religious liberty

Faith-based organizations looking at impact of executive orders

Father Paul Spielman greeted Mary Ann Carmody after Mass at Our Lady of Life Apartments, part of Cardinal Ritter Senior Services. Groups such as Cardinal Ritter and Catholic Charities are examining federal contracts in light of two executive orders that could affect how religious organizations provide services.

Executive orders signed by President Barack Obama could have a profound impact on the work of Catholic Charities of St. Louis and other faith-based organizations that receive federal funding.

The orders prohibit discrimination of employees on the basis of sex, which includes gender identity, transgender status and sex stereotypes. The other calls for a distinct separation between "explicit religious activity" and the delivery of services.

WITNESSES TO FREEDOM | U.S. bishops continue efforts to raise awareness of religious liberty

Four years ago when the Archdiocese of St. Louis launched a campaign for religious liberty, Archbishop Robert Carlson called it a great opportunity for Catholics to "build enthusiasm for this important cause."

"Religious liberty is our first, most cherished freedom," he said. "The threat the HHS mandate poses to the Catholic Church is no small matter. It is imperative that we act now to protect the freedoms upon which this country is based."

Paul Ryan: People of faith must advocate for religious liberty

WASHINGTON — People of faith have the responsibility to "advocate for their faith," not only through good works, but on spiritual realms — one being through prayer, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said May 17.

He made the comments at the 12th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, which drew a record of about 1,300 attendees to a downtown Washington hotel.

Ryan and Sister Constance Veit, communications director for her religious congregation, the Little Sisters of the Poor, were special guests at the breakfast.

Supporters show love for Little Sisters of the Poor

A service day at the Little Sisters of the Poor St. Louis Residence included packing Easter eggs with candy. Sister Paul Mary Wilson, LSP, dumped a fresh load of candy onto the table as Breanna Colombini, her 15-month-old daughter Gianna, Katie Sleeman and Kasia Penna filled the eggs.

Katie Sleeman, Breanna Colombini, Rachel Kondro and a half dozen others from Women Speak for Themselves prepared to give Kisses to the elderly residents of the Little Sisters of the Poor Residence in north St. Louis.

Catholics make case against HHS contraception mandate

Little Sisters of the Poor watched news of the Supreme Court case Zubik v. Burell March 23 at their convent in St. Louis

WASHINGTON — During oral arguments March 23 at the Supreme Court, attorneys on both sides of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive requirement examined how the mandate either violates or strikes a balance with religious freedom.

Lawyers representing the seven groups of plaintiffs said the federal government's so-called accommodation for religious employers to arrange for a third party to provide contraceptive coverage in health plans was inconsistent because the government already had been able to provide churches an exemption from the requirement.

Ultimate relief from mandate may lie beyond the courts, say plaintiffs


WASHINGTON — On the eve of the March 23 oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell, best known as the Little Sisters of the Poor case, two plaintiffs appealed the case in the court of public opinion, and hinted that a political solution might be their ultimate redress.

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