WH website falsely claiming support from Catholic groups for HHS mandate

posted at 8:41 am on June 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last Friday, the Catholic Health Association reversed a decision in February to support the Obama administration’s “compromise” on the HHS contraception mandate and its incredibly narrow religious exemption.  As a few people have pointed out, including my friend Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner, the White House has not updated its website to reflect this change.  The page is, of course, a blog post rather than a static page, and under normal circumstances bloggers might not get around to updating months-old posts with new data for a long time, if ever.  Usually they will at least write a new post covering a significant change on an important topic, however, but the White House has posted nothing anywhere on its site about CHA’s change of position.  A search on the site for “Catholic Health Association” produces nothing new since the February blog post, and 57 prior claims of support from CHA on ObamaCare.

That isn’t the only problem with the claims made in that February post.  This is how the White House described the response to the HHS mandate “compromise” from CHA and other organizations, including two other Catholic groups:

This policy has earned praise from a wide range of individuals and organizations, including many organizations that will be directly affected by this policy. Here’s what people are saying:

Catholic Health Association
“The Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the White House announcement that a resolution has been reached that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions. The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed.” …

Catholics United
“Catholics United has been calling on both sides of this heated debate to work towards today’s win-win solution. President Obama has shown us that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic institutions.”

As we have seen, CHA is no longer “very pleased” and now insists that the so-called compromise is “unlikely to adequately meet the religious liberty concerns” of its members — all of the Catholic hospitals and clinics in the US.  Catholics United’s position has not changed, but it’s also a liberal-activist lay organization that blasted the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for having the temerity to sue the Obama administration while religious persecution takes place in other places, too.  (Unfortunately, I’m not kidding.)  However, the White House site also still makes a claim for support from Catholic Charities:

Catholic Charities
“Catholic Charities USA welcomes the Administration’s attempt to meet the concerns of the religious community and we look forward to reviewing the final language. We are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction and are committed to continuing our work to ensure that our religious institutions will continue to be granted the freedom to remain faithful to our beliefs, while also being committed to providing access to quality healthcare for our 70,000 employees and their families across the country.”

Catholic Charities has not officially changed its position, a point which the organization takes care to make on its website.  However, they also make it plain that they didn’t endorse the HHS mandate “compromise,” either:

We have not endorsed the accommodation to the HHS mandate that was announced by the Administration at that time. We unequivocally share the goal of the US Catholic bishops to uphold religious liberty and will continue to work with the USCCB towards that goal.

CCUSA is in the process of carefully reviewing the revised language released by the Administration and intends to take full advantage of the comment period to express our questions and concerns. Our focus remains on our ability to maintain our Catholic identity and religious liberties as an organization and to ensure continued access to quality care for our 70,000 employees and their families across the country.

Last Friday, Catholic Charities filed its official response to the rule change, and it’s crystal clear that they have deep reservations about the so-called compromise.  The response combines comments from the initial September 2011 and March 2012 rule-making announcements, but we’ll focus on the latter, especially since it’s clear that the latter did nothing to allay the concerns of Catholic Charities on the former (emphases mine):

While CCUSA unquestionably is a religious employer, it may not satisfy the definition set forth in the August 3, 2011 Notice. Specifically, CCUSA probably meets the second prong of the definition – primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets (although we and our member agencies do not require employees to be Catholics) – and the fourth prong – organized as a non-profit under the identified provisions of the tax code. However, because our mission is to reduce poverty and provide assistance to the poor and needy regardless of their faith without proselytizing or attempting to convert people to our faith, we arguably do not meet the first prong – purpose is inculcating religious values – or the third prong – primarily serves persons who share religious tenets. The Interim Rule’s definition of religious employer has the absurd effect of punishing CCUSA and its member agencies for providing services to all who need them and requiring us to limit our hiring and our services to Catholics! Surely, that is not the intent of the federal issuing agencies and does nothing but harm to the poor and needy of our nation. Even more disturbing, the Interim Rule’s narrow definition would require CCUSA and its member agencies to provide contraceptive and abortion-related services to their employees in direct contravention of our Catholic teachings and faith. …

CCUSA cannot be required at any time either to fund or to provide information about where to obtain contraceptive and abortion-related services. In both cases, the actions would be completely counter to our religious beliefs and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and a direct violation of our religious liberties. If the federal government wants to provide these services, then it must find a way to fund them without using any funds of CCUSA, including but not limited to the insurance premiums CCUSA pays to its health care provider. Similarly, the health insurance issuer could not use any funds of CCUSA and the contraceptive and abortion-related services could not be included in CCUSA’s group health insurance plan.

The letter concludes:

As described above, CCUSA implores the issuing agencies to expand the definition of religious employer so that CCUSA and its member agencies, who unquestionably are religious organizations and who provide needed services to millions of people every day without regard to the recipients’ religion, are exempt. Anything short of this is a violation of our religious liberties.

I’m pretty sure that’s not a statement endorsing the White House compromise.  The White House needs to update its website to cease in the false implication that these two Catholic organizations in any way support Barack Obama’s so-called “compromise” on the HHS contraception mandate.


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What, you expect honesty from this administration?

rbj on June 19, 2012 at 8:46 AM

So the White House lied? Unbelievable!

Archivarix on June 19, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Why stop lying now???…

PatriotRider on June 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Call me concerned……

all this “prep” and playing the expectations game, and leaks.

I have to assume that the SCOTUS will uphold this monstrosity until proven otherwise.

PappyD61 on June 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM

All this administration has left is deception and distractions (lies). They are moving through the sprectrum toward outright tyranny to get what they want. Expect violence from them before the end of the year.

HomeoftheBrave on June 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM

How much easier would it have been if the Catholic Church had never made that unholy deal with the progressive devil to begin with. They’d have so much more credibility now. Maybe…just maybe, with less progressiveness, there’d be fewer Cristers (Christmas & Easter only) or cafeteria-catholics around today.

swinia sutki on June 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Related news: Elizabeth Warren declines invitation by Cherokee Tribe reps to meet with her “ancestors”.

petefrt on June 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM

The 1991 brochure saying Obama was born in Kenya wasn’t updated…

Hmmmm.. I don’t know…

When it was convenient.

Electrongod on June 19, 2012 at 8:53 AM

this damn Memory Hole Machine no longer works the way it’s supposed to…

mittens on June 19, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Do you think the WH website will mention the Supreme Court striking down Obamacare when that happens?

fogw on June 19, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Why stop lying now???…

PatriotRider on June 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Exactly! That would create a whole new set of expectations from this WH :)…..I’d rather have fhem lie until nov and then go away, for good….

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 9:03 AM

lies,damn lies, and democrats

gerrym51 on June 19, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Do you think the WH website will mention the Supreme Court striking down Obamacare when that happens?

fogw on June 19, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Maybe, in small print, if you are patient enough to scroll down past the plethora of dear leader’s accomplishments in office, marked in bold, large font of course….

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Doubt they will do the right thing

cmsinaz on June 19, 2012 at 9:09 AM

lies,damn lies, and democrats

gerrym51 on June 19, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Every so often I wonder if these liberals actually believe what they’re saying, or if they’re knowingly spreading untruths.

Cripes, they’ve giving up on even trying to hide their lies…they hust throw them out there, put an official seal next to them, and get ready for the next round of misinformation for political gain.

JetBoy on June 19, 2012 at 9:10 AM

I’m pretty sure that’s not a statement endorsing the White House compromise. The White House needs to update its website to cease in the false implication that these two Catholic organizations in any way support Barack Obama’s so-called “compromise” on the HHS contraception mandate.

From the White House that interjects Obama into the biographies of past Presidents? Lots of luck with that.

Happy Nomad on June 19, 2012 at 9:10 AM

False claims by the White House? Color me shocked.
/

lynncgb on June 19, 2012 at 9:11 AM

There is no urgency to update fictional blogs.

hillsoftx on June 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Obama, despite his pretentions and delusions, is not God. Hell, he’s not even a third rate cult leader after his disastrous first term in office.

Sorry Barry, the Pope outranks you with respect to Christianity.

wildcat72 on June 19, 2012 at 9:17 AM

As a few people have pointed out, including my friend Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner, the White House has not updated its website to reflect this change.

wasn’t the greatest success of the current WH the fact that they made gov’t websites more updated and easier to navigate?

old and busted???/

ted c on June 19, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I wonder how much money obama thinks he is going to get when he sells HIS whitehouse at the end of his term? Or is he going to keep it and stay in it forever, since it is HIS whitehouse? Funny, this is the only presicent in memory that talks about HIS whitehouse. All the others, republican and dhimocrapt alike, have called it the Peoples’ House.

Old Country Boy on June 19, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Sorry Barry, the Pope outranks you with respect to Christianity.

wildcat72 on June 19, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Leaving aside the fact we abandoned the concept that the secular leader was head of the church, I question the idea that Obama has any right to call himself a Christian. Sitting a racist hate-filled sanctuary for twenty years does not make one a Christian. Showing up at a church in DC a couple of times a year with the press in tow does not make one a Christian. Attending prayer breakfasts and suggesting that Christ would be a rabid Obama supporter does not make one a Christian. While there is theological debate whether one is saved through grace, works, or grace and works; Obama has blantantly attacked religious freedom and replaced it with worship of the state. That is about as un-Christlike as you can get.

Happy Nomad on June 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM

There will still be some “Catholics” who will vote in November for Obama

J_Crater on June 19, 2012 at 9:27 AM

somewhat related…did everybody here wake up to the story about the nationwide Bloomberg poll of 734 people with a margin of error 3.6% telling us a 63% majority approved of Obama’s executive non-order not to enforce immigration laws?

Amazing how some things can get done so quickly while others can’t.

DanMan on June 19, 2012 at 9:28 AM

“Accuracy” and “transparency” haven’t exactly been hallmarks of the current administration.

GarandFan on June 19, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Happy Nomad, well done. No lie too big, no slime to low for the psychopath in the WH. Sad to say but “worship of the state” is the new religion, the blind, destructive surrender to power, the rage on the left towards dissent. It’s a cauldron that may overflow, around election time. With some help from Obama and our media.

arand on June 19, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Catholics United is an astro-turf faux-Catholic organization commissioned and funded in 2005 by George Soros. It consists almost entirely of paid staffers. They can barely summon half a dozen people for their protest/photo-ops.

http://www.catholicvoteaction.org/americanpapist/index.php?p=8218

theCork on June 19, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Cripes, they’ve giving up on even trying to hide their lies…

JetBoy on June 19, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Yep, but they are getting too bold with the lies and as a result they’re becoming brazenly obvious. That statement by Plouffe that the quasi immigration amnesty was not a political move was an insult to the intelligence of an an a$$. Someone would have to work pretty hard at being stupid enough to believe that.

lynncgb on June 19, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Showing up at a church in DC a couple of times a year with the press in tow does not make one a Christian.

Happy Nomad on June 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Good point. Occasionally sitting in a garage does not make one a car.

theCork on June 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM

WH website falsely claiming support from Catholic groups for HHS mandate

…oh I get it! How polite!…it’s like “guest worker” or “undocumented worker” is too ILLEGAL alien….”falsely claiming”…is polite for…LIES…LIES…and more LIES…!!!!.
.
.
besides…
.
.
.it’s the ECONOMY stupid…!!!

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Sorry Barry, the Pope outranks you with respect to Christianity.

Unfortunately, in the eyes of many of my fellow Catholics, Barry does outrank the Pope.

shinty on June 19, 2012 at 9:46 AM

What’s the big deal?
The Roman Catholics and the Greek Orthodox Catholics may not think much of the HHS mandate, but the Pelosian Catholics are just gaga about it!

VelvetElvis on June 19, 2012 at 9:48 AM

It’s been interesting to attend Sunday services since this whole thing blew up.

Our former pastor regularly gave into the more liberal members of our congregation. We had (notice the past tense) a Peace and Social Justice Committee that pursued issues such as universal healthcare and illegal immigration. Shortly before our former pastor was reassigned, this committee began to sputter and stall.

Our new pastor is decidedly more conservative than our former pastor. Our new pastor delivered a sermon on the contraception and abortion mandate issue right after the “compromise” was announced.

The following week, we were in the Sacristy preparing for Mass and he mentioned that he got some blow back for his comments, but he was expecting that.

Which leads me to attending Mass since the blow up – I’ve noticed certain members of the congregation that no longer attend our church. These were active members of the congregation. However, after speaking to numerous members of the congregation that haven’t left, these people who left were decidedly in the minority – they were a minority even at our more “liberal” church.

I think the shakeout from this whole thing will be a Catholic Church that is decidedly more conservative. In fact, I know a priest that teaches at a local seminary. He’s conservative, but he has said that if I think he’s conservative, I should see the young men currently studying for the priesthood.

italianguy626 on June 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

One thing to remember about the Catholic church is the fact that – at least here in the US – it is a church very much divided between progressive and tradidionalist wings.

Fortunately (at least from my perspective) the progressives have had been suffering one defeat after another. It began with the efforts by Pope John Paul II to stamp out “Liberation Theology”, which was an unholy (if you will allow me to use the expression) mixture of Communism and Catholicism. Having lived under a Communist government, John Paul II knew about the oppressive realities of a Communist system (as opposed to the rosy picture of “liberation” that academic Marxists believe in).

The second defeat for the progressives was the clerical pedophilia scandals. These scandals did not affect the church uniformly – the “progressive” dioceses were disproportionately affected. In the “progressive” dioceses, candidates to the priesthood who admitted homosexual tendencies were ordained, as long as they promised (yea, right) to remain celibate. We all know how that turned out. The fact that the victims of the pedophile priests were disproportionately (almost 70%) male was not accidental. The traditionalist dioceses were, by contrast, mostly spared. In my diocese (the Arlington, Virginia diosese – one of the more traditionalist areas) there was only one “problem priest” (we got him from another diosese) and he was quickly exposed and defrocked.

Obamacare is turning out to be one more defeat for the progressives. The organizations within the Catholic community which advocated for Obamacare (such as the CHA) are now watching the whole thing blow up in their faces. Obamacare is turning out to be an oppressive bureaucratic nightmare – which conservatives predicted a long time ago, but church liberals had to experience firsthand. It is kind of like waking up to the true nature of Communism, when the optimistic vision of “liberation” is replaced by the sight of a grisly reality.

That noise that you hear in the background is all of us traditionalists taunting our progressive coreligionists, saying (once again) “see we told you so”.

SubmarineDoc on June 19, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Ed:

I respectfully recommend you update your story with the White House phone number and ask your fellow Catholics to phone in and express their desire to have the information expeditiously updated…

Khun Joe on June 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Liberal definition of “compromise” is “you forget what you want and agree with everything I want.”

So in reality, Libbies prefer the other side surrender.

ProfShadow on June 19, 2012 at 10:12 AM

If you fall completely for the progressive religious outlook, it is that you become nothing more than a social society and God goes missing – and if you look at the experience of churches/dioceses of the more liberal churches you find alot of empty pews.

The old mainline protestants are essentially dead because they no longer stand for anything. If an organization no longer stands for God and morality, what is its purpose?

Zomcon JEM on June 19, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I think the shakeout from this whole thing will be a Catholic Church that is decidedly more conservative. In fact, I know a priest that teaches at a local seminary. He’s conservative, but he has said that if I think he’s conservative, I should see the young men currently studying for the priesthood.

italianguy626 on June 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I have to agree with you on this one.

The son of one of our friends was just ordained – he celebrated his first Mass this past Sunday. He is one of seven children, from a homeschooling family. Very traditionalist.

The progressives in the Catholic church in the US used to dominate, but no more. I see them as a dying breed. Liberalism within the church is just as dysfunctional as liberalism everywhere else in society.

SubmarineDoc on June 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Good point. Occasionally sitting in a garage does not make one a car.

theCork on June 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM

For that matter, sitting in the Oval Office for 3.5 years does not make one a leader. Obama is nothing but a place holder.

Happy Nomad on June 19, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I have to assume that the SCOTUS will uphold this monstrosity until proven otherwise.

PappyD61 on June 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM

So do I.

Alana on June 19, 2012 at 10:57 AM

What else do they have besides more lies. They continue to destroy their own creditability which is thin.

democratsarefools on June 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Would that be the same Catholic Church that made Pelosi Pontiff?

aposematic on June 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM

CCUSA is in the process of carefully reviewing the revised language released by the Administration and intends to take full advantage of the comment period to express our questions and concerns.

Sh1t or get off the pot, CCUSA. This isn’t about confirming a miracle. It’s all about a fast moving political football that Obummer is throwing and you’re too damned slow to throw it back. Just remember, you own what the WH claims you said unless you act quickly to disavow the WH claims.

Oh, and elections are just four and a half months away, so get cracking.

timberline on June 19, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Obama is losing the Catholic vote, and he is losing it at the parish level http://www.yellowdogpatrol.com/2012/06/fortnight-for-freedom-catholics-vs.html

msidders on June 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM

ANY Christian who votes for the J@ck@ss-In-Chief in November IS A LIAR TO THEIR FAITH, PERIOD!?!

Colatteral Damage on June 19, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Obama’s White House staff are saying that Catholics support Obamacare?

That would be like Hitler’s ReichsKanzellrei saying that the JDL Jewish Defense League supports the Final Solution.

Obama is apparently hugely arrogant in his calculated deceptions that the American public will just blindly swallow whatever Soylent Green he keeps shoving out.

CatchAll on June 19, 2012 at 7:22 PM