Lipinski Celebrates Catholic Schools Week at Cardinal Bernardin School and St. Michael School01/31/2012
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., had a little fun Monday wearing a Snoopy tie during his visit to the Cardinal Joseph Bernardin School in Orland Hills and St. Michael School in Orland Park as a part of Catholic Schools Week celebration.
Still, the congressman, who once wore the same kind of tie as a college teacher, was serious during a short break in a tour of the Bernardin school. Lipinski talked about a stance he took earlier in the month condemning the Obama administration’s requirement that religious health care, educational and charity institutions include contraception in employees’ health benefits.
Congressman Dan Lipinski, left, takes a tour of a kindergarten classroom with Fr. Rich Homa and CJB Principal May Iannucilli. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)
“Catholic schools, such as Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Catholic hospitals and Catholic charities will all have to cover, free of charge, things that the Catholic church and other religious organizations don’t believe in,” he said.
“That is really a violation of conscience rights and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to bring an understanding of this to the general public. This is not just a Catholic issue.”
Lipinski said earlier this month that the exemption for religious organizations is narrow and that “even Jesus would not receive an exemption because his ministry involved more than just religious instructions and he did not only minister to those of his faith.”
Lipinski did not vote for Obama’s health care law in 2010.
“I’m not someone who is always out there screaming that the government is forcing us to do things that we don’t want to do,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve been shocked that people are forced to do something they don’t believe in.”
Congressman Dan Lipinski talks to St. Michael students Monday. (Photo courtesy of Dan Lipinski)
Lipinski made a short speech to the Cardinal Bernardin students via the school’s television station and at an assembly at St. Michael talking about how excited he was about Catholic Schools Week.
“I’m very proud to be a graduate of Catholic elementary and high schools,” he said.
“Catholic schools mean a lot to me. I hope all the kids understand all the sacrifices your parents make… Catholic schools provide more than just great academics. They have so much more for you.’’