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Dec 16

TCA Media Monitoring December 19, 2016

1. Trump Action on Health Care Could Cost Planned Parenthood, By The Associated Press, December 19, 2016, 3:36 AM.

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s first, and defining, acts next year could come on Republican legislation to cut off taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood.

Trump sent mixed signals during the campaign about the 100-year-old organization, which provides birth control, abortions and various women’s health services. He said “millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood,” but he also endorsed efforts to defund it.

Still, the Republican has been steadfast in calling for repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care law, and the GOP-led Congress is eager to comply. One of the first pieces of legislation will be a repeal measure that’s paired with cutting off money for Planned Parenthood. While the GOP may delay the impact of scuttling the law for almost four years, denying Planned Parenthood roughly $400 million in Medicaid funds would take effect immediately.

“We’ve already shown what we believe with respect to funding of Planned Parenthood,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters last month. “Our position has not changed.”

Democrats pledge to defend the group, and they point to the issue of birth control and women’s health as helping them win Senate races in New Hampshire and Nevada this year.

At least one Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, may oppose the effort. Collins has defended Planned Parenthood, saying it “provides important family planning, cancer screening and basic preventive health care services to millions of women across the country.” She voted against the health overhaul repeal last year as a result.

Continued opposition from Collins, which appears likely, would put the repeal measure on a knife’s edge in the Senate, where Republicans will have a 52-48 majority next year. Senate GOP leaders could afford to lose just one other Republican.

The defunding measure would take away roughly $400 million in Medicaid money from the group in the year after enactment, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and would result in roughly 400,000 women losing access to care. One factor is that being enrolled in Medicaid doesn’t guarantee access to a doctor, so women denied Medicaid services from Planned Parenthood may not be able to find replacement care.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/12/18/us/politics/ap-us-trump-planned-parenthood.html?


2. Pope eats with homeless on 80th birthday, gets 70,000 emails, By The Associated Press, December 17, 2016.

Pope Francis celebrated an active if low-key 80th birthday on Saturday, sharing breakfast with eight homeless people before celebrating Mass with cardinals as greetings poured in from around the world.

The pontiff received more than 70,000 email messages wishing him a happy birthday, as well as telephone calls and telegrams from world leaders and religious figures.

His predecessor, 89-year-old Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, sent a “very affectionate” written greeting that the Vatican said was “particularly appreciated,” followed by a personal call in the afternoon and three small gifts that the bore “very personal and significant meaning for both.” The Vatican did not otherwise divulge the nature of the gifts.

At breakfast, Francis chatted individually with each of the homeless guests— four Italians, two Romanians, a Moldovan and a Peruvian — at the Vatican hotel where he resides, and shared Argentinian cakes with them before heading to Mass.

The guests offered the pope a bouquet of sunflowers. They were invited from among those staying around St. Peter’s Square and at nearby showers for the homeless established by the pope’s almsgiver. The pope also sent enough birthday cakes for 1,500 people to kitchens serving the poor and homeless in Rome.

Speaking to the cardinals, Francis contemplated the aging process.

“For some days now, I have had in mind a word that seems ugly: Old age, a thought that frightens,” he said.

But then he recalled his own words during his first papal greeting in 2013, when he said: “Old age is the thirst for knowledge.”

He added: “I hope it will be the same for me.”

U.S. President Barack Obama said Francis “has inspired people around the world with his message of compassion, hope and peace,” while Italian President Sergio Mattarella recalled that the pope has called on Europeans to show solidarity with the less fortunate, in particular “migrants and all those who live at society’s margins.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent Francis a telegram and followed it up with a phone call in which he “remarked on the big contribution he has personally made to strengthen ties between Russia and the Vatican, which moved to a significantly new level in the recent years,” the Kremlin said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/pope-contemplates-aging-on-80th-birthday/2016/12/17/bc91e53c-c44c-11e6-92e8-c07f4f671da4_story.html?


3. USCCB forms working group to monitor needs of migrants, refugees, By Catholic News Service, December 17, 2016.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is establishing a working group charged with developing spiritual, pastoral and policy advocacy support for immigrants and refugees.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB vice president, will chair the group.

Members include the chairman of USCCB committees and subcommittees involved in immigration concerns: Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, Committee on Migration; Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, New York, Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs; Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Committee on Domestic Social Development; Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, Washington, Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants; and Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Committee on International Justice and Peace.

The groundwork for the working group was set during the bishops’ annual fall general assembly in Baltimore when several bishops suggested the conference closely monitor actions by the federal government that affect immigrants and refugees.

National Migration Week is January 8-14.

https://cruxnow.com/cns/2016/12/17/usccb-forms-working-group-monitor-needs-migrants-refugees/


4. Thoughts on turning down the heat in the ‘Amoris’ debate, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, December 17, 2016.

To be clear, this tit-for-tat isn’t especially widespread among the Catholic rank and file. Walk into most ordinary parishes and ask what people make of the debate over Amoris Laetitia, and probably, people would stare back with uncomprehending expressions.

That said, there is nevertheless an increasingly nasty cycle of finger-pointing in print, online, in social media, and sometimes even face-to-face, and if there’s to be an end to it, perhaps what we need is the equivalent of a verbal truce.

If conservatives troubled by some aspects of Amoris Laetitia and other aspects of the present papacy could at least concede that, in the main, those on the other side are not enemies of the faith, and that their positions are not a blatant rupture with Catholic tradition, that might be a powerful confidence-building measure.

Likewise, if supporters of Amoris Laetitia could stop insisting that everyone who raises legitimate questions, either about its content or its binding force, are therefore obstructionists suffering from assorted forms of psychological dysfunction, that would help too – as would acknowledging that there are various readings of Vatican II, and that not everyone who doesn’t quite share theirs is necessarily “rejecting the council.”

It would also likely be a balm if both sides could abandon their pretense of not only being right on the issues, but having the more virtuous motives.

In the end, there are serious questions raised by Amoris Laetitia regarding the Church’s pastoral care of divorced and civilly remarried persons, and just in terms of betting odds, it’s a long-shot that one camp possesses all the right answers and the other absolutely none.

https://cruxnow.com/analysis/2016/12/17/thoughts-turning-heat-amoris-debate/

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.