No 'Accommodation'

Although the Obama administration’s “accommodation” for religious employers to a government mandate that contraceptives and sterilization be included in most health plans “may create an appearance of...compromise,” it does not change the administration’s fundamental position, attorneys for the U.S. bishops said on May 15. “We are convinced that no public good is served by this unprecedented nationwide mandate and that forcing individual and institutional stakeholders to sponsor and subsidize an otherwise widely available product over their religious and moral objections serves no legitimate, let alone compelling, government interest,” said Anthony R. Picarello and Michael F. Moses, general counsel and associate general counsel, respectively, to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in comments filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The comments were in response to the administration’s “advance notice of proposed rulemaking” published on March 16 in the Federal Register, which offered new ways for religious organizations to comply with the new requirements. The attorneys argued that the best solution to their objections would be to rescind the mandate.

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Pope Francis listens to a question from Vera Shcherbakova of the Itar-Tass news agency while talking with journalists aboard his flight from Cairo to Rome April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The situation in North Korea, he added, has been heated for a long time, "but now it seems it has heated up too much, no?"
Gerard O'ConnellApril 29, 2017
Pope Francis greets children dressed as pharaohs and in traditional dress as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Francis took the risk, trusting in God. His decision transmitted a message of hope on the political front to all Egyptians, Christians and Muslims alike, who are well aware that their country is today a target for ISIS terrorists and is engaged in a battle against terrorism.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 29, 2017
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The only kind of fanaticism that is acceptable to God is being fanatical about loving and helping others, Pope Francis said on his final day in Egypt.
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists in the Oval Office at the White House on March 24 after the American Health Care Act was pulled before a vote. (CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters)
Predictably Mr. Trump has also clashed with the Catholic Church and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on many of the policies he has promoted during his first 100 days.
Kevin ClarkeApril 28, 2017