Switzerland approves controversial pre-natal test for Down’s Syndrome

Bern, Switzerland, Jul 31, 2012 / 04:05 pm (CNA).- The government of Switzerland has sparked controversy by legalizing a new prenatal test that detects the presence of Down’s Syndrome – a move that could lead to an increase of abortions in the country. Called “Prenatest,” the procedure will be made available in the country starting in August, according to Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag. It uses blood samples from the mother to detect the presence of Trisomy 21 or … [Read more...]

LA to host massive Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration

Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 31, 2012 / 03:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Over 100,000 Catholics will gather at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Aug. 5 to celebrate and honor Our Lady of Guadalupe in a city where the image of the Virgin is everywhere. Andrew Walther, vice president of media and communications for the Knights of Columbus, said the free event is “a celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her role as the mother of all Catholics in America.” The Knights of Columbus are … [Read more...]

Pope praying youth will answer call to evangelize

Vatican City, Jul 31, 2012 / 02:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With exactly one year to go until the 28th World Youth Day begins in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Benedict XVI is praying this August that young people will engage in evangelization.“That young people, called to follow Christ, may be willing to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to the ends of the earth,” the official Vatican statement from July 31 says.Pope Benedict’s mission prayer intention echoes almost exactly the … [Read more...]

Pennsylvania diocese thrilled with new bishop appointment

Erie, Pa., Jul 31, 2012 / 11:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics in Erie, Pa., are deeply grateful for Pope Benedict's July 31 appointment of Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico as the diocese's tenth bishop. “The Lord has answered our prayer and the Diocese of Erie has a new shepherd,” Bishop Donald W. Trautman said during a press conference Tuesday. Bishop-designate Persico will succeed Bishop Trautman who, following Church procedure, submitted his resignation following his 75th … [Read more...]

Expert finds Clinton’s religious freedom report not backed by action

Washington D.C., Jul 31, 2012 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- While a new report from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton uses strong rhetoric to back religious liberty, a former diplomat says more action needs to be taken to turn those words into reality. Dr. Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, told CNA that although the report offers a "comprehensive catalogue of violations of religious … [Read more...]

Chick-fil-A flap shows drive to suppress religion, Douthat says

New York City, N.Y., Jul 31, 2012 / 02:03 am (CNA).- New York Times columnist Ross Douthat said in a recent column that the reactions against the Chick-fil-A president’s stance on “gay marriage” reveal that many people only maintain a “facade” of respect for religious freedom.Douthat suggested in his July 29 column that many people now believe religious beliefs cannot be exercised or expressed “in ways that might make anyone uncomfortable with his or … [Read more...]

Pro-life walk across America continues after death

Columbia, Md., Jul 31, 2012 / 12:20 am (CNA).- An uncle of a young pro-life advocate killed by a car during his pro-life walk across America is flying to the U.S. to take his nephew’s place and complete the remainder of the journey.U.K. resident Paul Brilliant will attend his nephew Andrew Kentigern Moore’s July 31 funeral in Concord, Calif. and then meet the pro-life group Crossroads in Steubenville, Ohio to help complete their walk from San Francisco to Washington, … [Read more...]