ST. LOUIS -- The day after Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell of NETWORK gave an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention, members of the organization's Missouri arm took an equally heartfelt message to lawmakers and politicians across the state as a continuation of the Nuns on the Bus tour.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Buttons were available at the Democrats for Life of America forum Tuesday during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
"Do We Count?" the button asks. The forum was an effort by pro-life Democrats to examine the question: "Can you be pro-life in a pro-choice party?"
The answer to both questions was mixed.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mere steps away from the site of the Sept. 3-6 Democratic National Convention, the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has posted two larger-than-life messages about the sanctity of life, marriage and religious liberty.
The diocese has suspended two banners on property at St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte: one on St. Peter's administrative building and another on a large brick wall adjoining the church.
There aren't any white Protestants on the presidential ballot this year -- a first in American history.
Instead, the race features two Catholic candidates for vice president and a Mormon Republican and African-American mainline Protestant for president.
While much ink has been spent, computer time logged and pundit talk devoted to specifics in the budget proposed by Paul Ryan and embraced by Mitt Romney, we would like to take a step back and look at the broader implications of what the Ryan-Romney fiscal philosophy would do.
WASHINGTON -- A cluster of federal court rulings in the waning days of August overturned several state efforts that might have limited who gets to vote this November.
Each of those rulings was likely to be appealed, however, and laws or regulations in several other states related to voter identification and poll access remained alive in federal courts.
WASHINGTON -- In a dozen courts around the country, attorneys representing more than 40 Catholic dioceses or institutions have filed briefs arguing against the federal government's call to dismiss lawsuits against its contraceptive mandate.
The Catholic entities are seeking to overturn a requirement that most religious employers provide contraceptives and sterilization to their employees.
The simultaneous filings Monday were in response to an Aug. 6 brief in which the Obama administration asked the courts to summarily dismiss the suits, saying they were premature and that the plaintiffs had no standing to challenge the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate.
"This case is about important rights to religious freedom protected by our founders under the First Amendment, assured by Congress under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but trampled by Defendants under haphazard rulemaking," says the 36-page brief filed on behalf of the University of Notre Dame.
The news that Cardinal Timothy Dolan will offer the closing benediction at the Democratic National Convention is a welcome development, somewhat balancing the scales of Catholic participation in this year's versions of these quadrennial extravaganzas.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan's appearance at both the Republican and Democratic conventions is a sign Catholics have an important place in the U.S. political process and shows Dolan can raise above partisan politics, according to a professor at a Catholic university.
The economy continues to weigh on pastors, with a new survey showing that almost two-thirds say it has affected their churches negatively.
LifeWay Research asked 1,000 pastors about the economy's effect on their churches and found that 56 percent described it somewhat negatively and 8 percent very negatively. Nine percent reported a positive effect on their churches and one-quarter said the economy was having "no impact on my church."
"Pastor views on the economy are similar to many economic outlook surveys," said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. "We weren't surprised the current perspective of economic impact on churches is predominantly negative."
A Gallup poll released Tuesday found that 43 percent of Americans call the country's economic conditions "poor," compared to 13 percent who say they are "good" or "excellent." Almost 6 in 10 expect the economy to worsen and 35 percent perceive improvement.