Now that the Obama Administration has signaled it will reconsider the requirement to make insurance plans offered by Catholic universities and charities provide women with birth control without charging them, Archbishop Timothy Dolan is happy... for now. He told the Daily News, "I would welcome the fact of the government saying we’re willing to rethink this... The federal government should do what it has traditionally done since 1776 and keep its hand out of the internal workings of the church."

Dolan appeared on CBS This Morning, saying that when he met with President Obama last year, Obama said the provision would go away. Now, Dolan says, the administration's decision to enforce it "seems to be at odds with very sincere assurances that he gave me, that he wanted to continue to work with the church in these endeavors and views and projects he shared a passionate interest in, so I can’t figure it out." Dolan added, "I am hoping that this massive negative reaction to this ruling, I am hoping that [the President] will go back to those assurances that he gave me" last year.

The issue is a powder keg for Election Year Obama: The National Review's Rich Lowry explains, "In Obama’s decision (and yes, he did okay it), we see again an encroachment of secular government, with its web of rules and regulations, on a free, civil society," while liberal Catholic columnist E.J. Dionne wrote, "One of Barack Obama’s great attractions as a presidential candidate was his sensitivity to the feelings and intellectual concerns of religious believers. That is why it is so remarkable that he utterly botched the admittedly difficult question of how contraceptive services should be treated under the new health care law."

However, liberal religious leaders representing Reform and Conservative Jews, Methodist and Episcopal groups issued a statement saying, "We believe that women and men have the right to decide whether or not to apply the principles of their faith to family-planning decisions, and to do so they must have access to services. The administration was correct in requiring institutions that do not have purely sectarian goals to offer comprehensive preventive health care." Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Catholic, weighed in, "I am dumbfounded that in the year 2012 we still are fighting about birth control. It is sad that we have to stand here yet again to fight back against another overreach and intrusion on women's lives. The power to decide whether or not to use contraception lies with a woman, not her boss... What is more intrusive than trying to allow an employer to make medical decisions for someone who works for them?"