National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Manchester, England

British faith leaders warn Parliament not to legalize assisted suicide

The leaders of Britain's faith communities have united to warn Parliament against the "grave error" of legalizing assisted suicide.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury joined 21 other of the most senior Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Zoroastrian and Jain faith leaders to protest the Assisted Dying Bill.

Queen Elizabeth to visit Pope Francis at Vatican on April 3

The Queen of England will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, Buckingham Palace announced.

A Feb. 4 statement said Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will meet the pope on April 3.

The queen and prince will visit Rome at the invitation of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the statement said.

It said the royal couple would attend a private lunch hosted by the president at the presidential palace, then would have an audience with the pope at the Vatican.

English archbishop calls birth of prince 'source of joy' for world

The birth of the royal prince is a "source of joy" for people around the world, said the president of the English and Welsh bishops' conference.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster issued a statement of congratulations to Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, on the birth of their first son, who is third in line for the British throne.

Inquiry suggests British-run hospitals stop using end-of-life protocol

A British official indicated the government will abandon a controversial end-of-life protocol following an anti-euthanasia campaign spearheaded by concerned Catholic physicians.

An independent inquiry into the Liverpool Care Pathway has recommended that the protocol be abolished and replaced by "individualized care plans" after evidence of abuse and suffering was discovered.

"This is not civilized. It is a national disgrace," Norman Lamb, Britain's care services minister, said in comments Monday reported by the London-based Daily Mail newspaper.

British Catholic legislators ask pope to relax priestly celibacy rule

Twenty-one Catholic members of Parliament have written to Pope Francis to ask him to relax the rule on priestly celibacy for Latin-rite priests.

The members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords said in a letter Monday to the pope that the rule should be changed to allow married men to be ordained priests where pastoral needs required it.

They suggested it was unfair to allow married former Anglican ministers to be ordained as Catholic priests in England, Wales and Scotland while the church insisted on the celibacy rule for Catholic candidates in those countries.

Court says Britain failed to protect stewardess' right to wear cross

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the British government violated the rights of an airline flight attendant by failing to protect her right to conscience and religion.

It found that Nadia Eweida, 60, a Coptic Christian, suffered discrimination when she was told by British Airways, her employer, to stop wearing a cross on her uniform.

Her case was one of four claims of religious discrimination against English Christians heard by the court, but the only one to succeed.

English, Welsh bishops voice opposition to bill to redefine marriage

Catholic bishops in England and Wales said they strongly oppose a bill to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark -- the president and vice president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales -- criticized moves to legalize gay marriage as "shambolic" and urged lawmakers to vote against a forthcoming bill.

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September 12-25, 2014

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