News Briefs

A bi-monthly distribution of flour, rice and other staples by Catholic Relief Services to residents of the West Bank has been extended to needy families in East Jerusalem. • Vietnam’s Archdiocese of Hue has launched an ambitious $25 million plan to rebuild a national Marian shrine on confiscated land that the Vietnamese government has returned to the church. • Withdrawing extraordinary and unreasonable treatment to keep terminally ill patients alive would no longer be considered a crime under a bill likely to pass in the Brazilian legislature in a proposal based on Pope John Paul II's 1995 encyclical "Evangelium Vitae." • With poverty, hunger and environmental degradation on the rise worldwide, people must do all they can not to waste precious food, according to Cardinal Renato Martino, the recently retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace • Incorporating traditionalist Anglicans into the Catholic Church must be a "slow, cautious and prudent" path of implementing Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution, Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Peter J. Elliott, a former Anglican himself and the bishop in charge of the process in Australia, said on Dec. 11. • Climate change is hurting poor farmers, including farming seminarians in Africa said Father Terence Lino Idraku of the Apostles of Jesus, an African missionary congregation, who explained that drought followed by violent rains has destroyed many of the crops cultivated by the congregation's seminarians. • This year’s Vatican Christmas tree is from the Wallonia region of Belgium.

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