrahamic god changed his mind on what was right or wrong. And I'm guessing that most christians don't think that wearing poly-cotton blend shirts is a sin.

      fool

      January 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  8. KellyinBoston

    I assume that Catholic employees, even if covered by such insurance, would choose (based on their beliefs) not to use contraceptives or have an abortion. I assume that only those whose religious values allowed them to use such medical services would do so. Is the Bishop suggesting that employers should be able to impose their religious values on their employees? That's a little sketchy for me.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  9. Lenny Pincus

    The Catholic Church? The one with the Nazi as its head? The one that shields its child abusing priests as SOP? The one that let Newt Gingrich get married in it after two other failed marriages and a lifetime of adultery? The one that has its own country? Yeah, I really take them seriously when they talk about morals.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Judy

      Get back, Satan!!!

      January 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      I wouldn't go so far as to call the Catholic Church satanic, but I see your point.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Chris

      And yes, it is the only religion in the world started by Jesus Christ. Every other religion was started by a human being... every one. Only Catholicism can be traced back to Christ. And read your facts – only 1.5% of Catholic priests have been charged (much fewer convicted) and that number is almost 4% in all other religions. Nearly 20% in public schools. Sad sack, you don't know a thing you are talking about.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Rwraith

      Spoken like a true liberal. Give out facts even if they are wrong. Newt G. wasn't a Catholic when he got divorced. drrrrrrrrrrr

      January 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Chris, stay on point. The Church protected its child abusers. Take your straw dogs elsewhere.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Chris

      The number of abusers in the first place is lower than schools, hospitals, or anywhere in the public sector. It is also lower than any other organized religion – read the facts about it. That is the point. Regardless of how it was handled, the numbers are less than anywhere else. Do you have any idea what the numbers are like in schools? Ans: WAY less than in the Catholic church. So next time you write, call all teachers, not priest, abusers.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      That's your point, Chris, not mine. Strawdog.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • ex-Catholic

      Chris, since you continue to construct the same fallacy-ridden strawman, let's make this a little clearer for you:

      THE CHURCH FOR DECADES SYSTEMATICALLY AND ROUTINELY PROTECTED AND ENABLED ABUSERS AND COVERED UP THEIR ACTIONS.

      Before you start spouting off rates of abuse in public school, name a global organization that systematically and routinely covered up abuse and continuously and knowingly put the abusers in situations where they could continue prepetrating their heinous crimes on children.

      Your repeated attempts to deflect and minimize this is both repulsive and disturbing as anyone with any hint of a moral compass would recognize.

      January 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Chris

      Why do you keep deflecting it back to the Catholic Church? My point is that abuse is not JUST a Catholic Church problem, it is a broken humanity problem because of moral and cultural relativism. Yes there are problems, but these problems are not just in the RCC they are everywhere. Read about Penn State lately?

      January 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • ex-Catholic

      @Chris,

      People in here aren't talking about abuse in general. I think the biggest issue that most people have with the RCC isn't the abuse – it's the cover ups.

      But apparently all you can do is deflect and minimize away from that fact. Pathetic

      January 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Chris

      Nobody is minimizing the cover-ups. But again, cover-ups are not the product of the Catholic Church alone. Ask your own government. Why do we only hear about RCC cover-ups? How come you didn't mention Penn State's Cover-up or The New York City public school system cover-up? Why only the RCC? Why are you only deflecting it there?

      January 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  10. K.C.

    Don't take the money from the federal government. Problem solved. When you accept money from the feds then you obligate yourself to their rules. Birth control isn't going anywhere. The Catholic church shouldn't be held to a different standard. Also I'll put my money on the Pharmaceutical community before I do the church. They have more money and more power then the pope in Rome in the United States. So there is really nothing to worry about. Food for Thought.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Skysearch0005

      Isn't it amazing when a morsel of perfect logic rears its head in these forums? EXACTLY!!!! Obviously, money easiliy out-trumps morals when it comes to the catholic church. As if that's a surprise to anyone.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Jim

      More importantly, the church does not pay taxes. If they paid their share, maybe they could expect a voice.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  11. spellwizard

    I commend the Cathlic Church for taking a stand on this issue, but if the Catholics want their birth control and abortions, they will still go somewhere else where it is paid for. I, personally, am a Catholic. And I think the Church should be forced to this mandate. but I am not naive either. People will do what they want or need to do for their own health and well-being, and make their own choices.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Nope, not a Catholic!

      When will all you indoctrinated hypocrites just take a deep breath and say, "I AM FREE" and love your God however you want? or go Agnostic or Athiest or whatever? I really don't get you.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      You are not afraid of God. You don't believe in God any more than I do, maybe less! You are afraid of Mommy and Daddy or Grandma or the Priest or the monster under your bed. Grow up!!

      January 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    I'm a Catholic and I have no problem with this. Of course, I stopped going to mass a long time ago.....

    January 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Indigo

      Well than you aren't a Catholic.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • ex-Catholic

      This probably puts you in the same bucket with about 80% of self-identifying Catholics.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Chris

      Then you are not a Catholic!!!!

      January 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  13. Dave, CA

    Because there AREN'T enough people swarming all over the planet. Such backwards a rse dogmatic mo rons. Is anyone surprised?

    January 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Rwraith

      It's because the current "morality" thinks its okay to pop babies out left and right. Especially when you get more Obama money per kid you pop out.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  14. dabigguy

    Wow! So much anger. The reason they shouldn't have to pay for it, It's against their religion and beliefs. So they shouldn't have to pay for something against their religion. Even if they don't do it. They are paying for someone else to do it.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Skysearch0005

      Yeah... sounds like how I felt paying for a trillion dollar faith-based war that killed our troops so rich friends of the bushies could become richer.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Anne

      I dont like my taxes going on things I dont like want or use but I pay em. The Catholic church needs to just suck it up and get with the program.

      January 31, 2012 at 4:42 am |
  15. John Lane

    This policy is like telling Jesus, "You can't do any healings, unless you also perform abortions." (Some contraceptives work by means of abortion).

    January 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • ex-Catholic

      No, it's like telling jesus, if you don't want to do abortions, then don't expect Rome to pay for your miracles. Or at least stop hiring all of those samaritans.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  16. David R. Scott

    MORE KIDS TO ABUSE!

    January 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • bct21

      ignorant & unhelpful 🙂

      January 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Rwraith

      By percentage more kids are abused by teachers than by clergy. And as teachers are represented by the NEA it would follow that members of the NEA abuses more children than the Catholic Church. Since the NEA is a very liberal organization that would mean that liberals abuse children more than anybody else.... Hey, I just reasoned like a liberal does...scary.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Logic Fail

      Rwraith,

      When the NEA is involved in a decades-long systematic national coverup that allows predators to knowingly and continually abuse children, then we can talk. Until then, strawman fail.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  17. Skysearch0005

    Can someone plese explain why the RCC is far more outraged about providing safe medical treatment for women, then it is about the rampant child abuse happening inside its own walls?
    Thanks.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Indigo

      Pregnancy isn't a disease. At most, it is a condition. A COMPLETELY preventable condition.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Chris

      If you are worried about abuse inside walls, you need to look inside the walls of schools, day care centers, and other religions. They are far higher than in the Catholic Church.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  18. Brian

    What is the purpose of the Catholic Church? Does it have a purpose? The world is full of former Catholics and they seem to be doing alright.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Gerry

      Did your boyfriend tell you to post that??

      January 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • bct21

      Like most churches it is a source of comfort for billions of people! 🙂 next question...

      January 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Rwraith

      It is interesting that people will jump on the Catholic Church bashing bandwagon but will never offend the Islamic religion. Probably because Catholics will just get mad while Muslims will blow you up.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Jim

      Paula Deen's food was a great source of comfort as well, look what it did to her. Not everything that gives comfort is healthy.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Logic Fail

      @Rwraith,

      Why don't you go take a look at the previous blog post on Islam and then stop being so ignorant. Nice attempt to deflect. Fail.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Chris

      Until they die!

      January 30, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • RJT

      @Chris... does god know you're doing his work... I mean the judging and all that. He may not like it

      January 31, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Let it Be

      @RJT
      I believe in the Bible. That is my right. And that is what it says regarding non-believers. If you don't believe in God, why would you want to go to Heaven? I am not judging you, you are making your own choice. If you don't want to believe, God is not going to force you to be with Him. Therefore, Heaven is not a destination for those who don't want to go there. I am not judging you, you are. Not being argumentative here, just logical.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Let it Be

      @RJT
      Changed my screen name... there was another CHRIS making comments.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  19. just sayin

    People who support abortion will burn in hell for eternity, and I'm glad. They deserve it.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • David R. Scott

      YOU ARE AN IGNORANT @SS.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      Your insults prove that you are incapable of intelligent conversation. It only confirms what I say about sinners.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      @just sayin, what is good for George is better for you:

      Now all Catholic Girls will be forced to get abortions. It is all Obama's fault. He hates babies. Bas.tard. Well, the good news is Catholic girls love an.al and BJ's so even though they are now forced by law to have an abortion, they can prevent pregnancy by using secondary and tertiary orifices in their bodies! There, moral issue resolved!

      January 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Just sayin and not thinking

      How christian of you. Do you think your god delights when people burn for all eternity. Not surprising that a sadist would worship a sadist.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Jim

      I can't see how the wish to send anyone who doesn't adhere to your beliefs to an eternal hell is the start of any "intelligent conversation". You are an ignorant @ss.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • manhandler

      Don't mind burnin' as long as it doesn't kill me. Am I gonna be burning with the Pope and many Bishops who ignored molestations of little altar boys and the priests who committed these heinous acts? Probably so.....wonder if they're gonna be concerned about their religious beliefs while they're burnin'? Porbably not.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • bspurloc

      so u dont have a loving god eh? u have a god that decides u support abortion u r evil. u killed taliban u go to heaven. THOU SHALT NOT KILL has no other meaning. u kill taliban u r bad u support abortion u r good. or maybe u should take lessons from Newt. thou shal covet thy neighbors wife.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      God loves everyone, even sinners. But that doesn't mean that they aren't going to burn.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Susan

      Really, well in order for that to be true, one has to believe in your human-created, vindictive, mean-spirited god. Sorry – not buying it.

      Oh, and by the way, I'm sure your god will also punish you for supporting killing innocents during war, allowing women to die because of illegal abortions, allowing children to suffer and starve, etc. Well, that is if there is a god like the one you profess to believe in.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  20. PlayCracktheSky

    I'm glad to see this happening, especially since I'm on birth control. I don't see why Catholics don't just follow they're own beliefs and let the rest of us follow ours. Just because the option is there doesn't mean you have to use it.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Indigo

      That is what the story is about. The Catholics want to follow their beliefs by not having to hand out birth control. Maybe you should have read the article before posting.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
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About this blog

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.