Sep 17

TCA Media Monitoring September 29, 2017

1. Kentucky governor to appeal after judge strikes down ultrasound requirement for abortions.

By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, September 29, 2017, Pg. A8

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has promised to appeal after a federal judge struck down a law that required doctors to perform ultrasounds and allow mothers to hear the heartbeat of the fetus before abortions.

Amanda Stamper, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bevin, said the administration is confident in the law’s constitutionality, pointing to similar laws that have been upheld.

“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling and will appeal immediately to the 6th Circuit,” Ms. Stamper said. “We are confident the constitutionality of HB 2 will be upheld, as similar laws have been in both the 5th and 8th Circuits.”

In a one-page decision handed down Wednesday, Judge David Hale agreed with plaintiffs that the law, which went into effect in January, violated the First Amendment rights of doctors.

While ultrasound requirements were deemed to violate the First Amendment rights of physicians in Kentucky, other states including California, Illinois and Hawaii have passed laws that would force pro-life clinics to advertise the availability of state-sponsored abortions.


2. New poll finds Pope Francis still enjoys widespread popularity in U.S. 

By Christopher White, Crux, September 29, 2017

Two years after Pope Francis visited the United States in September 2015 and four months after his first meeting with President Donald Trump, the pope’s overall approval among Americans is at 87.9 percent-up from 82.6 this past March.

While the new data evidences a five-point bump among the general U.S. population, his popularity dipped slightly among U.S. Catholics, now at 67.9 percent approval, down slightly from 70.5 percent last March.

The polling, which was carried out by Saint Leo University Polling Institute, took place from September 10-16 among 1,000 individuals.

The pope received his lowest approval for his handling of sexual abuse issues, with 46.4 percent of national respondents saying they “strongly or somewhat approve” of his work in this area, while 30.8 percent say they “somewhat and strongly disapprove” of the pope’s course of action.

The pope earned his highest marks for his work on human rights causes and his advocacy on behalf of the poor.

According to respondents, 69.5 percent “strongly and somewhat approve” of the pontiff’s work on human rights, while 11.7 percent “somewhat and strongly disapprove” of his performance. Similarly, 68.8 percent say they approve of his work on behalf of the poor while only 10.7 say they disapprove.

Francis also received increased approval for his work on environmental issues, with 60.3 percent of respondents expressing their approval and 13.6 percent saying they “somewhat and strongly disapprove.”

Lastly, the pope received a 55.7 percent approval for his work on marriage and family issues, with 20.5 percent saying they “somewhat and strongly disapprove.”


3. Pope’s deputy urges dialogue after Francis accused of heresy.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, September 28, 2017, 1:08 PM

The Vatican secretary of state called Thursday for greater dialogue within the Catholic Church after a small group of traditionalists formally accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy with his 2016 opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Francis himself hasn’t responded to the heresy letter or to a request four cardinals made for him to clarify a series of questions, or “dubia,” they had about the 2016 text.

When it was released in April 2016, “The Joy of Love” immediately sparked controversy because it opened the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion.

Francis didn’t give Catholics who remarry outside the church an automatic pass, but suggested — in vague terms and strategically placed footnotes — that bishops and priests could do so on a case-by-case basis after accompanying them on a spiritual journey of discernment.


4. The NYT ‘Picks Up Where Feinstein’ Left Off Attacking Catholic Judicial Nominee. 

By Cortney O’Brien, Townhall, September 28, 2017, 4:45 PM

Earlier this month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and some of her rude colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee interrogated judicial nominee Amy Barrett about her Catholic faith.

The New York Times has “picked up” where the senators left off, according The Catholic Association. In a new piece entitled “Some Worry About Judicial Nominee’s Ties to a Religious Group,” NYT writer Laurie Goodstein suggests that Barrett’s Catholic faith is a bit more radical than that of more mainstream Catholics, zooming in on her ties to a religious group called People of Praise.

Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association, spoke for many Catholics when she offered the following statement on Thursday.

“The New York Times picks up where Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Durbin (D-IL) left off in trying to use Amy Barrett’s faith as a smear against her,” McGuire said. “An accomplished professor and legal scholar at the University of Notre Dame, the qualifications and credentials of Amy Barrett are unchallenged. That the left continues to treat her Roman Catholic faith as an impediment to office is a testament to just how beholden they are to their anti-religious bigotries.”


5. ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is built on traditional Thomist morality, pope says.

By Carol Glatz, Crux, September 28, 2017

Seeing, understanding and engaging with people’s real lives does not “bastardize” theology, rather it is what is needed to guide people toward God, Pope Francis told Jesuits in Colombia.

“The theology of Jesus was the most real thing of all; it began with reality and rose up to the Father,” he said during a private audience Sept. 10 in Cartagena, Colombia. The Rome-based Jesuit-run journal, La Civilta Cattolica, published a transcript from the meeting Sept. 28. The journal provided its own translations of the original Spanish remarks.

The pope then said that he wanted to use the teacher’s question as an opportunity to address – in justice and charity – the “many comments” concerning the post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

Many of the commentaries, he said, are “respectable because they were made by children of God,” but they are “wrong.”

“In order to understand Amoris Laetitia, you must read it from the beginning to the end,” reading each chapter in order, reading what was said during the synods of bishops on the family in 2014 and 2015, and reflecting on all of it, he said.

To those who maintain that the morality underlying the document is not “a Catholic morality” or a morality that can be certain or sure, “I want to repeat clearly that the morality of Amoris Laetitia is Thomist,” that is, built on the moral philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, he said.

One of best and “most mature” theologians today who can explain the document, he told them, is Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna.

“St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure affirm that the general principle holds for all but – they say it explicitly – as one moves to the particular, the question becomes diversified and many nuances arise without changing the principle,” he had said. It is a method that was used for the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Amoris Laetitia, he added.


The media monitoring clips provide a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged - such as religious liberty and other fundamental Church concerns. The clips are not intended to be an exhausted source of in-depth coverage on any particular issue. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.