Tuesday February 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm
Assistant to the Vice President
Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina is a Catholic university and because of that they are being punished. Recently the college asked Wellpath, their insurance carrier, to meet with faculty and staff and brief them on their insurance options. One diligent faculty member noticed that coverage included contraception, abortion and voluntary sterilization. After pointing this out to the administration, the college did the admirable thing and asked Wellpath to remove these procedures from the plan on the grounds that they were contrary to Catholic teaching.
Here's the kicker: North Carolina requires this "life destructive" coverage, but it does offer an exemption for religious institutions. However, eight college faculty members filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and had the National Women’s Law Center mail a letter to the college president threatening a lawsuit.
Praise God, though, Belmont Abbey College is standing strong! They have hired a lawyer to fight this smear campaign and Dr. William Thierfelder, president of the college, wrote the faculty saying:
The teaching of the Catholic Church on this moral issue is clear. The responsibility of the college as a Catholic college sponsored by the monks of Belmont Abbey to follow Church teaching is equally clear. There was no other course of action possible if we were to operate in fidelity to our mission and to our identity as a Catholic college.