Bishops reject Obama contraception compromise
Catholic Bishops called the HHS contraception mandate 'dubios' in a new statement.
March 14th, 2012
10:49 PM ET

Bishops reject Obama contraception compromise

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) – An adjustment to a controversial federal rule requiring employers cover contraception in their health insurance plans was labeled “dubious” by Roman Catholic bishops on Wednesday.

The rule in question mandated all employers, including religiously affiliated organizations like hospitals and colleges, provide free contraception to employees through health insurance plans. Churches were exempted from the law.

After uproar from conservatives and religious groups, President Barack Obama announced an accommodation to the rule. Under the new plan, insurers will be required to offer complete coverage free to women instead of the religious institutions themselves.

On Wednesday the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said the new rule remained “unspecified and dubious,” and said they would seek to engage in conversations with members of Obama’s administration to seek a more attractive alternative.

"We will continue to accept any invitation to dialogue with the executive branch to protect the religious freedom that is rightly ours,” the bishops said. “We will continue to pursue legislation to restore the same level of religious freedom we have enjoyed until just recently. And we will continue to explore our options for relief from the courts, under the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws that protect religious freedom.”

The group also attempted to push back on criticism from liberals that their opposition to the contraception rule was akin to restricting access to forms of birth control.

“This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the church’s hand and with the church’s funds,” the group wrote.

The statement continued, “Indeed, this is not about the church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the church — consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions — to act against church teachings.”
Responding to the bishops, Catholic League President Bill Donohue said the statement “leaves nothing on the table.”

“It debunks many myths about this issue: it is not about contraception; it is not just about Catholic religious rights; it is not about the Catholic Church trying to impose its will on others,” Donohue wrote. “It is about the federal government trying to impose its agenda on us.”

Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest at Georgetown University, said the bishops’ statement used “strong and uncompromising” language while not becoming inflammatory.

“The statement’s reference to the administration’s adaptation as ‘unspecified and dubious’ highlights the bishops’ distrust of the White House and HHS,” Reese said. “The bishops do not believe the administration’s promises to fix the problem for faith-based organizations and self-insured plans.”

Reese pointed out a flaw in the bishops’ argument that employers who feel their conscience was violated by providing contraception coverage should be exempted from the law.

“The statement infers that religious liberty is an absolute right that cannot be restricted,” Reese said. “If this were true, Mormons and Muslims could practice polygamy and those who believe God demands the separation of the races should be exempted from civil rights legislation.”

-CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. Easternsailor

    It never become Chief the deceiver... is id...

    March 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • sam

      Beetles. Hovercraft.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  2. James

    These boy lovers have a problem with contreception because they're not allowed to be with women. I despise anyone that covers up for a child molester. And one time is too many in regard to anything that hurts a child.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Easternsailor

      u r xuxu... the women never want to know.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Easternsailor

      The child molester is the Xuxu... and Not you James!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  3. Dirty Litle Secret

    Bishops have problems, they don't like outing a preist pedophile, they run hospitals and the dirty little secret is that St. Vincent's Hospital is where my mommy went to have her abortions . . . but that was before Roe v. Wade.
    She said those nuns [in those days almost all of the nurses were nuns] were just the sweetest most understanding gals.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Easternsailor

      The Xuxu is id... and the Big Fat Liar...

      March 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  4. Easternsailor

    Dear the Holy Catholic Bishops,
    May the Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother Mary Madonna, The Most Holy Mother of the Holy Catholic Church as the Most Holy Southern Queen be with you and all the Lamb of God's children! The Lamb of God never let the Robot V to destroy the human race.

    Chi H. Tran

    March 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • chief

      and you people want to know why i despise them? because they defile the name of Christianity by claiming any part of it....

      March 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  5. I'm The Best!

    If they want to break the law, let them. Just don't complain when your business gets closed down and you personally are responsible for all those people who were working for you now being out of a job.

    If they go through with this I hope they don't get any special treatment because they're hiding behind their religion.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Easternsailor

      U has been killed the Son of Man, I AM the Jesus of the Nazareth and I saith unto it, An Eye For An Eye and A Tooth For A Tooth!

      March 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  6. Bo

    After reading some of the comments on the three articles: Bishops reject Obama contraception, (I think they have the right, but I also think in many ways it promotes illegitimate s.ex) 10 Commandments, Roy Moore and Kosher s.e.x, it reminds me of the passages in the Bible of what Jesus said about the last days of earth would be as it was in the day of Noah before he went into the ark and it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gamorra, in the day of judgment. both places and time periods of time were steeped in sin, and that is the way so many of the liberals what it now, loose drinking, drugs, debauchery of all kinds, with less offense attached to stealing lying and murdering and other crimes.
    I remember reading a survey about lying and a huge number of people thought lying was OK, just as long as someone didn’t lie to them although “white lies” were OK anytime. In the same survey it was asked if petty theft was OK and it seemed the same number of people thought it was no big deal because there was little value involved, even with shop lifting. It is bad enough now, I wonder how bad was it in the days of Noah? (Matt 10:15, 24:37-38, Lk 10:12, 17:26-27, 29)

    March 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Primewonk

      There was no Noah. There was no Global Flood.


      March 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • sam

      Dude, seriously, nothing's any different now with people in general than it ever has been. There's just more communication via TV and the internet. Nothing's changed, we're as rotten a species as always.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  7. J.W

    The fact is that when we live in a democracy all of us have to go against our beliefs sometimes. That is just the way it works. There are non-democratic countries if you would like to move there.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      J.W. – We live in a democratic Republic.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Sniffy the bunny robs Fort Knox

      The only people who would have to go against their beliefs in a democracy/America are people who have undemocratic unAmerican beliefs.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • J.W

      Well technically yes. My argument through this whole thing is why does this group think they should have any exemption? If they can do it why cant every person decide what they want covered and what they don't? This exemption just does not make sense to me.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • FLIndependent

      J.W. – The Repubs are trying to get the Blount amendment passed which will allow moral objection to any coverage, so what you are saying about anyone could deny for any reason may become a reality. This is all to tear down the Heathcare bill, one step at a time. It's really quite frightening and I hope people are paying attention.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • William Demuth


      No we don't. I hate to go technical on you but it is important

      We do NOT vote directly, we elect represenatives to vote on our behalf.

      An obsolete process that was needed before modern technology.

      We should move towards it, but it is incorrect to claim we have it.

      Our country is run by less than 1000 people, most of whom have already been bought like traitors.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • J.W

      I agree about the Blount amendment. I do not think that the Blount amendment would be a good idea.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  8. NYCguyHere

    First I should point out I'm not a religious person and I'm pro choice.

    This is not about anyones health. If the government was really concerned they would include condoms for men too right? It would be discriminatory not to do so. This is about misdirection, an assault on Christianity, government intrusion in private business and getting the female vote for the election

    March 15, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • momoya

      Interesting opinion.. Do you have any reasons why the readers of your post should attempt to see things the way you do?

      March 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Isn't supporting the needs of a body of voters the EXACT role an elected represenative is supposed to play.

      The female voting block is larger than the male.

      Only a fool tries to subjugate them

      March 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      @WD did you even read the article? This is not about contraceptives. This is not about women's rights. This is about goverment crossing the line on people of faith.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I've had more condoms fail than the pill. If you are using only a condom, you are playing Russian roulette.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Acouple points –

      @ NYCguyHere – This is bout prescription medications that are part of a wellness initiative. Are condoms a prescription item?

      @ a person of the name – this most certainly is about contraception and women's rights. CHURCHES have always been exempt from this rule. Then Obama caved and exempted the religion owned BUSINESSES as well. So what exactly is the (valid) reason the religious nutters are fighting this? Why did they not fight when 28 states enacted the exact same rule? Why did these religious nutters not vilify Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee when they signed this same rule into law in their states?

      March 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • William Demuth

      a person of the Name

      Your person of faith is my cult member.

      I do care about your imaginary God. I care about the greater good and your attempts to obstruct it.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  9. Darwin

    Ok, then, bishops. You have decided not to abide by the laws of our country. Now pack it up and get the F out.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  10. A. Goodwin

    They are so worried about the "churches" money. How about this – we take away your tax exempt status, and once you start paying your bills like very other business out there – we can take that revenue and buy "the pill" for any women who needs it. Problem solved. Dont want to live by the Feds rules? Then stop getting a nice tax break...obviously can afford it given the millions they've been shelling out to pay the legal fees for molesting children.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Fed UP

      AMEN !!!!!!

      March 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • FLIndependent

      AMEN again! Also, if they want to talk about this at the pulpit which many have done (even non-Catholic churches) then they should be paying taxes as they are now trying to indoctrinate their members to be against the Healthcare Bill. Can you imagine if ALL churches were required to pay taxes how much more revenue the government would have to help our debt.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Easternsailor


      March 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  11. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    From a "guy who enjoys se-x" but s-ex never done in a state of stupidity.

    The reality of contraception and STD control:

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  12. Mike

    Bishops aren't elected officials, so I don't care what they "reject".

    March 15, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  13. myweightinwords

    I do not see how they can claim this is a religious liberty issue.

    No one is dictating that all women use birth control.

    The church is no longer required to pay for the birth control.

    The insurance companies are not complaining about paying for the birth control.

    It is simply NOT a religious liberty issue.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • momoya

      Agreed.. It's a stupidity issue.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  14. Chris

    Somewhere along the line religions need to realize you CANNOT legislate morality. You CANNOT enforce your beliefs on others. Stick to what the bible teaches, and what Jesus instructed you to do and none of this would be an issue.

    This is no different than the government requiring me to pay taxes that fund wars (any war) that conflict with my beliefs.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • William Demuth

      Or funding executions or welfare or birth control or public education or hundreds of other things.

      If we all got to pick and choose what our taxes did, NOTHING would ever be done.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Chris

      Just because a service is offered does not mean it must be used. If the church focused on teaching people to be moral by upholding bible principles instead of their own traditions, they wouldn't have to be concerned. They have weakened themselves by over-reaching their authority.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Easternsailor

      If we are the Christian then we must know! Love is sacred and the Devil can never make it!

      March 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin' Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert
      How goes the trolling today?

      March 15, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!!~ .....

      March 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • A. Goodwin

      A recent study was done that found that crime rate was higher among those who prescribe to religion than those who were athiest/agnostic. Hummm.....

      March 15, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      March 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      But really only proven in my head. I think.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Primewonk

      I wonder why this putz's god hates amputees so much. I mean this cretin always heals things "inside" – but never an amputee. Heck, even starfish and newts (the other newt) can grow new limbs. I guess they have more faith than amputees?

      March 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  16. Rosslaw

    The bishops are so happy to have this artificially concocted issue dominate converation to distract from the centuries-old job perk of buggering children. Now, to get back to buggering children and blaming the "loose" morals of the 1960's as the cause.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  17. Plan Choices

    It is all about choices provide the employer with options to offer plans with/without birth control.

    Those whose employers don't offer insurance plans that cover birth control option and for whom birth control coverage is more important that the job itself should seek gainful employment elsewhere

    Also, all employers must disclose these options to their employees upfront.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • BRC

      The point of the law is to make it so that it's not about an employer's choice anymore, it's about setting a minimum standard of care and enforcing it so that ALL US Citizens recieve the same benefits. The System as is is based on the employers choice, they can provide as much or as little health care coverage as they want, and people can use that as a determining factor in whether or not to work their. It's Capitalism. The Government (sperned on by a lot fo people and public outcry) has decided that that method is no longer is acceptable, and that while the free market is important, caring for people is more important. So they are taking that choice away, and saying to the companies, "it doesn't matter how much money you want to save, you WILL provide your people with this standard of care and coverage." It is a "socialist" style of legislation, but is it really a bad one?

      The important thing is learning and focusing on the INTENT of the law. We have reached a point in a society were it has been determined by enough people to influence the government that we must now take better care of PEOPLE, so that's what the law does. It has nothing to do with religion. AS for contraceptievs, the people who wrote the law determined that they were a critical element of womens health, and that making contraceptives easily accessible to all women was in the best interest of the nation (in my opinion they're right, easier access to contraceptives = fewer babies = lower health care costs). Again, NOTHING to do with religion.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Just go get a new job?

      Have you looked at the job market right now?

      March 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Tony Banks

      @BRC-Yes the greater good needs to be considered but that should not enforce morality contrary to what I believe.

      To me greater good comes when every individual abides by the highest moral values. These moral values are driven by my basic religious belief and I should be able to abide by my moral values and not let the dictates of immorality be enforced on my conscience. As an institution representing these core moral values, I should be able to uphold these moral principles.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • BRC

      WHat about the law causes YOU, the individual to violate your moral principles?

      March 15, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Tony Banks

      Requiring us as a Church to be forced to participate in covering birth control plans that go against our fundamental belief.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • BRC

      the Church is not an individual and is not protected by the 1st Ammendment. You are, noone can make you use birth control, and you can choose not to condone it. but the government has every right and ability to treat the church the same as every other employer and require tehm to provide to their employees teh same benefits as all other employers.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Jim

      BRC you just made a case for Totalitarianism!

      March 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • BRC

      Sure I did, if you're prone to hyperbole. I said that the government (comprised of many people) at the urging of a significant portion of the population (comprised of even more people) made the decision that the care of indicidual citizens is more important than absolute corporate freedom. It is a socialist policy winning out over a Capitalist policy (though it's not as bad as that sentence makes it sound).

      Now, totalitarianism would be if 1 single individual, had decided what health care would cover, and mandated that everyone would follow the ruling, without any input or chance for rebutal/change from any other party. That's not what I described, and it's not what happned in this case. Can you explain HOW I made a case for totalitarianism?

      March 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  18. Ramana7

    If it's already exempt at church levels and only enforced for non-church purposes, meaning areas the church reaches out beyond its immediate flock into other realms, be it hospitals, orphanages, etc., that is not against their religious freedom then.

    Add to that putting the onus on the insurance companies, where is there room to not be okay with it?

    Time to start taxing churches, mosks, etc. Free ride is over.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Why not tax all those that are receiving government aid then including all not for profits. Your hatred of the church is way too apparent.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • William Demuth


      Yes, tax all charitable donations.

      Remove the deduction for donation. Then we shall see who is charitable.

      Most give to save on taxes, NOT out of benevolence.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • SPA Knight

      William – Most people give for tax purposes? How cynical is that? I certainly don't and I donate mostly through the churches now because they are the most efficient and effective providers of social programs, not the government. Quite honestly, the tax benefits are hardly worth it due to minimums and maximum thresholds established by the great bean counters in the IRS.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • HRH

      "SPA Knight

      William – Most people give for tax purposes? How cynical is that? I certainly don't and I donate mostly through the churches now because they are the most efficient and effective providers of social programs, not the government."

      The Catholic church spends 28 million dollars a year lobbying OUR congress members to pass and enact morality laws. If they can spend money to try and influence peoples private lives, they can pay taxes.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • A. Goodwin

      SPA – Churches get tax exempt status for providing charity to the community. Unfortunately, how many churches do YOU know that actually do that? Here in the Northeast I can tell you – very few. Many soup kitchens or food pantry's here in NH are put on by non-profits...not churches. Why should churches continue to get tax exempt status for nothing?

      March 15, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • SPA Knight

      HRH – Can you report back on how much Planned Parenthood spends or receives?

      March 15, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • A. Goodwin

      SPA – Planned Parenthoods info. is right on their website. Unlike the catholic church who is not forthcoming at all about their finances...huh....

      March 15, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • J.W

      If the only reason you give money is to get a tax break you are losing big time. You can only tax that deduction if you itemize. And then it only decreases your taxable income by the amount that you are over the standard deduction.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • J.W

      Churches are tax exempt because they operate on donations, rather than people buying a product or service.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • SPA Knight

      HRB – are you referring to their annual report on their website. Based on that information, their revenue was of $1B in 2010 of which 46% of that was received in government grants and reimbursement – that would be tax payer money. Because they enjoy the "tax emempt" status that you would like to see the church lose, that's a pretty lucrative business where they spend 3% of that money to perform abortions and 36% is used for contraception.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • William Demuth

      SPA Knight

      The MAJORITY by far of "donations" come from companies.

      Are you implying a morality to corporations now? Beware the concordata!

      March 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Yes, J.W., and by the time you deduct dependents and mortgage interest, it means you owe less tax, overall.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • J.W

      But say you are single and you have two dependents. For the dependents you get the exemptions and possilbly the child tax credits. But your standard deduction would be 5800. Say your mortgage and taxes were 5000 and you gave 1000 to the church. Overall the donations would only decrease your taxable income by 200 dollars.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  19. HRH

    If altar boys could get pregnant the Bishops would be all for it.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • michelle

      Right,we don't want women anyway so why do they need contraceptive, is what they would say. Or keep them pregnant so they can produce more boys.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • rosethornne

      I'll bet those bishops want their viagra covered.
      Wouldn't want to waste all those lovely delicious innocent little altar boys, after all.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  20. maggie

    When churches open hospitals, day care centers, elderly care centers and universities, they are opening public businesses subject to all laws that govern those specific businesses. End of story.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Maggie – businesses owned and managed by a church is not a public business. There is no such thing as a public business anyway unless you consider government.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • William Demuth


      All buisness is public buisness. You can't sell illegal things, nor can you do illrgal things for profit.

      If government can not regulate free enterprise, it has no actual authority at all. Its primary means are criminal law, and its secondary means are taxation.

      Every second, the government uses those two sticks to control behavior. I do not like it, few of us do, but it happens everyday.

      My and your tax dollars do things like pay for war, the execution of convicts, and welfare. I am sure many things they do you may not like, but if you don't pay you go to jail, so you pay.

      This is no different.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • AGuest9

      That's why church-run hospitals are closing left and right.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Easternsailor

      maggie, The Lamb of God never let the monkey's business to kill our children as the the Standford Medical Hospital! And it is the killer the butcher... Those idiot that The God Holy Spirit has say...

      March 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • sam

      @Easternsailor – are you running your posts through a web based translator? If so, maybe try a different one, because you're a 50 cent cab ride from having beetles in your hovercraft.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.