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A deeper look at the consistent ethic of life
By Dawn M. Nothwehr
In late October 2013, the Catholic media was abuzz with the seeming “resurrection” of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s purportedly “dead” consistent ethic of life, also known as the seamless garment approach to Catholic ethics. While I readily join in the excitement, I also believe we must look deeper, beyond the surface attributions many commentators provide for why not all Catholics share this enthusiasm. Sadly, this media flurry has also been the occasion for a rise in heated comparative discussions and surfacing the ugly head of Catholic polemics. This is not at all surprising, but it actually confirms the need that Bernardin (1928-96) addressed in his consistent ethic of life, and more explicitly in the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. ... NEWSPAPER ONLY
Project Rachel marks 30 years of healing
By Megan Fincher
Project Rachel, the church’s postabortion ministry, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, as well as its first full-time staff position in the U.S. Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.
At their general assembly in November, the U.S. bishops approved the use of grant money from the Knights of Columbus to fund a full-time staff position specifically for post-abortion ministries. Almost all U.S. dioceses offer such ministries, commonly called Project Rachel, with a shared mission — “Women can find forgiveness and peace of heart through compassionate counseling and the Sacrament of Reconciliation,” according to the church’s website, hopeafterabortion.org. ... NEWSPAPER ONLY
Gun violence myths debunked;quest for profits exposed
Reviewed by Dennis McDaniel
Though many have seen the problem of gun violence and mass killing in the United States as a matter of moral depravity, few have argued as persuasively as Tom Diaz that the root of the problem lies in the deadly sin of greed. Through a painstakingly researched and carefully documented body of facts and anecdotes, The Last Gun challenges the myths of liberty and security purveyed by the gun industry and the gun lobby that serves it, and exposes the quest for profit that drives these myths. ... NEWSPAPER ONLY
States face dwindling sources for lethal injection drugs
By Brian Roewe
When the state of Missouri on Nov. 20 executed Joseph Paul Franklin — a 63-year-old who targeted Jews and African-Americans in a late-1970s interstate killing spree — it used a single drug. A compounded version of pentobarbital ended Franklin’s life in 10 minutes, with media witnesses reporting no apparent signs of pain.
In the past, Missouri, as did most death penalty states, used a threedrug process as standard protocol for its death row executions. But recent years have seen the mechanics of killing change, much of it attributed to the lack of access to the drugs needed to make the traditional pharmaceutical cocktail ... NEWSPAPER ONLY
New survey studies end-of-life attitudes
By Religion News Service
WASHINGTON: Death may be inevitable, but one in three Americans — including most blacks and Hispanics — want doctors to never quit fighting it, a recent survey finds.
In 1990, 15 percent of U.S. adults said doctors should do everything possible for a patient, even in the face of incurable illness and pain. Today, 31 percent hold that view, according to a report released Nov. 21 by the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. Sixtysix percent of U.S. adults still say there are circumstances when a patient should be allowed to die. ... NEWSPAPER ONLY