Mandate worries Catholic business owners


Catholic Sun

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ABSTRACTHHS mandate worries Catholic business owners HOME | NEWS | VIEWS | BISHOP | EVENTS | REVIEWS | PHOTOS | VIDEOS | BLOG classifieds advertising contact us parish maps calendar phx diocese weekly eblast HHS mandate worries Catholic business owners By Joyce Coronel | Feb. 11, 2012 | The Catholic Sun When President Barack Obama announced Feb. 10 that religious employers would not have to offer contraception and sterilization free of charge through their health plans, he made it clear that their insurance companies would still be compelled to do so. For Catholics who own businesses, it was cold comfort. John Jakubczyk, a longtime pro-life activist and Phoenix attorney who represents many business owners, says his clients are telling him they are concerned. “It obviously creates a conflict because individual Catholics who own businesses want to provide health care benefits as a part of their compensation package,” Jakubczyk said, “however many of them are not going to pay for those products that violate Catholic principles and that violate their own personal ethics.” Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, the legislative arm of the three Arizona dioceses, said the HHS mandate was “probably the most egregious attack by the federal government on religious liberty that we’ve ever seen” and urged Catholics to contact their congressmen to protest the move. Peter Lemieux, who sells health insurance for a living, is also upset about the HHS ruling. “The government has decided that contraception, including the morning-after pill and sterilizations, are well-care and will be provided at no cost to the insureds, so that means that the prevention and killing of babies will be free,” Lemieux said. “For the family that chooses to have a baby, they will have a great cost because it goes through the deductible. This is quite a statement about our values.” Mike Phelan, director of the Office of Marriage and Respect Life Issues for the Diocese of Phoenix, said Catholic business owners are rightfully troubled. “They have great reason to be concerned because the Catholic laity are as beholden to the Church’s moral teachings as religious organizations and those that take their faith seriously are in a compromised position if this holds,” Phelan said. “If they decide to keep health care insurance for their employees, they’re going to be coerced into assisting and funding intrinsically evil things, things that are bad, not just for Catholics but bad for society in general,” Phelan said. “Some of them do cause the killing of an innocent human being at.......