Court blocks Trump Administration birth control coverage rules

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals won't permit employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control:

A U.S. appeals court Thursday blocked rules by the Trump administration allowing more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control. States were likely to succeed on their claim that the changes to President Barack Obama’s health care law were made without required notice and public comment, a divided, three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of … [Read more...]

A slap in the face to millions of Catholics?

Once-imprisoned Chinese human rights activist says Communist Party responsible for deaths of more than 400 million unborn children

Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng called the Vatican’s pact with China over the selection of bishops “preposterous” in a sharp critique of the Sino-Vatican agreement published Monday. The September agreement is “a slap in the face to millions of Catholics and other faithful religious people in China who have suffered real persecution under the CCP,” Chen wrote in … [Read more...]

New conscience exemptions issued for contraceptive mandate

HHS: Entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing contraceptive services would be exempt from the mandate

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released two updated rules concerning conscience protections for organizations and individuals in relation to the HHS contraception mandate. Under the new rules, organizations and individuals objecting to the controversial mandate’s provisions on either religious or moral grounds will be exempt. According to a … [Read more...]

San Rafael church won’t be forced to pay “special tax”

The case could benefit churches statewide

In a case that could benefit churches statewide, the Pacific Justice Institute convinced the Marin County Superior Court to declare a voter-approved local property tax unconstitutional as applied to a local church. On October 9, PJI attorney Ray Hacke represented Valley Baptist Church of San Rafael in a civil trial against the City of San Rafael. The trial concerned the … [Read more...]

Department of Justice creates Religious Liberty Task Force

Archbishop Kurtz: governmental policies have made it hard for religious organizations to operate

The announcement of a Religious Liberty Task Force being created at the Department of Justice drew praise from Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who said that religious freedom is vital to the common good of the U.S. “As Americans we intuitively understand that individuals should be free to live in accordance with what they believe to be true, that is, in accordance one’s … [Read more...]

Federal appeals court upholds ban on prayer at Chino school board meetings

Chino Unified School District board defended its opening prayer as a sign of respect for religious diversity, but 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees

A federal appeals court decided Wednesday that Chino Valley school board meetings may not include prayers, proselytizing or the citing of Christian Scripture. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2016 injunction against the religious practices, which the court said dated back to at least 2010. In its appeal, the Chino Valley Unified School … [Read more...]

U.S. House committee seeks protection for religious adoption agencies

Amendment to spending bill would allow adoption agencies receiving taxpayer money to refuse to place children with same-sex couples

The House Appropriations Committee moved to protect the conscience rights and religious freedom of faith-based adoption agencies on Wednesday. The committee adopted an amendment to an upcoming funding bill that would preserve federal funding for agencies who do not want to place children with same-sex couples. The amendment was introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL). In a … [Read more...]

“It is a Christian genocide”

Nigerian priest recounts religious violence at conclusion of Religious Freedom Week in San Francisco archdiocese

More than 65 Catholics crowded into the rectory at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco to hear firsthand stories of Christian persecution in Nigeria and Asia as the Archdiocese of San Francisco concluded Religious Freedom Week with prayer and discussion on the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul June 29. “It is a Christian genocide,” in parts of Nigeria, said Via Christi … [Read more...]

More animosity toward pro-life students at Fresno State

Attorneys for Fresno State Students for Life ask school disclose results of a disciplinary proceeding after a student vandal destroyed fliers the organization had paid to print—ripping some of the fliers right out of the pro-life students’ hands

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys sent a letter Tuesday on behalf of Fresno State Students for Life and its president, Bernadette Tasy, to Fresno State University requesting the school disclose the final results of a disciplinary proceeding after a student vandal destroyed fliers that Tasy and her organization had paid to print—ripping some of the fliers right out of the … [Read more...]

Will bill outlawing ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ also ban teaching the faith to kids?

Under California measure's broad and ill-defined terms, “any practice” could include Catholic catechism classes

Numerous commentators have raised concerns about a proposed bill currently in the California Senate, Assembly Bill 2943. The bill would amend the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act to prohibit “sexual orientation change efforts.” Most discussion of the bill has focused on its potential ban on Bible sales. It seems much more likely that the bill will make religious … [Read more...]