Holy See upholds confessional seal in response to Australian royal commission

CNA Staff, Sep 6, 2020 / 04:26 pm (CNA).- The Australian bishops have provided the federal government with the Holy See’s observations on 12 recommendations of a 2017 report on child sex abuse in the country’s institutions.

In response to a recommendation regarding the seal of confession and absolution, the Holy See reiterated the inviolability of the seal and that absolution cannot be conditioned on future actions in the external forum.

“The Holy See affirms once more its resolute determination to confront and eradicate the abuse of minors and vulnerable persons, wherever it may occur in the Church,” read the Holy See’s observations, which were enclosed in a letter of Feb. 26.

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Requests for euthanasia based on insufficient support for disabled Ontarians

Taylor HyattBy Taylor HyattEuthanasia Prevention Coalition board member & disability rights activist

At the beginning of August, the Ottawa affiliate of the StopGap Foundation started a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #ODSPoverty. (For those readers who may not be familiar, the StopGap Foundation builds custom ramps for businesses with one-step entrances in cities across Canada, to improve access for people with disabilities. Local StopGap teams rely on donations of building materials from local stores and time from volunteers.) The goal of the campaign is to make the difficulties – more accurately, the impossibilities – of life on Ontario’s disability assistance system more widely known.

On August 21, I saw that someone responded to the campaign with the news that they had “enrolled in MAID.” Given the meager financial supports available to them through the Ontario Disability Support Program, necessities of life such as food and medication are now unaffordable. My heart broke for the person on the other side of the screen.

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Only 18 babies with Down syndrome born in Denmark in 2019

CNA Staff, Sep 6, 2020 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- Only 18 children with Down syndrome were born in Denmark in 2019, the lowest number on record in the Scandinavian country, according to a new report from the Danish Central Cytogenetic Registry (DCCR).

The DCCR, whose statistics date back to 1970, is a national registry of people who have undergone prenatal or postnatal chromosomal tests, molecular genetic tests, or biochemical tests.

The 18 babies born with Down syndrome in Denmark last year represent 0.029% of total births. The CDC estimates that about 1 in 700  (0.14%) children in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome, or about 6,000 babies annually.

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