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Swiss Voters Back Same-Sex Marriage

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San Marino Votes to Legalize Abortion

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US-Born Lithuanian Archbishop Elected President of European Bishops’ Council

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'Expert in suffering': Pontiff pays tribute to heritage of Armenian Catholics (Vatican Press Office)

Pope Francis has written a letter granting eccesial communion to the new Armenian Catholic Patriarch, Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian, 74.

Referring to the deadlock that led to papal intervention as provided by Church law, Pope Francis wrote that “the bishops gathered first in Lebanon, at the beginning of the summer, and in these days in Rome, at the Pontifical Armenian College.” The Pontiff then paid tribute to the heritage of the Armenian Catholic Church (CNEWA profile), “fully integrated in the affairs of the Armenian people, preserving their memory and traditions, and at the same time deeply linked to the Successor of the Apostle Peter.”

US House, in 218-211 vote, approves sweeping abortion bill (Reuters)

The House of Representatives has approved the Women’s Health Protection Act, H.R. 3755, in a 218-211 party-line vote. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City (KS), chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, lamented the passage for the legislation, which proceeds to the Senate (S.1975).

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops described the legislation as “the most radical abortion bill of all time” and has urged the faithful to take action against the measure.

Among the Catholic members of the House of Representatives, every Republican voted against the bill, while with one exception, every Democrat supported it. One Catholic Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voted with the pro-life opposition.

Vatican 'foreign minister' calls for clean energy for all (Vatican Press Office)

Addressing a high-level UN meeting on energy, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher called for access to electricity for the 759 million people who lack it.

“Instilling respect for local cultures and ensuring that they are able to manage and maintain their own energy resources, in line with the principle of subsidiarity, are vital and will prevent exploitative dependencies on large energy networks and bureaucracies,” said the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States. “As we collectively strive to ensure energy access for all, we must take into account the resulting impact on the environment. . . . The transition to accessible and clean energy is a duty that we owe to millions of our brothers and sisters around the world.”

Canadian bishops issue 'unequivocal' apology for abuse at residential schools (CCCB)

“We acknowledge the grave abuses that were committed by some members of our Catholic community; physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and sexual,” Canada’s bishops said in their September 24 apology to Canada’s indigenous peoples.

“We also sorrowfully acknowledge the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples that continue to this day,” the bishops continued. “Along with those Catholic entities which were directly involved in the operation of the schools and which have already offered their own heartfelt apologies, we, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, express our profound remorse and apologize unequivocally.”

Papal encouragement to Focolare bishops in their work of fostering unity (Vatican Press Office)

On September 25, Pope Francis addressed bishops associated with the Focolare Movement, which was founded during World War II by the Servant of God Chiara Lubich (1920-2008).