#ShortNews: Australian census shows falling Catholic population

Australia’s Catholic population is falling, and the number of those who claim “no religion” is now the country’s largest bloc, according to the latest census figures.

In the 2016 census, 29.6% of all Australians described themselves as having “no religion.” That number is nearly double the figure for 2001 (16%), and dwarfs the tiny 0.8% first recorded in 1966.

Over the same span of time, since 1966, the Christian proportion of the country’s population has saffed from 88% to 52%.

Until the current census, Catholics had comprised the largest single religious group in Australia, having taken that status from Anglicans in the early 1980s. But having stood between 26 and 28% for nearly 50 years, the Catholic proportion of the country’s population is now dropping toward 20%.


#ShortNews: ‘The bottom 100’

In a front-page article in its June 29 edition, the Vatican newspaper drew attention to the Bottom 100, a list of the world’s poorest persons, as compiled by the Australian organization Fund for Peace.

L’Osservatore Romano described Mary Myaluak Gai, who is first on the list, as the “alter ego of Bill Gates.”

At 13, her parents forced her into a marriage with an uncle; she then fled her native South Sudan. Upon arriving in Uganda, she was deported. She now lives in a refugee camp and hopes to become a human rights lawyer.


#ShortNews: 111 assisted suicides in California in first six months under new law

During the first six months since assisted suicide became legal in the state of California, 111 people ended their own lives using drugs prescribed by their doctors.

The 111 suicides were only a tiny fraction of roughly 10,000 deaths recorded in California over the same six-month period.

A profile of the suicides found that the majority were white males over the age of 60. A majority (59%) had been diagnosed with cancer.

Apparently some of the people who requested prescriptions for lethal drugs had second thoughts. The data showed that 191 prescriptions had been written, so 80 people had not taken the drugs at the time of the survey.