Long recovery ahead for communities hit by wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The Diocese of Santa Rosa "has been hit hard" and "is in an ongoing state of uncertainty" because of Northern California wildfires that began the night of Oct. 8, said Bishop Robert F. Vasa.

At least 12 major fires were raging across the region, according to news reports. Of those 12, at least five were zero to 5 percent contained, and the rest were 15 to 70 percent contained. Fanned by warm winds, they devastated a vast swath of North California's wine country and forced 20,000 to evacuate. They left at least 17 people dead, and at least 180 others were missing.

Abp. Gomez: Bill lets doctor OK meds for 'express purpose' of killing a person

LOS ANGELES -- California's newly passed measure to legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill "is no way for our government to make policy on a life and death issue that will affect millions of individuals and families," said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.

"I am deeply disturbed by the California Legislature's decision to allow doctors to help their patients kill themselves," he said.

He made the remarks in a statement issued the night of Sept. 11, not long after the state Senate approved the bill with a 23-14 vote.

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