Note: On January 30, 2012, Thomas Aquinas College President Michael F. McLean mailed the following letter to California’s two U.S. senators, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer, and the College’s local congressman, Rep. Elton Gallegly:
I am writing on behalf of Thomas Aquinas College to express the College’s strong disapproval of the Obama Administration’s decision to require that coverage for sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception be included in virtually all health plans.
Voluntary sterilization, abortion, and artificial contraception are all directly contrary to Catholic teaching and cannot, in any way, be supported by individual Catholics or Catholic institutions desiring to live in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The administration’s allowance of a one-year delay before religious employers are forced to comply with the HHS mandate does not ameliorate the situation at all; in the words of Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “in effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”
Archbishop Dolan continued: “Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.” Making a similar point, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said “this mandate gravely compromises religious liberty.”
Americans hold dear our country’s long tradition of honoring freedom of conscience for its citizens. We at Thomas Aquinas College hope, therefore, that you will join with us and with all who believe in the Constitution and religious liberty to oppose this mandate. I urge you to expend every effort to have it withdrawn.
Michael F. McLean
Thomas Aquinas College
Cc: Barack Obama, President of the United States
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York Cardinal
Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
Archbishop José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles