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Religion briefs

WASHINGTON – Responding to a challenge from 55 of the 73 Roman Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives, key leaders of the American church said that “all Catholics are obliged to shape our consciences in accord with the moral teaching of the church.” That includes teaching on abortion, the prelates said.The statement came from the chairmen of three panels of the U.S. bishops’ conference: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (Washington, D.C.) of a special task force on Catholic politicians; Cardinal William Keeler (Baltimore) of the pro-life committee, and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio (Brooklyn, N.Y.) of the domestic policy committee.In a Feb. 28 joint statement, the 55 House members had addressed abortion and other matters, saying “we seek the church’s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience.”

WASHINGTON – An alliance of gay caucuses in seven U.S. religious denominations is becoming a program within a major secular group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a Monday announcement said.The alliance, known as the Institute for Welcoming Resources, represents caucuses in the American Baptist Churches, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church.The statement said the task force will provide resources to increase religious support for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

MADISON, Wis. – Resident assistants can host Bible studies in their rooms, as well as sales or political meetings, under a policy adopted unanimously by the University of Wisconsin system’s Board of Regents.The assistants are warned they should create an inclusive environment and not use their positions to coerce people to attend.


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