Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 9:15 am
Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control as part of their employee health plans because it violates their religious beliefs.
But what happens when the insurance company is itself Catholic? It turns out that Catholic health plans have for years been arranging for outside firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.
The first non-European pope in modern history will makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this week, a region with centuries of religious strife.
Francis — the first pope to take the name of the saint of peace — will carry far less historical baggage than any of his predecessors.
When John Paul II visited Israel in 2000, he prayed at the Western Wall and apologized for the church's sins against Jews. Nine years later, at Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust, Benedict XVI urged that the names of the victims never perish, be denied or forgotten.