Catholic Health Association Work on HHS Mandate Seen by Some as 'Scandal'

With new guidelines set forth for the contraception mandate, news is spreading that one Catholic organization's work and support of the controversial mandate has been seen by some as scandalous.

The Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama notified a few people before he gave his speech regarding the contraception mandate last Friday.

Those on the presidential call list were Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association and Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

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The situation arose after both the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood offered support and praise for the measure long before most had even known about the new guidelines for the mandate.

"I think it's a scandal that [CHA's] statement mirrored that of Planned Parenthood … Christian prudence demands a much higher threshold … especially given the clear attack on religious freedom and the clear attack on the Catholic Church inherent in this decision," John Brehany, executive director of the Catholic Medical Association told

Sr. Keehan in her statement wrote that the CHA was "pleased and grateful that the religious liberty and conscience protection needs of so many ministries that serve our country were appreciated enough that an early resolution of this issue was accomplished."

The CHA statement, in conjunction with Planned Parenthood's approval of the new mandate, sent a message in which it appeared to satisfy all parties on both sides of the issue. However, religious leaders were not as quick to pen their approval on the matter.

The U.S . Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement aimed at addressing their persistent concerns regarding the mandate. The USCCB wrote that it "continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions."

The Catholic Medical Association, the largest association of Catholic physicians in North America, stated that "the flawed attempts at 'compromises,' announced by the Obama administration to date, should be completely reversed …This echoes the USCCB's call to entirely rescind the HHS mandate."

He continues to state the CMA feels the "decision is a train wreck in terms of religious freedom, women's health, and economics," according to

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