Daily Links, March 15: Polls, priests, and papal cologne

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Yesterday, the bishops released a statement vowing to continue the fight for religious freedom...and less than a day later, a new poll declared that 57 percent of Catholics don't think religious liberty is in danger. Scott Alessi discusses this discrepancy between bishops and lay Catholics.

In continuing coverage of the contracpetion mandate, Nick Sementelli of Faith in Public Life discusses some consequences of newly proposed legislation in Arizona that would allow employers to opt out of covering contraception. And, at Commonweal, Joseph Becker examines if the mandate is constitutional.

In another new poll, it turns out that a majority of Republican primary voters are unaware that Rick Santorum is Catholic.

Today we hear from the priest who denied a woman communion at her mother's funeral. He defends his actions; Bryan Cones doesn't agree.

In about ten days, the pope will make a trip to Cuba. Read about important work the church is doing in Cuba to help fill gaps in the welfare net, and also about a group determined to have an audience with the pope during his visit.

Thinking of spending some time outside? Maybe taking a vacation to a national park? Turns out some political leaders are in favor of selling our national parks.

Did you just catch a whiff of a lime tree, verbena, and grass mixture? You could be smelling the pope's newest custom-made cologne.