PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Catholic Bishop David Zubik used strong words today to describe his unhappiness at the Obama Administration.
The issue is over whether Catholic-run institutions should be required to offer their employees an insurance plan that covers contraceptives.
In a personal column in the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper, Zubik accused the Obama Administration of saying to all Catholics, “To Hell with you.”
“Bishop, don’t you inflame the situation by saying the administration is saying, ‘To Hell with you,’ the Catholic faithful of the United States, in your letter?” KDKA’s John Shumway asked Zubik on KDKA Radio Friday morning.
“All that I’m saying is that I hope it receives the attention that it deserves because that’s what it feels like,” said Zubik.
The Bishop defended his view that Catholic hospitals, universities and other Catholic institutions be allowed to deny contraceptives in the health insurance plans they offer employees, even non-Catholic employees.
“This does cut at the heart of freedom for all of us as citizens,” Zubik said. “This is a particular issue that is demanding that we do something, that all Catholic institutions do something that goes against our conscience.”
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has ruled that, while a church itself can deny contraceptive coverage to its own employees, if the church operates a hospital or university open to all, then those employees must have an option for an insurance plan with contraceptive services.
But Zubik says that Catholic-run institutions cannot offer contraceptives without violating their beliefs, which is why he used the strong language.
“I hope the people see the seriousness of it all,” he said. “I used the phrase intentionally because that’s what it felt like – that we rebuffed in our concerns, that the objections that we raised that are so central to the First Amendment of the Constitution didn’t seem to matter.”