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Archbishop: Catholics should be free to serve with 'eucharistic heart'

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The Eucharist conforms Catholics to "the pattern of Christ's self-giving love" and compels them to see the dignity of the poor and perform acts of mercy, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori said at the June 21 opening Mass for this year's Fortnight for Freedom.

The Mass coincided with the feast of Corpus Christi.

"By entering the dynamic of Christ's self-giving eucharistic love, we are impelled ... to work for a loving and just society where the dignity of human life is respected from conception until natural death and all the stages in between," he said in his homily.

Injunction stops enforcement of HHS mandate for Catholic benefits group

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A federal district court in Oklahoma issued an injunction Wednesday preventing several Catholic entities from being forced to comply with the federal Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate.

Of the nine Catholic entities granted relief by the court's action, four are based in Baltimore, three in Oklahoma, one in North Carolina and one in Kansas.

'Great misunderstanding' seen on church's teachings on end of life

There is "great misunderstanding" among Catholics and others about the church's teachings on whether and when life-sustaining medical treatment can be withdrawn when death is near, according to a leading Catholic bioethicist.

Marie T. Hilliard, director of bioethics and public policy and a staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, said the Philadelphia-based center conducts about 2,000 consultations a year with "families in distress" who want to talk with an ethicist "about the church's teaching in light of their (family) situation."

Brother-sister team named CCHD Cardinal Bernardin award recipients

Two advocates for worker rights received the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Cardinal Joseph Bernardin New Leadership Award during the U.S. bishops' annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Jose and Ana Aguayo, a brother-and-sister team instrumental in the success of the Northwest Arkansas Worker Justice Center, were recognized Monday for their advocacy efforts on behalf of low-wage workers.

Bishops approve 2014 budget, 3 percent assessment increase for 2015

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The U.S. bishops, in separate votes Tuesday, approved a budget for the year 2014 and a 3 percent increase in diocesan assessments starting in 2015.

The bishops also approved a proposal to modify that U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' bylaws to allow the chairman of its audit subcommittee to be chosen from among their overall membership rather than restrict the choice to those bishops currently serving on the USCCB Administrative Board, as has currently been the practice.

All three votes took place the second day of the annual USCCB fall general assembly in Baltimore.

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July 4-17, 2014

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