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NATIONAL
February 7, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A pregnant Montana teacher who alleges that she was fired from a Catholic middle school because she was not married has hired a law firm in the latest conflict between religious doctrine and shifting societal values. Shaela Evenson, 36, was fired from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena for violating the morality clause of her contract, the diocese said. “As with any Catholic school, we have the obligation to provide an authentically Catholic learning environment,” Supt.
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WORLD
February 5, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME - The Roman Catholic Church has "systematically" protected predator priests, allowing tens of thousands of children to be abused, a United Nations committee said Wednesday in a scathing report that cast the first shadow over Pope Francis' honeymoon period as pontiff. The panel called on the Vatican to remove all suspects from their posts immediately and to open its confidential archives "to hold abusers accountable. " "The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators," the report says.
WORLD
February 5, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- The Roman Catholic Church has “systematically” protected predator priests, allowing “tens of thousands” of children to be abused, a United Nations committee said Wednesday in a scathing report that cast the first shadow over Pope Francis' honeymoon period as pontiff. The panel called on the Vatican to remove all suspects from their posts immediately and to open up its confidential archives in order “to hold abusers accountable.” “The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators,” the report said.
OPINION
January 30, 2014 | By Malcolm Potts
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that a group of Colorado nuns will not be required to offer contraceptive coverage to employees while pursuing its legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The nuns' action highlights the misunderstandings and theological errors behind the Vatican's condemnation of what it terms "artificial contraception. " And it also overlooks an important medical point: The nuns might have something to gain from taking oral contraceptives. But first, some background on the history of contraception.
NATIONAL
January 24, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
Though the Vatican hasn't made an official announcement, news that Pope Francis may visit Philadelphia in 2015 has generated buzz among the Catholic community and city residents. Vatican officials told the National Catholic Reporter on Friday that Pope Francis intends to attend the World Meeting of Families, a global Catholic event that aims to "support and strengthen families. " The event is held every three years and is scheduled to take place Sept. 22-27, 2015, in Philadelphia.
OPINION
January 7, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The Little Sisters of the Poor, an organization of Roman Catholic nuns that runs nursing homes around the country, is testing the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Last week, we're sorry to say, the nuns won a temporary reprieve from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Under the law, most employers are required to provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control. But the Obama administration agreed to a compromise for nonprofit religious groups that object to contraception, exempting them from paying for such coverage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2014 | By Elaine Woo
Father Robert Nugent, a Roman Catholic priest whose support of gays and lesbians in the church brought the Vatican's censure, ending his public role as an advocate for reconciling church doctrines with the realities of gay life, died Wednesday in Milwaukee. He was 76. The cause was cancer, said Sister Jeannine Gramick, the nun with whom he founded New Ways Ministry in 1977 to educate the church about gay and lesbian Catholics and advocate for their acceptance. For more than two decades, Nugent traveled the country with Gramick to counsel gay Catholics, give workshops for Catholic clergy and lay people, and write books on gays in the church.
NATIONAL
January 3, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Obama administration lawyers strongly urged Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her fellow Supreme Court members to drop an appeal from the Little Sisters of the Poor and other Catholic groups who object to the so-called contraceptive mandate in the new healthcare law. Nonprofit religious charities already can opt out of the requirement to pay for insurance coverage for contraceptives and therefore have nothing to complain about, U.S. Solicitor...
NATIONAL
January 2, 2014 | By David G. Savage and Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - The intensifying Supreme Court clash over whether birth control should be required under President Obama's signature healthcare law has revealed just how deep divisions remain between administration officials and Catholic leaders over where to draw the line between religious freedom and women's reproductive rights. After more than two years of negotiations, a compromise that satisfies everyone appears out of reach, likely leaving the matter for high court justices to decide later this year.
NATIONAL
December 31, 2013 | By David G. Savage and Maeve Reston
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary exemption late Tuesday to a small group of Catholic nuns that shields it from having to comply with a part of President Obama's healthcare law that requires it to provide contraceptive coverage in its insurance plans. She acted on an emergency appeal from lawyers for the group who said the nuns faced "draconian fines" beginning on New Year's Day if they failed to comply with the law widely known as Obamacare. Sotomayor gave the government until Friday to file a response in the case.
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