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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.

Franklin Graham apologizes for questioning Obama's faith

WASHINGTON (RNS) "I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama," evangelist Franklin Graham said.  "I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election."  By Adelle M. Banks.

Obama says faith mandates him to care for the poor

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama speaks Thursday at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, overshadowed by tensions with Catholic and evangelical groups over a decision to mandate contraception coverage for almost all insurance plans. By Lauren Markoe.