50,000 Christians Imprisoned In North Korea
NORTH KOREA—Over 50,000 Christians are being held in prison in North Korea, according to a Fides news agency report. Juche, the state ideology developed in the 1950s by Kim Il-Sung, is the only system of belief permitted in the nation.
A recent UN human rights report highlighted the torture and forced labor that take place in the Communist nation’s prison camps.
US Bishops Urge Congress to Defunding Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.
“It is indisputable that Planned Parenthood Federation of America is by far the largest provider and promoter of abortions nationwide, performing about a third of all abortions (332,278 abortions in Fiscal Year 2008-9),” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “Abortions also account for over a third of Planned Parenthood’s income. The organization has aborted over 5 million unborn children since 1970.”
“The organization’s involvement in abortion (now including chemical abortions using RU-486) has substantially increased in recent years, and its provision of other services such as prenatal care and adoption referrals has declined markedly,” he continued. “the organization has led numerous legislative campaigns and litigation strategies to oppose any meaningful limits on abortion, including modest measures such as public funding bans, informed consent provisions, and parental notice requirements for abortions on unemancipated minors. One of Planned Parenthood’s legislative priorities is to oppose conscience clauses (which it calls ‘refusal clauses’), so that hospitals, physicians and nurses will not be allowed to serve the health care needs of women without taking part in abortion.” “The question at issue here is: When low-income women need these legitimate health care services, should the federal government insist that they receive them from the local abortion provider?”
Wilmington Diocese to Lay Off Employees, Close Newspaper
WILMINGTON—The Diocese of Wilmington will cut back operating expenses to afford a $77.4 million lawsuit payoff to survivors of sexual abuse by priests.
22 diocesan employees will be terminated within the next few months.
The diocese will also stop publishing its newspaper, The Dialog, after 46 years of circulation.
Services affected by the budget cuts are parish social ministry, adoption program, chancery, Hispanic ministry, human resources, religious education, and marriage tribunal.
Sisters of Mercy Elect New Leaders
PARSIPPANY— 500 nuns representing portions of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania participated in the mid-Atlantic assembly of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas to pray and elect new leadership.
Congratulations to Mercy Sisters Patricia Vetrano, new president elected; and Sister Kathleen Keenan, new vice president. Best wishes also to Sisters Catherine Darcy, Honora Nicholson and Patricia Smith, new leadership team members. Their terms begin July 1st, they will serve a five-year term.
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