Panel Discussion — The Frontline in the Struggle for Religious Liberty in the U.S. Today

This Panel Discussion was part of the Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom Conference, sponsored by the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. The Panelists were: Fr. Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, President of Franciscan University of Steubenville Dr. Kurt Martens, Associate Professor of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America Jayd Hendricks, Director of the Congressional Liaison Office for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Dr. Anne Hendershott, Professor of Sociology at Franciscan University of Steubenville The Panel was moderated by Dr. Daniel R. Kempton, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Dr. Kenneth L. Grasso — Articles to Kulterkampf: Catholicism, the HHS Mandate, Religious Pluralism

Dr. Kenneth L. Grasso, Professor of Political Science at Texas State University, delivers his talk entitled “From Articles to Kulterkampf: Catholicism, the HHS Mandate, and the Problem of Religious Pluralism in America.”  Dr. Grasso’s talk was part of the Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom Conference, sponsored by the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Richard Doerflinger — The ‘Catch-22’ of the Contraceptive Mandate

Richard Doerflinger, associate director of Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, came to Franciscan University to speak on “Freedom for me but not for Thee: How ‘Reproductive Rights’ is Threatening Freedom of Religion,” on October 24, 2012. In this excerpt he speaks on the “catch-22” nature of the HHS mandate. Doerflinger’s talk was sponsored by the Institute of Bioethics.

Richard Doerflinger — The Sweeping Consequences of the Contraceptive Mandate

Richard Doerflinger, associate director of Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, came to Franciscan University to speak on “Freedom for me but not for Thee: How ‘Reproductive Rights’ is Threatening Freedom of Religion,” on October 24, 2012. This excerpt is on the sweeping consequences of the HHS contraceptives mandate. Doerflinger’s talk was sponsored by the Institute of Bioethics.

Dr. Janet Smith — On Religious Freedom and the HHS Mandate

In Addition to speaking at our Defending the Faith conference this past summer, Dr. Janet Smith, chair of life ethics and professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, had a moment to sit down with us here at Franciscan University and reflect on Religious Freedom and the HHS Mandate.

The Health Care Decision and the Future Role of the Courts in Upholding Constitutional Principles

Neither Left nor Right but Catholic

     The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law is probably a disappointment to many readers of this column. One of the things many people are scratching their head about—and some expressing something like a feeling of betrayal—is why Chief Justice Roberts joined the majority. Obviously, I cannot “get into Roberts’ mind” to answer that question. One writer speculated that Roberts made the decision he did to protect the integrity of the Court as a non-political institution. Perhaps, but with half or more of the American public against the law it does not seem as if the Court would have suffered much damage to its reputation if it had decided the other way.

Obamacare Overreaches on HHS Mandate

 A Catholic biologist weighs in on what is wrong about one aspect of the federal healthcare mandate.

It’s an understatement to say that the Obama administration’s announcement that it will require all health-care plans to include free coverage for contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs (abortifacients) and sterilizations did not go over as smoothly as planned.

While the new rule is similar to provisions already in place in 28 states, the administration distinguished itself by failing to include an adequate religious exemption.

As a result, Catholic charities, colleges and hospitals will be required to provide services that violate their religious beliefs.

The lack of a real religious exemption triggered a wave of backlash that appeared to catch the administration by surprise.

Opposition from many religious circles was to be expected, but the fact that publications such as USA Today and The Washington Post came out in opposition to the lack of a religious exemption could not have been anticipated.

Caught in a firestorm of controversy, the Obama administration tried to wordsmith its way out of the mess.

Read more at NCRegister.com.

Franciscan, Ave Maria, and Obamacare

Two Catholic universities’ decisions to drop student health-care plans show Obamacare’s long-term goal: Force Americans to choose government-subsidized plans over no insurance at all.

Two Catholic universities, Franciscan University of Steubenville and Ave Maria University, recently announced that they will drop their student health-care plans for the coming year. The schools also announced that they will no longer require students to have health insurance.

Given the giant range of institutions and people affected by Obamacare and its mandates, the impact of this decision by two universities, each with less than 3,000 students, may seem small. But it is not the scope of impact that matters so much as the broader problem the decision highlights. Two federal regulations that pushed Franciscan and Ave Maria to drop student health-care plans indicate quite clearly what will happen if Obamacare is allowed to stand: More Americans will become uninsured unless they transition into government-subsidized healthcare plans.

Read more at The Public Discourse.

Franciscan University Presents on EWTN