U.S. priests want married men to be ordained, support worker pensions, immigration reform and opening up bishop-selection process

A proposal to ask American Catholic bishops to request church approval to ordain married men as priests was approved June 25 by the 230 priests attending an assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests this week in St. Louis. The group also announced support for full payment of worker pensions, asked that lay people have a role in the selection of diocesan bishops, and made plans to help Catholics learn more about Church teaching in regard to immigration rights and responsibilities. In recommending a call for the church to ordain married men, the association cited published reports that Pope Francis would welcome such a request from bishop’s conferences around the world. During the four-day assembly, the priests formed a task force to clarify the rights and duties of immigrants and to develop materials for preachers and teachers by mid-2015.

Religious, Political Leaders Respond to Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby SCOTUS Decision

DALLAS, Texas, June 30, 2014 – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) of America ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Affordable Health Care for America Act violates closely held corporations’ rights under the First Amendment. Under the ruling of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, SCOTUS has established a legal precedent that companies are granted the same liberties as individuals under the Constitution. Below are statements from prominent religious and political leaders regarding the ruling:

Dr. George O. Wood
General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God and licensed to practice law before SCOTUS

“The Court should be commended for recognizing that individuals do not surrender their religious freedom rights when they incorporate as a closely held, for profit business. A family-owned business—even a for-profit corporation such as Hobby Lobby—has religious freedom rights because members of the family do. A ruling against Hobby Lobby would’ve meant that the government could require pro-life business owners to provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employees through company health plans.