U.S. bishops aim to mobilize Catholics to guard consciences on contraception

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops are working to mobilize Catholics across the country to tell the Obama administration that contraception and sterilization do not constitute preventive care for women and must not be mandated as part of health reform.

Contraceptive mandate exemption too narrow, Cardinal DiNardo says

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services' proposed "religious exemption" to the requirement that all health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization for women is "so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social service agencies and health care providers," according to the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Bishops urged to fight war of words to defend traditional marriage 

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., urged his fellow bishops June 15 to fight back in the war of words over efforts to redefine traditional marriage.

The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage said organizations advocating the legal redefinition of marriage have been using words like "human rights" and "hate" in discussions of same-sex marriage.

Charter revisions approved but work must continue, bishop says

Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, spoke during the opening session of the bishops’ annual spring meeting near Seattle in Bellevue, Wash., June 15.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The U.S. bishops overwhelmingly approved extensive revisions to their 2002 "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" June 16, but the bishop who heads up their efforts to confront the clergy sex-abuse crisis said it must remain "a front-burner issue."

Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane spoke at a news conference after the bishops closed the public sessions of their June 15-17 spring general assembly near Seattle with a 187-5 vote in favor of the charter revisions, with four abstentions.

Bishops approve statement on assisted suicide, charter revisions

Patricia and John Peyton surfed the Internet at their home in Seattle in 2008. John, then 64, became paralyzed by an unusually aggressive form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He spent time in his final months lobbying against Washington state’s assisted suicide initiative. Peyton said society needs to extend true compassion to the dying. The U.S. bishops addressed the issue at their recent meeting.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The U.S. bishops June 16 approved a policy statement on physician-assisted suicide, the first on the issue by the bishops as a body, and they also approved revisions to their 2002 "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."

The votes came on the second day of the bishops' annual spring general assembly held near Seattle in Bellevue June 15-17.

Charter review, assisted suicide among topics facing bishops 

WASHINGTON — Although the U.S. bishops' spring general assembly will focus primarily on a review of the 2002 "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and consideration of a new document on physician-assisted suicide, the June 15-17 meeting in Seattle also will include a variety of presentations looking forward and back.

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