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States Block Insurance Abortion Coverage as Reality of HHS Mandate Grows (2437)

And more states will follow, says the staff counsel for Americans United for Life.

02/06/2013 Comment
Americans United for Life

Mary Harned

– Americans United for Life

WASHINGTON — A recent report indicates that numerous states are passing restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion under the health care reform law.

Mary Harned, staff counsel at Americans United for Life, said that state-level pro-life laws passed in recent legislative sessions have “been a great victory for the unborn and women across the country.”

“The fact that these types of laws are successful,” Harned said Feb. 5, “shows that many Americans do not want public funds paying for abortions, and they also do not want their own insurance premiums paying for abortion.”

Harned responded to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute, an organization committed to “reproductive...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic social teaching, health insurance coverage of abortion, contraception, sterilization, hhs mandate, obamacare, religious freedom, u.s. constititution

Legal Scholar Deplores Media Confusion Over HHS Mandate (3030)

02/06/2013 Comments (3)
Judicial Crisis Network

Carrie Severino

– Judicial Crisis Network

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s latest proposals to revise the federal contraception mandate have been significantly misunderstood and misrepresented, said a legal scholar.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel at the Judicial Crisis Network and a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said the media confusion is “not surprising,” given that the administration released the 80-page document on a Friday afternoon, leaving just a few hours for journalists to scour it and write a report.

“The explanation was far from clear,” she said, and its complexity has left many people unsure of the proposal's exact details.

However, Severino also believes that “some of the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic social teaching, hhs contraception mandate, obamacare, u.s constitution, u.s. department of health and human services

Mich. Student Group Controversy Hoped to Have National Impact (1362)

The University of Michigan reinstates a Christian group after questioning its campus presence because the group requires its leaders to be Christian.

02/06/2013 Comments (1)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — As a Christian group at the University of Michigan enjoys reinstatement after being told its policies were discriminatory, a national varsity leader hopes the controversy will lead to a positive impact.

“As a university, they're struggling with how to create a tolerant and diverse environment. They don’t know how to deal with religion well, because religion is often a point of disagreement,” Greg Jao, a national field director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, told EWTN News Feb. 5.

“I think what happens in the university gets played out nationally in the next 5-10 years,” he said.

The University of Michigan had initially refused to renew its recognition for...READ MORE

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Vatican Denies Muslim Link to John Paul II's Assassination Attempt (3286)

Ali Agca, the man responsible for the attempt on Blessed John Paul II's life, references a supposed 'Islamic clue' in his new book.

02/05/2013 Comments (2)

VATICAN CITY — The director of the Vatican Press Office has rejected claims by Ali Agca, the man responsible for the assassination attempt on Blessed John Paul II, that the plot was ordered by an Iranian Islamic leader.

“Must we believe Agca this time? I think not,” said Father Federico Lombardi in a written statement.

On Feb. 1, Father Lombardi told reporters that Agca’s new book details a false conversation with the late Holy Father in which he told the Pope that he had been working for Ayatollah Khomeini, who died in 1989.

The Turkish gunman’s new book hit Italian bookstores on Jan. 31.

Father Lombardi argued that the book was an attempt to gain money while distracting...READ MORE

Filed under blessed john paul ii, vatican

Catholic Nurses: On the ‘Front Lines’ of Health-Care Reform (5364)

National Association of Catholic Nurses’ March 1-3 convention will spotlight conscience issues and the spiritual foundation of the nursing vocation.

02/05/2013 Comments (8)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The federal contraception mandate has sparked a debate over the free exercise of religious institutions that refuse to provide such services in their employee health plans. But there is another battle brewing: the fight for the conscience rights of health-care professionals who will be asked to facilitate practices that violate their beliefs.

As both President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and market-driven reforms reconfigure the world of health care, nurses — who are already taking over many duties of family practitioners — will be asked to meet with patients to discuss mandated provisions like Plan B, the so-called “morning-after pill.” With their jobs on the...READ MORE

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Same-Sex Wedding Cake Refusal Could Cost Christian Baker (13472)

Even though Oregon doesn’t recognize such ‘marriages,’ the state attorney is investigating the baker.

02/05/2013 Comments (306)

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon attorney general’s office is investigating a Christian baker who declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Aaron Klein, owner of the Gresham, Ore., bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, told The Oregonian newspaper he chose not to make the cake because he believes marriage is “a religious institution between a man and woman as stated in the Bible.”

“When someone tells me that their definition is something different, I strongly disagree. I don’t think I should be penalized for that.”

His business, which he co-owns with his wife, could face as much as $50,000 in fines if found guilty of violating the Oregon Equality Act. The law forbids businesses...READ MORE

Filed under freedom of religion, religious discrimination, same-sex 'marriage'

Denver Archdiocesan Official: Catholic Health Group Affirms the Unborn (3063)

J.D. Flynn, the archdiocese’s chancellor, says the most important issue associated with last month’s controversy is the necessity to protect children before birth.

02/05/2013 Comments (3)

Concerns arose among Catholics in Colorado and elsewhere after media outlets reported late last month that Colorado-based Catholic Healthcare Initiatives (CHI) had argued in court that unborn children aren’t persons, thereby suggesting that CHI might not endorse Church teachings affirming the human dignity of unborn children.

Lawyers representing CHI had made the claim in the context of a lawsuit filed by Jeremy Stodghill against St. Thomas More Hospital, arising from the death in 2006 of his wife, Lori, who was seven months pregnant with twin boys.

In the wake of the media reports, CHI executives discussed the matter with the Catholic bishops of Colorado — Archbishop Samuel Aquila of...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop samuel aquila, bishop fernando isern, bishop michael sheridan, catholic health care, catholic health initiatives, catholic moral teaching

Catholics, Reformed Christian Groups Acknowledge Baptisms (4240)

The U.S. bishops and four Reformed denominations affirm the validity of each other’s baptisms.

02/05/2013 Comments (46)

Sculpture in Troyes Cathedral of the baptism of St. Augustine.

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Representatives of the U.S. bishops’ conference and four Reformed Christian denominations have publicly affirmed that they recognize each other’s baptisms as valid.

“We are overjoyed at this historic recognition of one another’s baptism and are committed to move forward in a new round exploring a common vision of the church,” said Auxiliary Bishop Denis Madden of Baltimore.

The bishop, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, praised the cooperative efforts that resulted in the Jan. 29 signing of the Common Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Baptism.

The statement was signed by members of the bishops’...READ MORE

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