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U.S. Bishops Say Latest HHS 'Accommodation' Falls Short (5231)

Cardinal Dolan endorses conscience rights for all objecting employers and says legal challenges to the mandate will continue.

02/08/2013 Comments (16)


Editor's note:  This article has been updated from its original headline, which stated "U.S. Bishops Reject the Latest HHS 'Accommodation.'" Cardinal Timothy Dolan clarified on his Facebook page on Feb. 8 that the bishops have not "rejected" the Obama administration's Feb. 1 proposal, but they will continue to work to find "acceptable solutions" that respect the "consciences of all."

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are not satisfied with the Obama administration’s Feb. 1 proposed “accommodation” to the federal contraception mandate and have affirmed the Church’s “united” effort to secure broad religious exemptions and conscience rights for all objecting employers...READ MORE

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Knights of Columbus Celebrate History of Breaking Down Racial Barriers (1299)

The Catholic fraternal organization supported racial equality decades in advance of most of American society.

02/08/2013 Comment
Courtesy of Knights of Columbus Archives

Knights of Columbus members discuss social justice promotion and ecumenical outreach with the John LaFarge Institute in New York City in 1967.

– Courtesy of Knights of Columbus Archives

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — During Black History Month, the Knights of Columbus are noting the Catholic organization's “forward-thinking” attitudes towards racial equality long before they were popular.

Andrew Walther, Vice President for Communications and Media at the Knights of Columbus, told CNA the Catholic fraternal organization “took stands for racial equality in ways that were really stunning, when you think of the 1920s or the 1910s.”

The Knights of Columbus' first African-American member joined the Order in Massachusetts in the 1890s, less than two decades after its founding.

Walther attributed this openness to the organization’s understanding that everyone could contribute as...READ MORE

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Catholic Pushback Stalls Cuomo’s N.Y. Abortion Blitz (5808)

With the support of evangelicals and pro-life allies, Cardinal Dolan and other state bishops are rallying Catholics against the New York governor’s pro-abortion bill.

02/08/2013 Comments (14)

New York State Catholic Conference

– www.nyscatholic.org

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political blitzkrieg won victories for same-sex “marriage” and gun-control advocates, but mounting opposition by Catholics and their pro-life and evangelical allies have slowed down his efforts to expand abortion in New York.

Pro-life state Sen. Ruben Diaz, D-Bronx,  said those efforts now give him a glimmer of hope that Cuomo’s plans to expand abortion in an omnibus women’s equality bill can be stopped.

“Little by little, the pressure is working,” Diaz said.

Just a few weeks ago, Diaz said it looked like Cuomo had the votes to ram the legislation through the 63-member Senate. But strong public opposition led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, cardinal dolan, governor andrew cuomo, new york catholic conference

Report: Chinese Persecution of Christians Increases (2170)

02/08/2013 Comment

– Shutterstock

MIDLAND, Texas — A new analysis by ChinaAid found that persecution of Christians by the Chinese government increased in 2012, and focused on the eradication of Protestant “house churches.”

“Last year the ... central government continued to adhere to an ultra-leftist anti-Christ ideology, sparing no effort in persecuting Jesus Christ’s church in mainland China and plotting and scheming to completely eradicate house churches,” read ChinaAid’s annual report, released Feb. 4.

“China’s churches ... suffered greater pressure and persecution last year; they also demonstrated great endurance and perseverance.”

The report found that the number of people sentenced for Christian faith jumped...READ MORE

Filed under china, human rights violations, persecution of christians

Vatican Official Rejects Claims That He Endorsed Same-Sex Unions (2127)

02/07/2013 Comments (1)

VATICAN—Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, denounced media assertions that his recent comments show Vatican support for homosexual unions.

The archbishop said he was “very surprised” by reports claiming that some of his recent statements signaled an “openness” on the part of the Church to same-sex unions.

On Feb. 6, Vatican Radio asked Archbishop Paglia about his statements in a press conference two days earlier, in which he had spoken about individual rights of inheritance. Some media outlets interpreted these comments as an allusion to gay couples.

“Obviously I am very surprised by what some of the media reports say,” the archbishop responded. He...READ MORE

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U.K. Bishops Decry Advancement of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Bill (1948)

The legislation will have profoundly negative effects on British society, the bishops warn.

02/07/2013 Comment

The British Houses of Parliament.

– Wikipedia

LONDON — After a bill allowing same-sex “marriage” passed in the U.K.’s House of Commons, local Catholic bishops have warned that the legislation will have profoundly negative effects on society.

“Marriage is rooted in the complementarity of man and woman. For these reasons, the Church opposes the government’s bill to redefine marriage,” Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark said Feb. 5.

“Despite claims by supporters of the bill that the central issue is one of equality, the bill actually seeks to redefine marriage and will have consequences for society at large.”

On Feb. 5, the lower house of the British Parliament voted in favor of the marriage bill, allowing marriage for same-sex...READ MORE

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European People’s Party Demands Cuba Respect Basic Freedoms (853)

A series of party resolutions call on Cuba to end violations of basic rights such as conscience and political expression.

02/07/2013 Comment

HAVANA — A major European political party has approved a series of resolutions calling on Cuba to end violations of basic rights such as conscience and political expression.

The Christian Liberation Movement, a peaceful dissident group in Cuba, explained during its recent general assembly that the European People’s Party has issued a strong call to the Cuban regime to respect freedom of expression and association. 

The party also demanded the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Cuba.

In addition, the oppression of peaceful protestors who seek democratic change in the country must come to an end, it said, and the Communist regime must respect the right...READ MORE

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HHS Mandate — Big Bucks for ‘Big Pharma’? (4226)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Co-pay-free contraception and abortifacients likely will deliver windfall profits to pharmaceutical companies eager to sell expensive ‘brand drugs.’

02/07/2013 Comments (4)

oral contraceptive pills

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Health-care reformers eager to control costs have pressed for policies that incentivize patients to choose less expensive generic versions of popular drugs.

Indeed, President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act ostensibly promotes the use of generics, but there’s one glaring exception: the mandated “preventive services for women.”

That controversial rule, which requires private employer health plans to provide co-pay-free contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, allows patients to choose pricy brand-name drugs with no penalties.

The puzzling inconsistency in the federal government’s promotion of generics and discounted brand drugs has already prompted scrutiny of the...READ MORE

Filed under contraception, hhs mandate

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