Doctors Reinstate Policy Opposing Euthanasia

NEW ZEALAND HERALD, June 30 — The British Medical Association voted to re-instate its policy of outright opposition to euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, just a year after adopting a neutral stance on the issue, according to the Herald.

The change was greeted as a major victory for the campaign against euthanasia and follows similar votes this year by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr. Peter Saunders, campaigns director of the Care Not Killing alliance that had galvanized support against a euthanasia law, said, “This debate showed that a clear majority of doctors are opposed to a change in the law.

“What we now have to do is to campaign to improve palliative care and educate the public to understand what such care can offer and that if a law came in, how vulnerable patients might feel under pressure to request an end to life.”

Nigeria Offers a Portrait of Steady Catholic Growth

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, June 28 — While the Church in Europe is losing ground, Africa — and Nigeria in particular — is proving to be a promising frontier, the Inquirer reported.

In 1950, 4% of Catholics worldwide were Africans. Today, the continent’s 140 million members comprise 12%. In Nigeria, which dominates West Africa economically and politically, the Church grows at 4.7% per year, one of the fastest rates in the world.

“It’s almost like a miracle of grace,” said Archbishop John Onaiyekan, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and head of the Archdiocese of Abuja, the capital. “Islam had been here for over 1,000 years. Christianity came here in the last 100 years. Now Islam and Christians are about equal” — 66 million and 53 million, as estimated by the CIA.

Catholic Priest Knifed in Turkey

BBC NEWS, July 2 — Father Pierre Brunissen, 74, was stabbed by a knife-wielding man in the Turkish Black Sea port of Samsun, BBC News reported.

The attack is the third assault on a Catholic priest in Turkey in recent months. Father Andrea Santoro, an Italian, was shot dead in his church in the northern town of Trabzon in February. Another priest, a Slovenian, was grabbed by the throat, thrown into a garden and received death threats during an attack in the port of Izmir.

Father Brunissen was stabbed in the hip and leg and rushed to hospital, but a Church official said his condition was not life-threatening. Police detained an unnamed 47-year-old man who they described as suffering from mental illness.

Father Brunissen spent 15 years as a Fidei Donum priest in Turkey. The priest had already suffered threats, insults and vandalism. He was due to return to France within a few weeks as he was about to complete his service. People from Samsun told AsiaNews, “It is not the first time Father Pierre was attacked, insulted by false accusations, and his church targeted by vandals.”

Rupert Murdoch Invests in Catholic TV

AUSTRIA PRESS AGENCY, June 28 — Media mogul Rupert Murdoch purchased a 25% stake in TV Puls, a broadcasting company owned by Franciscan Brothers, the news agency reported.

Murdoch’s corporation News Corp has 55$ billion in assets and makes $25 billion in annual sales.

“Both shareholders intend to retain the family and Christian character of the station,” said Zdzislaw Dido, CEO of TV Puls. “The management of Telewizja Puls is preparing the strategy and development plan.”

Media analyst Andrzej Zarebski commented, “Such a big global player raises the standards for broadcasters already present in Poland.”