Measure for right to die advances, D.C. Council panel votes to allow the terminally ill to legally end their lives, The Washington Post, By Fenit Nirappil, October 6, 2016, Pg. B1.

A D.C. Council panel on Wednesday advanced a bill allowing physicians to prescribe fatal medication to help terminally ill residents legally end their lives, setting the stage for a fight over the emotionally charged issue in the nation’s capital.

The legislation squeaked out of the Committee on Health and Human Services on a 3-to-2 vote after an intense lobbying effort from patients pleading for an option to avoid prolonged suffering and from religious leaders and medical professionals who object to the prospect of hastening death.

California was the last jurisdiction to authorize the practice exactly one year ago, joining Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana.

A priest issues fierce pro-life challenge to Hillary, By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times, October 6, 2016, Pg. A2, Inside the Beltway.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, hopes that Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine, a Catholic, can offer some candor on abortion. Their narrative, the priest suggests, is lacking.

Consider that the pro-life public — including politicians and clergy — have often questioned why the visceral realities of the abortion procedure have been overlooked or omitted from media coverage. They also wonder how the expanding “abortion industry” continues to be bolstered by taxpayer funds and categorized by some elected officials under the generic, sanitized term “women’s health.” Like millions of Americans, Father Pavone watched the vice presidential debate, and it got him thinking.

“Gov. Mike Pence called out the extremism of the Democratic Party by pointing out that they support abortions even at the latest stages of pregnancy and are unwilling to protect children from being killed even in the process of delivery,” he says. “Sen. Tim Kaine did not dispute this. Naturally, he did not want to pursue that line of argument, because the more people hear about the killing of healthy babies of healthy mothers in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, the more they realize how out of touch the Democratic political leaders are with the majority of Americans.”

New Film Documents the Persecution of Christians, By K. V. Turley, Crisis Magazine, October 6, 2016.

This is just one of the harrowing testimonies in a new documentary: Our Last Stand. The film tells of what is left of the ancient Christian communities in Iraq and Syria. They are a people who have been systematically attacked, then murdered, raped and displaced. The plague that is ISIS, along with other Islamic extremists, seem to take a sadistic delight in destroying the lives, the lands and the livelihoods of Christians who have only sought to live in peace with their more numerous Muslim neighbors. In this latest genocide, no one came to the aid of the Christians. They looked to the West, but to no avail.

This film will provoke many emotions in the viewer: tears at the plight of Catholics in Syria and Iraq; anger at the barbarism of ISIS and their fellow travelers; dismay at the West’s lack of willingness to act; admiration for the bravery of the Christian militia willing to defend their families to the death no matter how large the advancing army arraigned against them; but, most of all, a deep sympathy at how much all those caught on camera have suffered, and suffer still, for the crime of sharing our Catholic faith.

At our own indifference and inaction, we should all hang our heads in shame.

Pope, Anglican Leader Celebrate 50 Years of Dialogue, By The Associated Press, October 5, 2016, 12:52 PM.

Pope Francis is pushing through with an unusually high-powered month of outreach to other Christians, celebrating 50 years of Catholic dialogue with the Anglican Church in between important visits to Orthodox and Lutheran leaders.

Francis joined the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for a vigil prayer service Wednesday at Rome’s church of St. Gregory. The church is named for the 6th-century pope who dispatched missionaries to England to spread Christianity.

The celebration comes days after Francis returned from Georgia, where he tried to improve relations with the Georgian Orthodox Church, one of the most conservative and hostile to Rome. Francis will shortly travel to Sweden to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

After Mass Protests, Poland Won’t Back Total Abortion Ban, By The Associated Press, October 5, 2:02 PM.

Lawmakers with Poland’s ruling right-wing party voted in a tumultuous parliamentary commission session to reject a proposal for a total ban on abortion.

The decision appeared to doom an effort to add further limits to what is already one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws.

However, the proposal must still go to a vote to the full assembly of the lower house of Parliament on Thursday. Lawmakers will then vote on whether to reject it outright or whether to return it to the commission level for further consideration.

Poland already outlaws abortions, with exceptions made only for rape, incest, badly damaged fetuses or if the mother’s life is at risk. In practice, though, some doctors, citing moral objections, refuse to perform even legal abortions. Polish women seeking abortions typically get them in Germany or other neighboring countries or order abortion pills online.

The anti-abortion initiative gathered 450,000 signatures in support of the total abortion ban and is supported by the Roman Catholic Church.

Kaine’s Abortion Dodge, By Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online, October 5, 2016, 3:56 PM.

Intellectually, Tim Kaine’s argument about abortion is incoherent and indefensible; it is, in fact, illiterate. He argues that while his own Catholic devotion points him in a pro-life direction, the fact that we are a pluralistic society with a constitutional guarantee of religious freedom precludes him from supporting initiatives that would enshrine certain Catholic preferences in law. That did not stop him from campaigning against capital punishment and from using his gubernatorial powers to that end (the Catholic position on the death penalty is not absolute and, given the history of the church, hardly could be; its prohibition of abortion is absolute) any more than the First Amendment has stopped any cookie-cutter progressive with an Italian or Irish surname from citing the example of Jesus when arguing for this or that social-welfare program. (Never mind, for the moment, that this misconstrues that example.) Back in the ancient days when he was running for president, Barack Obama cited his faith in explaining his opposition to homosexual marriage.

But it is not the hypocrisy that rankles so much as the stupidity: There are millions, perhaps billions, of people on this planet who oppose abortion who are not Catholics, who are not bound by Catholic practice, who are not informed by Catholic teaching. There are pro-life Jews, Protestants, Mormons, Muslims (though those who denounce the so-called Religious Right as the “Christian Taliban” would do well to appreciate how liberal sharia actually is on the question of abortion), Hindus, pagans, agnostics, atheists, chiropractors, witch-doctors, and people who believe in horoscopes. My friend and colleague Charles C. W. Cooke is a pro-life non-believer.

I very much doubt that I am the only person in the world who is Catholic in part because he is pro-life, and not the other way around. My religious views have changed over time, but my opposition to abortion never has. One of the things that drew me to the Catholic Church years ago was the mystery of how that particular corporation, practically alone among the important institutions of the world, fully appreciated the inhumane violence of abortion, understood the ways in which that violence echoes far outside of the local Planned Parenthood abattoir, and placed that knowledge at the center of its public affairs.

Kaine’s understanding of the teaching of the church to which he purportedly belongs is, properly understood, not religious but superstitious. The Catholic view is not that a thing is true because the church teaches it, but that the church teaches it because it is true. The difference is profound: It is the difference between something being “true for Catholics” and true.