Little Sisters fighting contraception order: News and Notes

  • November 3, 2017
The Little Sisters of the Poor are returning to court to defend their exemption from the U.S. federal mandate that requires them to offer an employee health plan covering contraception, sterilizations and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

In October, the Trump administration announced changes to the mandate, including a broad religious exemption that offered protection from its demands to the Little Sisters and other objecting religious non-profits. However, the states of California and Pennsylvania are now suing, challenging the Little Sisters’ religious exemption.

“No one needs nuns in order to get contraceptives, and no one needs these guys reigniting the last administration’s divisive and unnecessary culture war,” said Mark Rienzi, lead attorney for the Little Sisters.

NO SHOPPING: Poland could gradually end Sunday shopping in the next three years if lawmakers approve a bill under consideration in the national legislature.

Backers of the legislation want to make it possible for workers to spend more time with their families, The Catholic Herald reports. The bill, passed by Poland’s lower house, still requires approval from the Senate and President Andzrej Duda.

The bill would allow Sunday shopping only on the first and last Sunday of each month through the end of 2018, then allow shopping only on the last Sunday of the month in 2019, then ban all Sunday shopping in 2020. The bishops’ conference of Poland said that the bill did not go far enough, arguing that everyone should have the freedom from Sunday work.

POPE RELIC: Janusz Kotanski, Polish ambassador to the Holy See,  delivered a relic of Pope St. John Paul II to Panama’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Miroslava Rosas Vargas, on Nov. 17. The relic is a gift from Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz to the Church in Panama, as it prepares to host the 2019 World Youth Day.

John Paul II created World Youth Day in 1985 to harness the energy of young people and encourage them to participate in his call for a “new evangelization.”

MULTI-MARRIAGE: More than 100 couples who had been living together but were not yet married celebrated their marriages in the Asuncion Cathedral in Paraguay Nov. 15.

The couples were able to say  “I do,” thanks to support from the Santa Librada Foundation, which put on a program to prepare the couples for marriage. Most of the couples participating in the program reported that they had been unable to afford the cost of a wedding on their own.  

The Retail Company, which owns a supermarket chain where most of the newlyweds work, paid for the wedding attire, hairdressing, makeup and transportation.

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