The Catholic church shows no sign of backing down in its struggle with President Obama over Obamacare’s requirement that Catholic institutions cover birth control, casting the issue in broader terms as a matter of religious freedom.
Obama is sure to suffer politically from the fallout in key swing states with large Catholic voting populations, like Pennsylvania, Ohio and other areas of the Midwest. Most Catholics use birth control, but many may recoil at any perceived attack by Obama on the church.
On Meet the Press, Bishop William Lori, archbishop-designate of Baltimore, said:
What we’ve seen is an erosion of religious liberty. Our teachings had been accommodated, but now they are not being accommodated.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York said the church would continue the fight, brushing aside the White House “compromise” that allows Catholic institutions to avoid paying for contraception but still forces them to offer coverage for it.
The issue may be mooted if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare. But the perception that Obama was bullying the church and threatening religious freedom may linger right through Election Day.