The front-page, above-the-fold story is this morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer is reporter Cliff Peale’s account of the controversies surrounding Xavier University president Fr. Michael Graham, S.J., including the Crosstown Shootout debacle, the sexual assault cover-up, and his initial opposition to Obama’s contraception and abortifacient healthcare mandate. Anyone who was encouraged by Graham’s handling of the last of these is bound to be disappointed; the school reversed his decision, and Graham has apologized for not “holding to the (political) center.” Here’s a concluding snippet:

After June’s Supreme Court decision upholding the national health care reform law, Xavier has reversed Graham’s April directive that it would no longer cover contraceptive services for those among its 950 employees with XU health plans.

That change, to be effective July 1 in the middle of employees’ plan year, caused Xavier’s faculty committee to protest.

Graham first delayed the switch until December. After the Supreme Court in late September upheld the health care reform law that mandates the coverage, Xavier is now required to provide it, he said. He said he should have consulted with employees first.

“I fault myself with the way I handled last April’s situation,” he said.

“An example that universities ought to set for the country as a whole is the holding of the (political) center. I did not lead this institution in a process like that, and I hold myself accountable.”

Graham said the mandate for all employers, including Catholic universities and hospitals, to offer insurance plans that cover contraceptives is “deeply problematic.”

“Religious institutions have never been asked to violate their consciences in this profound a manner,” he said. “I was unaware of the coverage (by XU) until the whole thing blew up. … But we will comply with the law.”

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