New proposed regulations governing the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act continue to violate basic principles of religious freedom, said the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
On Feb. 20, a conference at Georgetown University here focused on cleaning up what many Americans consider a dirty word -- secularism.
The goal of the conference, called “Secularism on the Edge: United States, France and Israel,” was to define what secularism is and what it is not. It drew participants from all three countries.
“[Secularism] is a guarantee of two things: freedom of religion and freedom from religion,” said conference organizer Jacques Berlinerblau, Georgetown professor of Jewish civilization.
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.