Portugal Enshrines Abortion Law
Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva ratified the law that allows abortion in the predominantly Catholic country, reported the Associated Press.
The law, which failed a public referendum but was pushed through the Parliament by socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates, allows unrestricted abortion through the 10th week of pregnancy.
Though he gave his formal consent to the new law, Cavaco, a Catholic, described abortion as “a social evil to be avoided.”
Cardinal Pell: Religious Revival in Australia
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney said there is an openness to the Gospel that didn’t exist in his country 25 years ago, the daily newspaper The Australian reported.
Speaking to a packed Easter Mass gathering at the Cathedral of St. Mary, the cardinal said there was a revival of religious interest among many young people who “are drawing the unsurprising conclusion that money, materialism and self-seeking don’t bring meaning or peace of mind.”
“What is surprising about teenagers today is not the percentage who are hostile to institutions,” he said, “but the larger percentage who will listen to the Christian message spoken from any agency with conviction and sympathy.”
Missionary Sisters Aid Trafficking Victims
Women religious from various orders will run a crisis center in Benin City, Nigeria, to aid women who are escaping human traffickers or forced prostitution, AllAfrica reported.
The center, which is scheduled to open in mid-2007, will be supported financially by Caritas-Italy and the Committee for Charitable Interventions for the Third World of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
Consolata Sister Eugenia Bonetti (above) said that the center “will have 18 beds, and aims to provide shelter for youths returning to the country for various reasons, such as voluntary return or mass expulsion, mental illness or other types of illnesses, and who are needing protection or are rejected by their families.”