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Something - or something less - for everyone in new farm bill?

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The farm bill, already one year late, could be even later if the House-Senate conference committee working on the compromise version takes its sweet time.

According to Bob Gronski, a policy analyst with the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, the lawmakers are taking the bill one "title" at a time until the conference committee is satisfied with the result.

The most contentious issue is likely to be the nutrition title, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, once known as food stamps.

47 Catholic leaders urge bishops to support CCHD's anti-poverty work

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development deserves the full support of the U.S. bishops because of its success in fighting poverty, said a group of Catholics on the eve of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fall general assembly Nov. 11-14 in Baltimore.

In a letter addressed to all of the bishops, 47 Catholic leaders, including three retired bishops and former USCCB staff members, urged the prelates to "redouble your commitment to social ministries that lift people out of poverty," especially CCHD.

U.S. bishops say employment bill goes beyond barring discrimination

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In a letter to the U.S. senators, the chairmen of three U.S. bishops' committees outlined their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, emphasizing the bill to protect gay and lesbian workers goes beyond the scope of prohibiting unjust discrimination and "poses several problems."

The bishops stressed that "all people are created in the image and likeness of God" and have "human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected by other persons and by law."

Some Catholic hospitals dispense advice to ease insurance confusion

Maggie Ward, an oncology nurse at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kan., knows all about the health insurance marketplace that opened to the public Oct. 1 to allow families and small businesses to shop for insurance coverage.

She understands coverage costs, available options and how people can determine their eligibility for government subsidies because she had 30 hours of training from the U.S. Health and Human Services to be certified as a navigator, or qualified person, to steer people through the maze of the new health care law.

EWTN files second lawsuit against HHS mandate; Alabama is co-plaintiff

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The Eternal Word Television Network, joined by the state of Alabama, has filed another lawsuit challenging the federal mandate requiring most employers to provide coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge.

The suit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile.

Last March, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed the Irondale-based television network's lawsuit against the Health and Human Services mandate, which is part of the Affordable Care Act.

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July 4-17, 2014

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