The European Court of Human Rights has backed an earlier decision by a court in France to allow a 39-year-old paralyzed man to be taken off life support by request of his wife. The man's Roman Catholic parents have strongly opposed the decision, however, stating they are against euthanasia.
BBC News reported that Vincent Lambert has been in a coma for seven years following a motorcycle accident, which left him tetraplegic, or without the use of his limbs and torso.
Although euthanasia is illegal in France, a 2005 passive euthanasia law allows doctors to withdraw care from patients, which effectively ends their life. more >>
After allegedly calling Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas an "angel of peace" over two weeks ago, Pope Francis reportedly asserted last week that anyone who does not recognize Israel as the Jewish state is anti-Semitic.
The Times of Israel reports that in an email sent to Portuguese-Israeli journalist Henrique Cymerman last Thursday, the pontiff equated anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as one in the same.
Pope Francis has said that leaving migrants to die in the Mediterranean sea, such as the fate of thousands in the past few years, is similar to the "scourge" of abortion and euthanasia. The pontiff spoke out at a meeting of the Italian Science and Life Association, where he warned against several "attacks against life."
"The scourge of abortion is an attack on life. Leaving our brothers on the boats in the Sicilian channel is an attack on life. Death at work is an attack on life because it does not respect the minimal security conditions," Francis said, according to an article on LifeNews on Monday.
"The love of Christ urges us to become servants of the small ones and the elderly, of every man and every woman, through which the primordial right to life is recognized and protected." more >>
Pope Francis has said that it's the devil himself who keeps evangelicals, Catholics, and Christians from other denominations divided, and rejected the notion that it's heretical to believe that all Christians are one.
"Division is the work of the 'Father of Lies,' 'the Father of Discord,' who does everything possible to keep us divided," Francis said in a video message to a gathering sponsored by the John 17 Movement, according to Catholic Herald.
"I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps," he added. "But there is someone who 'knows' that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom." more >>
The Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian state in a new treaty Wednesday. Israel expressed "disappointment" and accused the Catholic Church of hurting peace prospects in the region.
"Yes, it's a recognition that the state exists," the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told reporters, according to The Associated Press.
The treaty concerns the Catholic Church's activities in that territory and both parties are expected to sign it soon. more >>
Cuban President Raul Castro has suggested that a meeting with Pope Francis has inspired him to "resume praying" and return to the Roman Catholic faith.
"I will resume praying and turn to the Church again if the Pope continues in this vein," Castro said after a 50-minute private audience with Francis at the Vatican on Sunday.
Following the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, a great deal of Catholic activity was suppressed in the country, with the government viewing the Vatican as part of the world capitalist system it opposed. more >>