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They Said It! Cardinal-Designate Says Obama Broke Promise On Religious Liberty

RNC Communications - February 9, 2012

Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan Says Obama Broke His Promise On Religious Liberty

Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan: “I haven't. I hope he would understand that I'm a bit skeptical because he gave us some promises at Notre Dame. He gave us some promises in the healthcare debate to Sister Carol Keehan and Catholic Health Association. He gave me promises. I'm skeptical, I'm saying wow, I hope I can continue to work with him here.”

CBS’ Charlie Rose: “So you are saying that the President has gone back on promises he made to you?”

Dolan: “I would say – I would say, Charlie, that when I left the Oval Office where I was very grateful for his invitation to be there, I left with high hopes that nothing that his administration would do would impede the good work that he admitted and acknowledged in the Church. And I am afraid I don't have those sentiments of hope now.”

Rose: “Do your conference of bishops want you to be more aggressive and more confrontational on this because it's such an important issue for the Church?”

Dolan: “It is an important issue, Charlie. I don't know if confrontation and aggressive is the word. We bishops aren't fighters, we're pastors, we want to stand on principle. We just want to do our work as effectively as we can. So, it's not like we're welcoming this. This isn't a fight of our choosing. It was somewhat imposed on us.”

 (CBS’ “This Morning,” 2/9/12)

OBAMA MADE THE DECISION TO IMPOSE CONTRACEPTION RULE FOR RELIGIOUSLY-AFFILIATED INSTITUTIONS

“In The End, It Was Mr. Obama Himself Who Made The Decision…” “The White House has been skittish from the start about the new rule, which was announced last month only after internal debates at the White House that, to some extent, pitted women — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is Catholic; Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president, and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the deputy chief of staff, on one side, arguing forcefully in favor of the rule, administration officials said. On the other side, cautioning that the administration tread carefully and look for ways to minimize another major break with the church, they said, were several Catholic men who are close advisers to Mr. Obama: Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and William M. Daley, the chief of staff at the time. Also weighing in, administration officials said, was Denis R. McDonough, the deputy national security adviser, whose purview does not naturally extend to health issues, but who is a Catholic. ‘I can’t tell you how many times we went over this,’ one administration official said, speaking on grounds of anonymity. In the end, it was Mr. Obama himself who made the decision, aides say, calculating that at the end of the day, the issue of public health access outweighed the concerns of the religious institutions.” (Helene Cooper And Katharine Q. Seelye, “Obama Tries To Ease Ire On Contraception Rule,” The New York Times, 2/7/12)

Obama Is Playing Both Sides Of The Contraceptive Debate. “The Obama administration is trying to play both sides in the debate over its controversial decision last month to force religious employers to cover contraception in employee health insurance plans, according to reports.” (“White House Tries To Play Both Sides Over Contraception Requirement,”  National Journal, 2/8/12) 

OBAMA IS NOT REACHING OUT TO THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY

Obama White House Can’t Produce List Of Religious Leaders Who Support Obama’s Decision. NBC’s KRISTEN WELKER:  “Thanks, Jay.  In the past, the administration has put forth names of officials who supported your policy decisions.  For example, during the American Jobs Act, when the President first rolled that out, we heard from a number of mayors.  Why not release names of religious leaders who support the HHS decision?” WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: “Well, I’m not sure I -- anybody who supports the decision to -- and the general approach to providing important health care services to women across the country is certainly welcome to express that opinion.  This is not -- again, this is -- I think that we’re engaged in a process that seeks to find a balance between a policy that ensures that women get access to these important services and that -- no matter where they work, and also deals with the understandable concerns of some religious groups.  And we’re in the process of doing that.” (Jay Carney, Remarks At White House Briefing, Washington, D.C., 2/8/12)

Obama White House Could Not Say Who Obama Has Reached Out To In Religious Community On This Issue. QUESTION: “You talked about the administration’s commitment to reaching out to religious groups and getting their views.  Is the President himself going to be involved in that process?  Has he done any kind of outreach on that yet?”  CARNEY:  “Well, I think there’s been some reporting about some of the conversations the President has had, but I don't have any scheduling or any calls or meetings to announce from here that he may have in the future.” QUESTION: “Does he want to be personally involved in that?” CARNEY:  “I think the President is very aware of and engaged in this issue.  But I don't have any, again, meetings to preview for you or conversations to announce.” (Jay Carney, Remarks At White House Briefing, Washington, D.C., 2/8/12)


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