Health and health care

Bishops send 'special message' reiterating objections to HHS mandate

BALTIMORE -- In a "special message" released Nov. 13, the U.S. bishops reiterated their objections to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employee insurance include contraceptive coverage and said they remain "united in our resolve to resist this heavy burden and protect our religious freedom."

The message was released one day after the conclusion of the Nov. 11-12 public portion of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fall general assembly in Baltimore. The bishops met in executive session Nov. 13.

Archdiocese refiles lawsuit on health care mandate

The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis have refiled a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the legality of the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on health care insurance coverage the Church finds morally objectionable.

A statement from the archdiocese noted that the lawsuit was filed at this time because the U.S. government's implementation of the HHS mandate is approaching and no acceptable compromise respecting religious liberty has been offered.

Family businesses win victory in appeals court decision on HHS suit

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Catholic family in Madison that owns a vehicle lighting manufacturing company won an important religious liberty victory in a Nov. 8 ruling handed down by a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Judge Diane Sykes, writing the majority opinion in the 2-1 decision, said that members of the Grote family and Grote Industries, which they own, cannot be compelled to provide abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives to their employees in their company health plan as required under the Affordable Care Act.

EWTN files second lawsuit against HHS mandate; Alabama is co-plaintiff

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Eternal Word Television Network, joined by the state of Alabama, has filed another lawsuit challenging the federal mandate requiring most employers to provide coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge.

The suit was filed Oct. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile.

Last March, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed the Irondale-based television network's lawsuit against the Health and Human Services mandate, which is part of the Affordable Care Act.

Collaboration opens doors for children with autism

Erin Dwyer, a speech therapy teacher at the St. Gemma Center in Ellisville, worked with her students.

Catherine Forder knows all too well the individualized approach that is needed when working with children diagnosed with autism.

"No one person is the same," said Forder, who serves as director of the St. Gemma Center, an archdiocesan special education school for children with autism. "We know that they can't be categorized as this is the best way to help them. So many of these kids are so smart and so talented. You just need to know the way to 'unlock' them."

St. Justin's 'Team Frogs' shows parish's support of family

St. Justin Martyr CYC soccer coach Dave Larson delivered his half-time talk to his team. Larson is continuing to coach while dealing with the impact of ALS, symptoms of which includes a rapid loss of the ability to speak.

The referee blew his whistle as the soccer ball crossed the sideline and went out of bounds. Coach Dave Larson made a substitution, signaling for one of his players on the bench to enter the game and pointing to the one being replaced.

As that player came to the sideline, Larson smiled at him and patted him on the back.

It's clear that Larson has good communication with with his players, that they respect him and have a special bond.

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