News Briefs

On Jan. 29 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin, Tex., representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and four Protestant denominations in the Reformed tradition signed an agreement that recognizes the validity of one another’s baptisms. • The New Jersey Death with Dignity Act, a bill that would allow assisted suicide in New Jersey, made it through a legislative committee on Feb. 7 and will now be considered by the full assembly. • The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, has officially become the new archbishop of Canterbury after the “Confirmation of Election” ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on Feb. 4. • An official with Belgium’s Mechelen-Brussels Archdiocese said on Feb. 6 that “dozens of churches” faced closing and that the city’s largest Catholic landmark, St. Catherine Church, was expected to be turned into a fruit and vegetable market. • In the span of just 15 days, two priests have been gunned down in Colombia: the Rev. Luis Alfredo Suárez Salazar in Ocaña on Feb. 2, killed apparently by stray bullets intended for another target; and on Jan. 16 the Rev. José Francisco Velez Echeverri in Buga, apparently a robbery victim.

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