National Catholic Reporter

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Politics

Bishop's exorcism stunt mocks and offends

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NCR normally doesn't feel compelled to comment on individual bishops' actions in their home dioceses. Local Catholics and media are better prepared to address local concerns. However, the prayers of exorcism for same-sex marriage that Bishop Thomas Paprocki* of Springfield, Ill., conducted Nov. 20 seemed so outrageous, we thought a comment was warranted.

Long-term fasters hand over role in pursuit of immigration reform

From the interfaith clergy to the civil rights heroes, from the union activists and community organizers to one of the youngest members of Congress, those involved in an event Tuesday spanned the wide range of people working to keep Washington's attention on comprehensive immigration reform.

Marking the 22nd day of the Fast for Families, a prayer-and-fasting activity being observed around the country as well, four people who had consumed only water for 22 days broke their fast and symbolically handed over the role to others.

White House, farm advocates talk about SNAP; silence from Congress

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As the Thanksgiving holiday neared, both the White House and Catholic Rural Life raised the specter of possible huge cuts in funding for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

But the silence from the House-Senate conference committee working on the farm bill -- which includes funding for SNAP -- and the abbreviated work schedule for Congress leaving little time in December for lawmakers to arrive at a compromise mean the specter could still be present as Christmas nears. The latest extension of the farm bill expires New Year's Day

Catholic college says contraceptive mandate makes it 'second-class' religious entity

Belmont Abbey College filed a new lawsuit Nov. 20 in its long-running fight against a federal law requiring most employers to provide free contraceptives in their health insurance plans.

In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the college calls the contraceptive mandate "constitutionally flawed," "arbitrary and capricious," and says it "discriminates against religious organizations because of their religious commitment to promoting the sanctity of life."

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April 11-24, 2014

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