Let's Keep Climbing on this Limb

Over at First Things, Catholic University's Michael Gorman asks if Catholics will comply with the HHS mandate if we lose in the courts. He rightly points to the danger of using strong language in making our case but, then, astonishingly, suggests that we should shutter our Catholic institutions rather than comply. This is a strange stance coming from a philosophy professor whom, one would hope, had a sense of proportion and balance. Is it truly better to close Catholic University, with all the good that it does, than comply with a mandate that only requires insurance for something objectionable? It would be one thing if the mandate required Mr. Gorman to tie his first year philosophy students down and force feed them contraceptives, but that is not what it does. There are important issues involved here, and I think careful considerations of how we determine what is, and is not, illicit material cooperation with evil is always called for, but Gorman certainly does not engage in any of that. But, he is right about one thing: At the end of the day, if we lose in the courts, the bishops will either have to shutter our Catholic institutions, which is unthinkable, or they will be called out as hypocrites by those with no interest in careful moral reasoning. They never should have gotten this far out on this limb, but Gorman is reckless to suggest they go out a bit further.

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