President Obama has most probably done the Catholic Church in the US a great favour by forcing it into a position where it has had to unite to oppose his healthcare proposals. Though Archbishop Nichols might be oblivious to "what is down the road", his American brothers are only too aware. It is the removal of the Catholic Church from the public forum, the severe limiting of its service of the community and probably it itself having to lay off tens of thousands of its lay employees to avoid having to go against conscience and pay for contraception or sterilisation.
In England such concerns would be expressed behind closed doors, normally ending up with the Church conceding to the Governments position, in the US the Bishops have used the media coverage to explain to the public the Church's teaching, here we are less robust and our people suffer doctrinal confusion.
The Wall Street Journal has this to say:
Less predictable—and far more interesting—has been the heat from the Catholic left, including many who have in the past given the president vital cover. In a post for the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters minces few words. Under the headline "J'ACCUSE," he rightly takes the president to the woodshed for the politics of the decision, for the substance, and for how "shamefully" it treats "those Catholics who went out on a limb" for him.thanks to Luke Coppen
The message Mr. Obama is sending, says Mr. Winters, is "that there is no room in this great country of ours for the institutions our Church has built over the years to be Catholic in ways that are important to us."
Mr. Winters is not alone. The liberal Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, blogged that he "cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience"—and he urged people to fight it. Another liberal favorite, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., has raised the specter of "civil disobedience" and vowed that he will drop coverage for diocesan workers rather than comply. They are joined in their expressions of discontent by the leaders of Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities, which alone employs 70,000 people.
Comments: are welcome but make sure they are sensible, my tolerance of the madcap, or raving has reached its limit!