- Feb 18, 2020
A bill in Iceland’s parliament would establish six-year jail terms for performing circumcisions on young boys for anything other than “health reasons.”
The secretary-general of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences has criticized the lack of commitment on behalf of members of the European Union in the implementation of religious freedom guidelines set in 2013. “Freedom of religion is an absolute principle, and diplomatic and economic pressure should be used to defend it,” he said.
Ahead of the 2018 Bishop’s Synod called for by Pope Francis dedicated to youth, European bishops are meeting in Barcelona for a one-of-a-kind symposium dedicated to addressing growing issues and concerns with young people and the Church today.
In a court case concerning religious freedom, the European court based in Strasbourg, France, acknowledged “interference” in freedom of religion in the case of a Muslim family attempting to opt out of mixed-gender swimming lessons, but asserted that public schools had a “special role” in integration, particularly of children of foreign origin.
With German cities gearing up for large street protests, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising has defended a controversial trade treaty between the EU and the US, saying it could “contribute to a fairer world economic order,” especially if it opens up to poorer countries.
The young men and women gathered in Krakow for World Youth Day embodied a more hopeful vision of Europe than the bureaucrats in Brussels.