Some members of the Ukrainian parliament have renewed their calls to outlaw surrogacy services for foreigners. “Ukraine is just turning into an online store for little ones,” Nikolai Kuleba, a human rights official in the presidential administration, told the Times. Lyudmila Denisova, a human rights investigator for parliament, said the practice “can lead primarily to a violation of children’s rights.”
German bishops have begun meeting in Fulda to discuss a study on widespread sex abuse by Catholic priests. Some are calling for celibacy to be overhauled, while others want the church to focus on victim compensation.
The flames of fury over priest sex abuse scandals are eroding the faith of Catholics and chasing many from pews, Pope Francis admitted Tuesday – and the church needs “to change.”
The pope’s frank comments, delivered before young people in Estonia on the final day of his pilgrimage to the Baltics, coincided with a stinging report of abuse of children by Catholic clergy in Germany.
Francis told the youths the church must take action to restore the faith of future generations and be transparent and honest.
“They are outraged by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation, by our unpreparedness to really appreciate the lives and sensibilities of the young, and simply by the passive role we assign them,” he said at the Kaarli Lutheran Church in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.
The question of “medical conscience,” that is, whether doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and the like can be forced to participate in medical procedures or provide services with which they have a religious or moral objection is heating up. Now, New Hampshire is considering a bill that would provide protection for such dissenting medical professionals.
“The government needs to immediately halt any efforts to force access to assisted suicide in facilities where caregivers – whether family, friends, or health-care workers or volunteers – selflessly attend to the sick and suffering,” said Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver in a Feb. 22 statement.
“As a community, we must also ask ourselves where and why we are failing to provide for and accompany those who are dealing with lengthy illnesses or approaching death… we need to reach out to the suffering in our midst,” Archbishop Miller continued.