State Supreme Court says voters should decide on abortion law
In a Sept. 8 order, the Supreme Court in Michigan said voters will decide in the upcoming November elections if a woman’s right to an abortion can be part of the Michigan Constitution. If voters approve the abortion amendment, they would strike down a state’s 1931 law that makes it a crime to perform most abortions. That law was suspended in May and a judge in September said the law was unconstitutional. The Michigan Catholic Conference, public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, urged voters to vote against the proposal in November.
No consensus at nuclear disarmament conference
Four weeks of debate — during a review conference for a treaty widely viewed as a cornerstone of nuclear disarmament — resulted in no consensus on how to move forward despite the efforts of the Holy See, disarmament advocates and non-nuclear nations. Russia blocked agreement on a final document late Aug. 26, the review conference’s final day, by objecting to paragraphs raising concerns about military activity around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The 10th Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations headquarters in New York led to widespread consensus on numerous issues related to nuclear safety, but could not satisfy the Russian delegation’s objection even though the document did not mention Russia by name.
Saskatchewan bishops, community pray for victims of mass stabbing
The Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan offered prayers for everyone affected by the deadly stabbing rampage that left 12 dead — including the two suspected killers — and at least 18 injured. And Catholics in the Prince Albert Diocese joined the local Anglican bishop at a special service for the victims and survivors of the Sept. 4 stabbing spree on the James Smith First Nation and in nearby Weldon, Saskatchewan. The five bishops of Saskatchewan said they mourn “those whose lives have been lost, those who have been injured and those whose peace and security has been shattered by these horrific events,” and invited “all to join in prayer, turning to God for comfort and healing.” Late Sept. 7, media reported Myles Sanderson, 32, died after police forced the stolen car he was driving off a highway in Saskatchewan. One official told journalists he died of self-inflicted injuries.
Church backs new war reparations, but stresses reconciliation
The Polish bishops’ conference has cautiously endorsed new government demands for $1.29 trillion in reparations from Germany for damage during World War II, although a spokesman said the church hoped this would not impede relations between the neighboring countries. “The question of reparations should be seen in the context of Polish-German reconciliation — we want this to be very clear,” said Jesuit Father Leszek Gesiak, Polish bishops’ spokesman. “Our conference president has said forgiveness must be accompanied by truth, a recognition of evils inflicted and an eventual repair of the damage. But the concrete ways for doing this are up to the state authorities.” On Sept. 1, the 83rd anniversary of Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland, a parliamentary commission released a report confirming the Polish government would demand reparations for the wartime damages.
Government rounds up teens from church service
Places of worship have become the latest target for the forced roundup of Eritrean teens to serve as soldiers, in what clerics describe as a deteriorating situation. For two years, 15- and 16-year-olds have been taken from towns and villages. Some are ending up on the front lines in the war in Ethiopia’s northern state of Tigray, according to the sources. “A few weeks ago (Eritrea) resumed the confiscation of schools run and owned by the Catholic Church. (As if) this was not enough, now there are roundups of young boys and girls aged 16 … for compulsory military service without end,” Father Mussie Zerai, a Catholic priest of Eritrean origin who works with migrants, told Catholic News Service Sept. 7.
Top photo: CNS photo/Andrew Kelly, Reuters