- Who will inherit the earth?
World leaders meet in Paris on Monday for the latest round of talks on reducing carbon emissions. Differences between rich and poor countries threaten the search for solutions
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- Vatileaks II trial delayed for one week as Chaouqui is allowed to switch lawyers
- Pope in Africa: Francis launches year of mercy in peace mission to Central African Republic
- Pope in Africa: Francis' trip to Africa the most profound of messages to climate change conference in Paris Christopher Lamb in Nairobi
- Two ways to solve refugee crisis: welcome them in, and change the negative attitude in Europe Ruta Tumenaite
- Any peace plan for Syria must involve a secular society - and that means Assad is an option John Eibner
At the close of their annual plenary meeting, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a statement reiterating their opposition to the controversial contraception mandate that is part of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul. However, for the first time, the bishops also began to qualify their opposition.
In every previous statement on the mandate, the USCCB has said the mandate would cause Catholic ministries to “fund and/or facilitate” the objectionable contraceptive coverage. That language was dropped from the statement issued last week. According to one source, during the closed door executive session, the bishops wrestled with the issue of whether or not compliance with the mandate constituted illicit material cooperation with evil and decided not to include the “fund and/or facilitate” language which suggested compliance would be morally illicit.
Moreover, after two years during which opposition to the mandate, and the broader issue of religious liberty, tended to drown out all other issues, the new statement painted the USCCB’s religious liberty concerns as one among many issues facing the Church, alongside matters of worship and teaching, service to the poor, and comprehensive immigration reform.