1. Court Lets Right-to-Die Law Go Forward.

By Joseph De Avila, The Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2019, Pg. A8A

New Jersey’s new law allowing terminally ill patients to end their lives can move forward, a state appellate court ruled.

The law went into effect on Aug. 1 but was suspended after a lower court issued a temporary restraining order following a lawsuit filed by an Orthodox Jewish physician who said it violated his religious beliefs. The law allows patients with a prognosis of six months or less to live to self-administer medication that would end their lives. The patient’s attending physician and consulting physician must determine that the person is suffering from a terminal disease and that person must voluntarily express a desire to die.


2. Judge blocks Missouri’s 8-week abortion ban.

By Alex Horton, The Washington Post, August 28, 2019, Pg. A8

A federal judge in Missouri blocked a strict and controversial abortion ban Tuesday, a day before the state was set to criminalize abortions performed after eight weeks, to allow pending legal challenges to it to proceed. 

Missouri has become a flash point alongside other conservative states that seek to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established a woman’s right nationwide to an abortion. Those states’ efforts triggered a wave of lawsuits from abortion rights advocacy groups. 


3. Appeals court upholds injunction on Indiana abortion law.

The Associated Press, August 28, 2019

An appeals court has upheld a lower-court decision to block part of a 2017 Indiana law that would make it tougher for underage girls to get an abortion without their parents’ knowledge.

A 2-1 ruling posted Tuesday by the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Court of Appeals leaves a 2018 preliminary injunction in place.

Indiana generally bars abortions for minors living at home without their parents’ consent. But a girl can seek an exception if a court deems her mature enough or finds an abortion is in her best interest.


4. Secretary stands up for ailing veterans’ right to religion.

By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, August 28, 2019, Pg. A1

Robert Wilkie, the soft-spoken and managerial-minded secretary of Veterans Affairs, went public in a big way this summer when he said he refused to be “bullied” by a federal lawsuit claiming a Bible on display at a New Hampshire VA hospital violated the separation of church and state.

In an interview with The Washington Times in his office at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Wilkie said displaying a Bible in a VA hospital is a matter of liberty and that the Obama administration erred in trying to eliminate religious symbols from the veterans health care system.


5. Expert: New Chinese bishop no litmus test for success of Vatican-China deal.

By Elise Harris, Crux, August 28, 2019

While many are celebrating the ordination of the first bishop in China since a deal was struck between the Vatican and the Chinese government on bishop appointments last year, some experts have said the event is indicative of neither the terms of the agreement or its success, since the bishop ordained had been selected before the accord was signed.

On Monday liturgical expert Father Antonio Yao Shun, 54, was ordained Bishop of Jining, also known as Ulanqab, in Inner Mongolia. According to Asia News, some 120 priests, many of whom are natives to Jining, concelebrated the Mass, which took place in the city’s cathedral.

In September 2018 the Vatican announced that it had signed a “provisional agreement” with the People’s Republic of China on the appointment of bishops, formally recognizing eight prelates who had been named by the Chinese government and were previously excommunicated.

Yao Shun’s ordination as bishop of Jining, a post which had been vacant since his predecessor’s death in 2017, made him the first Chinese priest to be ordained a bishop since the Vatican’s agreement with China was made.


6. Wyoming bishop’s decades of abuse destroyed lives, traumatized families.

By Christopher White, Crux, August 28, 2019

[This is part one of Crux’s three-part investigative series into Bishop Joseph Hart, who could become the first U.S. bishop to face criminal prosecution for sexual abuse. Part two will run tomorrow.]

 As parishioners attended the Feast of the Assumption Mass inside Guardian Angels Catholic Church on August 15, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) gathered outside on the sidewalk for a press conference marking an occasion that many believed would never come.

Less than 24 hours earlier, police in Cheyenne, Wyoming recommended to prosecutors that a one-time Guardian Angels priest, who would go on to become a beloved Catholic bishop, face criminal charges for the sexual abuse of minors.

Prior to being named a bishop, Joseph Hart had served in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph for the first two decades of his priesthood, following ordination in 1956. Although his ecclesial career has spanned over five decades, serving in two states where he was widely popular, he has been trailed by allegations of serial abuse — which he has consistently denied — dodging both civil and canonical adjudication for more than two decades.

Now, in the twilight of his life he not only faces criminal charges, where he could become the first U.S. bishop ever to face criminal prosecution for abuse, but also the possibility of being stripped of his title of bishop and removed from the clerical state as a church trial in the Vatican is also underway.


7. First Chinese bishop consecrated with pope’s OK after deal.

The Associated Press, August 27, 2019

A Chinese Catholic bishop has been consecrated with Pope Francis’ approval, in the first such ordination since the Vatican and China signed a landmark deal last year over naming bishops.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed Tuesday that Monsignor Antonio Yao Shun had received a papal mandate. He was therefore legitimately consecrated bishop of Jining, in Inner Mongolia, at a ceremony Monday.

It was the first bishop ordination since the Vatican and Beijing signed an agreement Sept. 22 over bishop nominations. The Vatican hoped the deal would end decades of estrangement, unify China’s Catholics and bring all Chinese bishops into full communion with the Holy See.


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