The controversy that has arisen regarding the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision not to exempt many Catholic institutions from its mandate that health insurance plans provide contraceptive services deserves serious attention. Here are some resources for people who would like to sort it out.
The U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty express their objection to the mandate in the document “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty.” This statement and other resources can be found at the bishops’ website here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/
The journal Commonweal, published by lay Catholics and leaning liberal, has devoted a recent issue to perspectives on the controversy. They are available at: http://commonwealmagazine.org/bishops-religious-liberty.
Boston College’s “Church in the 21st Century” initiative includes a webcast archive. “Is Religious Liberty Under Threat in America?” is a recent addition. This 44 minute panel discussion took place on April 18, and is balanced and reasoned, although some background from the sources above may be helpful first. To find the video, go to http://www.bc.edu/church21/ and click “C21 Webcasts on Demand.” Look under “The Catholic Intellectual Tradition.”
Posted by: Andrew Bechman