CINCINNATI — A Roman Catholic university in eastern Ohio says it will drop student health insurance partly because of a new federal health care rule requiring religious-affiliated institutions’ insurance plans to provide contraception coverage.
The school’s vice president for advancement says the university, with 2,500 students, cannot include coverage of contraception services and products that are opposed by the Catholic Church.
The university says it will continue its employee insurance plan while it waits for the outcome of challenges to the federal rule.
ST. LOUIS — The new pastor at St. John United Church of Christ in the eastern Missouri town of St. Clair doesn’t play softball, but members of his church do. Or at least they did until their pastor’s sexuality prompted a boycott within their church league.
The Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell is bisexual. When pastors at three of the churches in the league found out, they decided their teams wouldn’t take the field against the team from Darnell’s church, saying the pastor’s lifestyle goes against their Christian beliefs.
“It certainly is very upsetting, especially in 2012, that this is an issue,” Darnell said Wednesday.
League commisioner and pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, Johnny Dover, the Rev. Wyatt Otten of Liberty Baptist Church and the Rev. Ben Kingston of Bethel Baptist decided they wouldn’t participate in games against St. John.
NEW LONDON, Conn. — A Connecticut woman has agreed to settle her lawsuit against her Jewish congregation over the burial of a black woman in the synagogue’s cemetery.
Maria Balaban’s attorney said he and a lawyer for Congregation Ahavath Achim in Colchester have reached a tentative agreement.
Balaban sued over the burial of Juliet Steer in 2010, saying the synagogue broke its own rules against the burial of non-Jews at the cemetery.
Balaban wanted Steer’s body exhumed and relocated, but later dropped that request.
A congregation lawyer, who did not immediately return a message for comment Wednesday, had said in court documents that Balaban was only suing because Steer was black.
Balaban’s lawyer said race was never a factor.
PRAGUE — The head of a major European Jewish group says his organization is urging European governments to quickly adopt measures to tackle anti-Semitism.
Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, was meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas Wednesday to seek his support for “emergency measures” to protect European Jewish communities from hate crimes.
Kantor plans to ask Necas to help promote the plan among other European leaders and also seek the support of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
BREWSTER, N.Y. —Samples of a dozen foods that were served at a Buddhist monastery have been sent to a state lab in hopes of detecting what might have sickened 150 people.
The outbreak was tracked to a Mother’s Day celebration at the Chuang Yen monastery in Kent Cliffs.
About 700 people attended. Wittenberg said it’s believed all the food that was served was brought in by those attending the celebration and was not made at the monastery.