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Australian prime minister vows to protect religious freedom
SYDNEY (SE): Australia’s prime, minister, Scott Morrison said new religious freedom laws were needed to safeguard personal liberty in a changing society, according to a CathNews report on September 10.
Morrison was reported as saying it was not his job to buy into cultural disputes that did not matter to most Australians, saying he would leave it to others to fight over so-called culture war issues like the teaching of Western civilisation in universities.
“Just because things haven’t been a problem in the past doesn’t mean they won’t be a problem in the future,” Morrison said of the case for legislation to protect religious freedom—the subject of a government review following the legalisation of same-sex marriage last year.
 “At the end of the day, if you’re not free to believe in your own faith, well, you’re not free,” CathNews reported him as saying.
The comments are the first sign that Morrison will act on calls from Church groups and others to enshrine religious freedom in the law, despite a campaign from others to stop “discriminatory religious demands.”
Morrison said he would have “more to say” on the stronger laws but gave a yes on the need for the changes and argued that children in public schools should not face curbs on Christian traditions.
 “Like anyone else, they should be able to do Christmas plays, they should be able to talk about Easter. That’s our culture. There’s nothing wrong with that,” he said.
“If you want to send your child to a Christian school, you have the choice to do that and you can go and do it,” Morrison said.
Slovakia’s newest martyr is example for young people
VATICAN (CNS): Slovakia’s newest martyr, Blessed Anna Kolesarova, who was shot at the age of 16 in front of her family for resisting rape by a drunken Soviet soldier, is—Like St. Maria Goretti—a model for young people, said Angelo Cardinal Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. 
With her beatification, is upheld as an example for all Catholics, especially the young, so that they may “rediscover the beauty of authentic love as well as the virtue of purity,” he said. 
L’Osservatore Romano, released excerpts of the cardinal’s homily at the beatification Mass in Kosice, Slovakia, on September 1. 
People who become heroes and saints do not “improvise” the cardinal said. Blessed Kolesarova was prepared thanks to her upbringing and solid spiritual life, “nourished by daily prayer and taking part in the sacraments.”
Pope urges diplomatic solution as war looms in northern Syria
VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis appealed for peace and dialogue as the Syrian government and its allies prepared to launch strikes against the last major rebel stronghold in Idlib province, in the country’s northwest. 
Speaking to hundreds of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday Angelus address on September 2, the pope warned that “the winds of war continue to blow” in the already war-weary country. 
An attack against the Syrian province’s nearly three million people, he said, would cause “a humanitarian catastrophe. I renew my heartfelt appeal to the international community and to all the actors involved to make use of the instruments of diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations, in compliance with international humanitarian law and to safeguard the lives of civilians,” the pope said. 
Church did not foresee crimes by bishops says canon law professor
WASHINGTON (CNS): The 1983 Code of Canon Law did not anticipate crimes being committed by bishops that could result in their laicisation, according to Jesuit Father Robert Kaslyn, a canon law professor at The Catholic University of America. 
Father Kaslyn, who has taught courses in laicisation, said the Second Vatican Council has also made it more complicated to remove a bishop from the clerical state. 
“It’s a mess,” he said in a September 4 interview. “It really is a 20th-century process that really didn’t exist beforehand. And that process was suddenly needed to adapt to the abuse crisis.” 
Under canon law, laicisation is given to deacons for “grave causes” and to priests for “most grave causes. It doesn’t even mention bishops,” Father Kaslyn said. 
“So in general, it was not foreseen that bishops could be quote-unquote laicised.” Abuse of minors, he added, is “a more grave delict,” or breach of care. 
Vatican II also noted the three levels of ordination: the diaconate, the presbyterate, and the episcopate.
Father Kaslyn said the council called the episcopate “the fulfillment of the priesthood.” As a result, he added, “It’s not just power of governance, but it’s the fullness of priesthood. So it’s very difficult (from which) to resign.”

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