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Calif. Archdiocese Must Face Sexual Harassment Suit

A federal court has ruled that a former biology teacher may sue the San Francisco Roman Catholic Archdiocese over the sexual harassment she endured at one of its schools. U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick found that Kimberly Bohnert had “a triable case” against the archdiocese for its alleged failure to address the harassment. Read more

Controversy Swirls Over Pope’s Meeting With Kim Davis During D.C. Visit

Controversy has erupted over a meeting Pope Francis had with Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis during his September visit to Washington, D.C., with some church officials claiming the event was brief and was not intended to express support for her.

The Rev. Frederico Lombardi “confirmed the meeting, but declined to elaborate on it. He said he ‘did not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add,’” The New York Times reported. Lombardi also confirmed the meeting to Buzzfeed News. Read more

N.J. Town Drops Sponsorship Of Papal Mass After AU Complaint

A New Jersey town withdrew its official sponsorship of an event that featured a live online video broadcast of a papal mass after receiving a complaint from Americans United.

Cape May, N.J., had planned to show a live stream of Pope Francis’ Sept. 27 public mass in Philadelphia at a government-owned building, the Cape May Convention Hall. Tickets for the event were also distributed at city hall. Read more

Bad Actor: Presumptuous Prelate Hopes His Partisan Ploy Plays In Peoria – And Elsewhere

For the past few days, my inbox has been overflowing with emails about Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky.

The Roman Catholic prelate last week wrote a letter that he ordered all priests in his Peoria, Ill., diocese to read during services over the weekend. The missive purports to offer guidance about tomorrow’s election. Read more

Standing Up For Birth Control: Religious Voices Speak Out In Contraceptive Debate

Every morning, it seems, I pick up The Washington Post and read another article or column about President Barack Obama’s decision to require employers to provide free coverage of birth control in their health insurance plans.

The move, announced on Jan. 20 by the Department of Health and Human Services, has sparked some controversy because, while it exempts houses of worship, it doesn’t exempt church-related institutions. Thus, church-owned hospitals, colleges and other entities will have to buy insurance plans for their employees that include contraceptive coverage. Read more

Battling Bias: Interpreter Can’t Get Tax-Funded Job Because He’s The ‘Wrong’ Religion

For several years now, Americans United and other groups have spoken out against religious hiring bias in taxpayer-funded “faith-based” programs.

The issue to many people might seem like a legal abstraction. That’s why it’s helpful to occasionally have a human face put on the controversy.

Consider the case of Saad Mohammad Ali, a Washington state resident who volunteered for the evangelical Christian agency World Relief for six months. Read more