In Brief

In Brief Demonstrators protest euthanasia in front of the parliament in Lisbon, Portugal, May 29, 2018. Photo: CNS
Teen killed in stabbing at Canadian Catholic school

A 17-year-old girl is dead following a stabbing at a Catholic high school near Edmonton Monday March 15 morning.

According to local officials, police were summoned to Christ the King Catholic School in Leduc, Alberta shortly before 10 am.

They said the girl had been stabbed in a classroom. She was transported to a local hospital, where she died of her wounds.

A 19-year-old male student was arrested later that day and is currently in custody.

The identities of the suspect and victim have not been made public, and it is unclear whether they knew each other.

Charlie Bouchard, superintendent of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic School Division said the school community will feel the loss greatly.


Brazilian bishops demand immediate Covid-19 vaccines

The Brazilian bishops’ conference and five civil society groups have criticised the federal government response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a document titled “The People Cannot Pay With Their Lives”, the groups said it was time to end the escalation of death.

The groups, which formed the Pact for Life and for Brazil consortium, presented the document on a video call to the National Forum of Governors.

“There is no time to waste; denialism kills,” said the document, referring to stances taken by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has denied the critical situation the country is facing and downplayed the importance of using masks and maintaining social distancing.

“The Brazilian people need vaccines now. The virus will not go away through angry speeches,” the document said.


Spain passes controversial euthanasia law

lSpain’s parliament passed a law that legalises euthanasia in the country. The controversial law was passed March 18 with 198 votes in favour, 142 against and two abstentions.

According to Cope, the radio network owned by the Spanish bishops’ conference, the law will be effective in three months. The legislation makes Spain the fourth European country to legalise physician-assisted suicide after Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Other European countries, such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Norway, allow for what is known as “passive euthanasia”, in which patients, under strict circumstances, can elect to not receive treatments, such as nutrition or hydration, that would prolong their lives.

A similar bill that would decriminalise euthanasia was introduced by neighbouring Portugal’s parliament, where the country’s Socialist party hold a majority.


Appeal for prayers after Nigerian priest’s kidnapping

A Catholic diocese in Nigeria appealed last Thursday for prayers for the “speedy release” of a priest abducted March 15.

Fr Benedict Okutegbe, administrator of Sacred Heart Cathedral in the Diocese of Warri, said March 18: “Please, join us in prayer for the speedy release of Fr Harrison Egwuenu who was kidnapped at about 8 pm on Monday at a bad spot in Oria-Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area, and for peace and security in Nigeria.”

Fr Okutegbe told ACI Africa that the priest was returning to St George’s College, Obinomba, Delta State, where he was recently appointed principal, when he was “kidnapped by armed gunmen who took him to an unknown destination”.

“The authorities have been notified and a manhunt has been launched for the abductors,” he said.