Ash Wednesday Meditation 2020

“Lent is a favourable time in which to rediscover faith in God as the foundation of our lives and the Church’s life” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI). The Lenten season begins this week. Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence. Fasting is one of the pillars of Lent and it provides a significant means of helping us listen to the Lord. It […]

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New Zealand abortion bill ‘totally unacceptable’, bishops say

Wellington, New Zealand, Feb 20, 2020 / 07:01 pm (CNA).- The unborn child will lose all rights under a bill to change New Zealand’s abortion laws, and women pressured into abortion will not receive the help they need, the country’s Catholic bishops have warned.

“In the womb, the child already has its own unique genetic identity and whakapapa. Our abortion laws must reflect this reality,” said Cynthia Piper, a spokeswoman for the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.

“It is a major failing of the proposed new law that there will no longer be any statutory requirement to consider the rights of the unborn child. That is totally unacceptable to the bishops and many New Zealanders.”

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Doctors, bishops oppose decriminalization of euthanasia in Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal, Feb 20, 2020 / 06:29 pm (CNA).- Lawmakers in Portugal debated five pieces of legislation Thursday to decriminalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, and doctors in the country are joining with the Catholic Church in opposing the potential change.

Each of the bills, which are not substantially different, were approved by the unicameral parliament Feb. 20.

“The most dignified option against euthanasia is in palliative care as a commitment to proximity, respect and care for human life until its natural end,” the Portugese bishops’ conference said Feb. 11, urging support for a referendum on the topic rather than a legislative change.

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Mass formally opens beatification cause of Eileen O’Connor, laywoman and mystic

Sydney, Australia, Feb 20, 2020 / 05:15 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Anthony Fisher, O.P., of Sydney said Mass Thursday to open formally the cause of beatification of Eileen O’Connor, the foundress of Our Lady’s Nurses of the Poor, who died at a young age.

Born in Melbourne in 1892, Eileen suffered an injury at the age of three that would leave her paralyzed for some years and then confined to a wheelchair and in pain for the rest of her life. Together with Fr. Edward McGrath, she founded a ministry to serve the poor in their own homes in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She died at the age of 28, in 1921.

“I think the youth of Eileen focuses attention far more on the brief period of her activity,” Fr. Anthony Robbie, a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney and postulator of O’Connor’s cause, told CNA Feb. 20.

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