Insights: Physician-Assisted Suicide Seeks Expansion; New Bishops

Physician-Assisted Suicide Supporters Push for Expansion

As they usually do soon after getting laws passed, supporters of physician-assisted suicide are looking for ways to make it easier for more people to end their life with the aid of a doctor.

The California Legislature’s Select Committee on End of Life Health Care held an informational hearing on the “Implementation of the End of Life Option Act Policy” last week.  According to the law, the committee is to gather information on how the Act is working or not but has consistently looked at ways the law can be expanded instead.

Assembly Member Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), coauthor of the California End of Life Option Act (EOLOA), chairs the committee but only a few of the ten other members attended this year. Among the many suggestions from panelists, several themes emerged: 

1)    Interest in reducing the 15-day waiting period required in the law.  Oregon reduced the waiting period to 48 hours for those persons who are expected to live less than 15 days. 

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San Bernardino Kicks Off Extended Welcome for New Bishop

In his nearly nine years as auxiliary bishop in Chicago, people warned Bishop Alberto Rojas that something like this might happen. 

“Somebody told me before, ‘You’re not very old, and you’re probably going to get a diocese of your own, so that I knew, but I wasn’t sure when or where,” he recalled in a recent interview.

In December 2019, Bishop Rojas found out “where.” Pope Francis tapped him to succeed Bishop Gerald Barnes as shepherd of San Bernardino, the nation’s sixth-largest diocese.

As the new “coadjutor” bishop, Bishop Rojas will work alongside Bishop Barnes until Pope Francis accepts Barnes’ retirement sometime next year. After that, Bishop Rojas will take the reins himself. Bishop Barnes has led the Inland Empire diocese since 1996. 

On Feb. 24, more than 2,500 people packed inside St. Paul the Apostle Church in Chino Hills to welcome Bishop Rojas to his new home. Two cardinals and more than two dozen bishops were there for his welcome Mass, including Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the pope’s apostolic nuncio to the United States. 

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Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego

Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Ramon Bejarano as Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego.

Father Bejarano is a priest of the Diocese of Stockton and currently serves as Pastor of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton, CA. The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Bejarano was born July 17, 1969, in Laredo, TX. His family is from Chihuahua, Mexico, and he lived there from 1972 until 1987 when he moved with his family to Tracy, CA in the Diocese of Stockton. In 1989, he entered formation for the Diocese of Stockton. Bishop-elect Bejarano attended and received his Master of Philosophy from Seminario Diocesano de Tijuana (1989-1992) and his Master of Divinity from Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon (1992-1998). He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Stockton on August 15, 1998.

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Pope Francis Announces Laudato si' Week to take place in May

Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to participate in “Laudato si’ Week” in May to encourage care for our common home.

“I renew my urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis. The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor cannot wait anywhere,” Pope Francis said in a video message published March 3.

The video shows young protesters yelling, “Climate justice, now” juxtaposed with images of wildlife in Africa and a beached whale.

Laudato si’ Week, sponsored by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development will take place May 16-24. The date marks the 5th anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical on integral human ecology.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement and Renova + are facilitating the campaign.

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USCCB Comments on U.S. Supreme Court’s Oral Argument on Abortion Case

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in an abortion case out of Louisiana, June Medical Services v. Russo. The case challenges a Louisiana law that requires abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. Kat Talalas with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:

“Women, their bodies, and their babies are immeasurably valuable. The violent act of abortion not only destroys the lives of unborn children, but often severely harms women’s physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Louisiana is right to prioritize women over abortion industry profits. All states, not only Louisiana, have a strong interest in regulating a procedure which is lethal to children and immensely damaging to women. It adds insult to injury, and speaks to the callousness of the abortion industry, that providers are seeking to overturn basic, standard protections for women seeking this life-altering procedure.

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May we allow ourselves to be reconciled, in order to live as beloved children, as forgiven and healed sinners, as wayfarers with him at our side. #Lent



March 6, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 8

En Español

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