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Articles are reproduced with thanks from the Archdiocesan website, unless otherwise stated.

Council of Europe Called on Issue of Late Abortions

13 February 2014

Gregor Puppinck

THE Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will have to address in the coming days the “issue of late abortions,” answering a written question submitted 31 January 2013. The United Kingdom is particularly targeted following the revelation that each year, 60 foetuses survive after a late abortion for several minutes, and sometimes for several hours. They are left to die or killed by medical staff even though some would be viable with medical assistance.

Other countries, such as Sweden, are also targeted for the same reasons. In 2010, in Italy, a 22 week “foetus” was found alive 20 hours after its abortion. He was then taken in intensive care, where he died the next day. He was aborted due to a cleft lip and palate. Another child in Florence survived three full days after having been aborted. Such events are happening everywhere where late term abortions are allowed, but are rarely reported and made public.

Belgian Archbishop urges prayer and fasting as Belgium Parliament votes on Child Euthanasia

13 February 2014

A MUCH debated measure that would extend euthanasia to children is set to go up to a vote today, 13 February, in Brussels.

If passed, the bill would authorize the killing of minors, with no age limit, if they request it and are suffering from a debilitating or terminally ill condition.

Belgian lawmakers approved the bill in the Senate and the lower justice committee, paving the way for the upcoming vote. The vote has been backed by Belgian Socialists and other political groups, but opposed by parties such as the Flemish Vlaams Belang party and the Christian Democrats.

Hundreds of Thousands March Across Europe in Defense of Marriage and the Traditional Family

3 February 2014

'La Manif Pour Tous' Movement Spreading Quickly Across Europe

Paris, Lyon, Brussels, Bucharest, Madrid, Warsaw and Rome saw demonstrations yesterday in favour of marriage and the traditional family and against further relaxation of abortion laws.

The mainstream media largely ignored the marches despite tens of thousands of people turning out in some of the cities.

Police said 80,000 people took to the streets of the French capital; the march organisers, La Manif Pour Tous (Protest for Everyone), estimated the crowd to be far higher and closer to half a million. At least 20,000 are reported to have marched in Lyon.

Not in my name

30 January 2014

Each year the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s Office for Justice and Peace commemorates Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891) with an oration highlighting an issue of social action. The 2013 oration, held on Thursday 28 November in East Melbourne, was given by Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM, founder and chief executive of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, under the title ‘Not in My Name’.

In 2001, at age 28, Kon Karapanagiotidis saw the need for an outreach centre for those seeking asylum and began the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).

In just 12 years it has become the largest asylum seeker organisation in Australia, with 32 paid staff and more than 750 volunteers offering 25 ‘life saving’ programs to those in need. The ASRC is an independent organisation, with 95 per cent of its funding coming directly from the community and donations.

Royal Commission Update

24 January 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continued hearing public evidence today from Br Jeffrey Crowe, current Provincial of the Australian Province of the Marist Brothers, as part of Case Study No 4: Towards Healing.

Br Crowe provided a broad profile of the 1046 Marist Brothers who have joined the order in Australia since 1948.

He also provided evidence regarding the historic number of abuse cases, including the number of claims for redress, the number of active investigations, the average age of perpetrators and how perpetrators are dealt with by the order. Br Crowe also provided details of current abuse claims.

In response to questions from Commissioner McClellan, Br Crowe discussed his thinking as to why the abuse could have occurred, including inappropriate screening and preparation of young brothers. Br Crowe also said that prior to 1970 there was a culture of restriction of contact with family and developing friendships. He also talked about the rigid discipline in religious houses prior to the 1960s.

Appeal for help from Nigerian Bishop

9 January 2014

Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo is the administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bomadi, in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, in the heart of the country’s oil-rich but economically deprived south. Nigerian Christians are confronted with the growing threat of radical Islam in the form of the extremely violent anti-Christian Boko Haram sect, which was declared a terrorist organization by the US.

With 160 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Just over 50 percent of the people are Christians, who form the majority in southern Nigeria; Muslims account for another 45 percent of the population, largely living in northern Nigeria. There are 30 million Catholics in the country. In 2012, close to 1,000 Christians died because of their faith in Nigeria, according to reports, and Boka Haram is responsible for the deaths of at least 700 Christians in 2013.

According to the bishop, Nigeria’s well-being holds the key to fate of the African content. “If Nigeria falls to Islamic extremists,” he says, “all of Africa will be at risk.”

High Court Strikes Down ACT Same Sex-Marriage Laws

12 December 2013

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

The High Court of Australia has struck down the ACT's same-sex marriage laws. In the five and a half days since the ACT's controversial legislation came into effect 27 same-sex couples have married. These marriages are now invalid.

In a unanimous decision, the High Court found that the Marriage Equality (Same-Sex) Act 2013, enacted by the ACT Legislative Assembly cannot operate concurrently with the Commonwealth's Federal Marriage Act 1961.

"The Marriage Act provides that a marriage can be solemnised in Australia only between a man and a woman and that a union solemnised in a foreign country between a same-sex couple must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia," the High Court said in its ruling which was released today at 12.30 pm.

The judgement which was made in response to the challenge brought by the Abbott Government against the ACT same-sex marriage laws found that the Federal Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same-sex couples.

Under today's judgement, only Federal Parliament has the power under the Australian Constitution to legislate with respect to same-sex marriage, and whether same-sex marriage should be provided for by law, is a matter for Federal Parliament not the states or territories.

Zoe's Law Passes the NSW Lower House Recognising the Unborn

21 November 2013

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

A law that recognises an unborn child in criminal law, Zoe's Law, has been passed with a significant majority in the Lower House of the NSW parliament.

The bill was passed 63 to 26 in a conscience vote. If it becomes law, it will be the first law in Australia to give legal rights to a foetus over 20 weeks.

Zoe's Law is named after Brodie Donegan's unborn child. Brodie was 36 weeks pregnant when she involved in a car accident on the NSW central coast.

As a result of that accident on Christmas Day 2009 she lost her baby.

The driver responsible for the accident was charged with grievous bodily harm for the injuries she caused Brodie Donegan. She could not be charged with an offence for harming Zoe as the law did not recognise an unborn child as separate from the mother.

An amendment to the Crimes Act, Zoe's Law means that a person can be charged with the grievous bodily harm of a fetus that is either 20 weeks or 400 grams by recognising it as a living person.


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