Jeanette De Melo is the editor in chief for the Register. She recently became co-host to Register Radio along with Thom Price and Dan Burke. Before joining the Register staff in 2012, she served as the Archdiocese of Denver’s communications director, spokeswoman and general manager of the Denver Catholic Register, El Pueblo Católico, and the archdiocesan website. Prior to this position, she was the associate communications director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, where in addition to managing media relations, she co-produced a weekly archdiocesan television program.
Today on Register Radio, canon lawyer and theologian, Chancellor JD Flynn of the Archdiocese of Denver spoke about Catholic identity at Catholic hospitals.
Last week, news outlets reported that a Colorado Catholic hospital made the argument in a wrongful death case that a fetus is not a legal person. When the situation was brought to the attention of the Colorado bishops they acted quickly. The bishops met with leadership at Catholic Health Initiatives and soon CHI publicly admitted their legal argument was morally flawed and they reaffirmed their commitment to protecting life from conception to natural death.
Flynn explained the challenges Catholic hospitals face in keeping their Catholic identity and the ways that bishops work with the hospitals on this important element of their mission.
Listen to the show to hear how Catholic hospitals and Catholic bishops working together can safeguard Catholic identity.
Update on HHS mandate
During our second half, Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association, spoke about the Obama administration’s latest action regarding the Health and Human Services mandate that requires religious institutions to cover all contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion inducing drugs in their healthcare plans, even if they object to such coverage on religious grounds.
“Unfortunately the administration really did not respond to the religious liberty concerns of people of faith,” said Ferguson.
She called the Obama administration’s announcement on Feb. 1, “political window dressings” because it failed to do anything new but only distracts attention from the real issue that the HHS mandate “forces people to violate the tenets of their faith or face massive crippling government fines.”
Ferguson explains why the new “accommodation” proposed by the HHS department does not address the religious liberty concerns Catholic hospitals, charities or universities, religious non-profits or individual business owners, who seek to run their business in keeping with their Catholic faith.
Further, Ferguson questioned why this class of drugs is receiving such special treatment by the Obama administration instead of other widely used drugs needed to address serious health issues.
Quoting from Cardinal Dolan’s statement on Feb.7, Ferguson explains why the U.S. bishops said the newest proposal falls short.
“It appears to offer second-class status to our first class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities,” wrote Cardinal Dolan.
Ferguson urged Catholics to contact lawmakers to express concern by participating in a postcard campaign held in parishes throughout the country in the coming weeks. For more information, listen to the show.
You can listen to the entire show at 2 p.m. EASTERN Friday on any EWTN Radio affiliate or Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. The program re-airs at 7 p.m. EASTERN on Saturday and 11 a.m. EASTERN on Sunday, and is also available on the Register Radio web page, and via podcast.