Weekly roundup: Anniversaries, fasting for immigration reform, and an exorcism

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It is a week of significant anniversaries. 150 since the Gettysburg Address. 50 years since the assasination of President John F. Kennedy. 50 years also since the premiere of Doctor Who, and since C.S. Lewis passed away.

This is your weekly roundup.

Last week, the USCCB met in Baltimore and voted to write a pastoral letter on pornography, supposedly to report that it is not good. The bishops also isued a "special message" on the HHS contraception mandate. Religion News Service's David Gibson suspects that the bishops are quietly seeking a graceful exit strategy from the whole debacle.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will decide next week what petitions they will hear against the HHS mandate.  

Costco has been rated one of the most worker-friendly companies in the United States, paying its employees a living wage and paying them health insurance. But this week, some Christians became outraged when Costco stores stocked Bibles with pricetags that labled them "fiction." Costco has apologized for its error.

A group of activists in Washington, D.C. called Fast for Families is currently in the process of publicly fasting to raise awareness for immigration reform. They have been fasting since November 12, and this week they were visited by Vice President Joe Biden, who stopped by to show his support. A few members of Congress also fasted for one day in solidarity with the activists.

The Vatican has unveiled a fresco in the Catacomb of Priscilla that features a prominent female figure praying. Some groups have claimed that the woman praying is a priest. The Vatican says poppycock, she's just a woman praying.

This week, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed into law the bill making same-sex marriage legal in the state. During the signing ceremony, Springfield bishop Thomas Paprocki held a ceremony of exorcism for the state. Read Bryan Cones' comments on Bishop Paprocki's stunt here.

A group of theologians has issued a statement calling the church teachings on sexuality "incomprehensible." In preparation for the extraordinary synod on marriage and family life that will take place next October, the Vatican has asked bishops' conferences around the world to collect input from laity. The group of theologians from around the world said in their statement, "We therefore urge the Catholic faithful and any other interested parties to share their experience and knowledge with the leaders of the church and to make their thoughts and their concerns known."

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!