A debate over legalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill in the U.K. has unfurled in the Anglican Communion after a number of former Anglican archbishops backed a proposed bill, while the Church of England confirmed its opposition.
"Some people opine that with good palliative care there is no need for assisted dying, no need for people to request to be legally given a lethal dose of medication," Anglican archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace laureate, wrote for The Observer.
"That was not the case for Craig Schonegevel. Others assert their right to autonomy and consciousness – why exit in the fog of sedation when there's the alternative of being alert and truly present with loved ones?" more >>
The General Synod of the Church of England voted in favor of approving women bishops for the first time in its history on Monday, receiving the required two-thirds majority. While many Anglican leaders have praised the significant move, they and others have warned that the theological debate on women's place in the Church will continue.
"The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds. Very few institutions achieve this, but if we manage this we will be living our more fully the call of Jesus Christ to love one another. As delighted as I am for the outcome of this vote I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow," said the Archbishop of Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
"My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together." more >>
In a controversial interview with one of Italy's most famous atheists, Pope Francis allegedly revealed that some 1 in 50 priests spanning all ranks of the clergy are pedophiles and like Jesus he will "use a stick" against them.
In the interview with Eugenio Scalfari, the 90-year-old atheist founder of La Repubblica, Pope Francis said pedophilia is like a "leprosy" affecting the church.
"We have a leprosy in our house," Pope Francis allegedly told Scalfari, according to a CBS translation of the interview in a discussion about the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal. According to Scalfari, the pope also claimed that as many as 1 in 50 priests are pedophiles. more >>
Conservative U.K. Members of Parliament have condemned a 39-week abortion of a pregnancy where the baby was deemed to be in significant risk of being disabled, calling the abortion laws that allow for such a decision "medieval and cruel."
"I do not understand how we can have a law which allows the life of a baby with a disability to be ended at full term. It is a graphic illustration of society's inconsistency on disability," said Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-life Group, according to The Sunday Express.
"After birth we work hard to ensure equality, but before birth we have laws to prevent the disabled taking their first breath. This medieval, cruel, discriminatory law must change." more >>
A Polish doctor who refused a woman's request for an abortion procedure because of a "conflict of conscience" with his Roman Catholic beliefs has been fired from the hospital he works at.
The case, which sparked a nationwide abortion debate and prompted Prime Minister Donald Tusk to tell Warsaw obstetrician Bogdan Chazan that he must choose the law over his faith, began in April when the doctor refused a pregnant woman an abortion at Warsaw's Holy Family Hospital.
The woman had came to Chazan to ask for an abortion because her own physician had diagnosed her unborn child with grave health problems, Reuters reported. The obstetrician, however, told the woman that he could not agree to such an abortion in his hospital, and referred the woman to a hospice where the child could get palliative care once born. more >>
Michelle Hui was thrilled to learn she and husband Ross were pregnant again after having two other children. But that joy soon turned to grief when she had a miscarriage six weeks into her pregnancy; amazingly, doctors did not realize that she was actually pregnant with twins and that one had survived the miscarriage. Now the family is rejoicing in their daughter's miraculous birth and health.
According to Michelle, she had a miscarriage at six weeks and was given an abortion pill to make sure nothing was left in her uterus. When doctors performed a final ultrasound before cleaning the uterus, they detected a heartbeat. What they didn't know at the time was that Michelle was actually pregnant with twins. One of the babies survived both the miscarriage and the abortion pill.
Baby Megan was born 18 weeks ago and is completely healthy, with no side effects from her ordeal. more >>