National Catholic Register


News In Brief

BY John Lilly

August 6-12, 2006 Issue | Posted 8/7/06 at 10:00 AM


Washington State Upholds Traditional Marriage

SEATTLE — The Washington Supreme Court July 26 upheld the state’s law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, overturning two lower-court rulings that had called the law an unconstitutional discrimination against same-sex couples.

Archbishop Alex Brunett of Seattle praised the court’s 5-4 ruling. “The essential reality of marriage as a creative union for the protection and education of children is a long-held understanding not only by the Church but by virtually all civilized societies throughout history,” he said.

The ruling left Massachusetts continuing to hold its unique position as the only state where same-sex “marriages” are legal. Vermont and Connecticut are the only states that recognize same-sex civil unions, according the partners in such unions the same rights held by spouses in marriage.


Cardinal George Undergoes Cancer Surgery

CHICAGO — After five hours of surgery to remove his cancerous bladder July 27, Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George was brought back into the operating room late that night to repair a small blood vessel in his pelvis that was bleeding.

A notice from his medical team July 28 said, “Although the episode of postoperative bleeding represents a is not an unusual occurrence and is not expected to have a significant impact on Cardinal George’s recovery.” The notice was posted on the website of Loyola University Medical Center, where the surgery took place.

The second surgery, which began shortly before midnight, lasted two hours, the notice said. It said Dr. Robert Flanigan, who conducted the first surgery, also did the second with the assistance of Dr. Fred Luchette, chief of Loyola’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit. It said the decision to return to the operating room was prompted by signs of unstable blood pressure and a drop in blood count even though the cardinal had received blood transfusions.

After the bleeding was stopped, “the cardinal stabilized,” it said. “He tolerated the operation well and is resting comfortably this morning.”

Cardinal George, who is also vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is 69 years old. In the first surgery doctors said they removed the cardinal’s entire bladder, his prostate gland and a portion of the right ureter, a tube from the right kidney to the bladder, to which the cancer had begun to spread.


Senate Passes Interstate Abortion Ban

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved a bill July 25 that would make it a federal crime to transport a minor girl across state lines for an abortion to circumvent the law in her home state requiring parental notification or consent. A week earlier Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged senators to approve the bill, called the Child Custody Protection Act. “Many states have wisely chosen to protect parents’ rights in this area, and the intent of their protective laws should not be thwarted,” the cardinal said.

The legislation, adopted by a 65-34 vote, would prohibit someone who is not the parent or guardian from taking a minor girl to another state for an abortion if her home state has a law that says a parent or guardian must be notified or give consent before a minor can obtain an abortion. Most states have such laws, although some have been blocked in court.

Although 14 Democrats joined the Republican majority in approving the Senate version, immediately after passage the Democratic caucus blocked the appointment of the necessary conference committee to reach a compromise on differences between the House and Senate bills. The National Right to Life Committee objected to the move, saying, “The Senate Democratic leadership is now obstructing legislation supported by 80% of the public, doing the bidding of the abortion lobby. They are ignoring the 80% of the public that believes parental notification laws protect vulnerable minors and the rights of parents.”