Priest defends denying Communion to lesbian

(RNS) A Catholic priest who was pulled from ministry after a furor over denying communion to a lesbian at her mother?s funeral insists he did the right thing, and criticized the Washington archdiocese for disciplining him. By David Gibson.

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Santorum shows the Religious Right isn't dead yet

(RNS) Does Rick Santorum's surge also mark the resurrection of the Religious Right? After Santorum's big primary wins in Alabama and Mississippi, the born-again bigwigs who endorsed him last year may be having the last laugh. By David Gibson.

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Bishop hopes to restart White House contraception talks

(RNS) The Catholic bishop leading the hierarchy's push against the White House's contraception mandate says the bishops hope to re-start contentious talks with the Obama administration but says church leaders "have gotten mixed signals from the administration" and the situation "is very fluid." By David Gibson.

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Bishops face internal challenges in contraception battle

(RNS) as the U.S. hierarchy stakes its claim as the first and final arbiter of the Catholic position in this hotly contested battle, the bishops are also facing a number of internal challenges. Left unchecked, they could undermine the bishops' position and weaken their future standing if they are seen as losing their faceoff with the White House. By David Gibson.

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White House insists contraception talks are on track

(RNS) The Obama administration is pushing back against charges by the nation's top Catholic bishop that talks to create a broader religious exemption from a controversial birth control coverage mandate are "going nowhere," and that White House officials are dismissing the central role of the bishops. By David Gibson.

Catholic voter guide differs from two Catholic candidates

(RNS) A group of Democratic-leaning Catholics on Wednesday (Feb. 29) released a 2012 voter guide that includes abortion among a range of "pro-life issues," such as war, euthanasia and poverty, and highlights economic and social justice issues as concerns Catholics should weigh as they consider which candidate to support.

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TuesdayâÂ?Â?s Religion Roundup: âÂ?Â?Mullah RickâÂ?; Jewish hoops; the popeâÂ?Â?s teddy bears

Rick Santorum takes and gives criticism on religious issues ahead of today's Michigan primary, but pulls even with Mitt Romney. The "ad-libbing" Catholic priest rescinds his resignation, Cuba gets ready for the pope, the pope's brother writes a "tell-all" of sorts, and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has too many seminarians and not enough churches. A Jewish hoops team has to forfeit a playoff game because it's on the Sabbath.

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Re-branding a religion is hard to do, and not always successful

(RNS) Conventional wisdom in advertising and marketing agrees that as tempting as it is for the Southern Baptists to try to solve a missionary slump with a marketing campaign, religious groups -- like commercial businesses -- should think twice before undergoing a brand overhaul. By David Gibson.