Canon Law Expert Says US Bishops Not Morally Responsible for Sex Abuse
Commenting on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Reverend Gianfranco Ghirlanda, Dean of Canon Law Faculty at Pontificial Gregorian University in Rome, argued that bishops should not inform their parishioners if a priest has committed pedophilia because the priest “would be totally discredited in front of his parochial community and in fact would be blocked from any effective pastoral action.” Ghirlanda’s comments come after the eruption of the child sex abuse scandal in the US. In June, US bishops will meet in Dallas to discuss the scandal and a response to it. According to Ghirlanda, however, bishops “are neither morally nor judicially responsible for the acts committed by their clergy.” Ghirlanda’s comments appeared in Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit magazine BBC News describes as “Vatican-approved.”
Catholics in the US have voiced hesitancy about whether any plan devised by the US Bishops would be accepted by the Vatican. Reverend Thomas Reese, editor of a US Jesuit publication, commented that, “Whatever the US bishops do, it looks like they may have an uphill fight to get some of it approved by the Vatican.” According to BBC News, some Vatican officials have expressed dissatisfaction with the US bishops’ response to the scandal thus far, and at least one official has argued that bishops should be able to withhold information on priests suspected of pedophilia from prosecutors. Meanwhile, in the US both bishops and priests will have to contend with the American legal system.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .