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CORPUS CHRISTI WEEKEND             June 12-14, 1998
SECTION THREE              vol 9, no. 114

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service

HEADLINES:

WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS SCHOOL CHOICE LAW

      MADISON, Wisconsin (CWNews.com) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court decided in a landmark ruling on Wednesday that a state law letting parents use school vouchers to send their children to religious schools is constitutional.

      The court ruled 4-2 that the program does not violate the separate the judicially-imposed separation of church and state, because "it will not have the primary effect of advancing religion ..." Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson praised the decision as an historic one that "give parents the power to choose the best school for their children. It's a landmark victory for thousands of poor children ... giving them the freedom to pursue the strongest education possible."

      Proponents of school choice predicted that decision would have effects on programs around the country. The Herndon, Virginia-based Landmark Legal Foundation said: "The court has recognized two fundamental truths. First, that everyone, regardless of economic status, should have access to a quality education, and second, that traditional public schools, with their self-interested administrators and all-powerful teachers' unions, are not the only places where children can receive a first-rate education."

      The current program in effect in Milwaukee is being expanded to allow 15,000 poor children in the city to attend the private school of their choice, religious or secular, using education tax dollars.


IRAQ CALLS ON WESTERN CHURCHES TO PRESS FOR END TO SANCTIONS WHILE NORTH AFRICAN BISHOPS LAMENT EMBARGO ON LIBYA

      BAGHDAD (CWNews.com) - Iraq's deputy prime minister on Wednesday called on Western religious leaders to pressure their governments to lift the eight-year-old sanctions against the country, imposed by the UN after Iraq invaded its neighbor Kuwait.

      Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz addressed the closing session of a conference in Baghdad of Christian leaders from 30 countries, included Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. "It is time the church played a more active role, particularly in the West," said Aziz, himself a Christian. He claimed that 1.5 million people had died as a result of the embargo which prevents Iraq from freely selling its oil worldwide or importing many items. "It is very important for the church to know the facts. There is a big responsibility on it for the people suffering injustice and violence," he said.

      Aziz, who earlier this year traveled to meet Pope John Paul II, said he told the Holy Father that "those carrying out the injustices against Iraq are Christian countries, or countries pretending to be Christian." He said Christians in these "aggressive countries" have a duty to demand that their leaders adhere to Christian principles.

      At the same time, the bishops' conferences of northern Africa, at a regional assembly in Tunis, have called for "a just solution to the problems caused" by the international blockades, especially on Libya.

      In the final communiqué of their meeting, the bishops said that recent international embargos have caused severe suffering; they specifically mentioned the plight of the poor in Libya.

      The bishops also hailed the recent decline in episodes of violence in Algeria, and voiced their hope for a "gradual return to a less worrisome security situation."


KANSAS PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN CHALLENGED IN COURT WHILE IN D.C. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES PRO-LIFE PROTESTERS

      TOPEKA, Kansas (CWNews.com) - A Wichita abortionist filed a legal challenge in the Kansas state Supreme Court on Wednesday against a new law banning partial-birth abortions, just days after it was signed by Gov. Bill Graves and before it goes into effect on July 1.

      George Tiller of the Women's Health Care Services asked for an injunction against the new law until the justices have determined its constitutionality. The lawsuit contends that the new law is vague, has unconstitutional reporting requirements, "and places unconstitutional limits on a woman's right to an abortion." The law prohibits abortions of viable unborn children after 22 weeks' of pregnancy and requires detailed reporting of abortions to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

      Dave Gittrich, a spokesman for Kansans for Life, said the organization would file briefs in support of the law. "This bill hurts his business, and now he's challenging it," Gittrich said of Tiller. "It goes to show that he has been aborting babies that can live outside the womb, and that comprises a considerable amount of his business."

      Tiller, in urging the court to hear the case, said it should take the action now because if the case is filed in a lower court, appeals eventually will bring it before the justices anyway. The court is expected to decide before the end of the month whether to hear the case, dismiss it, or send it to a district court.

      While challenges were being made in the midwest, in the east the US Justice Department on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against 17 pro-life protesters who demonstrated in front of a Washington abortion clinic in January.

      The Rev. Flip Benham, director of Operation Rescue, and the other defendants blocked the entrance to an abortion clinic on January 24, the anniversary of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. The government is asking for an injunction against the pro-life advocates, preventing them from further picketing, under the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

      The suit says Benham and two others led a group of protesters to the clinic and told the group to block the building's three doors. "By sitting and standing in front of the entrances, the defendants effectively rendered them, impassable," Justice Department lawyers said.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

PRAYERS & DEVOTION

     June is the month of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. For the Consecration to the Two Hearts click on Consecration

CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

CONSECRATION PRAYER

CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULTE HEART OF MARY

CONSECRATION PRAYER

     We conclude the Novena to the Body and Blood of Christ for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Click on PRAYERS & DEVOTION

Novena honoring the Body and Blood of Christ

(In preparation for the Feast of Corpus Christi]



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June 12-14, 1998 volume 9, no. 114   DAILY CATHOLIC