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Final Australian state allows euthanasia and assisted suicide, rejecting religious exemptions

2022-05-20T12:01:35+08:00

Credit: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock. / null Denver Newsroom, May 19, 2022 / 16:58 pm (CNA). New South Wales has become the sixth and final Australian state to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. Its legislation forces health care and elder care organizations with religious objections to allow the practice on their premises.“If a civilization is to be judged by how it treats its weakest members, the New South Wales parliament has failed miserably, and has set a dark and dangerous path for all posterity, determining a new and disturbing definition of what it means to be human.” Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney said May 19.“Despite our disappointment, our fight for life does not end with this vote,” he added. He then invoked a phrase of Pope Francis: “We must redouble our efforts to care for those who are victims of the ‘throwaway culture’ and instead rebuild a culture of life and love in this state.”The Upper House of the New South Wales Parliament voted to approve the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 by a vote of 23 to 15 on Thursday. It will take effect in about 18 months, according to The Catholic Weekly, a publication of the Archdiocese of Sydney.The bill allows euthanasia or assisted suicide to Australian citizens who are at least 18 years old. They must have a terminal illness and be expected to die within six months. Those expected to die in twelve months may seek euthanasia or assisted suicide if they have a neurodegenerative condition and experience unbearable suffering. Their application for euthanasia or assisted suicide must be assessed by two medical practitioners and they must be found to be making their decision voluntarily, without duress, the U.K. newspaper The Guardian reports.“The disturbing nature of this legislation is compounded by the way the debate over amendments was conducted,” said Archbishop Fisher. “All amendments put forward by those who would seek to make this deadly regime even a little bit safer were rejected.”“That no meaningful amendments were accepted speaks to a ‘winner takes all’ approach by the proponents of this bill and reveals an ugliness that has invaded our politics. This does not bode well for the protection of our most vulnerable citizens.”Objecting religious health care providers had sought the ability to ban euthanasia and assisted suicide from their premises, but the relevant amendments were rejected.“Catholic health and aged care providers in New South Wales have served their communities with compassion and professionalism for more than a century and will continue to offer high-quality hospital and end of life care despite this poorly designed law,” Brigid Meney, director of strategy and mission at Catholic Health Australia, said May 19.“However Catholic health and aged care providers are disappointed and saddened by the passing of a law that violates their ethic of care,” she continued. “This law will force organizations that do not agree with assisted suicide to allow doctors onto their premises to prescribe and even administer restricted drugs with the intention of terminating a resident’s life – without

Final Australian state allows euthanasia and assisted suicide, rejecting religious exemptions2022-05-20T12:01:35+08:00

Prayer to My Guardian Angel: Prayer of the Day for Friday, May 20, 2022

2022-05-20T03:01:21+08:00

Angel of God's light, whom God sends as a companion for me on earth, protect me from the snares of the devil, and help me to walk always as a child of God, my Creator. Angel of God's truth, whose perfect knowledge serves what is true, protect me from deceits and temptations. Help me to know the truth, and always to live the truth. Angel of God's love, who praises Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who sacrificed His life for love of us, sustain me as ...

Prayer to My Guardian Angel: Prayer of the Day for Friday, May 20, 20222022-05-20T03:01:21+08:00

Prayer for the Sick: Prayer of the Day for Thursday, May 19, 2022

2022-05-19T03:01:06+08:00

Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need. Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in your healing presence. Show your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen.

Prayer for the Sick: Prayer of the Day for Thursday, May 19, 20222022-05-19T03:01:06+08:00

Cardinal Zen may be in Hong Kong court next week

2022-05-18T12:01:27+08:00

Cardinal Joseph Zen. / Yung Chi Wai Derek/Shutterstock. Denver Newsroom, May 17, 2022 / 16:15 pm (CNA). Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun is scheduled to appear in court May 24, according to a report by the British daily The Guardian.“A source close to him said the cardinal was set to appear in court on 24 May, adding it was possible that he would be further detained, should charges be laid,” Sum Lok-kei wrote in a May 16 article in The Guardian.Cardinal Zen was arrested May 11 under China’s national security law with at least four others for his role as a trustee of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pro-democracy protesters in the special administrative region of Hong Kong to pay their legal fees.He was released on bail later that day.Cardinal Zen, who was Bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2009, has long advocated for underground Catholics in mainland China.Bishop Malloy of Rockford, chair of the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace committee, said May 12 that the cardinal’s arrest “indicates the downward trend in respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong.”The president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ conferences, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, expressed May 14 “profound concern about the situation for human rights and threats to religious freedom in Hong Kong” in light of Cardinal Zen’s arrest.While Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, “used to be one of Asia’s freest and most open cities,” it is now “transformed into a police state,” Cardinal Bo said, noting that freedoms of expression, press, and assembly “have all been dismantled.” He added there are signs that religious freedom “is threatened” and that religious leaders are self-censoring.“To see a government in China break its promises made in an international treaty, the Sino-British Joint Declaration, so repeatedly and blatantly, is appalling.”Regarding the supposed crimes of Cardinal Zen, the Burmese cardinal said: “In any system where the rule of law exists, providing assistance to people facing prosecution meet their legal fees is a proper and accepted right. How can it be a crime to help accused persons have legal defence and representation?”Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote May 13 that since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre, “the Chinese Communist Party’s appalling human rights record and repression of political freedoms have only worsened.”In an opinion piece at The Washington Post, the California Democrat called Cardinal Zen “a critical voice of conscience: an embodiment of moral fortitude, who has been a constant presence as Hong Kong has led a decades-long pursuit of the freedoms promised with the handover from British rule.”She too noted China’s failure to uphold the terms of Hong Kong’s handover: “Nearly 25 years later, China’s pledges have been utterly abandoned. Any pretense that Hong Kong’s rights would be respected has been shattered by violence and intimidation.”The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, told journalists May 12 his “most concrete hope is that initiatives like this cannot complicate the

Cardinal Zen may be in Hong Kong court next week2022-05-18T12:01:27+08:00

International community laments Cardinal Zen’s ‘precarious’ position

2022-05-18T12:01:25+08:00

Cardinal Joseph Zen. / Twitter @krislc Denver Newsroom, May 14, 2022 / 11:23 am (CNA). The arrest this week of Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun in Hong Kong continues to attract international condemnation, with the U.S. bishops calling the situation “alarming.”The cardinal’s arrest “indicates the downward trend in respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong,” Bishop Malloy of Rockford, chair of the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace committee, said May 12.“Although Cardinal Zen has been released on bail, his situation remains precarious,” he added.Cardinal Zen was arrested May 11 under China’s national security law with at least four others for his role as a trustee of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pro-democracy protesters in the special administrative region of Hong Kong to pay their legal fees.The president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ conferences, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, expressed May 14 “profound concern about the situation for human rights and threats to religious freedom in Hong Kong” in light of Cardinal Zen’s arrest.He urged prayer for the region, and that people “speak out for freedom and justice.”While Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, “used to be one of Asia’s freest and most open cities,” it is now “transformed into a police state,” Cardinal Bo said, noting that freedoms of expression, press, and assembly “have all been dismantled.” He added there are signs that religious freedom “is threatened” and that religious leaders are self-censoring.“To see a government in China break its promises made in an international treaty, the Sino-British Joint Declaration, so repeatedly and blatantly, is appalling.”Regarding the supposed crimes of Cardinal Zen, the Burmese cardinal said: “In any system where the rule of law exists, providing assistance to people facing prosecution meet their legal fees is a proper and accepted right. How can it be a crime to help accused persons have legal defence and representation?”He encouraged another week of prayer for China around the feast of Our Lady of Seshan, focusing on Cardinal Zen, Hong Kong, Chinese Christians, and other persecuted Chinese groups, including Uyghurs and Tibetans.Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote May 13 that since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre, “the Chinese Communist Party’s appalling human rights record and repression of political freedoms have only worsened.”In an opinion piece at The Washington Post, the California Democrat called Cardinal Zen “a critical voice of conscience: an embodiment of moral fortitude, who has been a constant presence as Hong Kong has led a decades-long pursuit of the freedoms promised with the handover from British rule.”She too noted China’s failure to uphold the terms of Hong Kong’s handover: “Nearly 25 years later, China’s pledges have been utterly abandoned. Any pretense that Hong Kong’s rights would be respected has been shattered by violence and intimidation.”“Zen’s arrest is one of the clearest signs yet of Beijing’s worsening crackdown as Hong Kong fights for its freedoms — and of Beijing’s growing desperation and fear that it is losing this

International community laments Cardinal Zen’s ‘precarious’ position2022-05-18T12:01:25+08:00

A Prayer, For Those in the Military: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, May 18, 2022

2022-05-18T03:01:52+08:00

Almighty God We stand before you in supplication, Asking Your Divine mercy and protection, To envelop with Your invincible armor, Our loved ones in all branches of the service. Give them courage and strength Against all enemies, Both spiritual and physical, And hasten their safe journey, Back to their homes and families. If it be Your Holy Will That they be gathered to Your bosom, With the eternal vanguard of the saints, Let their journey to Your ...

A Prayer, For Those in the Military: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, May 18, 20222022-05-18T03:01:52+08:00

Morning Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, May 17, 2022

2022-05-17T03:01:56+08:00

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I will begin this day. I thank you, Lord, for having preserved me during the night. I will do my best to make all I do today pleasing to You and in accordance with Your will. My dear mother Mary, watch over me this day. My Guardian Angel, take care of me. St. Joseph and all you saints of God, pray for me... (followed by Daily Offering)

Morning Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, May 17, 20222022-05-17T03:01:56+08:00

Morning Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, May 17, 2022

2022-05-17T03:01:56+08:00

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I will begin this day. I thank you, Lord, for having preserved me during the night. I will do my best to make all I do today pleasing to You and in accordance with Your will. My dear mother Mary, watch over me this day. My Guardian Angel, take care of me. St. Joseph and all you saints of God, pray for me... (followed by Daily Offering)

Morning Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, May 17, 20222022-05-17T03:01:56+08:00

Personal Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Monday, May 16, 2022

2022-05-16T03:01:06+08:00

Dear Jesus, i pray for you and everyone in heaven, i hope that they are just as happy as i am. I pray that one day we can all get along and be happy together. I pray for people that are not as kind that they become closer to you and everyone around them. I pray for people that have less or nothing that they can still be happy even though they don't have what they need. Im thankful for what i have and what i will receive in the future. I thank you for the people in my ...

Personal Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Monday, May 16, 20222022-05-16T03:01:06+08:00

Prayer to St. Dymphna – Hope: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, May 15, 2022

2022-05-15T03:01:18+08:00

Good St. Dymphna, you placed all your hope in Christ's promises, and sacrificed even your life in that hope. The Lord, God, rewarded your constancy by making your name known and loved over many centuries by the thousands whom you have aided in time of difficulty. Please assist us now in our present necessity, and intercede before God for our intentions. Obtain for us a firm hope like your own in God's unfailing protection. Amen.

Prayer to St. Dymphna – Hope: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, May 15, 20222022-05-15T03:01:18+08:00