News In Brief

Reject Immigration Bill, Cardinal Urges Senate

PHILADELPHIA — Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has asked the  U.S. Senate to reject a House-passed immigration bill that stresses law enforcement to prevent illegal immigration.

“A more comprehensive and humane approach to immigration reform” is needed, he said in a Jan. 9 statement. The Senate should support legislation “that reforms all aspects of our nation’s immigration system, not simply law enforcement,” he said.

The statement was issued to coincide with National Migration Week, celebrated Jan. 8-14 this year by the Catholic Church in the United States. The cardinal urged the Senate to consider legislation that would allow the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. to legalize their status. This would be an “earned legalization” program that would require immigrants “to work for up to six years before applying for legal permanent residence,” he said. “Earned legalization is not amnesty.”


One Man-One Woman Amendment Challenged

BOSTON — In an effort to block a ballot initiative that would amend the Massachusetts Constitution to restore the traditional definition of marriage, a pro-homosexual “marriage” group filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts attorney general Jan. 3.

The proposed Massachusetts Protection of Marriage Amendment would limit future marriages to the union of one man and one woman but would leave existing same-sex “marriages” intact. From September to November a coalition of supporters of traditional marriage, including the state’s four Catholic dioceses, gathered nearly 170,000 petition signatures — well above the 65,825 required to move the measure forward. William Galvin, Massachusetts secretary of state, certified that the proposed amendment had fulfilled the signature requirement in late December.

In filing the suit, the organization Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, known as GLAD, contends Attorney General Thomas Reilly never should have approved the petition question.


Bishop Says Stem-Cell Hoax Highlights Ethics

WASHINGTON — A South Korean doctor’s fake claim that he produced embryonic stem-cell lines from human cloning shows that “good ethics” is the backbone of good science and medicine, said a U.S. bishops’ pro-life official. It also proves that human cloning is far from being a viable source of embryonic stem cells that could be used in treating diseases, said Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Lawmakers can best respond to this scandal by enacting a complete ban on human cloning ... and by increasing government support for stem-cell research that is both medically promising and morally sound,” he said in a Jan. 10 statement.

Doerflinger criticized the scientific hoax after Seoul National University in South Korea issued two reports in December saying that claims by university researcher Hwang Woo-suk that he had created 11 stem-cell lines from cloned human embryos were false.