New York City Mayor Sings Law to Repress Crisis Pregnancy Centers
NEW YORK—New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed today a bill regulating crisis pregnancy centers, despite two recent federal rulings that questioned the constitutionality of the law.
Crisis pregnancy counseling centers are now required to make a series of 10 different disclosures in English and Spanish, in their advertizing, literature and interactions with clients. The centers will be required to indicate whether they provide abortion and contraception or makes referrals for those services, and whether or not there is a licensed medical provider on site.
The law forces pro-life pregnancy centers to post on all advertising, doors, web sites, pamphlets, [and] waiting room walls paragraphs of government language listing what services they don’t offer (no other organization has to do this) and state these paragraphs of government language verbally every time they pick up the phone or talk to anybody, under threat of the extreme penalties of jail time, personal lawsuits, thousands of dollars of fines, and police shutdown of volunteer pregnancy help centers run by generous volunteers charged with no wrongdoing and who have had zero charges, client complaints, or lawsuits filed against them.
Bloomberg’s law also forces volunteers to comply with oppressive confidentiality regulations not required by other NYC non-profits or volunteer organizations, and which prohibit the reporting of rape/prostitution to the police, all with no evidence of any abuse of confidential information ever occurring by pro-life help centers.
Expectant Mother Care, a renowned crisis pregnancy center with 27 years of service, is already working with the American Center for Law and Justice to file suit in federal court on March 20, disputing the law. Read the Bill.
Court Decides Crucifixes Are Allowed in Italian Schools
ROME—The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italian public schools can continue to display crucifixes in classrooms, overturning an earlier decision of a lower court that declared them to violate human rights.
The judges found “nothing to suggest that the authorities were intolerant of pupils who believed in other religions, were non-believers or who held non-religious philosophical convictions.”
The decision concludes a five-year legal battle started by a parent who argued that the crucifix displays in classrooms were a form of involuntary religious indoctrination of non-Catholic students.
Seventeen judges of the Grand Chamber held a 15-2 ruling that there had been “no violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (right to education) to the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Jesuit Superior General to Revise Order's General Curia
ROME— Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, will conduct a revision to the order's General Curia. He is set to execute a series of guidelines from delegates of the Jesuits’ 35th General Congregation, held in 2008.
There will be a reorganization of the secretariats of the Jesuit Curia. Three principle secretaries will be added to handle matters regarding the service of faith, the promotion of justice, and collaboration with others, three fundamental elements of the Jesuit spirituality.
Another secretary will be added to oversee secondary and basic education, higher education and the intellectual apostolate.
A six members commission within the general council has been formed to discuss, discern and propose matters related to the Jesuit mission. The members are professors in different fields: Frs. Giovanni Cucci, José Funes, Michael Paul Gallagher, Daniel McDonald, Theoneste Nkeramihigo, and Hans Zollner.
Japanese Bishops Setting Up an Emergency Humanitarian Aid Center in Sendai
SENDAI—The Church is Japan is creating an emergency center to coordinate humanitarian aid operations in Sendai, hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Bishop Martin Tetsuo Hiraga of Sendai and the diocesan chancellor, Father Peter Shiro Komatsu will be the director and vice director of the center. A Caritas worker will coordinate aid work. Clergy and laypeople from other dioceses are welcome to also join in. Young people are continually coming to Caritas from all the dioceses to offer their availability as volunteers to bring aid to the areas most affected by the disaster.
Displaced quake victims will be sheltered in downtown parishes. The church also aims to offer shelter to relief workers. The center is expected to operate for at least six months. Gasoline is the most needed commodity.
The diocese is yet to receive information about the coastal churches due to disrupted telecommunications. Japanese officials estimate at least 13,000 people died in the disaster. Donate to Caritas Japan.
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