Oct 16

TCA Media Monitoring October 17, 2016

1. Assisted-Suicide Fight Moves to Colorado, Voters to consider ballot measure that would permit doctors to aid terminally ill patients in dying, By Dan Frosch, The Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2016, Pg. A2.

The latest front in the battle over doctor-assisted suicide is unfolding in Colorado, where voters will consider a ballot measure next month that would permit physicians to aid terminally ill patients in dying.

Proposition 106 would allow adults who have six months or less to live, and are mentally competent, to take medication prescribed by a doctor to end their lives.

If it passes, Colorado would be the fifth state to have a law that allows the practice, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Opponents say the proposal would put certain citizens such as the elderly and disabled at risk of having decisions forced on them by caretakers.

“It simply lacks adequate safeguards to protect the most vulnerable people in Colorado,” said Carrie Ann Lucas, a Colorado attorney who is on the board of Not Dead Yet, a national disability-rights group that opposes assisted suicide. “It really doesn’t create individual rights, it creates immunities for perpetrators.”

Money has poured into both campaigns. According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, supporters, led by the Compassion & Choices Action Network-Colorado, have raised some $5.3 million. Opponents of the measure have generated $1.8 million in contributions, with the majority coming from the Archdiocese of Denver.


2. Victims of Priests’ Abuse Face a Choice, By The Editorial Board, The New York Times, October 17, 2016, Pg. A18.

If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan wants to give you money. He announced a settlement program this month that will be run by an independent mediator, Kenneth Feinberg. It will review claims and decide on an amount, which church officials will not be able to alter or reject. The settlements will not be capped; the archdiocese has promised to pay whatever it takes, by selling assets or borrowing.

Should survivors take the deal? It depends. Those who want to try to get on with their lives may find it appealing. They may weigh the promise of prompt payment — within two months, the archdiocese says — against the time, expense, hassle, exposure and uncertainty of going to court, which for many isn’t an option, because of New York’s statute of limitations. They can have confidence in the independence of Mr. Feinberg, who has built a solid reputation running settlement programs after 9/11, the BP oil spill and the Boston Marathon bombing.


3. Clinton tweets support Planned Parenthood, On organization’s centennial, pro-life activists still hope abortion can be ended, By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, October 17, 2016, Pg. A8.

Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary was a day of grieving for many in the pro-life movement, a harrowing reminder of the millions of nameless and faceless people who might be here today if not for the abortion giant’s inception a century ago.

But as abortion opponents brace for the outcome of a presidential race that could see one of Planned Parenthood’s greatest champions established in the White House, Sunday’s centennial also provided a sobering sense of perspective about the long fight still to come.

Prayer vigils were held outside of more than 100 Planned Parenthood facilities over the weekend to mark the anniversary. The candlelit ceremonies spanned from the International Planned Parenthood Federation headquarters near London Bridge to the Planned Parenthood Aurora Health Center on an overcast day outside of Chicago.

On the heels of an undercover video investigation alleging Planned Parenthood trafficks in the human remains from abortions for profit, the Republican Party included a provision to defund Planned Parenthood in its platform for the first time in history.

A GOP-controlled Congress had put those words into action several months prior, but Mr. Obama vetoed a bill stripping $450 million in annual federal funding from the abortion giant.
While the Democratic Party once touted its commitment to keeping abortion “safe, legal and rare,” the final term in the triumvirate has become a faux pas among pro-choice advocates, arguing that if there is nothing wrong with abortion, there is no reason it should be “rare.”

The rhetorical shift marched in lockstep with a change in policy. For the first time in its history, the Democratic Party platform calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bars public dollars from being used to finance abortions.


4. 9th Circuit upholds law requiring pro-lifers to assist in abortion, By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, October 17, 2016, Pg. A2.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a coalition of pro-life pregnancy centers on Friday, upholding a California law that requires them to refer patients to publicly funded contraception and abortion services, even if doing so violates their moral and religious beliefs.
The decision upheld a lower court ruling saying California law AB 775, or the FACT Act, does not violate the First Amendment rights of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and two other faith-based nonprofits.

Matt Bowman, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the appellants, called the decision a “clear violation” of constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and religious expression.

“It’s bad enough if the government tells you what you can’t say, but a law that tells you what you must say—under threat of severe punishment—is even more unjust and dangerous,” Mr. Bowman said in a statement. “In this case, political allies of abortionists are seeking to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real hope and help to women.”


5. Who is more Catholic than whom?, By E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post, October 17, 2016, Pg. A15, Opinion.

To hear the many howls of protest from conservatives, you’d think that a handful of emails released by WikiLeaks demonstrates that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is a nest of anti-Catholics. Fortunately for her, the emails, which are four to five years old, tell a far more interesting tale about the struggles inside the Catholic Church in the period before the ascendancy of Pope Francis.

But given the storm the Catholic emails have provoked, readers might want to make up their own minds by consulting the full texts.

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this,” Podesta said, referring to himself and his progressive Catholic allies. “But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.”

Ironically, a “Spring movement” did arise in the church — but from the top, with Pope Francis’s election in 2013. Also ironically: Many of the conservative Catholics inclined to denounce the Clinton camp have been critical of Francis — it gives new meaning to the term “more Catholic than the pope” — while more liberal Catholics like Podesta have championed him.

Conservatives in the Catholic hierarchy need to pay attention to Pope Francis and ponder the high costs of tying a church with a rich tradition of social teaching to the right end of politics.

Finally, this episode is part of an ongoing argument among more liberal and more conservative religious people, and it will long outlast this election.


6. In Defense of the Religious Right, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, October 16, 2016, Pg SR11, Op-Ed.

I rise to offer a defense — not a full-throated defense, more of a limited one — of the beleaguered, battered, all-but-broken religious right.

In this year of general political misery, I don’t begrudge anyone their share of schadenfreude. But here are four points to keep in mind.

First, serious religious conservatives didn’t want Trump. Yes, he had hacks and heretics on his side from early on: Jerry Falwell Jr., Mike Huckabee, various prosperity preachers. But most churchgoing Republicans preferred other candidates; only 15 percent of weekly churchgoers were steady Trump supporters from the start.

Second, religious conservatives have stronger reasons than other right-wing constituencies to fear a Clinton presidency. Tax rates go up and down, regulations come and go, but every abortion is a unique human life snuffed out forever. Hillary Clinton’s support for legal abortion at every stage of pregnancy may not be a sufficient reason to hand the Oval Office to a man like Donald Trump; I think that it is not. But given pro-life premises, it is a far more compelling reason than the candidates’s differences on tax policy or education or family leave.

Third, religious conservatives are as divided as any other conservative faction over Trump. Yes, evangelical voters have (up till now) supported Trump at the rate you would expect for a normal Republican nominee. But the religious right is an ecumenical movement: It includes Latter-day Saints rebelling against the Republican nominee, Catholic voters drifting toward Clinton, and conservative Catholic bishops advising the faithful that they need not vote for either Hillary or Trump.

America needs a religious right. Maybe not the religious right it has; certainly not the religious right of Carson and Falwell Jr. But the Trump era has revealed what you get when you leach the Christianity out of conservatism: A right-of-center politics that cares less about marriage and abortion, just as some liberals would wish, but one that’s ultimately far more divisive than the evangelical politics of George W. Bush.


7. Pope Francis canonizes seven new Saints, Pope Francis’ Daily Homily, October 16, 2016.

Pope Francis on Sunday canonized seven new Saints including Argentina’s “gaucho priest” Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero.

Know as “Cura Brochero”, the Argentinian who made it his mission to take the Gospel message of salvation to the peripheries, was proclaimed a Saint together with six others in a Mass in St. Peter’s Square.”

During his homily the Pope said “saints are men and women who enter fully into the mystery of prayer. Men and women who struggle with prayer, letting the Holy Spirit pray and struggle in them.”

The others to be canonized were  two Italians, two from France, a Spaniard and a young Mexican martyr, José Sanchez del Rio who died during the Cristero struggle upholding his faith. 


8. A Century of Slaughter, By Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review Online, October 15, 2016, 4:00 AM.

One year ago this summer, Americans were jolted out of their complacency about abortion by a series of shocking videos, some depicting Planned Parenthood executives casually negotiating the price of fetal body parts procured in abortions, others featuring clinic workers describing the gruesome practices used to salvage valuable organs from aborted babies. Yet today, as the horror of these videos seems to have worn off, the doors to abortion clinics remain open across the country, and Planned Parenthood, on its 100th birthday, continues to receive over half a billion federal dollars each year.

Founded on October 16, 1916, by the radically progressive feminist Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood has been a chief force behind the cultural and legal developments that today allow our nation to turn a blind eye to the horror of abortion. Sanger’s legacy is a bloody one; since Roe v. Wade declared abortion a constitutional right, 59 million American children have died as a result of the procedure. Fifty-nine million lives snuffed out, simply for daring to exist, and while there are no reliable estimates for abortion rates for before 1973, this figure is certainly shy of the actual number of children aborted in the past 100 years.

Planned Parenthood has conducted a century-long effort to convince women that they will be better off if they can control their own fertility, but evidence shows that women’s lives are often not improved by this “reproductive autonomy.” And at the root of Planned Parenthood’s crusade is a pernicious lie: that a woman’s happiness can be brought about by the death of her child. In reality, the taking of innocent human life can never remedy societal ills or the troubles of any individual woman. Even if abortion makes life more “convenient,” no woman is truly served when her child is killed in an abortion. On this 100-year anniversary of Planned Parenthood’s founding, we should force Margaret Sanger’s organization to confront the cost of its true legacy: the loss of 59 million innocent lives. No autonomy is worth that price.


9. Dutch want right-to-die for people who feel ‘their life is complete’, Catholic News Agency, October 15, 2016, 3:02 AM.

The Dutch government is set to legalize euthanasia for people who don’t want to live anymore but are not necessarily terminally ill or experiencing extreme suffering.

In a briefing to parliament on Wednesday, the health and justice ministers said that people who “have a well-considered opinion that their life is complete, must, under strict and careful criteria, be allowed to finish that life in a manner dignified for them.”

The option would be limited to “the elderly,” though the briefing did not define an age limit.

The push for legal euthanasia and assisted suicide has increased in Western countries in the past few years. In June of this year, Canada legalized physician-assisted suicide, as did the state of California, joining the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont.

Also in June of this year, Pope Francis denounced physician-assisted suicide as part of a “throwaway culture” that offers a “false compassion” and treats a human person as a problem. Addressing medical professionals from Spain and Latin America at the Vatican, the Pope criticized “those who hide behind an alleged compassion to justify and approve the death of a patient.”


10. Two Newmans and Two Catholic Springs, By Fr. George W. Rutler, Crisis Magazine, October 17, 2016.

The same might be preached today, in this peculiar period when the Church seems as conflicted as our nation, for the issues at hand have never been greater and the commentaries on them both in Church and State are almost burlesque in their shallowness and venality.

If anything has stirred the Church, rusty when urban and flaccid when suburban, it has been the discovery of documents revealing cynical attempts by political strategist to subvert and suborn the institution, stripping her of supernatural credentials to become a tool of the State, like the Gallican Church of the French Revolution. Leaked emails from February 10-11, 2012 record exchanges entitled “Opening for a Catholic Spring?” between the current manager of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, John Podesta, and Sandy Newman, president of a political action group called Voices for Progress. Sandy Newman is certainly no heir to John Henry Newman nor are his visions of Spring like those of the Second Spring preached at Oscott. For Sandy Newman, “There needs to be a Catholic Spring in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic church.” The mandate for contraception coverage in medical plans might be a rallying point to “plant the seeds of the revolution.”

At the risk of fueling the imaginings of conspiracy theorists, it has been said that paranoia is just having the right information. But even a well-tempered analyst should be taken aback by Mr. Podesta’s reply: “We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.” Podesta, who professes to be a Catholic, is past president of the Center for American Progress, a think tank that promotes “LGBT equality and women’s reproductive health and rights.”


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.