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Utah's Catholic bishop defends church against ACLU lawsuit

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:20 AM
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Utah's Catholic bishop defends church against ACLU lawsuit
Tribune Staff And Wire Services
Updated: 01/22/2009 03:15:07 PM MST

Salt Lake City Roman Catholic Bishop John Wester has called an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit critical of Catholic practices on behalf of human trafficking victims "without merit and an affront to religious liberty."

Wester, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Migration and Refugee Services, spoke on behalf of all Catholic bishops in responding to a Jan. 12 lawsuit against the federal government that alleges it allows the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to use taxpayer dollars to impose its religious doctrines on human trafficking victims.

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded the bishops' conference $6 million in grants from 2006 to 2008 to aid the victims, many of whom are female prostitutes, according to the ACLU.

In accordance with Catholic beliefs, the bishops' conference requires subcontractors to pledge not to use the grant money to pay for contraceptives or abortion referrals ...
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