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Euthanasia not a cure French bishops say

LOURDES (CNS): To permit euthanasia would be to “inscribe in the heart of our society the transgression of the civilizing imperative: ‘You shall not kill,’” said a statement from 118 French bishops opposing the country’s drift toward legal euthanasia.
 
At the end of meeting at the Marian shrine of Lourdes, the bishops—an overwhelming majority of the French Bishops’ Conference—declared that euthanasia would damage the sense of fraternity that held their society together.
 

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Patriarch praises Iraqi Christians

QARAQOSH (CNS): During a pastoral visit to Iraq, Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, the Syriac Catholic patriarch, celebrated Passion Sunday Mass at the damaged Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, and praised Catholics for keeping the faith during more than three years of displacement.
 
“We will remain faithful to our Christian call, and we will remain lovers of our Church despite all the horrors that have afflicted us,” the patriarch said on March 25.
 

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Dialogue between Christianity and China indispensable

VATICAN (CNS): “If we see only our own reasons and insist on our own experience as the norm, thereby denying the basis of other people’s experience, then disagreement, quarrels and even wars will be inevitable,” between individuals, communities, nations and religions, the former bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon told symposium on Christianity and China.
 

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Nigerians demand release of student who won’t renounce faith

LAGOS (CNS): While Catholic and Muslim leaders welcomed the release of 104 schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram, they urged the government to work for the release of the remaining girl, a Christian who reportedly refused to denounce her faith. 
 
The schoolgirls, who were kidnapped on February 19, were released on March 21. Five of them were killed during captivity. 
 

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Church leaders praise Stephen Hawking

VATICAN CITY (CNS): British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and popular author, Stephen Hawking, who said he did not believe in God, died on March 14 at the age of 76. He was an esteemed member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and fostered a fruitful dialogue between science and faith.
                                        

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Notice Board

 
Indonesian beheaded in Saudi Arabia
Jakarta (UCAN): Muhammad Zaini Misrin, from Madura, East Java, Indonesia, was beheaded in Saudi Arabia despite several direct pleas from the president, Joko Widodo to show mercy.
 

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Argentina’s bishops release baptism records of war’s missing children

VATICAN (CNS): Argentina’s bishops announced they would release 127 baptism certificates archived in a chapel at a naval facility that was used as a place of torture during the country’s military dictatorship.
 
Some human rights groups believe these documents may be instrumental in finding out what happened to the children who were baptised in the chapel and subsequently kidnapped. 
 

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New head of European bishops’ commission sets out priorities

BRUSSELS (CNS): The new head the Brussels-based Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community bishops, Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, pledged to combat populism and promote European unity.
 
“The European Union (EU) is a gain for the common good and this is why the Church should be in constant dialogue with it,” said Bishop Hollerich, who was elected president of the commission on March 8.
 

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World Meeting of Families to focus on The Joy of Love

DUBLIN (CNS): The ninth World Meeting of Families will be held in dublin, Ireland from August 21 to 26, the organisers announced on February 28. A preliminary programme for the Pastoral Congress is scheduled frome August 22 to 24, the festival of families on August 25, followed by the final outdoor Mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on August 26.
 
The Vatican has not confirmed whether Pope Francis will attend.
 

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German bishops preparing Communion rules for mixed marriages

BERLIN (CNS): The German Bishops’ Conference continues to develop its recent decision to allow non-Catholic spouses in mixed denomination marriages to receive Communion in limited cases.
 
The document, primarily addressed to pastors, contains specific guidance about whether Communion is possible in particular cases for married couples of different Christian denominations. 
 

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