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At Scores of Rallies, Thousands Hear Calls to Restore Constitutional Right to Religious Liberty (8700)

Stand Up for Religious Freedom marks second anniversary of Obamacare with peaceful, impassioned demonstrations against HHS contraceptive mandate.

03/23/2012 Comments (20)
Matthew A. Rarey

Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., told protesters in Chicago, “If you’re not prepared to go to jail and stand up for your freedom, you don’t know what’s at stake in this election.”

– Matthew A. Rarey

From the halls of government in the nation’s capital to the hills of San Francisco, thousands of Americans turned out today across the country to voice their opposition to what they perceive as serious encroachments on religious liberty.

Sponsored by an organization called Stand Up for Religious Freedom, the rallies were held in 140 locations, including the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington.

That is the office that issued a regulation earlier this year requiring most private employers to provide co-pay-free contraceptive and sterilization coverage in health-care plans. The mandate provides only a narrow religious exemption, leading the U.S. Conference of Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under hhs contraceptive mandate, obamacare, religious liberty, stand up for religious freedom

Americans Rally for Religious Freedom (4102)

1,000 protest in front of the Health and Human Services Department in Washington, as more gather in 140 cities across the country.

03/23/2012 Comments (7)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Protesters pray while participating in a 'Stand Up for Religious Freedom' rally in front of the Department of Health and Human Services March 23 in Washington. The rally was one of 140 rallies held in cities across the United States as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the Obama administration's national health-care legislation next week.

– Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — “We are no longer free when politicians can force us to pay for what we consider sin,” an impassioned Star Parker, the keynote speaker, said at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally held today in Washington.

Parker was speaking at a noon rally held to protest a mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services requiring religious employers to provide health-insurance policies that include contraception without a co-pay, sterilization and abortifacients. Employers refusing on religious grounds to pay for such policies will face stiff fines.

The event drew more than 1,000 participants to the plaza in front of the HHS building. It was one of 140 rallies held...READ MORE

Filed under hhs contraceptive mandate, obamacare, religious liberty

Pope 'to Encourage and to Learn, to Comfort ... to Console, With Commitment to the Good' (1003)

Benedict XVI held an in-flight press conference en route to Mexico March 23.

03/23/2012 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI says he wants to help Mexico in its struggle against drug-related violence and assist Cuba in discovering a new post-Marxist future.

“I am going to encourage and to learn, to comfort in faith, hope and charity, to console, with a commitment to the good and to the struggle against evil,” Pope Benedict said during his in-flight press conference en route to Mexico March 23.

This is the Pope’s 23rd foreign visit since his election in 2005, but his first to the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. He will remain in Mexico until March 26. After that, the Pope will travel to Cuba, before returning to Rome on March 29.

Pope Benedict told reporters that the visit was “a...READ MORE

Filed under pope's trip to mexico and cuba

Real Religion Is Faith Lived (4910)

March 25 issue column: The problem is not religion, but false religion. Real religion is a good thing because it consists precisely of doing those works of charity Jesus exemplifies.

03/23/2012 Comments (6)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

“I’m not religious! I just love the Lord!” It’s one of those sayings I heard repeated with an almost liturgical regularity back in the warm and simple days when I was an evangelical. It went without saying that “religion” was bad. What also went without saying was what, exactly, religion was. So, what do people seem to mean by “religion”? Basically, a cold, artificial thing that blocks us from the direct, unmediated ecstasy of access to God without a clutter of priests, complicated rites, baffling theology understandable only to professionals, and various “magic words” and symbols that mainly function to cut us off from “the simple Gospel of Jesus.”

What does Scripture say about...READ MORE

Filed under faith, faith in action, following christ, religion

How to Develop a Prayer Life that Transforms, What's Going On In My Prayer Life, and much more! (2835)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/23/2012 Comment

How to Develop a Prayer Life that Transforms. Click on the link by Brennan Pursell to read and learn more.

How to Develop a Prayer Life that Transforms - Brennan Pursell, Crisis Magazine

What is Going on with my Prayer Life? Should I Really just be Sitting in Silence? - Fr. John Bartunek, Catholic Spiritual Direction

Taking up the Cross, Moments of Grace - Deacon Mike Bickerstaff, Integrated Catholic Life™

The Husband is the Head, but the Wife is the Heart (Pius XI) - Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

“Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” - J. Q. Tomanek, Ignitum Today

“Thou Shall Not Kill” & War: 16 Teachings of the Catholic Church - Saint Peter’s List

Resignation of the Pope: Theory and Practice - Sandro Magister, Chiesa

U.S. Ordinariate New Liturgical Calendar - New Catholic,...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, argentina, cardinal wuerl, catholic blogosphere, holy see, pope pius xi, prayer life, same-sex "marriage", though shall not kill

The State of Religion in America (2598)

New Pew Research poll features Americans' opinions of the Obama administration's attitude toward religion and the role for religion in public life.

03/23/2012 Comments (1)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

Catholic Americans increasingly say that the Obama administration is unfriendly to religion, a new survey says, though Americans as a whole appear to be growing more skeptical towards a role for religion in public life.

The Pew Research Center said that there has been a “noticeable shift” among white Catholics’ opinion of the Obama administration, which could be tied to “effects from the controversy over the administration’s policies on contraception coverage.”

In August 2009, 15% of Catholics and 17% of white Catholics said the Obama administration is unfriendly towards religion. In March 2012, 25% of Catholics and 31% of white Catholics said the same, the Pew Research Center’s March 21...READ MORE

Filed under catholics, faith, pew research, religion

Mexico Set to Welcome Pope Benedict XVI (2099)

Security measures are in place as Holy Father makes first visit to land of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

03/23/2012 Comments (1)

Archbishop Jose Martin Rabago arrives to bless the media center March 22 prior to Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival in León in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

– Reuters/Tomas Bravo

LEÓN, Mexico — The city of León is buzzing with activity as Pope Benedict XVI flies to Mexico today. Workers yesterday were putting the finishing touches on the city’s monuments and planting flowers along the road that the Pope will travel in his popemobile. León is bracing for an influx of more than 300,000 pilgrims.

Security forces are also ready for the Pope’s arrival. When the Holy Father touches down in the Guanajuato airport in León at 4:30pm local time, he will be greeted by a total of 3,500 faithful, civil and religious dignitaries. During his visit, more than 13,000 federal, state and local police officers and soldiers will be standing guard.

The army will be present at all of...READ MORE

Filed under cuba, mexico, new evangelization, pope benedict xvi, president felipe calderón

Catholics Have Model for Following Conscience in Blessed John Henry Newman (1492)

Recent conference focused on English cardinal's holiness and conversion to Catholicism.

03/23/2012 Comments (2)
Wikipedia

– Wikipedia

At a recent conference on Blessed John Henry Newman in Rome, participants were reminded that he is a model of how modern Catholics should carry out God’s will, regardless of the cost.

“He always followed his conscience. His conscience was something sacred for him, and, following the light of conscience, even at the cost of heroic sacrifices in his own life, he came to the fullness of truth,” said Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe, Ireland.

Bishop Boyce was the keynote speaker for the one-day March 14 conference entitled “Tokens of Holiness in the Life of Blessed John Henry Newman.” The summit was jointly organized by Rome’s Venerable English College and the International Center for Newman...READ MORE

Filed under blessed john henry newman

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