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Thousands of overdoses, disorders and deaths have accompanied this increase, which public health and law enforcement officials have called an epidemic.
Approximately 50 percent of Catholics 30 and younger no longer identify with their religion. U.S. bishops discussed the need to reverse that trend and why the 2018 Synod of Bishops on youth and vocations is crucial.
Prominent U.S. ethicists are among a number of international experts chosen by Pope Francis for his bioethics advisory board.
Pope Francis appointed new members to the advisory body and included scientists, professors and experts in medicine and ethics from both religious and secular backgrounds.