Archive of January 3, 2006

Assisted suicide allowed in Swiss hospital as of Jan. 1

Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - Lausanne University Hospital has decided to permit assisted suicides, effective Jan. 1, and now other leading Swiss hospitals are also discussing permitting the procedure, reported Doctors For Life in a press release issued yesterday.

Though Swiss law initially did not allow doctors to kill their patients, the practice of euthanasia has been gradually extended from private groups into the public health care systems.

Given a similar debate in South Africa, Doctors For Life urges the South African government and health authorities to uphold the intrinsic value of life and keep euthanasia illegal in the country. The organization is also calling upon all institutions that provide training to health professionals to improve training in palliative care, pain management and depression.

In the Netherlands, doctors have been allowed to practice euthanasia since 1973. While Dutch laws initially required that euthanasia be limited to the sickest patients, it has been steadily redefined, the press release pointed out. As a result, Dutch doctors now legally kill people with terminal or chronic illness, disabilities or depression on demand. Furthermore, repeated studies sponsored by the Dutch government show that doctors kill a significant number of their patients every year as a result of involuntary euthanasia, the medical association reported.

Eugenic infanticide also exists in the Netherlands. According to a 1997 study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, approximately 8 percent of all Dutch infant deaths result from lethal injections. As well, 45 percent of neonatologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to Lancet surveys had killed babies.

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Catholic diocese invites faithful to create culture of vocations, pray for priests

Manchester, N.H., Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - The Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, has taken on the challenge of creating a vocation culture by encouraging the faithful to pray for all vocations and, in particular, for new vocations to the priesthood.

The diocese’s Vocation Office announced the new plan on a Web site. It is inviting people to make a commitment and become Seventh Trumpet Heralds. Their commitment would include promoting all vocations by: praying for vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life and marriage; encouraging men and women to live their chosen vocations faithfully, and; supporting men and women when they enter a seminary or religious community.

The diocese is also looking for 1,000 people to commit to attending monthly mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, followed by a half-hour of adoration, to pray for priestly vocations in particular. To date, more than 400 hundred people have signed up. The first mass is scheduled for Jan. 8.

The diocese is suffering from major priest shortage. One year ago, there were 109 priests in full-time ministry, 64 percent of whom were older than 50. At the current rate, the number of priests in full-time ministry will drop to about 75 by 2012.
For more information on the vocations project, go to:

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Scottish Cardinal criticizes ‘gay weddings’ in New Year’s address

Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - Cardinal Keith O'Brien criticized the Scottish government for failing to uphold traditional family values in his annual New Year’s Day address at St. Mary’s Cathedral Sunday, reported the Daily Telegraph.

The cardinal accused politicians of undermining the family as the most vital building block of society.

"When our lawmakers condone and endorse trends in society which are ultimately ruinous of family life we are entitled to question their motivation and condemn their behavior," he said, referring to same-sex unions.

The cardinal also criticized plans for new laws that would make divorce easier and quicker.

A series of civil unions took place in recent weeks, after a law was recently passed that gives same-sex couples the same rights as married couples.

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Catholics seek more presence on radio nationwide

Omaha, Neb., Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - Catholic broadcasters are hoping the Church’s message will reach more listeners via the radio waves in the next year.

Religious radio is huge in the United States — it came in third as the most numerous after news talk and country in 2003 — yet there are only 120 Catholic stations among the 2,000 religious stations nationwide, says the Catholic Radio Association. Most of these stations are Protestant.

The Catholic Radio Association, with its several dozen members, is hoping to add as many as 200 more if a "window of opportunity" from the Federal Communications Commission opens in the next year, reported the Associated Press. The window is the only time that nonprofit groups, including churches, universities and public safety groups, can apply for low-power FM stations.

The association wants to raise $150,000 in the next two months to pay for these applications to the FCC. It's not clear when the filing window will open, but the association expects it to happen.

John Lillis is another Catholic radio broadcaster who is working to have more Catholic radio. He told the AP that he plans to distribute programming, similar to National Public Radio, across the country from his studio in Omaha. He envisions discussions with Catholic authors, human-interest stories about Catholics around the country, and a weekly anti-abortion show with interviews with bishops. He and the seven other consultants, who make up New Evangelization Inc., want to help get other Catholic stations get off the ground. They even have plans to start up to three stations in Sudan.

Of the Catholic radio stations currently, two broadcasters stand out as the largest: EWTN Global Catholic Network and Relevant Radio, based in Green Bay, Wis., which owns 16 stations and 14 affiliates in 13 states.

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Stamford Bishop for the Ukrainians renounces, successor appointed

Vatican City, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - The Holy father has accepted the renunciation of the Pastoral governor of the Exarchate of Stamford for the Ukrainians, presented by His Eminence Basil Harry Losten, and named a sucessor to replace him.
The Pope has named him His Eminence Paul Patrick Chomnycky, O.S.B.M to replace him, he was until now Apostolic Exarch for the Ukrainians of Byzantine rite living in Great Britain.
H.E Msgr. Paul Patrick Chomnicky O.S.B.M was born on May 19 1954 in Vancouver. He studied at the University of British Columbia, were he graduated in Business.
He entered the Basilian Order of San Josafat, he studied philosophy at the Pontificate Ateneo Saint Anselm in Rome and Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained priest on October 1 1988, after making his perpetual profession.
On April 5 2002 he was appointed titular Bishop of Buffada and Apostolic Exarch for the Ukrainians of Byzantine rite living in Great Britain.

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Pope Appoints New Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia for the Ukrainians.

Vatican City, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - The Pope has nominated Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians, Rev.John Bura, who was Pastor of Sain Nicholas in Wilmington.

Msgr. John Bura was born on June 12 19944 in Wegeleben, Germany, In 1950 his family moved to the United States and settled in Jersey City.
He entered Saint Basil the Minor Seminary in Stamford, CT and studied there from 1959 to 1963. He then studied theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C and at the St. Josaphat Ukrainian Seminary.
He was ordained priest on February 14, 1971 for the Archeparchy of Philadelphia for the Ukrainian. After his ordination he served in various pastoral and administrative ministries, he taught religion classes in ukrainian, being Vice-rector of Saint Basil Seminary in Stamford. From 1987 to 1997 he was rector of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington D:C. In September 1997, he was appointed Pastor of the Holy Ghost Parish in Chester, P:A and then Pastor of Saint Nicholas Church in Wilmington.

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Alarming increase in legal abortions in Spain confirms failure of government policies

Madrid, Spain, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - In response to a report by the government that legal abortions in Spain were up 6.5% in 2004 from the previous year, the Institute on Family Policy is demanding the country’s Health Minister, Elena Salgado, publicly acknowledge the failures of the Spanish government in this area and announce “a drastic reorientation of its failed and obsolete policy.”

Just days ago the Health Ministry revealed that deaths by abortion in Spain reached 84,985 in 2004, that is, one abortion every six minutes.

In a press release, Eduardo Hertfelder, president of the Institute, stated that “the government should realize once and for all that in order to solve the problem of abortion the solution is not to either directly or indirectly facilitate it.  Each mother who aborts is a failure of an administration that does not know nor want to help her.  It seems the Heath Minister lacks the sense to address this issue both for the woman and the child.”

The Institute is calling on the Health Ministry to organize a round-table discussion in January “with various social workers, experts and family institutions in order to come up with a new policy that defends both the mother and the child.”

One abortion every 5 minutes in 2007

Hertfelder noted that if the numbers continue to go up, there will be more than 102,000 abortions in Spain in 2007.  Therefore he has presented a number of proposals aimed at “seriously and rigorously addressing the problem of abortion in Spain.”

By 2007, he pointed out, more than 1,200,000 children will have been aborted in Spain since the practice was legalized.  “In fact, during 2005 we will have surpassed the sad record of one million children who have not been allowed to be born since the passage of the abortion law in 1985,” Hertfelder stated.

“The fact that one in seven pregnancies ends in abortion (15.8% in 2004) is a problem of such scope and gravity that the government cannot look the other way in an attempt to ignore it and escape blame,” he added.

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Pope calls for prayers for full communion among Christians

Vatican City, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - The Holy See’s Press Office has made public the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for the month of January, which include praying that full communion among Christians will lead to greater peace among all peoples of the earth.

The Pope’s general intention for the month of January is: That the efforts to realize full communion among Christians will lead to greater reconciliation and peace among all peoples of the earth.”

His missionary intention is: “That all Christians welcome immigrants with respect and charity, recognizing in them the image of God.”

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Pro-life leader denounce international scheme to legalize abortion in Colombia

, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - Although the Colombian media continues to focus on feminist lawyer Monica Roa in the battle over the legalization of abortion in Colombia, a prominent pro-life leader says Roa is only the surface of a complex scheme by powerful organizations to undermine the defense of the unborn in Latin America.

Roa has been on the front page of Colombian newspapers since April, when she filed a suit that argued for the legalization of abortion in cases of rape, life of the mother or fetal deformity. In December the Constitutional Court ruled against Roa, who said she intends to re-argue the case by claiming the country’s laws defining abortion as a crime are unconstitutional.

Brazilian pro-life analyst Alberto Monteiro says that although Roa is touted as the leader of the abortion cause, on December 11, before Colombian newspapers got word of Roa’s proposal, The New York Times was already providing details on how the case was to be argued and when.

In contrast to Colombian newspapers, the New York Times did not report on the case as Roa’s personal initiative but rather pointed to “an international women’s rights group.”

The Times quoted Roa as acknowledging that there were more people behind her “initiative” and it quoted the organization Women’s Link Worldwide, which notes on its website that “the suit is part of a very important project of this entity, called High Impact Litigation in Colombia: the Unconstitutionality of Abortion (LAICIA)

The complete list of organizations involved in the effort can be found at

Monteiro also notes that in March of 2005, Roa gave a conference at the University of New York in which she provided a preview of LAICIA’s strategy in Colombia.

“We are acting as a group of theatrical actors.  Each one has a role,” Roa said, outlining her strategy to use the media and her influential network of prominent lawyers to push Colombia to legalize abortion.

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Cubans celebrate re-inauguration of Guantanamo church

Konigstein, Germany, Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - During a homily in his Diocese of Guantanamo-Baracoa in Cuba, Bishop Carlos Baladron said “God has given a great Christmas gift” to the faithful of that diocese in the re-inauguration of the Chapel of St. Cecilia, after several years of restoration.

During his homily, the bishop said, “This dream has come true thanks to the generous support of Aid to the Church in Need which, since the creation of this diocese in 1998, has offered assistance to this local church through various evangelization programs.”

“This is a new example of the light of God illuminating us all, despite obstacles along the way and the blindness of heart from which people suffer,” Bishop Baladron stated.

The Chapel of St. Cecilia is located in Guantanamo, in a region devoted to the production of sugar.

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Starting today, the Gospel and homily of the day can be downloaded from our website.

Denver, Colo., Jan 3, 2006 (CNA) - Starting today, all our users, subscribers, and general public can have access to a new range of services including a podcasting service with the gospel and homily of the day, and the possibility to receive our news directly to your laptop, cell phone or any portable electronic device.
With technology at the service of evangelization, we offer starting today the possibility to:
· Subscribe to our Podcasting
This service gives the opportunity to listen to audio files you can download from our web page. You can transfer these files to your iPod or mp3 player, the Gospel, the homily and the saint of the day in mp3 files.

· Access to our news with Avantgo.
This service is designed to download information to portable devices, You can have access  to information you find on the internet from anywhere in the world. With this new service we offer you, you can download our news to your Pocket PC, laptop, palm or cell phone. Follow the instructions..

· Access to our news with RSS feeds.
This service gives you access to our news and the information that you can find on our website. It can also be used by webloggers to be used in blogs.

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