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January 21, 2000     The Catholic Mirror
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January 21, 2000

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i ! The Catholic Mirror, Jan. 21, 2000 1 3 hearing partial-b :ase opens door to irth WASHINGTON ~('NS) - The upreme Court'~ Jan. 14th decision to ',view Nebraska's la\~ pndfilfi!ilag par- al-birth abortions is ilnp~wtaut m) mailer ow the ruling goes, according to spokes- 'omen for the U.S. bishol)s. Gall Quinn, dircclor of Ihc .",;ccrctariat )r Pro-Life Activities of thc Nalioual 'onference of Catholic l~ishops, said Jan. that the court could either uphold or reject Nebraska's taw in a way fl at fleets abortion law nalionwide, or it ould address only procedural issues, rather than the substance ~>I partial-birth bortion .__ which is "ex ntero" killing or ffantieide." Also unknown is whether the courl /ill incorporate pending appeals of lower ~)urt rulings affecting states other than et raska. Whatever the result over the next few ~onths, nationwide attention will focus ~. a type of abortion that 27 states have prohibit, Quinn said. I '$0 even if we lose, it's an opportuni- I ake this before the public " she said. ! Helen Alvare director of policy and anning for the secretariat, said the leoming public debate sure to accompa- me court s review will be a chance 'to leCUS, on partial-birth abortion and how abortion industry twists facts." Alvare she had not expected the Preme Court to take on partial-birth rtion this term The court is cxpected ear oral'arguments in April and issue before it adjourns in late June or ruling Y:i i early .hdv. Quilm nolcd thai if the court decides I() illt;orptllalc appeals, from ()lhcr ~latcs, Ihal might force a delay into the 2000-2001 lClni. The courl's last scheduled day for oi'~ll argulnOlllS this lcrln is April 26. []tit the currelil timing will ulcan increa.~od public discussion of the isstic will coiucidc wilh Ihis year's presidential cainpaigns. Alvarc said the candidates" and inaiu political party positions on the isstiC :.ire likely to be prediclablc, but with a nationwide discussion of the partial- birth abortion procedure. "the pro-life argument should win hands down." The procedure, in medical terms called dilation arid extraction, involves parlially renloving a live fetus through the birth canal, cutting into the skull and suctioning out the brains to enable easier removal of the body. Oppollents of the procedure, ranging from the U.S. bishops to the legislatures of dozens of states, liken it to infanticide, because in legal terms, a matter of" inches separates a live birth from an abortion. Those who want the procedure kept legal say among abortion procedures, it is safer lor the mother late in pregnancy, particu- larly when a fctal abnormality is discov- ered or when there is risk to the mother's life in carrying the pregnancy to term. When .the 8th Circuit struck down Nebraska's law, it said the wording might also outl'dw a more common type of abor- tion, called dilation and evacuation. When most people gamble, if they lose a few bucks, they chalk it up to entertainment. An evening of fun. But to some, gambling goes beyond fun.They gamble And they lose. So they borrow to recoup their losses and to keep on gambling. They borrow from friends, family, co-workers, even strangers. Eventually those sources dry up.And so do the relationships. Isolating gamblers If your gambling has left you feeling frustrated, helpless and alone, call 1-800-BETS OFF. You won't get a lecture.Just help. Outside Iowa Iowa Gambling Treatment Program i iii 1-800-522-4700 www. Pope John Paul II pushes open the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 24 marking the beginning of the jubilee year. A German bishop's suggestion that the pope could resign sparked discussion at the Vatican. CNS photo from Reuters Suggestion that pope could resign sparks once-taboo discussion unintentional response to the debate By John Thavis when, speaking about the elusive goal Catholic News Service of world peace, he told diplomats Jan. ............... 10: "God never asks us anything VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A above our capabilities, in the sense German bishop's suggestion that that he gives us the strength to com- Pope John Paul II could one day plete what he expects of us." resign has stimulated open discussion But even at the Vatican, some on a once-taboo subject at the acknowledged that Bishop Lehmann, Vatican. president of the German bishops' The remarks by Bishop Karl conference, had voiced what many Lehmann Jan. 9 1 misreported by the people have priva.tely wondered as Italian press as a request for the pope they watched the pope struggle to step down--provoked immediate through the first big Holy Year controversy and a rush to defend the events, frequently looking frail. pope by Roman Curia officials. Several experts pointed out that A flurry of denials and clarifica- church law allows a pope to resign, tions followed, with everyone -- and there has been at least one pope including Bishop Lehmann -- agree- who did. ing that the 79-year-old pontiff was Canon 332 of church law stipu- fully capable of continuing in office, lates that a papal resignation be made "Even though the pope appears freely and "duly manifested," which very tired, the Holy Father is in the is generally understood to mean in fullness of his mental faculties. I writing or in the presence of witness- don't think the hypothesis of resign- es. Most experts believe a papal resig- ing has been considered, not even nation would have to be communicat- recently," said Dominican Father ed to the College of Cardinals, which Georges Cottier, theologian of the elects popes. But church law makes papal household, clear that no one need accept a pope's The pope appeared to offer an resignation in order for it to be valid. 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