According to Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David A. Zubik’s Dec. 26 opinion piece “A Reprieve for Catholics,” if the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide birth control as a pharmaceutical benefit is upheld, it will force employers to “violate their consciences.” Huh?! No one is forcing anyone to use birth control, and a recent poll showed that 98 percent of Catholics do use some form of birth control.
As I look around my own Catholic Church, I see most families consist of two or three children, not the nine or 10 you would expect were they all practicing the “no birth control” rule of the Catholic Church. Perhaps the church is concerned about the number of couples choosing to limit their families, thus eventually limiting the number of Catholics, which is dwindling year by year.
If the Supreme Court, which is where this is all heading, upholds Bishop Zubik’s claim, you can be sure other religious groups will stand in line to have their own religious dogma recognized.
Our Constitution clearly calls for a separation of church and state. Just because the Catholic Church disallows birth control, it is blatantly unfair to dismiss family planning for thousands of other people who do not believe they are committing a mortal sin in being socially responsible to have only the number of children they can afford.
I’m siding with Pope Francis when he said, “The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules . . . The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”