NEWS BRIEFS

– Tej Francis

JEFFERSON CITY, MO.

SATANIC TEMPLE LOSES ABORTION RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASE IN MISSOURI

(CNA/EWTN News) The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge against an informed consent abortion law from a self-described Satanic Temple adherent who claimed the state violated her religious beliefs. Chief Justice Zell M. Fischer, writing in a concurring opinion, said that the U.S. Supreme Court “has made it clear that state speech is not religious speech solely because it ‘happens to coincide’ with a religious tenet,” St. Louis Public Radio reports. State law requires abortion providers to distribute a booklet from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services which includes the statement: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

The plaintiff, who goes by the name Mary Doe in the lawsuit, became pregnant in February 2015. In May 2015 she traveled from southeast Missouri to a St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic for the abortion. She told her doctors that she held religious beliefs contrary to those of the booklet. She claimed her religious beliefs meant they did not need to follow the informed consent requirements. Planned Parenthood declined to ignore the law’s provisions, which include a mandatory 72-hour waiting period and offering an ultrasound.

VATICAN CITY

SAINTHOOD CAUSES OF BLESSED NEWMAN, CARDINAL MINDSZENTY ADVANCE

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(CNS) Pope Francis has signed a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, the English cardinal, clearing the way for his canonization. The Vatican announced Feb. 13 that Pope Francis had signed the decree the day before. Also Feb. 12, he formally recognized that the late Hungarian Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, jailed and exiled by the communists, had lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way; the recognition is an early step in the sainthood process.

In Newman’s sainthood cause, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth had reported in November that the proposed miracle involved a young law graduate from the Archdiocese of Chicago who faced life-threatening complications during her pregnancy but suddenly recovered when she prayed to the English cardinal for help.

Newman was born in London in 1801 and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1925. He was a leader in the Oxford Movement in the 1830s, which emphasized the Catholic roots of Anglicanism. After a succession of clashes with Anglican bishops made him a virtual outcast from the Church of England, he joined the Catholic Church at the age of 44 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1846. Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879 while respecting his wishes not to be ordained a bishop. A theologian and poet, he died in 1890 and his sainthood cause was opened in 1958. Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in Birmingham, England, in 2010.

CAMEROON

CAMEROON: CHURCH IS ON FRONT LINE OF ATTACKS

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(ACN) Attacks on clergy are increasing in the Anglophone areas of Cameroon, as tensions rise between English-speaking separatists and the French-speaking government. Bishop Michael Bibi of Bamenda in Anglophone south-west Cameroon told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that the spiralling conflict between separatist groups and the francophone central government is putting Church workers at risk.

He said: “The Church is on the front line. A priest and a seminarian have both been murdered in the Anglophone region. In the case of the latter it was a deliberate execution, staged in front of his church in the presence of the parishioners.” Nineteen-year-old seminarian Akiata Gerard Anjiangwe was killed by soldiers on 4 October 2018 outside St Therese’s Church in Bamessing village, near Ndop, northwest Cameroon.

The bishop added: “Sadly, these two are not simply isolated cases. I receive alarming news from many priests and religious who have been shot at, or kidnapped and ransomed. I myself have been arrested, but they let me go again after a few hours.” Bishop Bibi told ACN that, despite renewing its efforts to promote dialogue between separatists and the government, the Church is accused by both parties of taking sides.

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