News Briefs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is accepting comments until April 9 on its move to rescind a Bush administration regulation giving federal protection to the conscience rights of health care providers. The 30-day comment period opened on March 10. • Poland’s Catholic bishops said the Vatican has cleared them of collaborating with the secret police during Poland’s Communist era. • Mauricio Funes, a journalist and proponent of liberation theology who said during his campaign that the moral strength of churches was at the center of change, was elected president of El Salvador on March 15. • The possibility that the Catholic Church will allow married priests should not be dismissed, New York’s Cardinal Edward M. Egan said on March 10 during a radio interview. • Though the number of U.S. adults who identify themselves as Catholics increased by 11.1 million since 1990, to 57 million, the percentage of Catholics in the general population dropped from approximately 26 percent to 25 percent. • Internet users will be able to access and read texts by Pope Benedict XVI in traditional and simplified Chinese characters beginning on March 19 at the Vatican’s Web site.

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