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U.S. bishops express outrage at increase in antisemitic attacks

People participate in a Jewish solidarity march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Jan. 5, 2020, in New York City. / Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 29, 2022 / 14:15 pm (CNA).

The U.S. Catholic bishops strongly condemned in a Nov. 28 statement what they called a “reemergence of antisemitism in new forms.”

“Outraged by the deeply hurtful proliferations of antisemitic rhetoric, both online and in person, and the violent attacks on Jewish individuals, homes, and institutions, we wish to convey our sincere support to the Jewish people,” the bishops wrote.

“In unequivocal terms, we condemn any and all violence directed at the Jewish people, whether motivated by religious, racial, or political grievances,” said the statement, which was signed by the nine bishops on the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee.

The statement was issued on the 60th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Nostrae Aetate, which made clear the Church’s condemnation of hatred and violence against Judaism, beginning a new era of understanding and cooperation between the two faiths.

Since Nostrae Aetate, the bishops’ statement explained, “the Catholic and Jewish faiths have learned to encounter each other in a spirit of goodwill and a sincere desire to encourage our respective faithful to live together.”

The bishops called on Christians to join them in opposing acts of antisemitism:

“As the 60th anniversary of this prophetic document approaches, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has issued a statement urging all believers in Christ once again to decry all ‘hatred, persecutions, displays of antisemitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone’ (Nostra Aetate, 4).”

The bishops went on to remind the faithful of Christianity’s shared heritage with Judaism.

“We continue to remind ourselves of the shared spiritual patrimony that remains the foundation of our relationship with the Jewish people. We affirm that the Jewish people cannot be held responsible for the death of Christ or be depicted as rejected or accursed in theological discourse. It must always be remembered that Jesus, Mary, and his apostles were all Jewish.

“Finally, we remain firm in our dedication to a just political solution — a secure and recognized Israel living in peace alongside a viable and independent Palestine,” the bishops wrote.

Antisemitism in the form of violence and online rhetoric has been a growing issue in recent months. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported 2,717 antisemitic incidents across the nation in 2021, a 34% increase in incidents from 2020 and an all-time high since ADL began tracking.

“As partners and neighbors, we seek to foster bonds of friendship between members of the Body of Christ and the Jewish people,” the bishops stated, recalling that Pope Francis said “a true Christian cannot be an antisemite.”

Emotiva celebración del cumpleaños del obispo secuestrado por la dictadura en Nicaragua

, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- La Diócesis de Matagalpa celebró el cumpleaños de Mons. Rolando Álvarez Lagos, quien desde hace más de tres meses se encuentra secuestrado por la dictadura de Nicaragua, liderada por Daniel Ortega.

¿La Virgen “llora sangre” en Argentina”? Obispo pide “mucha prudencia”

, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- Los habitantes de Vinará, un pequeño pueblo al interior de Santiago del Estero, viven un tiempo de conmoción y aseguran que la imagen de la Inmaculada Concepción que se encuentra en la capilla local “llora sangre”. Además muchos atribuyen curaciones a su intercesión, pero el Obispo local pide prudencia.

Recuerdan en Roma a importante Obispo del norte de Europa

VATICANO, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- Numerosas personas rindieron homenaje en Roma a un importante Obispo católico del Norte de Europa, Mons. Erik Valkendorf, con ocasión de los 500 años de su muerte.

Early medical abortion increased 154% in past decade, CDC report finds

Ultrasound. / CDC/Jim Gathany, public domain

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 29, 2022 / 10:45 am (CNA).

Americans are increasingly relying on chemical abortion, or abortion by pill, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Early medical abortion increased 22% from 2019 to 2020 and 154% from 2011 to 2020, the CDC found when looking at 37 areas that provided continuous data on medical abortion during 2011−2020.

The federal agency reported that, in 2020, the highest percentage of abortions (51%) were early medical abortions performed at or before nine weeks’ gestation based on data from 46 areas. An additional 2.4% accounted for medical abortions after nine weeks’ gestation.

The CDC usually releases its annual abortion surveillance report around the Thanksgiving holiday, as it did this year. The report, which lags two years behind, shows abortion data for 2020 — the year the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation.

The CDC’s data relies on voluntary reporting from the central health agencies of 49 reporting areas (47 states; Washington, D.C.; and New York City). The incomplete data set excludes three states: California, Maryland, and New Hampshire. Together, those states account for approximately 20% of all U.S. abortions, the report said, citing the Guttmacher Institute.

Other limitations with the CDC data include incomplete information reported.

On medical abortion, researchers agree that its use is increasing. The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive research organization once associated with Planned Parenthood, found earlier this year that this type of abortion accounted for more than half of all U.S. abortions in 2020.

A CDC spokesperson confirmed to CNA that early medical abortion, here, is defined as “the administration of medications (typically mifepristone followed by misoprostol) to induce an abortion” at or before nine completed weeks gestation, in accordance with the FDA’s labeling for mifepristone that was implemented in 2016.

She added that other drugs (“typically serial prostaglandins, sometimes administered after mifepristone”) also might be used with abortion after nine weeks gestation.

The increase in medical abortion comes before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted restrictions on mifepristone, a drug approved for use in medical abortions, in 2021. But the FDA’s move represented a continuation of 2020, when a federal district court blocked the FDA from enforcing its requirement that women seeking abortions must receive mifepristone in person rather than by mail.

Abortion by the numbers

According to the CDC, a total of 620,327 abortions were reported to the federal agency for 2020. This number represents a 1.5% decrease since 2019 (with 629,898 total abortions reported) and a 15% decrease since 2011 (with 730,322 total abortions reported).

The decrease comes after the number of reported abortions increased in 2018 and 2019.

The Guttmacher Institute, which offers more comprehensive data, counted 930,160 abortions in the United States for 2020. That number represented an increase — not decrease — from 2019, when it listed 916,460 abortions.

The CDC, while looking at the 48 areas that reported data continuously from 2011 to 2020, reported overall decreases during that time in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions. Most recently for those areas, from 2019 to 2020, the CDC saw a 2% decrease in both the total number of abortions and abortion rate (number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years), but a 2% increase in the total abortion ratio (number of abortions per 1,000 live births).

For those same 48 areas, a total of 615,911 abortions were reported for 2020, with 11.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years and 198 abortions per 1,000 live births.

Of the states providing data, Florida saw the the highest number of abortions at 74,868, followed by New York (63,142) and Texas (55,132). Washington, D.C., had the highest abortion rate (23 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) and ratio (498 abortions per 1,000 live births).

Este es el significado cristiano del árbol de Navidad

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- El P. José de Jesús Aguilar, subdirector de Radio y Televisión de la Arquidiócesis de México, detalló el sentido cristiano del tradicional árbol de Navidad. 

La Iglesia en Uruguay propone 5 pasos para vivir una “Navidad con Jesús”

, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- La Iglesia en Uruguay presentó un itinerario de cinco pasos para caminar junto a los fieles hacia la Navidad. En ese marco, se presentaron las nuevas balconeras que decorarán los hogares.

Arzobispo alienta a combatir la delincuencia desde la raíz en Chile

, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- El Arzobispo de Concepción (Chile) se refirió a la creciente delincuencia que afecta al país. Al respecto, llamó a ir “a la raíz de las causas” que la originan, tomar medidas y fortalecer las políticas públicas para revertir “la cultura de la muerte”.

Denuncian intento del gobierno de México para aprobar el aborto y la ideología de género

, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- Unas 200 organizaciones civiles denunciaron el intento de Morena, el partido de gobierno de México, de aprobar un paquete de 50 iniciativas legislativas que legalizarían el aborto, la ideología de género y la restricción de la libertad religiosa en todo el país.

Obispo llama a la solidaridad ante terrible desastre natural en Italia

VATICANO, 29 Nov. 22 (ACI Prensa).- El Obispo de la Diócesis de Ischia, Mons. Gennaro Pascarella, lanzó un llamado a la esperanza y a la solidaridad con los afectados por las inundaciones y el desprendimiento de tierra en la isla italiana de Ischia.