Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations
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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-...2-3547.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?
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Question about HHS Mandate and Catholic Organizations - by rbjmartin - 10-23-2012, 04:38 PM



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