In Brief

In Brief Terri Collins Photo: AP/ New York Post
Judge blocks US bill banning majority of abortions

A federal judge has blocked an Alabama law banning most abortions, which passed in May, from going into effect on the planned date of November 15. The ‘Human Life Protection Act’, which Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law on May 14, would have made attempting or performing an abortion a felony offence for medical professionals.

Despite the judge’s ruling, an Alabama lawmaker who helped sponsor the legislation is welcoming the legal challenge, in the hopes that the Supreme Court will ultimately review the law.

“Today’s ruling is both expected and welcomed. Our law was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court level, and today’s ruling is merely the first of many steps on that legal journey,” said Republican Terri Collins.

Priest released two days after kidnapping

The vice-rector of a seminary in Nigeria was kidnapped and released two days later, the latest in the ongoing violence against priests that has led Enugu State authorities to ramp up security efforts. Fr Arinze Madu, the vice-rector for the Queen of Apostles Seminary, was taken by unknown gunmen while exiting the seminary at around 6pm last week.

“We are really grateful to God, he is out of the abductor’s net and is back in one piece,” the Director of Communications of Nigeria’s Enugu diocese, Fr Benjamin Achi told ACI Africa.

“As a matter of fact, everybody was apprehensive when Fr Madu was abducted given our recent experiences,” Fr Achi said, referencing a recent wave of violence and abductions targeting priests in the west African country.

Enemies made in God’s image, Pope reminds military chaplains

Military chaplains are called to educate the consciences of members of the armed forces so that even in war, the opposing side is not viewed merely as “an enemy to be destroyed”, Pope Francis has said.

Meeting with participants of a course on international humanitarian law for military chaplains, the Pope said the intrinsic dignity of those on the opposing side of a conflict, who are “created by God in his image”, too often is forgotten.

But “respect for the dignity and physical integrity of the human person, in fact, cannot depend upon the actions they have done, but it is a moral duty to which every person and every authority is called”, he said

Pope to meet with Japan’s ‘triple disaster’ victims

Pope Francis’ three-day visit to Japan in November will include a meeting with people affected by the country’s “triple disaster”, when a major earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011, triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

An estimated 19,000 people died and 150,000 were displaced by the tsunami, which was triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake. In the wake of the nuclear disaster that followed, the worst since Chernobyl in 1986, another approximately 150,000 people were displaced in mandatory evacuations. Many of these people have not returned home.

Jesuit expert on Church teaching dies age 97

Jesuit Fr Francis Sullivan, one of the leading theological experts on questions of Church teaching authority, died on October 23. He was 97 and was the oldest member of the Jesuits’ Northeast province.

His funeral Mass was celebrated in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at the Campion Centre last week, followed by interment in Campion Center Cemetery.

For much of his professional life, Fr Sullivan was professor of dogmatic theology, and later dean of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was at the Gregorian for nearly 40 years. Later he taught theology at Jesuit-run Boston College from 1992 to 2009, when he retired at age 87.

He took up residence at the Campion Centre.