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Scottish court rules midwives can’t object to overseeing abortions

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Catholic News Service

A Scottish court ruled that two senior Catholic midwives have no right to conscientiously object to overseeing staff involved in late-term abortions in a state-run hospital.

The Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court, ruled that Mary Doogan, 57, and Concepta Wood, 51, could not invoke the conscience clause of the 1967 Abortion Act to opt out of their duties at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital because they were not directly involved in performing the abortions.

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Polish bishops adopting guidelines on sex abuse accusations

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Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland — The spokesman for the Polish bishops’ conference defended its handling of sexual abuse accusations against Catholic clergy as the bishops prepared to adopt guidelines on the issue.

“The church is the only institution in Poland systematically dealing with this; no one else is,” said Father Jozef Kloch, conference spokesman. “Although we’re being used as a whipping boy, we know from data there’s a much lower incidence of pedophilia among Catholic priests than clergy from other denominations, as well as teachers, home care employees, sports coaches and, unfortunately, parents and relatives.”

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Vatican wants Peru university to amend statutes

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru must amend its statutes in conformity with Vatican norms for the good of the university and the whole church in Peru, said the Vatican’s secretary of state.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone met with the university’s rector, Marcial Rubio Correa, Feb. 21 to discuss “the conclusions the Holy See has reached following intense dialogue and numerous meetings over the course of many years” between the university’s grand chancellor, Cardinal Juan Cipriani Thorne of Lima, his predecessors and the university, said a written statement released the same day by the Vatican.

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Arms trade threatens peace, harms poor, UN observer says

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VATICAN CITY — The unregulated sale and transfer of weapons and weapons’ technology harm the poor and threaten peace and security around the world, a Vatican official told a U.N. meeting.

Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations, addressed a committee preparing for the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty; the conference will be in July.

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Nuncio tells Irish the Pope is scandalized by abuse scandals

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Catholic News Service

DUBLIN — Pope Benedict XVI is acutely aware that recent years have been tough for Irish Catholics as a result of the clerical sex abuse scandals, said the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland.

Speaking during a Mass to mark his formal welcome as Pope Benedict’s representative in Dublin Feb. 19, U.S. Archbishop Charles Brown said the pontiff understands “that these recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland.”

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Honduran church works to help survivors of prison fire

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Catholic News Service

SAN SALVADOR — The Diocese of Comayagua is working with prison authorities to try to help survivors of one of the world’s deadliest prison fires.

Bishop Roberto Camilleri of Comayagua, where more than 350 people died overnight Feb. 14, said he visited with survivors and took them water, “because some small aid has started to come to our diocese.”

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Papal nuncio to Ireland promises to strengthen relations

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Catholic News Service

DUBLIN — Pope Benedict XVI’s new representative to Ireland has promised to strengthen relations between the country and the Holy See.

Archbishop Charles Brown, a native of New York, spoke while presenting his credentials as apostolic nuncio to Ireland and dean of the country’s diplomatic corps to President Michael Higgins.

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Massacres under way in Sudanese border region, says bishop

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VATICAN CITY — A Sudanese bishop said the world has forgotten people in his diocese, where thousands of people have sought shelter from a government bombing campaign and aid agencies cannot gain access.

“There is an ongoing forgotten massacre on the Nuba Mountains” where “people are dying of starvation and bombings,” said Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El Obeid, Sudan.

Bishop Gassis’ diocese straddles a border area of Sudan and South Sudan, and members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North fought with the South for Read more »

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Mexican Jesuit denounces raid on parish

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Catholic News Service

MEXICO CITY — A Jesuit priest denounced a raid on his parish and human rights center, calling it yet another attempt to intimidate activists who have been critical of Mexican government excesses in the crackdown on organized crime.

Jesuit Father Jose Castilla Plasencia, pastor of the St. Jude Thaddeus Parish and director of the Juan Gerardi Human Rights Center in the northern city of Torreon, spoke after a Feb. 9 raid, which he said was conducted without a warrant and prompted by an anonymous tip alleging drugs were in the installations. The raid, he added, included the search of crypts.

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Life revolves around water in Lima’s poor neighborhoods

February 13th, 2012 Posted in International News Tags: , , , ,

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LIMA, Peru — Of all the parts of her tiny, wooden house on a parched hillside at the city’s edge, Emilia Lazo Campos is proudest of the bathroom. The tiles gleam despite the dust. There’s even a shower — in case Lazo and her family ever get water service.

But the most important part, to her, is the dry latrine — an “ecological bathroom,” as she calls it — which requires no water for flushing, has no odor, attracts no flies like her old latrine did, and will eventually produce compost that she can use for a small garden.

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