1. Irish church hopes 2018 family meeting helps restore trust. 

By Associated Press, March 30, 2017, 6:38 AM

Irish church officials are hoping that a meeting of Catholic families that is expected to bring Pope Francis to Ireland next year will help families regain trust in the church following the devastation of the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Speaking Thursday at the Vatican, [Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid] Martin said he hoped the Aug. 21-26, 2018 World Meeting of Families would help Irish families overcome their fears.


2. Abortion staff doctor said live babies left to die often: Daleiden: Video shows covering up infanticide. 

By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, March 30, 2017, Pg. A9

Pro-life activists released a new undercover video Wednesday showing a former Planned Parenthood official suggesting that babies born alive after abortions are sometimes left to die.

DeShawn Taylor, former medical director for Planned Parenthood Arizona, appears in the video.

“In Arizona, if the fetus comes out with any signs of life, we’re supposed to transport it. To the hospital,” Ms. Taylor says.

Pro-life activists posing as fetal tissue buyers ask Ms. Taylor if there is “any standard procedure for verifying signs of life.”

“Well, the thing is, I mean the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right?” Ms. Taylor says.

Mr. Daleiden, project leader of the Center for Medical Progress, said the video shows that Planned Parenthood is willing to “cover up infanticide.”

“The only difference between Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion business, and that of the notorious Dr. Kermit Gosnell, is that Gosnell was not so careful as to ‘pay attention to who’s in the room,’” Mr. Daleiden said in a statement.

The new Center for Medical Progress video takes place at a Planned Parenthood networking event. The undercover activists also ask Ms. Taylor about obtaining intact organs from abortions.

“It’s not a matter of how I feel about it coming out intact, but I gotta worry about my staff and people’s feelings about it coming out looking like a baby,” Ms. Taylor says.


3. The Justices Keep Tinkering With Death.

By The Editorial Board, The New York Times, March 29, 2017, Pg. A26

By refusing to stop the use of capital punishment, the Supreme Court has consigned itself to tinkering with the death machine, trying in vain to make a barbaric, irrational system appear predictable and just.

The latest tweak came Tuesday, when the court tossed out the death sentence of Bobby James Moore, who was convicted in 1980 for murdering a supermarket clerk during a robbery. Mr. Moore has intellectual disabilities — among other things, his I.Q. is in the 70s, he “lacked basic understanding of the days of the week, the months of the year and the seasons” at the age of 13, and he failed out of ninth grade.

After the Supreme Court barred the execution of people with intellectual disabilities in 2002, Mr. Moore challenged his death sentence. 

Texas case law relied on an older definition, and used a seven-factor test drawn up by a judge in 2004 to determine whether someone has sufficiently severe disabilities to be spared. For example, it asks, “Has the person formulated plans and carried them through or is his conduct impulsive?” Because Mr. Moore mowed lawns, played pool and took part in the planning of the robbery, the court found that he could be executed.

The Supreme Court gives states a good amount of room to set their own intellectual-disability standards, but on Tuesday it found that Texas had crossed the line.

Writing for five members of the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the state’s approach was unconnected to modern medical consensus. Even the dissenting justices — Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. — agreed that the seven-factor test wasn’t acceptable.

Tuesday’s decision was good for Mr. Moore and perhaps a handful of other inmates, although it came too late for many others. More than anything, it drove home the futility of the tortured, macabre exercises the court engages in whenever it deals with capital punishment.

The real question is not whether Mr. Moore’s I.Q. is 69 or 74, or whether he knows the difference between Monday and Thursday — it’s why a few states still insist on engaging in a practice that the rest of the developed world rejected long ago, and why the Supreme Court refuses to end it for good.


4. European bishops summit makes appeal to jaded youth.

By Claire Giangravè, Crux, March 29, 2017

European bishops are meeting in Barcelona in order to search for ways to extend a hand to Europe’s youngest and most disenchanted generation.

The European Symposium started on March 28 and is titled “Accompanying young people to respond freely to Christ’s call.” The four-day-long meeting will be attended by 275 delegates of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, among them experts in the pastoral care of young people, schools and universities, and vocational and catechetical work.

Essentially the summit plays out as a practice game for the 2018 Bishop’s Synod called for by Pope Francis that will be dedicated to young people.

The pope called on European leaders to be “open to the future,” offering young people serious prospects for education and jobs, and to remember the importance of the Christian roots of Europe.

In line with the pontiff’s remarks, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the CCEE wrote a letter to the meeting ahead of his arrival calling young people “The future of this ancient but not lifeless continent.

“Investing in the future means helping young people have faith, to believe in the European Union and, most importantly, in the identity of the continent. Believe in it strongly, with realism and hope, because you are the real protagonists of this journey and of Europe’s mission,” Bagnasco wrote.


5. Congo’s bishops give up on peace mediation.

By Catholic News Service, March 29, 2017

Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have abandoned attempts to arrange a government-opposition power-sharing agreement, amid rising violence.

Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani, the bishops’ conference president, said the latest round of political negotiations were not satisfying the Congolese people. He said bishops had continued working with both sides until March 27, but that all parties were pulling back from a consensus on issues previously agreed upon.

“This lack of sincere political will did not allow for an agreement,” the archbishop said at a March 28 news conference.

“We are therefore bringing the political impasse in these discussions to national and international attention – as well as the lack of political goodwill and the incapacity of the political and social actors to find a compromise,” he said.