Defense counsel for one of the three doctors on trial for unlawfully poisoning an autistic woman via euthanasia has admitted to searching the social media profiles of potential jurors to exclude "devout" Catholics. Walter Van Steenbrugge said he would be a "bad lawyer" if he did not exclude people who were "extremely Catholic," for example if they expressed a Marian devotion or had previously expressed the opinion that euthanasia is murder.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on January 14th for his participation in the vandalism of a Catholic church in Launaguet. According to reports, the Saint-Barthélemy church (Toulouse diocese) had been vandalized with Quaranic inscriptions in previous months.
The religious crèche of the Saint-André church in Mont-Saint-Aignan, near Rouen, was vandalized on January 11, with the decorations overturned and the figures broken. The statue of the baby Jesus was decapitated. After expressing his sadness to the parish and to the parish priest, Monsignor Dominique Lebrun, Archbishop of Rouen, deplored the incident as an "offense against the Christian faith."
Police in Ivrea (near Turin) identified a 46-year-old woman suspected of setting fire to two church nativity scenes: one in the church of San Maurizio and the second in the church of San Salvatore on January 4th. She faces a complaint for damage. The fires not only destroyed the two nativity scenes with plastic statuettes, but in the Church of San Maurizio the fire practically incinerated a painting by Tullio Alemanni, "The Baptism of Jesus," which was located above the baptismal font next to the crèche, in addition to a fresco, also by Alemanni, positioned between the crèche and the baptismal font.
A statue of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the church of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption in the town of Saint-Étienne-du-Grès on January 2, 2020.
The nativity scene installed by Alice Castello volunteers was repeatedly vandalized at the end of December and into the new year, with the figures broken and some of the statues beheaded. This was the third year in a row that this installation was attacked by vandals.
Are pharmacists allowed to act in accordance with their conscience? In Berlin, a pharmacist who would not sell the ‘morning-after-pill’ for conscience reasons has recently faced legal proceedings initiated by the Berlin Chamber of Pharmacists. For the first time, a German court ruled on this matter and upheld his right to act in accordance with his conscience regarding the sale of certain products. The Pharmacists’ Chamber may still appeal against the decision with the appeal period due to expire on 20 January. ADF International supported the pharmacist in this case.
On February 9, 2020, Swiss voters will have the opportunity to reject the changes to the penal code approved by the Parliament in 2019. Christian groups have called the expansion of the hate crime law to include sexual orientation "superfluous," noting that existing laws offered sufficient protection and that the new law could be used to attack religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience.