David Zubik

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

It has been a year since Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik discussed the state of the Catholic Church with Essential Pittsburgh. In that time, Pope Francis has celebrated his one year anniversary.

When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name Francis, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God in Whitehall expressed their hopes and expectations of the new pontiff. This year Sister Margaret “Peg” Markey and Sister Nancy Langhart reflected on the last year of Vatican leadership.

Lawyers for the federal government and two Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses say a central question in a lawsuit over Affordable Care Act mandates is how to define a "substantial burden" as it relates to religious beliefs.

The oral arguments took place Wednesday in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses object to the new federal health care law and are suing the federal government to seek an exemption.

Bishop David Zubik and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh are suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after being forced to cover the cost of birth control methods that contradict the beliefs of the church.