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Cardinal Dolan Mistakenly Took Obama Seriously

by Keith Koffler on March 31, 2012, 3:05 pm

The leader of the Catholic church in America clearly feels that, on the issue of forcing Catholic institutions to cover birth control, President Obama either misled him with assurances or reversed himself.

Take a look at this interview running today in the Wall Street Journal with a disappointed Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York. Obama, as the author notes, sounds somewhat imperious and dismissive.

Mr. Obama knew that the mandate would pose difficulties for the Catholic Church, so he invited Archbishop Dolan to the Oval Office last November, shortly before the bishops’ General Assembly in Baltimore. At the end of their 45-minute discussion, the archbishop summed up what he understood as the president’s message:

“I said, ‘I’ve heard you say, first of all, that you have immense regard for the work of the Catholic Church in the United States in health care, education and charity. . . . I have heard you say that you are not going to let the administration do anything to impede that work and . . . that you take the protection of the rights of conscience with the utmost seriousness. . . . Does that accurately sum up our conversation?’ [Mr. Obama] said, ‘You bet it does.’”

The archbishop asked for permission to relay the message to the other bishops. “You don’t have my permission, you’ve got my request,” the president replied.

“So you can imagine the chagrin,” Archbishop Dolan continues, “when he called me at the end of January to say that the mandates remain in place and that there would be no substantive change, and that the only thing that he could offer me was that we would have until August. . . . I said, ‘Mr. President, I appreciate the call. Are you saying now that we have until August to introduce to you continual concerns that might trigger a substantive mitigation in these mandates?’ He said, ‘No, the mandates remain. We’re more or less giving you this time to find out how you’re going to be able to comply.’ I said, ‘Well, sir, we don’t need the [extra time]. I can tell you now we’re unable to comply.’”

Dolan makes clear that the White House “compromise” on the issue is nothing of the sort – Catholic institutions still have to offer birth control, it’s just that the insurers will have to pay for them. What’s more, many of the entities are either self insured or are insured by Catholic insurers.
Dolan also regards it as an affront to religious liberty that the government decides which organizations are Catholic enough to avoid the mandate – to define the word “ministry.” Remember, churches themselves, as opposed to entities like Catholic hospitals, are not covered by the birth control requirement.

The archbishop sees a parallel irony in his dispute with Mr. Obama: “This is a strange turn of the table, that here a Catholic cardinal is defending religious freedom, the great proposition of the American republic, and the president of the United States seems to be saying that this is a less-than-important issue.”

Dolan suggests that the government intrusion will lead institutions to try to become more fully Catholic by servicing only Catholics. So far from not doing “anything to impede” the good work of Catholic institutions, non-Catholics will be left out in the cold. In certain cases, literally.

And so I guess we’ll need more government to help them.

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HTuttle March 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Anyone who looked into Obama’s history knows that’s his m.o.
Disarm any adversity by creating the impression that he is ‘with you’ in your concerns. In reality he is spewing his well rehearsed con lines and doesn’t even notice you’re talking.

Sailingbum April 1, 2012 at 9:05 am

Simply a liar……..

ol gator April 2, 2012 at 9:17 am

When barry hussein tilts up his nose to speak, to me he is no different than every other strongman,dictator,rogue, henchmen of the past.
His fall will come as they all do… he just doesn’t know it..

Telly Savalas March 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Democrats are like Used Car Dealers: They’re kind of slimey, talk a lot, shake hands a lot and you drive off the lot wondering what the Hell just happened…

Telly Savalas March 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Good Article
You said a mouthful, Keith

Telly Savalas March 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm

The Left is all about “Choice” unless you ‘choose’ to do you own thing.
Then you’re gonna pay

Moe March 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Obama has a lot of nerve lying to an Archbishop, he’ll meet his maker some day and pay for it.

Anonna March 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I believe the Obotmachine hoped that the many, many Catholic women who are using contraceptives would join the “war on women” meme and demand that the Church get with the free contraceptive program.

Unfortunately for the Obots, Catholic women (and I am one) see a vast difference between a personal decision to disobey a Church teaching and the federal government telling the Church what it has to do.

No outcry from Catholic women — thus, no war on women support — thus the mandate stands as what it is — the federal government powerplaying the Catholic Church even while the Amish and muslims are exempted from Obamacare.

Moe March 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

The real war on woman is this administration. If Catholic Charites can only help Catholics, how many woman will be turned away?

sportinlife10 March 31, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Doe anyone know why the Muslims got a free ride? And/or the Amish?
Maybe it’s the outfits?

Susan March 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm

The Amish don’t believe in insurance. Amish businesses don’t even pay in to Social Security. Islam considers insurance to be “haraam” under Sharia law, so Muslims get a free ride too. American Indians and Christian Scientists are exempt as well. As far as I know these two special interest groups have no religious objection to insurance.

gobnait March 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm

So basically, only the Catholics are getting screwed.

Susan March 31, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Us Southern Baptists aren’t getting any special treatment either…

Dunce Biden March 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Look, Obama is a lying illegal-loving parasitical country destroying monster. Anyone with half a brain knows it now. Vote out this narcissistic empty suit in November.

srdem65 March 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm

It’s just mind-boggling that the Obama administration, ordinary politicans, think they can push around the Catholic church where men and regimes much stronger than this gang from Chicago have failed.
We might remind the Obama machine that the most feared of the Mafia bowed to the Pope.

Star March 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I saw Archbishop Dolan on O’Reilly and he had that New Yorky tough thing going–I would not want to tangle with him even in this life.

Susan March 31, 2012 at 5:11 pm

We will not comply. That is what the Cardinal needs to tell Obama. There is no question that he is violating the 1st Amendment of the Constitution – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” Our founders so feared an all powerful central government that would enslave us to the state. The Constitution would have never been ratified without the promise of the first 10 amendments to protect our natural rights – our Bill of Rights. Take a stand and say no to him. Make him try to enforce those unconstitutional laws.

Obama is evil incarnate to lie so convincingly to the Cardinal’s face. The hollow man – soulless and no moral core. Wouldn’t doubt if the Alinskyite and the immature egghead flunkies who surround and adore him shared a good laugh about how he suckered Cardinal Dolan with his charming and seductive technique of lying with a straight face.

Girly1 March 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

By rights,this arrogant, insolent street thug should lose ALL of the Catholic rights, this arrogant votes, not to mention the Jewish vote, in November! In a perfect world, he should be frog-marched out of the WH by EVERY American who values their liberty and religious freedom! Obama is not a Socialist – he is a Communist. He has ‘flexibility’ for Russia, and gives the Catholic church his extended middle finger salute!

The fact that this issue could have gone either way, depending on the polls, makes it even more insidious. If ObamaCare is struck down by SCOTUS, I wonder if this issue will become moot. Not that it matters, the cat is already out of the bag.

Girly1 March 31, 2012 at 5:41 pm

….Sorry for the garbled first sentence. Keith, we need an
‘edit’ button for terrible typists like myself…

lcsouthern March 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm

OMG Obama Must Go…

Lizzy March 31, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Kinda makes me think Obama is not at all a religious man nor a very
respectful one. I can’t think of anything lower than taking the trust of a devoted
man of God and play him for a fool. There must be a special place for that sort
of despectible behavior he shows himself as a very low mean and devious little man. Shameful. Think he has the opinion he’s better than God.

Sadie March 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm

“Kinda makes me think Obama is not at all a religious man nor a very
respectful one.”

Marxists never are.

The only thing that surprised me was that Obama didn’t say, “I’ve got your back”. If Obama has your back, you can be sure there’s a knife in it or it’s heading in the same direction.

Susan March 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm
Lizzy March 31, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I was trying very hard due to converting to becoming a Catholic late in
life not to say what would have had me on my knees for a very long
time. You try to rise above the Obama disrespect for the Catholics in the world but it surely tests my ‘turn the the other cheek’ soon my head will
be on a permanent swivel.

MarjoJimbo March 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Excellent article in the WSJ. I am glad Cardinal Dolan is on my side!

El Tigre March 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Barack is making the US an Obama Nation.

srdem65 March 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm

It took me a moment, but I get it. Good one.

Telly Savalas March 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Keith, your headline was Funny As Hell by the way

Swedish lady April 1, 2012 at 2:40 am

Another excellent article from the Wall Street Journal found it´s way to one of the most important morningpapers ( Svenska Dagbladet ) over here. It´s Peggy Noonans article ” The-not-so-smooth-operator”. She calls Obama and his politics creepy. And that is exactly the feeling I get too when I see and hear him. The open mic statement he gave to Medvedev ( flexibility….) should be played up in the Republican campaign.

sportinlife10 April 1, 2012 at 8:11 am

This is very interesting politics. Catholic Prelates, including Americans, are no strangers to political intrigue, and know their way around just about anything or anybody, doctrine or discipline.
That they were apparently sandbagged by “the Chicago Way” is the stuff of tell-all books to come. I have to wonder what in the world they expected, supporting the o’s election. Is their white guilt as naive as everyone else’s? Should I have expected more?
Politics aside, the danger to the First Amendment is so worrisome. And I watch carefully to see that the administration is not moving from a “freedom of religion” concept to “freedom of woship”. It’s not the same.

Anonna April 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

Yes, his “historicness” blinded them somehow.

anneinarkansas April 1, 2012 at 9:55 am

I read this on Fox Nation.
Bless Cardinal Dolan for not being taken in by a lying president…he gave him every chance to be honest.
As Peggy Noonan says, This Obama character is dishonest and deceitful…she goes on to call him creepy.

Lizzy April 1, 2012 at 10:24 am

Creepy doesn’t begin the description of Obama and Michelle I think is
just evil and vile. That’s no April fool either.

Anonna April 1, 2012 at 11:42 am

The Obama crew can’t lose on this one — they think.

Either the Catholic Church knuckles under and offers birth control in violation of its teachings –

Or the Catholic Church can no longer be an employer.

Can you imagine what it would do the Church in the United States if it could no employ anyone? No pastor’s assistants, no hospitals, no Catholic schools, no maintenance staffs for churchs — it would be the very kind of devastation that the Obots want.

Shofar April 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

The church would still be able to employ individuals, it is that anyone they hire would have to sign an employment contract stating that they are Catholic, and will abide by the tenets of church doctrine. The RC Church would also have to drop accepting any money from the federal government, no Medicare or Medicaid patients in their hospitals.

While I imagine that a good number of good Catholics do use birth control, I would venture a guess that there are more that believe in following their conscience and the teachings of the church than in following the mandates of the government. The priests, bishops, and cardinals need to stand and start stating from their respective pulpits what Jesus taught, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, render unto God what is God’s.” This holds, not only for the RCs but, for every denomination, affiliation, and faith.

If Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Conservatives, Reforms, non-denominationalist, and all other manner of those that believe in the Judeo-Christian roots of this country were to set aside their doctrinal differences and stand as one voice and force proclaiming and preaching the rights laid out in the First Amendment, this incarnation of government would have to back down, lest it face a backlash and uprising stronger and more vocal than the trust-fund babies that are running OWS.

Moe April 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Excellent, preach it!

Strother Martin April 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

And it must be done this election before the uprising/crackdown/resistance/lockdown cycle begins

Strother Martin April 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I should re-phrase and say we are in phase one of that cycle

Susan April 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Applause! Applause! Well said Shofar. That is basically what the Tea Party is all about. Overlooking our differences to organize a peaceful uprising of people of all faiths or non-faiths who believe our founders based this federal government on Judeo-Christian morals and values (see Amendments 1-10 which protect our natural rights). We are people from every of walk of life, of every color, sex, or heritage, and one of our primary goals is to return to a constitutionally limited government and get rid of these nanny state totalitarians in every level of government.

sportinlife10 April 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Yes. But it is disappointing that the idea should have to come from the laity. Again.
Hello, Leaders?

Wiss April 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Liberals have to lie and create scandal. If they told the truth about their Marxist agenda, they wouldn’t win elections. I pray that our bishops and Cardinal Dolan don’t trust this man and never believe anything that comes out of his mouth.

MT for re-redistribution April 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

‘Well, sir, we don’t need the [extra time]. I can tell you now we’re unable to comply.’”


Smaj April 3, 2012 at 12:40 am

Wake up, Your Eminence. You played with fire and got burned. Obama and his handlers want to bury the Catholic Church.

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