I Agree With E.J. Dionne

And the angel opened up the fourth seal, etc…

Speaking as a Catholic, I wish the Church would be more open on the contraception question. But speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government, I think the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings. The administration should have done more to balance the competing liberty interests here.

I am also a Catholic, but I understand the Church’s reasoning behind the contraception teaching as published in Humanae Vitae in 1968, even, as a husband and father, I understand the difficulties in complying with it.

But to expect Obama to wade through the morass of regulatory fineness to secure for Catholic institutions the liberty to be Catholic strikes me as adorably naive. To support the rights of the religious rhetorically wins plaudits, even from the agnostic left. To support them with the weight of the law, well, that takes work.

UPDATE: The Church says “We Will Not Comply” (h/t: KatyPundit).

In it, Catholic leaders went on to say that the Church “cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law,” as it violates the Catholic conscience. Additionally, the church says that it is faced with a difficult decision — either comply and violate its faith or drop coverage for employees and suffer the consequences. The letter urges congregants to take action and to call Congress in an attempt to overturn the regulation.

Yeah, this will end well.