Speaking on The O’Reilly Factor program on March 28, Cardinal Timothy Dolan told Bill O’Reilly that while he does not seek to judge President Barack Obama and the latter’s administration for provisions of the 2011 healthcare reform package that requires employers to provide health insurance, including contraception and sterilization services. Cardinal Dolan admitted that the Catholic Church has an especially difficult challenge since much of the debate over the controversial legislation has focused on the provision of contraception, an issue that is anathema to Catholic doctrine.
O’Reilly cited statistics that showed that 54 percent of the Catholic electorate voted in favor of Obama in the last presidential election, as opposed to 45 for his opponent. Many Catholics do not agree with nor do they practise many of the teachings of the church with which they identify, as is the case with abortion and contraception.
Cardinal Dolan pointed out what he believes may be the strategy of the Obama administration regarding the healthcare mandate. Speaking to O’Reilly, he said, “And I don't want to judge people but I think there would be a drift in the administration that this is a good issue and if we can divide the Catholic community because it's already divided and if one can caricature the bishops as being hopelessly out of touch these bullies who are trying to achieve judicially and legislatively what they've been -- been unable to achieve because their moral integrity has been compromised recently there is that force out there trying to caricature us.”
Cardinal Dolan added, “But we can't back down from this fight because it's about religious freedom; it's close to the very heart of what the -- of what the democratic enterprise that we know and love as the United States of America is all about.”
Speakers at rallies across the country last week also signalled their opposition to the Obamacare mandate, and among them were numerous non-Catholics who are concerned about they feel are introgressions of the Obama administration into personal and religious freedoms. This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the Obama. The justices heard arguments from the Obama administration and opponents for an unprecedented six hours over several sessions. The justices have not reached a final ruling on Obamacare, but commentators are beginning to see that a defeat for President Obama’s signature legislative achievement may be in the offing.