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U.S. Catholic bishops to meet in Baltimore

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops meet in Baltimore this week amid growing church-state tensions.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wants broader religious exceptions to laws on issues ranging from mandatory contraception coverage to gay marriage.

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The bishops have created a new committee on religious liberty overseen by an attorney who is a specialist in the field. Church leaders also plan to hire a lobbyist.

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan met last week with President Barack Obama and discussed many of the issues that have caused problems between the administration and the church hierarchy.

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The bishops are intensifying their focus on religious liberty at a time when many bishops believe the country is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity. Many Catholics say the bishops are overreacting.

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