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Politics

Cardinal O'Malley says Planned Parenthood videos illustrate 'throwaway culture'

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Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said that Planned Parenthood officials' videotaped descriptions of how fetal tissue and organs are procured for researchers during abortions illustrates what Pope Francis calls today's "throwaway culture."

The officials also discuss what the organization charges for the body parts, which opponents of Planned Parenthood said violates federal law and the organization said are customary handling fees paid by research labs.

Discussion links subsidiarity and solidarity

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Two concepts deeply embedded in Catholic social teaching -- solidarity and subsidiarity -- are often viewed as separate strains of the tradition and even in opposition to one another when applied in the context of today's polarized politics.

Solidarity is seen as the portion of teaching with a communitarian emphasis and inclination toward large, society-wide solutions. Subsidiarity, on the other hand, is popularly understood as inclining toward the individualist, let-the-locals-take-care-of-things end of the scale.

Boy Scouts drop ban on adult gay leaders

The Boy Scouts of America ended its national ban on openly gay adult leaders and employees on Monday while allowing local religious units to continue to exclude gay adults.

Meeting by conference call, 79 percent of the BSA's national executive board members favored the resolution ratified earlier this month by its executive committee.

The policy change represents the end of a long and bitter struggle over whether to accept gay members that began more than two years ago when it allowed gay youths to participate, but not adults.

Nuns ask Supreme Court for protection from complying with HHS mandate, fines

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In a filing Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Little Sisters of the Poor have asked the court for relief from being forced to comply with the federal contraceptive mandate or face heavy fines.

The sisters are being asked to choose between adhering to their Catholic faith -- which prohibits them from providing contraceptives -- and continuing to pursue their religious mission of serving the elderly poor, said Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial of the order.

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