National Catholic Reporter

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Pope Francis' address to Congress will be broadcast to crowd outside Capitol

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Pope Francis' address to a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24 will be broadcast live to members of the public on the West Front of the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday.

"The visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol is a historic moment for the country," he said in a statement, adding that "the unprecedented nature of his visit" prompted the decision to broadcast his address.

Independence Day Mass closes US bishops' annual Fortnight for Freedom

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Religious freedom is "the human right that guarantees all other rights," Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said Saturday in his homily at the closing Mass of the U.S. bishops' fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom.

That right "has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person," he said at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. "Peace and creative living together will only be possible if freedom of religion is fully respected."

Extension's Flat Francis image helps build excitement for pope's visit

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Pope Francis isn't going to be visiting the United States until September, but that hasn't kept the pope from going all around the nation, if only as a simple piece of paper for the time being.

Chicago-based Catholic Extension is helping to build excitement and support for Pope Francis' upcoming trip to the United States by creating Flat Francis.

The project takes some inspiration from "The Flat Stanley Project," which centers on a paper cutout of Flat Stanley, a cartoon drawing based on books of the same name, being photographed with people in numerous locations.

5th Circuit says HHS accommodation on mandate not a burden on religion

The religious rights of faith-based entities -- including the dioceses of Fort Worth and Beaumont, Texas, and the University of Dallas -- are not substantially burdened by the process to receive an accommodation from the federal government to avoid participating in a health care mandate for contraceptive coverage, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

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