The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meets Monday in Baltimore for its national meeting feeling under siege: from a broader culture moving toward accepting gay marriage; a White House they often condemn as hostile to Catholic teaching; and state legislatures that church leaders say are chipping away at religious liberty. Many Catholic academics, activists and parishioners say the bishops are overreacting, saying the government officials can choose policies that differ from church teaching without prejudice being a factor.
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