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Archive of October 24, 2009

Poll reveals most Spaniards oppose new abortion law

Madrid, Spain, Oct 24, 2009 (CNA) - A poll conducted by the NC Report for the newspaper “La Razon,” has revealed that 58.4 percent of Spaniards are against permitting 16 year olds to abort without the consent of their parents, and 46 percent oppose reforming the current law.

The poll also showed that 30 percent oppose abortion “in all cases,” and another 30 percent support the procedure only “in justified cases.” Only 35.5 percent support abortion for any reason.

A majority of respondents also opposed the distribution of the morning-after pill without a prescription.

On the other hand, the poll revealed that for 41.1 percent of Spaniards, the main reason for obtaining an abortion is economic or job-related. Nearly 19 percent said abortions were for social, family or cultural reasons. Eighteen percent attributed abortions to the failure of contraceptives, and only 7.5 percent believe the majority of abortions are performed for medical reasons.

“La Razon” reported that the poll results “contradict the claims of abortion clinics. According to official statistics of the Ministry of Health and Social Policy, around 99 percent of voluntary pregnancy terminations recorded in Spain occur for the life or health of the mother. In addition, on this point the youngest respondents (those aged 18-44) were the ones who attributed pregnancy termination to economic problems.”

Likewise, the poll revealed that 55.6 percent of Spaniards believe that a policy supporting childbirth would reduce the number of abortions in the country. For one-third of the respondents, abortion is failure of policies to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

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National Catholic Youth Conference expects 20,000 in Kansas City

Kansas City, Kan., Oct 24, 2009 (CNA) - The 2009 National Catholic Youth Conference expects 20,000 teenagers Nov. 19-21 in Kansas City for its gathering, which is based on the theme “Christ Reigns.” While 600 adults have volunteered, conference leaders are calling for 400 more.

Participants will have many opportunities to pray, to go to confession, to recite the Rosary, and to have a “labyrinth” experience. The event also features a multitude of workshops for youth and for youth leaders.

Archbishop of Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo will lead a Eucharistic Procession between the convention center and the Sprint Center arena.

The Catholic Key reported that volunteers represent a broad cross-section of the church in both the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri.

“We have a lot of college students from Benedictine, Rockhurst and Avila who went to a conference before, or who missed out and want to be part of it now, and we’ve got lots of people in their 60s, 70s, and even their 80s,” said Ernie Boehner, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas who is handling adult volunteer recruitment and training for the event.

“Every single job is valuable,” Boehner said. “We’ll be there to support the teenagers and help them become closer to Christ.”

He called for more volunteers who have been certified in the “Protecting God’s Children” child abuse prevention and education program.

“This will impact on their decisions and life choices for the rest of their lives,” he added. “It sends chills up your spine when these kids get excited about their faith.”

The conference website, which provides information both for attendees and for volunteers, is at http://ncyc.nfcym.org

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Cardinal George lauds appointment of N.Y. archbishop to Jewish Affairs post

Washington D.C., Oct 24, 2009 (CNA) - Archbishop of New York Timothy M. Dolan has been named Moderator of Jewish Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). USCCB president Cardinal Francis George says Dolan will be a friend to the Jewish community and will convey “profound respect” for others’ spiritual gifts.

Archbishop Dolan succeeds Archbishop emeritus of Baltimore William H. Keeler in the role.

His five-year appointment was announced in a Friday USCCB statement and will become effective Nov. 11.

Cardinal George’s announcement noted the New York Archdiocese’s “long history of cooperation and friendship between Catholics and Jews.”

“Since the Second Vatican Council, important strides in this relationship have been made through dialogue and collaboration in countering racism, anti-Semitism and other offenses against human dignity," the cardinal commented.

“Our Episcopal Conference, through the leadership of your predecessors in New York, and especially through the tireless and generous service of Cardinal William Keeler, has sought to contribute to the work of reconciliation between the Church and the Jewish people after centuries of mutual estrangement,” he added.

The cardinal said the Jewish community will find Archbishop Dolan to be “a friend who communicates the joy of his own faith, while at the same time conveying profound respect for the spiritual gifts of the other."

Controversy recently arose in Catholic-Jewish dialogue about a clarification the bishops issued concerning “ambiguities” in a Catholic document on the theology of the Christian mission to Jews. Jewish leaders voiced concerns that the changes formally characterized Catholic-Jewish dialogue as an explicit or implicit invitation to Jews to abandon their faith.

In response, the USCCB said that the controversial passages would be removed from the clarification.

On Oct. 2, the Conference issued a statement of principles for Catholic-Jewish dialogue which notes Catholics’ "sacred responsibility" to witness to Christ always. However, the statement also emphasizes that Jewish-Catholic dialogue will never be used as a means of "proselytism" nor is it intended to be a "disguised invitation to baptism."

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