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HHS Issues Statement Confirming Outlines of Contraception Mandate 'Accommodation' (14669)

Catholic universities will also be subject to policy that attempts to shift costs for contraception services to insurance companies, though critics call this an ‘accounting trick.’

03/16/2012 Comments (9)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill March 6.

– Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Today, the Obama administration released an “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Preventive-Services Policy,” a statement that appeared to adhere to the outlines of President Obama’s Feb. 10 “accommodation.”

A new “comment” period was also announced, as it was after the Aug. 1 announcement of the interim final rule on the contraception mandate. Last fall, hundreds of thousands registered their opposition to the narrow exemption offered in the mandate to church-affiliated institutions, but the same language was ultimately approved on Jan. 20 by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

UPDATE: The Cardinal Newman Society greeted...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, barack obama, congress, contraception, healthcare, hhs contraception mandate, obamacare, patient protection and affordable care act

Subsidized Abortions Will Be Offered in State Health Exchanges (5425)

Plans that include this provision will not be able to inform customers of a required abortion surcharge until after they enroll.

03/16/2012 Comments (15)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

THAT WAS THEN…. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., holds up a copy of an executive order from President Obama guaranteeing no federal funding for abortion in health reform during a news conference with other fellow anti-abortion Democrats at the U.S. Capitol March 21, 2010. The president's promise led anti-abortion Democrats to support passage of Obamacare, but now it’s come to light that the new health-care law will involve public funding of abortion.

– Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — In 2010, as pro-life House members sought to bar passage of the new health bill, President Barack Obama issued an executive order stating that the proposed legislation would not be used to subsidize abortion services.

This week, however, the administration spelled out some rules for federally subsidized health-insurance plans offered through state exchanges, and pro-life leaders says the regulations confirm that some plans will offer abortion services, courtesy of the U.S. Treasury.

Strikingly, this latest federal rule also directs plans that include abortion services to avoid any mention of that fact in materials designed for would-be customers. Thus, pro-life Americans...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, barack obama, bart stupak, chris smith, congress, healthcare, obamacare, patient protection and affordable care act

Vatican on Society of St. Pius X: Position Insufficient to Restore Full Unity With Church at Present (6148)

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has found that the position Bishop Fellay expressed is 'not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems which lie at the foundation of the rift between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X,' a March 16 communiqué from the Holy See Press Office said. The congregation has invited Bishop Fellay to clarify his position 'in order to be able to heal the existing rift, as is the desire of Pope Benedict XVI.'

03/16/2012 Comments (35)

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said that the theological position of the breakaway Society of St. Pius X is insufficient to restore full unity with the Church at present.

Pope Benedict XVI has reviewed a January 2012 letter from Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the society. In that letter, the bishop responded to a doctrinal statement intended to be a basis for full reconciliation with Rome.

However, following the decision of the Pope, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has found that the position Bishop Fellay expressed is “not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems which lie at the foundation of the rift between the Holy See and...READ MORE

Filed under society of st. pius x, vatican

First Secular Business Sues Over HHS Mandate (3186)

A Missouri business owner says his right to religious freedom is being threatened.

03/16/2012 Comments (5)

– Shutterstock

ST. LOUIS (CNA/EWTN News)—A Missouri business owner has become the first employer of a for-profit, secular company to bring a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

“Religious liberty is not limited to institutions,” said attorney Francis Manion, who says his client believes the administration is forcing him to violate his conscience under the new federal rule.

Manion told CNA on March 15 that the lawsuit is important for private business owners because it asserts that “they too have religious rights, and the government has to respect those rights under the Constitution.”

The most recent lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was...READ MORE

Filed under hhs mandate, religious freedom

Is the Church Too Trusting? (3810)

Arrest of Philadelphia archdiocesan financial officer renews questions about protecting the Church from mismanagment.

03/16/2012 Comments (16)
John Moore/Getty Images

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia: 'People are angry about this loss, and they’re right. So am I. There’s no excuse for it.'

– John Moore/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA —  The former chief financial officer of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Anita Guzzardi, turned herself in this week to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office on charges relating to the alleged embezzlement of more than $900,000.

She faces charges of theft, forgery, unlawful use of a computer and related crimes.

Guzzardi was promoted to CFO last July, but before even one month on the job, the D.A.’s office alerted the archdiocese to certain accounting irregularities reported to the D.A.’s office by a credit-card company. After a preliminary internal forensic financial investigation by the archdiocese, she was terminated a week later, according to the archdiocese. The...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of philadelphia, embezzlement, financial mismanagement

U.S. Bishops Appeal for Peace in the Middle East (1662)

“We insist that peace, which is ultimately a gift of God, must be made the goal of every nation,” said the USCCB in a March 14 statement.

03/16/2012 Comments (1)

The U.S. bishops appealed for peace in the Middle East amid escalating violence in regions such as Syria, calling on political leaders to work for a swift and just resolution to the conflict.

“We insist that peace, which is ultimately a gift of God, must be made the goal of every nation,” said the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in a March 14 statement.

In their remarks, the bishops underscored that peace must be sought “not only internally, but in consort with all the nations and peoples of the region.”

Bloodshed and tensions in the Middle East have risen in recent weeks as government repression of a Syrian uprising has now cost more than 8,000...READ MORE

Filed under middle east, peace, usccb

Bishop Aquila Finds an Ally for Changing the Order of the Sacraments (5497)

Fargo, N.D., bishop discusses his meeting with Pope Benedict — and the Pontiff’s interest in confirming young people earlier.

03/16/2012 Comments (16)
CNA photo

Bishop Samual Aquila concelebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran during his ad limina visit to the Holy See March 8.

– CNA photo

Last week, Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, N.D., was in Rome for the Minnesota and North and South Dakota bishops’ ad limina visit — in which bishops are required to meet with the Pope every five years to report on the status of their dioceses — with Pope Benedict XVI. During the visit, Bishop Aquila took time to speak about his diocese’s decision, seven years ago, to restore the order of the sacraments of initiation in their proper order as the Catechism has them listed — baptism, confirmation, and First Holy Communion. He estimated that there are approximately 20 to 25 dioceses that have restored the order of those sacraments to “the age of reason,” when persons are deemed to begin to be...READ MORE

Filed under adolescents, bishop samuel aquila, confirmation, pope benedict xvi, sacraments of initiation, the order of sacraments, young adults, youth

Bishop's Ordination at an Aztec Handball Court?, Suffering Rejection, False Profits, and more! (1432)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/16/2012 Comment

Will Fr. Liam Cary's Ordination Be at an Aztec Handball Court? Click on the link by Jay Boyd Ph.D. to read more.

Will Fr. Liam Cary’s Ordination Be at an Aztec Handball Court? - Jay Boyd PhD, Philothea on Phire

A Lenten Meditation On Suffering Rejection - The Passionate Papist

False Profits - John B. Buescher, Catholic World Report

Cellphones, Church, Hell and You - Fr. Z’s Blog

The Pillars of Unbelief: Marx - Dr. Peter Kreeft, Integrated Catholic Life™

Religious Freedom: It’s Not Just Pakistan and China - George Weigel, Archdiocese of Denver

The Musical Shape of the Liturgy - Jeffrey A. Tucker, The Chant Café

Solemn Pontifical Mass in Libreville, Gabon - Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement

Naaman the Leper and the Sacrament of Baptism - Joe Heschmeyer, Shameless Popery

Parenting Between The...READ MORE

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