Jews worldwide welcome Pope Francis as a friend, pointing to his reaction to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in his native Argentina, the deadliest bombing in the country's history.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has asked members of the House to approve the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.
Introduced March 5 by three House Republicans, the bill had 66 co-sponsors as of Monday.
The bill will "help preserve the vitally important traditions of religious freedom and the right of conscience," O'Malley said in a letter to House members Monday.
Three Republican members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday introduced a bill to protect conscience rights for both workers in the health care industry and for employers in light of the federal mandate requiring employers to cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.
One of the sponsors, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said it is possible that the bill, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, could be folded into a continuing resolution being considered by the House to keep the federal government operating beyond March 27.
Benedict stands in a long line of popes whose teachings challenge both the political left and right, but conservatives found more challenge and less solace from Rome.
Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley urged the 450 participants of the 2013 national Catholic Social Ministry Gathering to use their time together to discern their vocation in the church and world.
Christian leaders, including representatives from the USCCB, urged the president and Congress to end fiscal brinksmanship and find a budget that protects the poorest Americans.
Pope Benedict XVI never inspired the deep love and admiration enjoyed by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, but Americans still look favorably upon the soon-to-be-former pontiff.
Many churches "were the only shelter available to people who lost their homes" during Hurricane Sandy, said Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., in arguing for federal assistance to help houses of worship still trying to recover from the storm.
On Feb. 13, the House of Representatives passed a bill in a 354-72 vote that will allow Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster funding to go to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other houses of worship.
A recent United Nations committee report says the United States fails to pursue and prosecute clergy guilty of child sex abuse.
Foes of same-sex marriage are warning the Supreme Court that lifting state or federal restrictions would threaten their own economic and religious freedoms and lead to social and political upheaval.
In about three dozen briefs filed in recent weeks, groups ranging from U.S. Catholic bishops and evangelicals to state attorneys general and university professors argue that upholding gay marriage could lead to penalties against objecting employers, military officials and others.
Briefs from supporters of gay marriage are due by early March.