- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Archdiocese of St. Louis is criticizing the federal government for putting Catholic businesses in a tough spot, after Mercy Health said it is considering extending benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

Mercy, based in suburban St. Louis, is among the nation’s largest Catholic health care systems, with more than 40,000 employees in seven states. Mercy officials say they’re considering the move to comply with the Affordable Care Act and other federal programs. It did not say when the change might happen.

In a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1ypFWZU ), the archdiocese says it’s inconsistent to claim to be a Catholic institution while publicly acting against church teaching. But the statement added that not complying with federal regulations could impose fines that would hurt employees and patient care.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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