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Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - rbjmartin - 10-23-2012

For the purposes of this discussion, please refer the text below, which describes the religious exemptions allowed by the HHS mandate (see http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-15/pdf/2012-3547.pdf for full text):

Quote:The amended interim final regulations specified that, for purposes of this exemption, a religious employer is one that: (1) Has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization described in section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Code. Section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) and (iii) of the Code refers to churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches, as well as to the exclusively religious activities of any religious order. In the HRSA Guidelines, HRSA exercised its discretion under the amended interim final regulations such that group health plans established and maintained by these religious employers (and any group health insurance coverage provided in connection with such plans) are not required to cover contraceptive services.

My question: if a "Catholic" organization cannot meet all four of the conditions provided above, does it really have any business calling itself "Catholic," anyway? For example, most Catholic hospitals do not hire primarily Catholic employees. Their employees are not required to make a profession of Faith. So what is particularly Catholic about these hospitals, aside from being named after saints and having a couple of plain clothes sisters sitting on the board of directors? Are these institutions doing anything to promote the Catholic Faith?

Obviously, if Catholic hospitals were run by religious (as they once were) and employed only Catholics (i.e. only those willing to make a profession of Faith), it would be a different story. They would be exempt from the HHS mandate (as religious orders, houses of worship, and seminaries are).

Perhaps the Church in America should see this as an opportunity to purify its identity. Perhaps it makes sense for it to renounce the Catholic affiliation of hospitals/organizations that are not exclusively run by Catholics and according to Catholic values.

Thoughts?


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - Pilgrim - 10-23-2012

In terms of the hiring practices, I'm not sure that beggars can be choosers.  I mean, if you want the best doctors, nurses, etc., they might not necessarily be Catholic.  However, the policies that these workers are required to abide by as employees of a Catholic institution should certainly be Catholic.


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - rbjmartin - 10-23-2012

(10-23-2012, 04:41 PM)Pilgrim Wrote: In terms of the hiring practices, I'm not sure that beggars can be choosers.  I mean, if you want the best doctors, nurses, etc., they might not necessarily be Catholic.  However, the policies that these workers are required to abide by as employees of a Catholic institution should certainly be Catholic.

OK, I understand that. But in the interests of the Church, why should these institutions be called Catholic or affiliated with the Church if it employees non-Catholics and no profession of Faith is required? What benefit does this do for the Church and for the Faith?


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - Pilgrim - 10-23-2012

(10-23-2012, 04:42 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: OK, I understand that. But in the interests of the Church, why should these institutions be called Catholic or affiliated with the Church if it employees non-Catholics and no profession of Faith is required? What benefit does this do for the Church and for the Faith?

It shows that we are active in the world as Christ asked us to be.


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - rbjmartin - 10-23-2012

(10-23-2012, 04:47 PM)Pilgrim Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 04:42 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: OK, I understand that. But in the interests of the Church, why should these institutions be called Catholic or affiliated with the Church if it employees non-Catholics and no profession of Faith is required? What benefit does this do for the Church and for the Faith?

It shows that we are active in the world as Christ asked us to be.

But these institutions are doing so in a natural mode, i.e. for employment. They aren't doing anything differently than secular institutions, as far as I can tell. When it was religious who were running these places, it was in a purely supernatural mode, i.e. not for pay, but for charity.

To distill my inquiry, I ask, "How do these institutions build up the kingdom of God and promote the salvation of souls?"


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - DJR - 10-23-2012

(10-23-2012, 04:38 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: Obviously, if Catholic hospitals were run by religious (as they once were) and employed only Catholics (i.e. only those willing to make a profession of Faith), it would be a different story. They would be exempt from the HHS mandate (as religious orders, houses of worship, and seminaries are).

This is not true.  A Catholic hospital would not be exempt even if all the employees were Catholic (which has never been the case here in the U.S.) if a significant number of people who get treated at the hospital are non-Catholic.  Most Catholic hospitals could never meet condition number 3.

Just went to a CLE on this topic tonight and heard from the lawyers representing numerous dioceses around the country.


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - rbjmartin - 10-24-2012

(10-23-2012, 11:49 PM)DJR Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 04:38 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: Obviously, if Catholic hospitals were run by religious (as they once were) and employed only Catholics (i.e. only those willing to make a profession of Faith), it would be a different story. They would be exempt from the HHS mandate (as religious orders, houses of worship, and seminaries are).

This is not true.  A Catholic hospital would not be exempt even if all the employees were Catholic (which has never been the case here in the U.S.) if a significant number of people who get treated at the hospital are non-Catholic.  Most Catholic hospitals could never meet condition number 3.

Just went to a CLE on this topic tonight and heard from the lawyers representing numerous dioceses around the country.

But it would be a non-issue, anyway, if only religious and professed Catholics were working in such hospitals. Of course they would have no need of contraception or abortion services.

I really would like to know what people think of the question I posed above ("How do these institutions build up the kingdom of God and promote the salvation of souls?"). It is a sincere question. The answer to that question has a significant impact on how the Church should react to the HHS mandate. If Catholic hospitals are not promoting the Faith and the salvation of souls, then shouldn't we just shut them down, anyway, or let them go secular? What is the point in them being Catholic-affiliated? I am honestly unsure of the answer.


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - Poche - 10-24-2012

Its an attempt to coerce Catholic institutions to subsidize artificial contraception. If this continues, the insurance companies will require their aprticipants to use an "approved" method of contraception.  What could happen is that if the contraception mandate goes through - then all of the Catholic institutions will either close completely or lose their "Catholic" affiliation.
:'(( :'(( :'((


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - rbjmartin - 10-24-2012

(10-24-2012, 01:51 AM)Poche Wrote: Its an attempt to coerce Catholic institutions to subsidize artificial contraception. If this continues, the insurance companies will require their aprticipants to use an "approved" method of contraception.  What could happen is that if the contraception mandate goes through - then all of the Catholic institutions will either close completely or lose their "Catholic" affiliation.
:'(( :'(( :'((

I understand all that. I'm trying to come to an understanding of what makes many of these institutions "Catholic." What is "Catholic" about their mission? Are they doing something that makes them essentially different from Protestant or secular hospitals and which benefits the Church and the salvation of souls?


Re: Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - Poche - 10-26-2012

(10-24-2012, 01:57 AM)rbjmartin Wrote:
(10-24-2012, 01:51 AM)Poche Wrote: Its an attempt to coerce Catholic institutions to subsidize artificial contraception. If this continues, the insurance companies will require their aprticipants to use an "approved" method of contraception.  What could happen is that if the contraception mandate goes through - then all of the Catholic institutions will either close completely or lose their "Catholic" affiliation.
:'(( :'(( :'((

I understand all that. I'm trying to come to an understanding of what makes many of these institutions "Catholic." What is "Catholic" about their mission? Are they doing something that makes them essentially different from Protestant or secular hospitals and which benefits the Church and the salvation of souls?
They are supposed to be works of charity done in the name of the Cahtolic churchh.