Los Angeles, Calif., Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - A February 28 court decision outlawing homeschooling in California will be reconsidered by the California Court of Appeal.
Last month the same court considered the case of a child enrolled in a private homeschooling program, ruling that parents who educate their children at home could be criminally liable under state law.
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) had asked the court to reconsider the decision.
“Parents have a fundamental right to make educational choices for their children,” ADF Senior Council Gary McCaleb said. “Because this ruling impacts all Californians, we believe the case deserves a second look. We look forward to presenting this case for rehearing.”
Attorney Gary Kreep, of the United States Justice Foundation, said, “Another look at this case will help ensure that the fundamental rights of parents are fully protected.”
Memphis, Tenn., Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - The Saint Michael the Archangel Organization is attempting to organize one million people in the United States to pray the Rosary for unborn babies on Saturday, May 3.
Organizers of the prayer event, called One Million Rosaries for Unborn Babies, are asking participants to pray during the same 60-minute time span, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.
Patrick Benedict, President of the Saint Michael the Archangel Organization, said, "The primary way to stop the killing of unborn babies is not by way of politics and is not by way of education."
“The person battling the ‘Culture of Death’ is primarily in a spiritual battle and needs to use spiritual weaponry,” he continued.
“The Rosary is a powerful spiritual weapon, and I hope there will be at least one million people in the United States taking hold of their Rosaries on May 3.”
The organization is asking Pope Benedict XVI to re-establish the practice of offering prayers such as the Hail Mary and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel after Mass. The organization also asks that these prayers be offered for the intention of ending the surgical and non-surgical killing of unborn babies.
Participants can register for the event at www.SaintMichaelTheArchangelOrganization.org
, Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - A proposal for religious dialogue presented by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has prompted warm reactions from several Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders in what could be a major development in inter-religious relations, the Associated Press reports.
"The idea is to ask representatives of all monotheistic religions to sit together with their brothers in faith and sincerity to all religions as we all believe in the same God," King Abdullah said Monday night at a Riyadh seminar on "Culture and the Respect of Religions."
King Abdullah said he presented the idea to Pope Benedict XVI when he visited the Vatican in November of last year. Saying the Pope had “warmly welcomed” him in “a meeting of a human to a human which I would never forget,” the king said he aimed “to seek the consent of Allah according to what he ordered in the religions: the Torah, Bible and Quran.”
“I pray for Allah to let us meet on one word,” the king said, according to a statement published on the website of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The king said he planned to hold conferences to learn the opinion of Muslims from other parts of the world, after which he would meet with “our brothers” in Christianity and Judaism "so we can agree on something that guarantees the preservation of humanity against those who tamper with ethics, family systems and honesty."
Specifics of the proposal remained unclear, such as whether Israelis could take part in the initiative and whether restrictions on religious freedom in Saudi Arabia could be relaxed. The kingdom bans non-Muslim worship services and objects of veneration from other religions, including crosses and Bibles.
Under Saudi law, the conversion of a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death.
King Abdullah’s initiative comes at a time when peace negotiations have stalled and tensions have heightened in the Middle East. Muslims have been angered by cartoons published in Europe that insult the Prophet Muhammad. Pope Benedict’s recent baptism of a prominent Muslim convert has also generated controversy.
However, King Abdullah reportedly had the crucial approval of top Saudi Arabian clerics.
Some analysts have suggested the king’s proposal has resulted from increased inter-religious dialogue among world religious leaders since the terrorist attacks of September 11.
John Esposito, founding director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, said that the Saudi religious establishment has been very active in interreligious dialogue since the September attacks, according to the Associated Press.
Esposito said this kind of appeal from the king is especially significant.
Vatican City, Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - Leaders of various religious communities are planning to gather during the second week of April for a conference on how authority is exercised in their different orders.
The Faculty of Canon Law of Rome's Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, the "Angelicum", will host the congress on the theme: "Various models of authority in the religious life of the Latin Church". The event has been organized to mark the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law.
Officials at the "Angelicum" explain that during the congress, which will be held on April 9, participants will present "the specific model of authority of the Order to which they belong (both at a personal and collegial level as well as at the various levels of General, Provincial and Local Superior), as it appears from a reading of history", concentrating especially on "Rules and Constitutions revised since 1983".
Some of the topics to be discussed are: "The abbot vicar of Christ: authority in monastic life"; "Religious authority in the Friars Preachers as a mendicant order"; "Religious authority in the Society of Jesus"; and "Authority and government in modern congregations".
The morning session will be presided by Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, while the afternoon meeting will be held under the presidency of Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
Madrid, Spain, Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - The weekly Catholic publication Alba in Spain has published the story of an 84 year-old woman who was forced by her ex-husband to undergo an abortion 57 years ago before they were married. She told Alba that despite the counseling she has received over the years, she has never been able to overcome her depression and was never able to carry a child to term.
In the wake of the imprisonment of the Spanish abortion provider Carlos Morin, the entire “personal drama” of the woman “has come to the surface with violence. The diagnosis? It’s clear: post-abortion syndrome. The therapy? Face the pain over the loss of her son,” the article in Alba stated.
Referring to her as Maria in order to protect her privacy because “she fears reprisals from her ex-husband who is still alive,” Alba explained that what torments Maria most about her life is her abortion. “It was 57 years ago. At that time she was 27 and single, but she was in a relationship with the man whom she would later marry.”
After she told him she was pregnant, he took her to get an abortion without her consent. “He put her in a taxi and took her to an apartment in Madrid on Barcelona Street… ‘That place was a pigsty, a slaughterhouse,’ she recalled. He told her, ‘Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.’ The abortion was performed without anesthesia, so Maria shrieked with pain,” the article continued.
“On May 3, 1951, a month and a half later, Maria had serious hemorrhaging in the bathroom. That’s where her child was ‘born.’ ‘He had little arms, a little body, everything.’ What did she do? ‘I washed him, I kissed him and I put him in a little box that I had.’ What did she do with him? ‘I thought about preserving him in alcohol, but I was afraid that my mother would find out, so I said goodbye to him and I flushed him down the toilet’,” she recalled with tears.
After she married, Maria became pregnant again on four different occasions. All the pregnancies ended in miscarriages, perhaps because of the abortion she underwent when she was 27.
“The case of Maria is only one example of how post-abortion syndrome can continue throughout one’s life,” said psychologist and president of the Association of Victims of Abortion, Beatriz Mariscal.
After the scandal of the abortion mills in Barcelona, Maria’s wounds have been opened again. Asked if she has every forgotten it, she is adamant. “No, I never forgot about it. I thought about it day and night and I tried to do things to forget it. But it has come back now very strong. The memory of that abortion has never left me, I have been depressed ever since,” Maria said.
“Some think abortion is painful but eventually passes. The case of Maria is evidence that the effects can remain for one’s entire life,” Mariscal stated.
Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - The Archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, said this week the solution for overcoming violence is not more violence, “but rather doing justice and giving the poor the help they need in order to overcome poverty.”
The Church is very concerned about the violence that has become more acute in the country, and she hopes officials “can control and repress organized crime and give people a little bit of peace and security,” Cardinal Sandoval said recently.
After noting that drug-trafficking is “a completely immoral and harmful activity for the country,” he called on Christians to be consistent and to reject such acts. “We are going to pray very much to the Lord and not do business or make agreements in any way with drug trafficking, because that only encourages it and makes it grow,” the cardinal stated.
He pointed out that while there is no automatic excommunication for drug traffickers in the state of Guadalajara, the bishops of the region have imposed excommunication on those who kidnap and their accomplices.
Madrid, Spain, Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - The subcommittee on the Family and the Defense of Life of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference reiterated this week that “no Catholic, either in private or public life, can support practices such as abortion, euthanasia or the creation, freezing and manipulation of human embryos in any case.”
In a recent statement entitled, “Life is Always a Good,” the Spanish bishops underscored that “human life is a sacred value which we all must respect and which the laws must protect” from “its beginnings in fertilization until its natural end.”
Released on the occasion of the 7th Pro-Life Day, which will be observed on March 31, the statement rebuffed the argument that Catholics can reject abortion but that it should be made available to non-Catholics, saying abortion is a matter of human rights and not of religion.
Christians are called to continuously confront the many attacks on human life, the bishops stressed, and their efforts can find strong basis in natural law. “Therefore, they can be shared by all people of upright conscience,” they noted.
“Just like all of us, the Son of God began his human life in the womb of his Mother,” the bishops continued, stressing that all human life deserves to be accepted, respected and loved, especially when that life “is fragile and needs attention and care, whether before birth or in its final stages.”
Recently, they went on, Spanish society was disturbed by the cases of abortion mills that were killing babies who were in their eighth month and by their ghastly actions to cover it up. “This reality, which the bishops have been denouncing for years, has brought to the forefront against the debate over abortion in our society,” they said.
“While the end of illegal abortions is a significant step, the genuinely moral and humane thing to do would be to completely abolish the ‘abortion law,’ which is an unjust law,” the bishops asserted.
“The abortion law should be abolished, while at the same time women should be given support, especially when they are mothers, thus creating a new culture in which families welcome and promote life,” they said. “Adoption is an important alternative. Thousands of couples have to endure long and tiresome processes to adopt while in Spain more than 100,000 babies died from abortion during 2006,” the bishops emphasized.
Zagreb, Croatia, Mar 28, 2008 (CNA) - A Croatian parish has found an effective means for getting young people to stick around after Mass. It has opened a café where they can get food and drinks by paying with prayers.
“In reality it kind of began as something fun,” youth minister Damir Stojic told the ENI news agency. “After Mass on Sunday, young people went to cafés in the town, and we wanted them to stay at the parish.”
So a café was opened at the parish, serving donated food and drinks. A cup of coffee costs three Our Fathers, a cappuccino, four, and a soda, five Hail Marys.