The lead letter in the print edition of this morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer is this scathing indictment from the chairman of a local Catholic hospital of Xavier University president Fr. Michael Graham for his decision to capitulate to Obama’s HHS mandate:

“Religious institutions have never been asked to violate their consciences in this profound a manner,” Father Graham said in “The Rev. Graham equation” (Sept. 22). Would Christ have yielded to such a law, or would He have been imprisoned for violating an unjust law rather than His conscience? Would Graham not violate the law had the Supreme Court ruled the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional? I dare say he would. What a profound religious statement could have been made had Graham stated he was prepared to go to jail rather than violate the Catholic Church’s position on contraception. Another moment botched.

As a Catholic physician practicing in a Catholic hospital if the law stated I had to prescribe contraception or perform abortions, I would walk away from career rather than violate my conscience.

I am ashamed of my Jesuit education (St. X and XU). Maybe Graham should take a lesson from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Missouri legislature in how not to cave to secular pressures. From basketball brawls to rape allegations to contraceptive mandates, Graham just can’t get it right. It is time for him to step down as president of XU.

Dr. E.J. Burchell

Chairman, St. Elizabeth Healthcare-Edgewood

It’s worth noting that the mandate doesn’t cover mere “contraception,” which most of the public associates with such common items as condoms and birth control pills, but also abortifacients and sterilization. And do take a look at the website for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. They’re using everything from YouTube videos and Twitter feeds to guest speakers and letter-writing campaigns to protest the mandate — all led personally by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.