We begin today in Ireland, where the Irish Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the unborn have no constitutional rights beyond what is contained in their 8th Amendment.
Currently, the Irish 8th Amendment commits authorities to defend equally the right to life of a mother and an unborn child, making abortion in Ireland only legal in rare cases where a woman's life is in danger. But that might soon change with a referendum in May, that will determine the fate of that amendment. If the eighth amendment is repealed, abortion could be granted up to twelve weeks with no restriction.
Giving his reaction to the Supreme Court ruling, the Bishop of Kilmore in Ireland, Leo O’Reilly, described the judgment was “disappointing", especially after a pastoral letter was issued last weekend to the faithful of his diocese entitled, “Every human life is sacred.”
To Rome now, where the Tablet is reporting that the Pope has donated 100,000 euros towards the first Orthodox monastery that is being built in Austria.
At a ceremony in the Greek-Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral in Vienna, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, presented the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I with the Pope’s donation.
Cardinal Koch said that the Pope had supported the monastery project from its very beginnings. “May the Pope’s building block and donation incite many others to participate in the construction of this first Orthodox monastery in Austria through their prayers or material help”.
There are approximately 450,000 Orthodox Christians in Austria. Since 2010, they have worked together in Austria’s Orthodox bishops’ conference on this project.
Now here’s an interesting story involving Computer hackers descending on the Vatican to help tackle problems that are near-and-dear to the Pope’s heart.
The first-ever Vatican-Hackathon is a computer programming marathon that starts today at the Vatican, with the full support of the Pope, Vatican offices, and student volunteers from Harvard and MIT. Organisers have assured everyone that no firewalls will be breached or other acts of computer piracy committed. But the event brings together a team of 120 students, for a 36-hour round-the-clock hackathon to provide technological solutions to specific problems in three general areas: Solidarity in a Digital World; Communication in Interfaith Dialogue; and, Mobilisation of Resources for migrants.
It is becoming popular for organizations to sponsor hackathons events to find code-enabled solutions for everything from the opioid crisis to gerrymandering. And I’ll keep you up to date as the story unfolds.
And finally, I leave you with this story. The exorcist for the Diocese of Chur, Switzerland, talks to CNS about why Lent is a good time to remind ourselves of the dangers of demonic activity.
That is all that for today. Join us again tomorrow when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.