"The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut are responsible for establishing andSo why did the Senate breach the wall? Because of the more permissive policies of the dioceses in our neighboring states:
determining what moral guidelines Catholic institutions should follow; not the
Waterbury Sen. Sam S.F. Caligiuri, R-16th District, said the compromises
reached in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota swayed his vote.
"Unfortunately, the Catholic conference in Connecticut hasn't reached that
conclusion. It remains to be seen whether it will. But because of that, it has
become clear to me that we aren't talking about Catholic teaching as an
institution, but rather a conflict between a compelling state interest and the
opinion of some Catholics in Connecticut about what Catholic teaching ought to
be providing for," he said.
Even with there being a different Catholic hospital policy elsewhere, surely the teaching authority of the Catholic bishops of Connecticut carries more weight than a mere "opinion of some Catholics in Connecticut about what Catholic teaching ought to be"? From whom did Caligiuri get such a subjective view of the Bishops' authority?
Oops. Looks like he may have got it from the Church's own point man on Plan B, St. Francis Hospital general counsel Barry Feldman:
Feldman also responded to the arguments that Catholic bishops in New York,
New Jersey and Minnesota agreed to compromises on emergency contraception for
"You're talking about religious beliefs and not facts. The bishops of New
York have religious beliefs that they interpret in one way, and the bishops in
Connecticut view the moral analysis differently," he said.
"Religious beliefs and not facts"? What the--? He also gave this quote to another paper:
A spokesman for the Connecticut Catholic Conference, Barry Feldman, said
the church’s bishops in this state "see things differently" concerning this
issue from their counterparts in those other states. He said that, because the
pope has not taken a position on this issue, bishops in different states are
able to decide what position to take for their dioceses.
"When it comes to religious beliefs and moral values, no position is
right or wrong," said Feldman. (emphasis added)
The charitable assumption here is that the papers are either misquoting Feldman or taking him out of context. But given the difficult position neighboring dioceses have put our state's Bishops in, public statements that are or can be made to sound like relativism ought to be avoided. At least more than the otherwise-odius "wall of separation."