News, on 25 July 2016, from Africa, the United States and France on the following topics: the SECAM's Plenary Assembly, the Bishops of California against the death penalty, what to say to children after the attacks, to surrogacy at the center of a conflict between France and the European Court of human rights.
• AFRICA / SECAM
The Bishops of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) met for their Plenary Assembly from 18 to 25 July 2016 in Luanda, Angola, on the theme "The African Family, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in the light of the Gospel", as indicated in the final text, which was already published on 24 July and is available in English
on the SECAM's website. The Bishops discussed mainly the themes of the beauty of marriage and the family as the "sanctuary of life," and listed the major pastoral challenges.
• USA / DEATH PENALTY
California's Bishops recently announced
their support for "Proposal 62", an initiative of electors for a vote next November to repeal the death penalty in this US State. This has been commented on by the Swiss Catholic portal cath.ch
, which incorporates news from the "Catholic Herald
." With a death row of 747 people, California has the highest population of death row inmates in the United States. However, since 2006, there have been no executions in this State, because of the legal battles concerning the use of lethal injectionand the interval of several decades between sentences and executions, as cath.ch recalls.
• FRANCE / ATTACKS
After the tragic attack in Nice on 14 July, day of the French national holiday, and the series of violent acts that affect the world, finding the right words to talk about these events with children is a major challenge. The French Christian weekly "La Vie
" consulted a Catholic psychoanalyst on this issue. To the question "What can you respond to children who ask why God allowed this?", among other things, we must affirm the certainty that God does not want this violence, that this is neither a punishment nor a warning. "God can change hearts, but man can choose to become hard," the magazine "La Vie" also recalls.
• FRANCE / SURROGATE MOTHERHOOD
On 21 July, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned France for refusing to include in the registeries the transcriptions of birth certificates of children born abroad through surrogacy. This decision concerned the cases of two men who have had recourse to surrogate mothers in India several years ago. In a statement
released the same day, the French pro-life association Alliance Vita condemned an "abuse of law against man."