US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Daily Links, May 29: Religious liberty, kill lists, and plenty of scandal

By Scott Alessi | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Yet again, the news is full of stories about "religious liberty" claims. There are of course the claims coming from U.S. bishops, which Bryan Cones says may be lacking in accuracy. For example, this argument by a Florida bishop who has somehow determined that diocesan schools don't qualify for an exemption to the HHS mandate if more than 10 percent of their students are non-Catholic (I'm really not sure where he gets that number from, but diocesan schools seem pretty clearly exempt even though Catholic universities are not).

Then there's Canada, where the church and the government are clashing over whether Catholic schools should allow students to use the word "gay" in the names of school support groups for victims of bullying or bias due to their sexual orientation. The church, of course, says it is a religious freedom issue.

On the flip side, there are these kinds of religious liberty stories: Four Catholic students in Vietnam were sentenced on charges of anti-government propaganda for criticizing the government, with three receiving three-year prison sentences.

And in Pakistan, a report claims 1,415 people have been forced to convert to Islam since 2000.

Meanwhile, amidst all the concern over President Obama's policies on health care there has been less attention from the church to his policies on terrorism, including his role in determining who should be placed on the "kill list" of terrorists. In a related story, Christian Science Monitor asks whether terrorists are beyond redemption.

In various bishop news: The Archdiocese of Denver and the Diocese of Buffalo each got new bishops today, Bishop Robert Finn may be handing over some of his authority in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and a UK bishop stirred up debate about whether the Hail Mary should be a part of the Mass.

And CNN takes a look at trouble at the Vatican surrounding recent scandals.