The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church or any of its institutions crying about "religious freedom" in its crusade to deny women access to contraception has manifested itself again, the time at CIncinnati's Xavier University. On Monday, Xavier president Michael Graham suddenly announced that the school unceremoniously lopping off contraceptive coverage for its women employees — effective right now.
The Rev. Michael J. Graham, president of the university, wrote to employees, saying that the national debate prompted him to review the university's policies. He noted that President Obama has proposed a compromise on the issue, under which religious colleges would not have to pay for contraception coverage, but the insurance companies would be required to provide the coverage free. In his letter, Father Graham wrote that this compromise was "insufficient."
What's stunning about this (outside of the secretive and authoritarian manner in which this as handled) is that Xavier has covered contraception for a while. But now that the right has chosen to make contraception a political football — the so-called "national debate" which is nothing more than a controversy fabricated by Republicans — the school axes it? What kind of religious institution is guided more by the "national debate" than its own principles? I guess we know!
Seriously, what possible motivation, other than pandering to the Republican war on women, can there be? Can the school really make the case that it didn't know it was covering contraception which it now finds in violation of Catholic teachings? Can it seriously make a case that contraception is MORE sinful now than it was last month or last year? , And how can a policy that is more generous to religious institutions than the one in place under President Bush be "insuffiicient" now — unless Graham is a Republican shill?
Cincinnati.com interviews a student named Samantha Groark, who raises some other issues:
Groark said she finds it hypocritical that the university seems to pick and choose when to “invoke this Jesuit Catholic identity” as a rationale for its actions.Well, sadly, this all seems of a piece in the institutional Catholic Church's unending historical contempt for women — as well as its cavalier attitude toward sexual assault of any kind. Consensual sex is immoral but sexual assault just isn't a big deal? I can't wrap my mind around this.
Noting that the administration still hasn’t addressed its controversial handling of several female students’ sexual-assault claims, Groark asked: “How does that reflect on our Catholic identity?”
Meanwhile, some Xavier alumni have started a petition, vowing to withhold contributions from the school unless it reverses itself:
Apparently, some former students subscribe to the alleged Jesuit ideals of intellectual inquiry and rigor. But Father Graham doesn't examine whether his school is in harmony with Catholic principles until politicians with an agenda point it out to him.
Can we just declare the Catholic Church an arm of the Republican Party already?