In brief

In brief Fathers Stephen and Daniel Drum are joined by their mother, Nola and father, John, after the brothers were ordained to the priesthood by Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher in St. Mary's Cathedral May 29, 2021. Photo: CNS
Austrian bishops oppose assisted suicide ruling

Austria’s Catholic bishops urged the authorities on June 1 to offer people “assistance to live”, rather than assistance to suicide.

The bishops issued a statement in the wake of a ruling by the country’s top court that assisted suicide should no longer be a criminal offense.

“Dying is a part of life, but not killing. Assisted suicide must therefore never be understood as a medical service or otherwise a service of a healthcare profession,” the bishops wrote in the five-page message marking the Austrian Church’s Day for Life.

The constitutional court argued in its December 11 judgment that the country’s criminal code is unconstitutional because its ban on assisted suicide violates the right to self-determination. It ordered the government to lift the ban in 2021.


Australian brothers’ ordination completes family treble

For the first time in Sydney’s history, two brothers have been ordained to the priesthood on the same day.

Siblings Daniel and Stephen Drum were ordained May 29 by Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher at St Mary’s Cathedral in front of more than 700 people, including 90 of their closest family.

The family’s vocations story does not stop there; younger sibling Rosie has been a sister with the Missionaries of God’s Love for more than 10 years.

Known to friends as the “Holy Trinity”, the spiritual siblings are the beating drums of the Catholic Church in Australia and prove that the family that prays together stays together.

Fr Daniel and Fr Stephen agreed that being ordained together was the happiest day of their lives.


Mali bishops decry country’s second military coup

Catholic bishops in Mali “firmly condemned” a May 24 military coup, the north African country’s second in nine months, and appealed for “constructive dialogue” among the state’s actors.

“Mali’s bishops express incomprehension and indignation at what is happening at the very moment when, with great sorrow, our populations are facing various security, health and socioeconomic challenges,” the bishops’ conference said.

Saying they recognised the need for a “strong executive and a reconciled and strengthened army”, the bishops decried “this seizure of power outside the legal path, and the crisis caused by personal calculations”.

The denunciation came three days after President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were detained by troops after heading an interim government since a previous coup in August 2020.


Paris archbishop laments attack on Catholics

The archbishop of Paris on May 30 lamented an attack on Catholics taking part in a procession commemorating the city’s 19th-Century martyrs.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit deplored the “anger, contempt and violence” directed at the group of around 300 Catholics, including children and elderly people, taking part in the “March of the Martyrs”.

“We are troubled that what we preach – a God of love – can arouse so much hatred, so much anger,” he said. “Last night, here, there was a demonstration of anger, contempt, and violence.”

The archbishop was speaking at a Mass marking the 150th anniversary of the Catholic martyrs of the Paris Commune at the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Otages, built in honour of hostages killed on May 26, 1871.