Catholics differ at "war on poverty" hearing

WASHINGTON (RNS) At a House Budget committee hearing on Wednesday (July 31), the two prominent Catholics -- Rep. Paul Ryan, R. Wis., and Sister Simone Campbell -- had a chance to square off as the sister testified before Ryan’s committee about hardship in America as the nation nears the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s 1964 declaration of the “War on Poverty.”

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Meet the 'Catholic NRA'

(RNS) As the Senate prepares to take up gun control measures, Catholic bishops have urged new legislation in email blasts and Senate Judiciary Committee testimony. But among the Catholic faithful, there are many that oppose all gun control measures. Call them the NRA Catholics. By Aaron Schrank.

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Poll: Obama surges ahead among Catholic voters

(RNS) President Obama’s support among Catholic voters has surged since June, according to a new poll, despite the Catholic bishops’ religious freedom campaign and the naming of Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as the GOP's vice-presidential nominee. By Daniel Burke. 

Religious labels matter less in 2012 campaign

(RNS) There aren't any white Protestants on the presidential ballot this year -- a first in American history. It's a situation that probably would have baffled famous evangelicals such as the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. By Bob Smietana.

COMMENTARY: Of Protestants, politicians and power

(RNS) It would be an error to underestimate or write off the Protestant influence in the American political arena. But with the rapid demographic and sociological changes now underway, get ready for Hindus, Jews, Hispanics, Buddhists, Muslims, gays, women, atheists and many other groups to head up future presidential tickets. By A. James Rudin.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan's GOP convention blessing prompts debate

(RNS) The news that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the nation’s most prominent Catholic prelate, will deliver the closing blessing to the Republican National Convention in Florida next week was seen as a huge coup for Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee. But the move has promoted a sharp debate within the church over the increasingly close ties between leading bishops and the GOP. By David Gibson.