ST. LOUIS – Echoing concerns voiced last week by the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is also criticizing a Catholic-based hospital group’s consideration of extending benefits to same-sex spouses of employees.
The Mercy Health System announced on Jan. 13 that it plans to offer benefits to legally married same-sex spouses beginning this spring in compliance with the Affordable Care Act and other federal programs.
The health system has about 40,000 employees in seven states.
In a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Archdiocese criticized the federal government for putting Catholic businesses in a position contrary to the teachings of their faith.
“It is simply inconsistent to claim to be a Catholic institution while publicly acting against Church teaching,” the Archdiocese said. “Today, however, Catholic institutions face sanctions from the American government for fidelity to their Catholic identity.”