Western Md. Catholics On 7-Day Protest Walk

HANCOCK, Md. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest from Hancock is leading parishioners on a 100-mile walk to Baltimore to protest an Obama administration policy requiring private health insurance plans to cover contraception.

The walkers were set to depart from St. Peter Catholic Church at noon Sunday. They aim to arrive Aug. 5 at the Baltimore Basilica.

The Rev. Jack Lombardi calls the procession a pilgrimage of religious freedom. He says Catholics and others are being forced to violate their religious beliefs and their consciences.

Catholic doctrine forbids the use of artificial contraception.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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