Nation/World news briefs: Sept. 19, 2022

Bishop, pro-life leaders applaud lawmakers for abortion ban

Bishop Mark Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston and pro-life leaders of West Virginia lauded the state Legislature for passing an abortion ban Sept. 13. The bill banning most abortions in the state, with some exceptions, now waits for Gov. Jim Justice’s signature. H.B. 302 was passed by the Senate 22-7 and by the House of Delegates 78-17. With Justice’s signature, the bill will immediately become law in West Virginia. It bans abortions “unless in the reasonable medical judgment of a licensed medical professional” there exists a nonmedically viable fetus; there exists an ectopic pregnancy; or there exists a medical emergency.

In ‘major victory’ for religious rights, court blocks transgender mandate

A unanimous ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans blocking the Biden administration’s transgender mandate “is a major victory for conscience rights and compassionate medical care in America,” said the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the case. “Doctors cannot do their jobs and comply with the Hippocratic oath if the government requires them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise,” said Joseph Davis, counsel at Becket, a Washington-based religious liberty law firm. Davis made the remarks about the court’s Aug. 26 ruling permanently blocking a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that would have forced doctors and hospitals to perform gender-transition procedures on their patients even if this violated their conscience and medical judgment.

Jesuit Father John O’Malley, church historian, teacher, author, dies at 95

Jesuit Father John O’Malley (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Jesuit Father John O’Malley, whose perspectives and expertise on church history and the Second Vatican Council attracted audiences that included undergraduate students and well-educated theologians, died at the Jesuit community in Baltimore Sept. 11. He was 95. A prolific author whose books won numerous awards and have been translated into multiple languages, Father O’Malley’s teaching style helped make history interesting and understandable and appealed to a wide array of clergy, theologians and undergraduate and graduate students as well as scholars of different faiths and even those who professed no faith. A funeral Mass was planned for Sept. 17 at Holy Trinity Parish in Washington. Burial was to follow in Georgetown Cemetery.

Bishops say they need more help after deadly flooding

Three bishops of Pakistan dioceses most affected by recent deadly monsoon flooding appealed for more funding for emergency food, repairing damaged homes and providing medical needs for the worst-hit victims in their provinces. The South Asian country has been hit hard by record floods caused by monsoon rains and glacial melting since the rainy season started this summer. But Archbishop Benny Travas of Karachi, Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad and Bishop Khalid Rehmat of Quetta also praised the generosity of local citizens and international aid groups during a virtual news conference hosted by the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need Sept. 15. Pakistani Christians, a minority, are mostly impoverished. As of Sept. 15, Pakistan’s disaster management office reported more than 1,500 people dead since floods started in June, submerging at least a third of the country. It also said more than 33 million people (of the 220 million population) have been affected. More than a million houses have either been partially or completely damaged.

Soldiers used church as kitchen, laid land mines

Soldiers in Myanmar used a Catholic church as a kitchen and laid mines around the building, church sources told A video posted by local defense forces showed dirty floors and pews covered with dust along with cooking pots and military uniforms inside Mother of God Church in Mobye, in Shan state. The video went viral on social media. reported local defense forces urged parishioners not to go near the church building because the army had laid mines near it. The military occupied the town for several days before retreating from the church in mid-September following casualties in fierce fighting with local defense forces, reported. Mobye, where the majority of people are Catholic, is part of the Pekhon Diocese.

Author: Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ news and information service.

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