U.S. Bishops: ACLU Lawsuit's "Claim is Baseless"

Lawsuit reportedly ignores Ethical and Religious Directives that specifically address medical complications for pregnant women and "informed consent."

Saturday, December 07, 2013 4:22 PM Comments (12)

[UPDATE: The New York Times posted an editorial today that echoes the ACLU's claims, and asserts that the bishops actually "direct" medical care at Catholic hospitals. The editorial suggests that the rise of hospital mergers that unite secular and Catholic institutions has made it more difficult for women to obtain competent care. No data are supplied to buttress this assertion, or the allegation that Catholic hospitals are unsafe for women. Read here.]

Earlier this week,  a slew of headlines  marked an ACLU lawsuit, charging that the U.S. bishops’ “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” which guide moral decision making at Catholic hospitals, were...READ MORE

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Divorce & Re-Marriage for Catholics: Kennedy Annulment Battle Offers Cautionary Tale

Pope Francis has fueled hopes that norms barring reception of the Eucharist might be relaxed, but there are two sides to every annulment petition.

Monday, December 02, 2013 9:13 PM Comments (27)

Pope Francis has signaled that he wants to help more Catholics who have divorced and re-married return to the sacraments.

Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published an article that reportedly sought to defuse speculation on this matter, but during an interview at the U.S. Bishops' 2013 meeting in Baltimore, Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston confirmed that Pope Francis

wants us to find ways to help people in second marriages to return to the sacraments and be reconciled and to see if the annulment process can be more user-friendly.

But, as they say, there are two sides to every story.

Some Catholic -- and non-Cathiolic --...READ MORE

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Single Issue Politics: The HHS Contraception Mandate, the Filibuster and the Catholic Church

Cardinal Dolan on Meet the Press addresses the HHS mandate and efforts to brand the U.S. bishops as "anti-gay."

Saturday, November 30, 2013 1:34 PM Comments (14)

These days, media commentators have suggested that Pope Francis is criticizing the U.S. bishops for being "obsessed" with abortion and other hot-button issues. But there's another story on display right now that exposes the obsession of abortions-rights activists. In this story,the same 'single-issue politics' that reframed the religious freedom battle over the HHS contraception mandate as a "war on women," has led Democrats to limit the GOP's use of the filibuster to block the appointment of liberal judges. 

So what does the filibuster have to do with the HHS mandate?

Everything, according to the New York Times. Reportedly, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and like-minded Senate...READ MORE

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Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium Tackles Abortion and Religious Freedom

Pope Francis confounds the false narrative of a pope who asks us to choose between service to the poor and the defense of unborn human life.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:01 PM Comments (8)

Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, is being scrutinized for its teaching on abortion, and other  hot-button issues, by reporters and commentators who may wish to sustain the on-going narrative of a pontiff who asks us to choose between service to the poor and the defense of the unborn child.  The pope clearly rejects that false choice, and as he presents his plans for “a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality,” he clearly wants the faithful to embrace both missions. 

The relevant passages on abortion and religious freedom in his 84-page apostolic exhortation are below.

On Abortion: the defense of unborn life is "closely linked to the...READ MORE

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Rick Santorum on the Colbert Report

The former U.S.senator hasn't ruled out another bid to win GOP presidential nomination.

Sunday, November 24, 2013 1:40 PM Comments (6)

Rick Santorum went on the Colbert Report to promote his film, The Christmas Candle--and maybe to signal that he just might throw his hat in the ring for the 2016 GOP presidential primaries.

The brief exchange also covered same-sex marriage. Colbert asked him if it was too late to stop the "marriage equality" juggernaut, and Santorum reframed the issue, arguing that it was time to re-claim the meaning of marriage. Check it out here.

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JFK's Last Rites Remembered

Friday, November 22, 2013 12:28 PM Comments (1)

StoryCorps offers this brief account of President John Kennedy receiving his last rites after he was shot on  November 22, 1963. The scene at the hospital emergency room is recounted by Glenda Rike, the wife of Aubrey Rike, an ambulance driver who was there when the president was brought in.

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A New USCCB President, but Bishops Won't Budge on HHS Mandate

New statement expresses "resolve to resist" the mandate.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 7:42 PM Comments (8)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the outgoing president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, won't be spending so much time in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the nation's largest religious body. Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, KY is now in the top spot. But one thing hasn't changed: the bishops are still fired up about the HHS mandate. 

On Nov. 13, as the bishops wound up their annual meeting in Baltimore this week, they released a "special  message" on the HHS mandate. The statement linked the bishops' continued resistance to the federal law to Pope Franicis' call for a deepened commitment to serve the needy and those damaged by sin and spiritual alienation.

 Some...READ MORE

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Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Kurtz on the "Francis Effect"

Female cardinals and a jump in parish collections are addressed on the CBS morning show.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 4:06 PM Comments (1)

Female cardinals and Vatican-ordered surveys of lay Catholics?

Cardinal Dolan of New York, the outgoing president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the newly elected USCCB president, marked the change of guard at the nation's largest religious body with a Nov. 13 appearance on "CBS This Morning."

Charlie Rose acknowledged Archbishop Kurtz's new role at the helm of the USCCB, but most of the conversation was about the "Francis Effect." Cardinal Dolan confirmed reports of an increase in mass attendence, confession and (maybe this was wishful thinking) collections ...

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About Joan Frawley Desmond

Joan Frawley Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in Menlo Park, Ca, in the San Francisco Archdiocese.