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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

House bill to codify Roe is ‘unjust, extreme,’ say two bishops

WASHINGTON — The chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees said a measure passed by the House July 15 is “the most unjust and extreme abortion on demand bill our nation has ever seen.” They implored lawmakers “who see abortion as a legitimate ‘solution’ to the needs of women to abandon this path of death and despair,” urging them to join the U.S. bishops in prioritizing “the well-being of women, children and families” by providing material resources and “personal accompaniment” so “no woman ever feels forced to choose between her future and the life of her child.” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, made the comments in a joint statement July 18. In a mostly party-line vote of 219 to 210, House members approved an updated version of the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022, which would codify a right to abortion in federal law. An earlier version was passed in March by the House, but it failed to pass in the Senate. The bill, H.R. 8296, would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy and would eliminate pro-life laws at every level of government — including parental notification for minor girls, informed consent and health and safety protections specific to abortion facilities.

Bishop urges Catholic educators to see importance of Eucharist

WASHINGTON — Addressing Catholic educators at an annual national conference, Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, Washington, urged them to make sure their work was always rooted in the importance of the Eucharist. The bishop, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, said teachers should help their students more deeply appreciate the sacrament amid the current National Eucharistic Revival. Launched June 19, the feast of Corpus Christi, the revival is a three-year initiative of the USCCB to revitalize Catholics’ understanding of and love for Jesus in the Eucharist. At the National Eucharistic Congress that will close the revival in 2024, Bishop Daly said, “there will be a great emphasis on the work that Catholic schools can do and how they might help the next generation … to appreciate, to know and to love Jesus Christ” in the Eucharist.

WORLD

Webb telescope images feed the mind and spirit, Jesuit astronomer says

VATICAN CITY — The Jesuits at the Vatican Observatory were wowed like most people by the beauty of the photos from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, but the director said they also are excited by the scientific information the telescope will reveal. “Such images are a necessary food for the human spirit — we do not live by bread alone — especially in these times,” said Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, the observatory director, after NASA released a first batch of images from what the space agency describes as “the largest, most powerful space telescope ever built. The images are gorgeous, as anyone can see for themselves,” Brother Consolmagno said. “It’s a tantalizing glimpse of what we’ll be able to learn about the universe with this telescope in the future.” NASA described Webb’s mission as studying “every phase of 13.5 billion years of cosmic history — from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and everything in between. The science behind this telescope is our attempt to use our God-given intelligence to understand the logic of the universe,” Brother Consolmagno said.

— Catholic News Service


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