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OTTAWA - As a Canadian federal agency authorized the use of  unfrozen human embryos for stem cell research, a highly placed Vatican official warned that Catholics involved in any aspect of the destruction of human embryos could face excommunication.

In an interview published in an Italian magazine June 28, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo said, "destroying human life is equivalent to abortion."

Bioethics centre lends voice against Bill C-407

The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Centre (CCBI) has added its voice to the growing chorus of those opposed to federal Bill C-407, which would make euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide legal in Canada.

Earth issues 101

September is upon us and with it the important responsibility of getting our young brood back to school to learn their ABCs. But what about our own responsibility for continued learning?

Eco-friendly Harry Potter

{mosimage}Slytherin-type publishers beware. Harry Potter's back and this time with an eco-friendly spell that has muggles by the millions buying only ancient forest-friendly versions of J.K. Rowling's latest book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Scholastic, the world's largest Potter publisher with its 11 million print-run of the Harry Potter book (a record in the publishing industry), has earned its Slytherin reputation (Slytherin having a sinister connotation in Harry Potter's world) and become the target of a coalition of environmental groups for not openly committing to printing with 100-per-cent ancient forest-friendly paper.

God still in the evolution process

An Austrian cardinal's attempt to clarify the church's position with regard to evolution presents no challenges or surprises, Catholic educators say.

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna published an opinion piece in the July 7 edition of the New York Times to balance the view that the church has acquiesced to evolutionary theory. Schonborn, who co-edited the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is also a member of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education.

Eco-Sabbath: in tune with magnificence of nature

It's the first Sunday of the month. Gathered in the chapel of the old monastery wing of St. Gabriel's parish in North York, a Noah's Ark of Christians and environmental soul-searchers, young and old, from all walks of life and places, welcome the awesome grandeur and wisdom of God's creation.

They are searching for inspiration. The intensity and frequency of ecological destruction that we carry out daily on Earth's ecosystems - its waters, air, soil, vegetation, animals and humans - cry out for reflection in community.

Power of attorney document available

In response to the death of 41-year-old Terri Schiavo, Canada's Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is reminding the public of its power of attorney document aimed at preserving life.

Canadian implications in Schiavo debate

OTTAWA - Terri Schiavo's slow death by dehydration and starvation after the March 18 removal of her feeding tube has pro-life activists and experts in medical ethics concerned about the implications for euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide in Canada.

The mainstream news media have framed Schiavo's story as a 'right to die' issue, because her husband's decision to have the feeding tube removed was based on his claims that Terri had told him she would not want to live should she be stricken with a disability like the persistent vegetative state doctors say was brought on by heart failure 15 years ago.

EU euthanasia report flawed

TORONTO - All the favourite arguments for euthanasia are on display in the latest attempt in Europe to jettison bans on allowing doctors to legally put someone to death, says one of North America's top bioethicists. And they can all be countered by solid reasoning.

Church's duty is to respect life, Fabbro says

{mosimage}TORONTO - The battle over using human embryos in stem-cell research is not just about creating cures for dreaded diseases. It is more importantly about treating human life as raw material that is expendable in the pursuit of scientific research, says Bishop Ron Fabbro of London, Ont.

COLF raises concerns about morning-after pill's abortive potential

OTTAWA - The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) says the media and the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPA) have 'glossed over' the abortive potential of the so-called morning-after pill.

The federal government announced in May that it plans to make the morning-after pill available without a prescription across Canada. Currently, the pill is only available without prescription in British Columbia, Quebec and Saskatchewan.