SAO PAULO - Supreme Court justices in Brazil voted to legalize the abortion of fetuses without brains or those with malformed brains, despite an effort that saw thousands of Brazilians praying outside of the court, urging the justices to protect the life of unborn children.

By late April 12, the majority of justices had announced their votes.

The Brazilian bishops' conference asked Catholics to hold prayer vigils outside of the court to encourage justices to consider the life of the unborn child prior to their vote.

Published in International

Brazil is now the world’s sixth largest economy and economists project it will be the fifth largest by the end of this year. It has an advanced aerospace industry, some of the most sophisticated telecommunications companies in the world and more billionaires than Japan. It also has slaves.

Between 25,000 and 40,000 Brazilians every year are trafficked into slavery. On average, government anti-slavery teams free 4,500 people per year.

“When I went to Brazil for the first time (in the 1990s) I was far from imagining that slavery was still existing,” said French-born Dominican Brother Xavier Plassat. “For me it was a discovery.”

Published in Features

SALVADOR, Brazil - Archbishop Murilo Krieger of Salvador is mediating an eight-day military police officer strike that has caused havoc and left at least 95 people dead.

Archbishop Krieger, 69, was called in as a mediator Feb. 6 to a meeting of government officials and representatives from the striking police officers that lasted until the early hours of Feb. 7. An archdiocesan spokesman said the archbishop resumed negotiations later that morning at his residence.

Published in International
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