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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.

Court hears arguments in Little Sisters of the Poor appeal, two others

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Speaking on the steps of a federal courthouse Monday in Denver, the mother provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor said the religious order cannot and "should not have to" choose between "our care for the elderly poor and our faith."

Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire said that is what the U.S. government is demanding by requiring the order to comply with the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

Archbishop urges prayers for victims of widespread flooding in Colorado

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Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila said he is praying for all those affected by extensive flooding in northern Colorado and urged all people of good will "to join me in prayer."

"This morning I heard with concern about the flooding that is hitting the Front Range and impacting people within the Archdiocese of Denver," he said in a statement Thursday. "According to the latest reports, three people have already died in the flooding. I am praying for the souls of those victims, for their families and all people who are being affected by the flooding."

Colorado governor signs bill to legalize same-sex civil unions

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday signed into law a civil unions bill for same-sex couples that Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila said "harms families, civil liberties and the natural rights of all Colorado's children."

The measure was approved by the state House March 12 and went to Hickenlooper for his signature. The Senate had passed it in February. The new law takes effect May 1 and gives same-sex couples many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

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July 17-30, 2015

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