February 15, 2012

I’m reading and hearing everywhere that 98% of sexually active women use birth control regardless of religious affiliation and that the new affordable care act makes it mandatory for institutions offering health insurance plans to offer contraception free of charge.  It’s also clear that contraception is far cheaper than pre-natal care, birth or abortion.  Catholic bishops are in an uproar because they don’t want contraception included in the medical insurance policies of hospitals, universities and other institutions within their purview.  So it should follow that these institutions pay more for health insurance for their employees than similar but secular institutions given that their policies will be covering more births and pre-natal care than policies that include contraception.  But they’re not paying more because the President offered them an out and the insurance companies will magically provide contraception free of charge directly to the employees.  So the bishops get to continue what some may term hypocrisy by making believe they are not offering contraception coverage to their employees.  They’re good at this self-deception thing as they’ve been turning a blind eye to women using daily birth control medication while taking communion for decades; which sounds distressingly like receiving a sacrament while in a state of serious sin which used to be called a sacrilege and was punishable by eternal damnation.

I’m sure that many of these women realize the ridiculousness of the church’s position and follow thecorrectness of their own consciences but there are probably many who are living in terrible fear and internal conflict.  But the church has always treated women as second class citizens so we shouldn’t be surprised at this continuation of the callousness of the hierarchy toward them.

Earlier today I was reading “To be Human Against All Odds” by Frederick Franck.  The book was a gift from our soul friends Martha and Jack and is frighteningly beautiful and fearless.  In the book is a synopsis of a conversation that Franck had with Albert Schweitzer.  Schweitzer had been interviewed by a magazine reporter who tried to get him to speak of theology but Schweitzer wouldn’t bite and simply replied, “Dogma divides, the Spirit unites”.

I would love to see the Catholic Church, the church of my youth to which I no longer belong, let dogma be healed by the spirit of humanness which, it seems to me, was what Jesus was all about. But it doesn’t seem to be headed in that direction.  In fact I hear they are repudiating many of the human changes instituted by Pope John XXIII in the Second Vatican Council of the early 1960’s.

Posted February 15, 2012

1 Comment

I agree with you Phil. The Catholic church cares much more about dogma than people. Dogma is a tool that can be used to secure power. Jesus, who preached compassion and love, would be appalled if he were still around.
World population has quadrupled in 200 years and still powerful old men insist on forcing people to live by outdated rules that never worked in the first place. There is no common sense and the results are bound to be calamitous if they prevail. Just because there has been no Malthusian disaster, doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen.

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