We begin today in Ireland where Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, has announced details of a referendum on whether or not to lift a constitutional ban on abortion in that country. Currently under the countries 1983 eighth amendment, abortion is only legal in rare cases when a woman's life is in danger. Now in this upcoming referendum voters will be asked whether they want to keep this amendment or repeal it. If its repealed the responsibility for legislating new rules around abortion will be handed to parliament.
Now in a pastoral letter, Bishop Kevin Doran chair, of the Catholic Bishops’ Consultative Group on Bioethics warned that if the eighth amendment was removed from Ireland’s constitution “the government would be left entirely free to introduce whatever abortion regime it chooses, now or at any time in the future”. In the letter Bishop Doran invited people,who are uncertain about how to vote or what to do, to pray daily for the gift of Wisdom and to allow God’s Spirit to be their guide.
If the eighth amendment is repealed abortion could be grant up to twelve weeks, with no restriction. The Irish people will vote on the issue in late May and we’ll keep you up to date as this story progresses.
This March, the Pope will be celebrating 5 years, as head of the Catholic Church. And to mark this anniversary two leading Catholics, a journalist and a theologian will publicly debate over the legacy of Pope Francis’s controversial pontificate in an event, that you won’t want to miss.
Tomorrow night at Fordham University, New York Times Columnist Ross Douthat will debate, the core issues surrounding the current papacy with Dr. Massimo Faggioli, a professor of Theology at Villanova University. Both have unique viewpoints on the Pope’s leadership, and will debate the global impact of Pope Francis’s papacy.
Now the event is completely sold out but a team from Salt and Light TV will be on the ground broadcasting it live on our website tomorrow January 31st at 6pm eastern. So be sure to check out our website for details.
Now, you may remember, a movie called, Of Gods and Men. It made headlines around the world in 2010, when it won many top awards at the Cannes Film Festival that year. The film is a true story about seven Trappist monks that were kidnapped from their monastery in Algeria, then beheaded by a group of Islamic terrorists in 1996.
Well in a meeting last friday, with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Pope had signed the decree, officially recognizing their martyrdom, along with eleven others, paving their way for their beatification.
Trappist Father Thomas Georgeon, postulator of the cause, recently told Italian media that a date for the beatification ceremony hasn’t been set but he hopes that the Mass will be celebrated in Oran.
It’s a great film and I highly recommend it if you missed it.
Speaking of films, coming this Easter to a theatre near you is a new star-studded film that you won’t want to miss. It’s called, Paul - Apostle of Christ. Now, I’m not going to spoil the storyline for you but I’ll let the lead actors James Faulkner and Jim Caviezel give you a preview on what you can expect from this upcoming biblical film.
For information on the film, and more behind-the-scene interviews, you can visit the films official site listed here.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspectives of a Catholic Lens. Thanks for joining us.
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