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Browsing News Entries

Humanitarian organizations urge action against famine in Sudan

Ahead of a humanitarian conference on war-torn Sudan and its neighbouring countries to be held in Paris on April 15, aid organisations have urged international actors to take immediate action to prevent famine setting in the country.

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European Court of Human Rights rules on climate change cases

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday rules that Switzerland’s failure to adequately work to meet emission reduction targets amounted to a vioaltion of human rights.

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CATHAN Conference: Theology, Culture and New Media in Nigeria

The members of the Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN), in partnership with John Carroll University, Ohio, USA, recently held their 38th Annual Conference at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria Resource Centre, Durumi, Abuja.

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The Jobel at the origins of the Jubilee

The Shofar, a ram's horn used in the Jewish tradition to announce the beginning of some sacred festivals, is at the root of the word "Jubilee."

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From war-torn Cameroon to Marseille: Daniel's journey through hell

Daniel Bourha, a young Cameroonian Catholic, speaks to Vatican News about his perilous two-year journey to reach Europe. He was participating in MED24, a conference on migration organised by the French Archdiocese of Marseilles.

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Archbishop Gallagher makes 6-day visit to Vietnam

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, embarks on a diplomatic visit to Vietnam, which will include meetings with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister and encounters with the local Church.

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EU Bishops: Abortion can never be a fundamental right

Ahead of the upcoming vote on 11 April in Brussels on whether to include the right to abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Bishops of the European Union (COMECE) reiterate their firm opposition to the proposition, and decry imposing ideologies.

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Mantellate Sisters’ mission for women in Equatorial Africa

Sister Noretta Zecchinon recounts the mission of the Mantellate Sisters, Servants of Mary, who have been serving in Africa for more than a century: “I have always been struck by the fact that women are the backbone of the household economy in Africa, as the Pope also says.”

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Biden campaign: Trump ‘scrambling’ on abortion amid policy announcement

President Joe Biden speaks at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin, April 8, 2024. / Credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 8, 2024 / 16:50 pm (CNA).

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign accused the presumptive Republican nominee and former president Donald Trump of “scrambling” on the issue of abortion after Trump announced that he supports states making their own abortion laws.

“Trump is scrambling,” Biden said, according to the campaign statement. “He’s worried that since he’s the one responsible for overturning Roe, the voters will hold him accountable in 2024.”

“Well, I have news for Donald: They will,” the statement continued. “America was built on personal freedom and liberty. So, there is nothing more un-American than having our personal freedoms taken away. And that is what Donald Trump has done.”

These comments from the Biden campaign came shortly after Trump posted a video on Truth Social in which he said “the states will determine [abortion policies] by vote or legislation” and “this is all about the will of the people.” The former president said “now it’s up to the states to do the right thing.”

“Many states will be different,” Trump said. “Many will have a different number of weeks, or some will have more conservative [policies] than others, and that’s what they will be.”

Trump’s statement also accused the Democratic Party of being extreme on abortion: “[They] are the radical ones on this position because they support abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month.”

Biden calls for legal abortion nationwide

Biden’s statement reaffirmed his administration’s support for codifying into law the abortion rules that were in place under the now-defunct Roe v. Wade ruling. Such a law would prohibit states from enacting most pro-life policies and mandate legal abortion nationwide.

“As a fundamental right, it didn’t matter where you lived,” Biden said. “It was granted to you as an American, not as a resident of any state. Generations of women had come to rely on that right.”

Although Trump has never publicly backed a nationwide ban on abortion, the Biden campaign claimed that Republicans would pass “a national abortion ban” and that “Trump will sign it into law.”

Biden has become a staunch supporter of taxpayer-funded abortion nationwide since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In his 2025 budget proposal, Biden asked Congress to enshrine the former abortion standards into law and to repeal the law that prohibits federal agencies from directly funding abortion. He also requested more money for a program that has funneled millions of dollars into Planned Parenthood abortion facilities.

The Biden campaign has run several pro-abortion advertisements during the election that criticized Trump for appointing three Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The campaign also promotes federal laws that would block states from enacting pro-life laws.

Spanish archbishop raises thorny topics in country’s immigration debate

Luis Argüello, archbishop of Valladolid and general secretary of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. / Credit: CEE

ACI Prensa Staff, Apr 8, 2024 / 16:25 pm (CNA).

The president of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference and archbishop of Valladolid, Luis Argüello, is encouraging reflection on the issue of migration in view of the upcoming debate in the country’s Congress of Deputies (lower house) on a citizen initiative to grant legal residency to an estimated 390,00 to 470,000 illegal immigrants with residence in Spain prior to November 2021.

In a post on X, the prelate shared the issues that in his view are on the table as lawmakers take into consideration a People’s Legislative Initiative (ILP, by its Spanish acronym) on the migration issue, which has garnered more than 700,000 signatures.

Promoted since 2021 by institutions inside and outside the Catholic Church, the ILP was admitted for possible consideration by the Congress of Deputies last December. Now the legislators must decide whether to actually consider the proposal in order for parliamentary debate on the issue to begin.

In an April 5 joint statement, the Spanish Conference of Religious, Spanish Caritas, the Migration Department of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, and the Network of Entities for Solidarity Development expressed their fear that the majority of political parties represented in the lower house will refuse to address the citizen initiative.

The consideration of the ILP is scheduled to be debated Tuesday.

Four issues to debate

The prelate believes that, first of all, accepting this ILP for debate would mean support for the “regeneration of our democracy,” even more so since it is an “ethical issue based on the sacred dignity of all human life.”

The archbishop of Valladolid emphasized that the acceptance of this type of citizen initiative is “essential so that the state is not reduced to a ‘gang of thieves.’”

Secondly, Argüello believes that “regularizing” the situation of nearly half a million people who “are already living, hardly living, working, and participating in our society” is about “normalizing in the state what is already normal, although with the limitations of illegal status in our society.”

Address the immigration issue as a whole

In his third point, the president of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference elaborated on several key issues to address regarding migration as part of a global phenomenon.

The archbishop pointed out the need for analyzing the political and economic causes of migration as well as the role of organized crime in facilitating illegal immigration. He emphasized that “it must be denounced and fought and, from there, question the involuntary collaboration of many of the ‘compassionate’ organizations, including the Church’s, with their criminal objectives.”

Argüello also pointed to the need to regulate the flow of migrants since “a society cannot take in, accompany, promote, and integrate all those who arrive.” However, he noted that each society “must in fact promote an international response for all.”

The archbishop noted in light of the demographic crisis in the Old World how, with “contempt for human dignity,” Europe “rejects immigrants and approves abortion” in such a way that “our demographic winter is fueled while people complain about migrants and reject them.”

The prelate also encouraged “questioning the cultural and political currents that dominate today’s globalism that uses the influx of migrants and reproductive health policies at the service of a moralistic and uniform capitalism that plays with population replacement as a savage form of biopolitics.”

As a fourth and final point of analysis, Argüello said that “it’s time to overcome polarization caused by political interests and jointly address core issues for the common good.”

This task, he explained, must be carried out “by listening to everyone, dialogue, and a pact that ensures respect for human dignity and that works toward the national and global common good.”

What the catechism says about migration

The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifies in No. 2241 the guidelines to be taken into account on the issue of migration.

The first guideline is that ”the more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of a livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.” In addition, “public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.”

The obligation to take in migrants must be met by the civil authorities who, “for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption.”

The Catholic Church teaches that “immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.