Church Leaders Urge Doctors Not to Perform Abortions

Church Leaders in Mexico called on doctors in Mexico City not to perform abortions and deplored the city’s decision to legalize the procedure in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, reported the Associated Press.

Mexico City officials have said doctors at city-run hospitals cannot refuse to perform abortions based on personal moral objection, but in a letter read at Sunday Mass, Cardinal Norberto Rivera said they could.

“We call on all of those of good conscience not to be responsible for the abominable act,” the letter stated. “We remind the doctors, nurses, health care workers and all those affected by this unjust law, that they can invoke their human right to conscientious objection.”

UK Launches Comic Strip to Attract Vocations

The Church’s Vocations Office for England and Wales is introducing a comic strip to get teenagers to think about a religious vocation, the London Telegraph reported.

In the comic, which employs the popular style known as Manga, officials hope its depiction of nuns and monks playing pool and surfing the Internet, will improve the image of the vocation, which leaders believe is seen as “monotonous and boring.”

“We realize that this kind of commitment is counter-cultural,” said Father Paul Embery. “It requires great sacrifice, and a lot of people see it as monotonous and boring, but actually it is an extremely fulfilling job. After Pope John Paul II died, we saw an increase of interest not only in the priesthood but in Catholic life in general. The challenge for the Church is to recognize this and build on it.”

‘Baby Hatch’ Installed in Japan

A Catholic hospital in southern Japan has installed a “baby hatch,” where parents can drop off unwanted infants anonymously, Agence France-Presse reported.

“I hope parents have the courage to consult us about their babies,” the director of the hospital, Taiji Hasuda, told reporters, describing the hatch as a “last resort.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has campaigned for Japan to return to “family values,” said in February he felt “very strong resistance” to the idea, arguing it would discourage parental responsibility. But advocates say the baby hatch, if it becomes a trend, could help boost the birth rate in Japan, a culture where abortion is widely accepted and adoption outside of extended families is rare.