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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Will American Catholics Be Forced Into 'Recusancy' System?


Looking forward to the possible ramifications of the Obama administration’s HHS mandate, Matthew Cullinan Hoffman wonders whether American Catholics of the 21st century might be put in the same position as the Recusants in England under Queen Elizabeth I.

The HHS mandate stipulates that institutions which do not provide health-care coverage that includes subsidies for contraception and sterilization will face substantial fines. Similarly, Hoffman notes, in Elizabethan England, wealthy Catholics could pay a fine for their failure to embrace the newly established Church of England. Looking forward, he suggests:
As under the old recusancy system, some larger and wealthier institutions might be able to sustain the financial burdens, but smaller ones will simply go bankrupt and be forced to fold, or will publicly violate their religious beliefs to remain in existence. The outcome will be painfully similar to that of other policies that impose morally offensive requirements on Catholics, such as requiring adoption agencies to give children to homosexuals.
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