Bishop Paul Swain of the Diocese of Sioux Falls reportedly sent out a letter expressing his displeasure with a local Catholic college’s decision to host Sister Simone Campbell, because of her strong support of Obamacare which he says violates religious freedom, according to SeattlePi.com.
In a letter to area clergy, Bishop Swain reportedly said he objected to Sister Simone’s support of the new health care law as well as her criticism of the bishops’ objections to the law.
Mount Marty College's Benedictine Institute of Leadership, Ethics and Social Justice last night hosted Sr. Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, to give a speech entitled "Health Care and the Poor,” according to the College’s website.
Campbell recently criticized the bishops’ stance against the HHS contraception and sterilization mandate, reportedly saying, "The Obama administration basically accepted all of the requests of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and made modifications. And yet, the bishops persist in saying it isn't sufficient. They keep moving the goal post. It's a question of giving people true information and not just fear."
Bishop Swain reportedly wrote that he was aware of Sister Campbell’s support of the law and her critique of the bishops as well as her belief that the HHS mandate is not a threat to religious liberty. “Those who seek to know what the Church really teaches should look to the statements of the Bishops,” he reportedly wrote. “Her position is both personal and wrong.”
Bishop Swain criticized Obamacare as an infringement on religious liberty. “It also includes the mandate to require religious institutions as well as faithful Christians in their personal and corporate lives to provide for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and artificial contraception along with whatever other medications or procedures that may be added to the list of government-mandated coverage in the future,” he stated. “As a result, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has consistently protested its enactment.”
In conclusion, Bishop Swain reportedly wrote, “Neither Sister Campbell’s remarks nor the content of her message are endorsed by me or the diocese. Given the moral gravity of the concerns, care must be taken to insure the faithful are taught on this issue with clarity.”
Mount Marty President Joseph Benoit reportedly said Swain had previously approved Campbell’s appearance last spring. "We have to be open and take into account that everyone is entitled to a viewpoint," he said.
When asked by The Weekly Standard whether it should it be illegal to perform abortions, Sister Campbell answered, “That’s beyond my pay grade. I don’t know.”
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