- Prayer for today
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to create a new monastic community at his London residence of Lambeth Palace. Like many experiments with innovative models of religious life, it will combine aspects ancient and modern
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- World faces greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II – Caritas president
- Bishops’ general secretary, Mgr Marcus Stock, to lead cash-strapped diocese of Leeds
- Egan: don’t assume Synod on the Family will radically change church teaching
- Cohabitees, divorcee and single parent among brides and grooms married by Pope in Vatican ceremony
- If there’s a shortage of priests in Ireland, why not ordain women to the diaconate? Michael Phelan
- Christians and Yazidis in Iraq: unwanted guests in their own country John Eibner, Christian Solidarity International
- Church should rethink its attitude to adoption Katherine Backler
The US Supreme Court affirmed an injunction against the controversial contraception mandate, in a case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor.
The mandate requires employers to purchase insurance for employees that includes contraception cover, unless they are specifically exempted. The court stated that if the Little Sisters write to the Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), affirming that they object to the mandate, HHS cannot enforce the mandate or levy fines against them while the lawsuits proceed.
The court did not address the merits of the issue, and sent the case back to the Circuit Court of Appeals for adjudication.
The Little Sisters argue that the HHS self-certification form they had been asked to sign in order to avoid purchasing the contraception coverage is a “permission slip” to their insurer, triggering the coverage to which they object.
The US Department of Justice argued that, in the Sisters’ case, they were fully exempt because their insurance company is itself a religious organisation run by the Christian Brothers.
In March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding a challenge to the mandate filed by for-profit firms, and court observers expect the Little Sisters and similar non-profit cases to eventually make their way to the high court as well.