Advertisements ad

News Digest

Issue of July 19 – August 1, 2009The following items are condensed. For the complete articles, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 534-7777.

News Update

Parental Notice Act injunction lifted

On July 14, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the federal injunction against the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Barring further legal action, the court's decision (Zbaraz vs. Hartigan), ensures Illinois parents will be entitled to notification before their minor daughters undergo abortions.

"Today is a great and important day," said Bob Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois on July 14. "For the first time in decades, Illinois will enjoy an entirely reasonable, if minimal, restriction on access to abortion. Parental notice enjoys broad public support and works to ensure the protection of Illinois' children and families."

The Parental Notice Act had been in legal limbo for 14 years because of the Illinois Supreme Court's refusal to issue the rules necessary to make the act effective. Once those rules were issued, the opponents of parental notification argued against their legal implementation. The Catholic Conference of Illinois filed an amicus brief in the case and participated in formulating the legal strategy along with the Chicagobased Thomas More Society.

The decision came as the Catholic New World went to press. We will further report on the court action in the following issue.

Cristo Rey gets university partners

Dominican and DePaul universities are serving as national university partners for the Cristo Rey Network, a consortium of 22 schools that use an innovative work-study model to provide a college-prep education to economically challenged students in urban communities across the United States.

They are among 21 university partners including Boston College, Fordham University, Georgetown University and Harvard University that have committed to assisting the Cristo Rey Network expand its levels of support for its graduates and schools through scholarship programs, job sponsorship, pre-college summer enrichment programs and academic-support programs.

News Digest

Encyclical breaks new ground on social issues Pope

Benedict XVI's new encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth"), breaks new ground on such topics as microfinancing, intellectual property rights, globalization and the concept of putting one's wealth at the service of the poor, according to Catholic scholars and church leaders.

In interviews with Catholic News Service and in statements about the encyclical released July 7 at the Vatican, commentators said the more than 30,000-word document takes on a variety of issues not previously addressed in such a comprehensive way.

Pope discusses bioethics, G-8 summit with Obama

The church's position on bioethical issues got marked attention during Pope Benedict XVI's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama July 10.

In addition to giving Obama a copy of his latest encyclical, which the pope had been presenting to visiting heads of state since its release July 7, the pope also presented a copy of the Vatican document on biomedical ethics, "Dignitas Personae" ("The Dignity of a Person").

Cardinal criticizes expanded NIH funding rules for stem-cell research

The head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro- Life Activities said final guidelines for funding human embryonic stem-cell research are "even broader" than the draft guidelines issued by the National Institutes of Health and he asked Americans to contact their members of Congress, "urging them not to codify or further expand this unethical policy."