16

May 22

TCA Media Monitoring May 16, 2022

1. Hong Kong Arrest Shakes City, Splits Catholics, By Elaine Yu and Selina Cheng, The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2022, Pg. A10 Using an umbrella as his cane, 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen walked into a courtroom Wednesday to sit in on a pretrial hearing for activists facing national-security charges. A thorn in Beijing’s side for decades, the pro-democracy firebrand still commits his days to supporting fellow activists even as his body grows frail. Soon after, police arrested Cardinal Zen and four others over allegations they had conspired to collude with foreign forces to endanger China’s national security.  The arrest also highlights a schism within Hong Kong’s large Catholic community over the city’s governance that has widened during years of social upheaval, and threatens to throw a wrench in a recent rapprochement between the Vatican and Beijing. The Vatican expressed concern at the arrest, and its secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said he was saddened by the move but hoped it wouldn’t further complicate the dialogue with China. Seen as a spiritual leader of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, Cardinal Zen has often been at odds with the church hierarchy, which has become more closely aligned with the city’s pro-Beijing government. https://www.wsj.com/articles/arrest-of-firebrand-cardinal-highlights-split-in-hong-kongs-catholic-church-11652616352?___________________________________________________________ 2. Alito Doesn’t Want Your Contraceptives, By The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2022, Pg. A20, Editorial The political campaign to save Roe v. Wade includes urgent warnings about all the other historic precedents that are now purportedly under threat. Listen instead to Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar, who supports abortion rights but is honest enough to rain on this implausible parade of horribles. “Lib law professors, you’re just trying to scare people with boogeymen or something about ‘Oh, my God, Griswold is at risk,’” Mr. Amar said on his podcast last week, referring to the High Court’s 1965 precedent protecting contraceptive access for married couples. “Every single Republican Party platform for the last 40 years has said ‘we hate Roe,’” he countered. “There’s never been anything like that about Griswold.”  How can Mr. Amar be sure? In his view, Griswold is a 9-0 case, “easy and obvious,” under the Court’s current approach of recognizing unenumerated rights that are “deeply rooted.” He also pointed out that conservative Justices were clear in their confirmation hearings about Griswold, unlike their caginess on abortion and Roe.  To review, the Supreme Court’s conservative Justices are on record as supporting a legal basis for Griswold in a way they haven’t been with Roe v. Wade. As for the politics, the Governor of Mississippi, one of the country’s reddest states, says he has no interest in banning IUDs or Plan B. But don’t expect the facts to get in the way of a narrative intended to scare voters and discredit the Supreme Court. https://www.wsj.com/articles/samuel-alito-doesnt-want-your-contraceptives-supreme-court-griswold-roe-v-wade-11652450423?___________________________________________________________ 3. Abortion After Roe: Evangelizing Culture Begins Now, The pro-life movement’s legislative successes remain fragile and reversible without bringing about the profound cultural conversion necessary to sustain them., By National Catholic Register, May 16, 2022, Editorial The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision may be ending, but not yet abortion in America. In fact, the pro-life movement is headed toward a new — and far more challenging — stage of the battle for the rights of the unborn child. Without Roe, some states will move toward banning abortion outright, while others will maximize and even subsidize abortion access. The same legislative dynamic will inevitably appear in Congress. But the pro-life movement’s legislative successes remain fragile and reversible without bringing about the profound cultural conversion necessary to sustain them. Many people today think good laws are enough to turn people from vice to virtue. St. Thomas Aquinas in fact taught differently in the Summa Theologiae: “Human law aims at leading men on to virtue, not suddenly, but step by step.” Imposing virtuous laws that the people have not yet been prepared morally to accept, the Angelic Doctor warns, can actually lead to worse evils in society — in this case, for example, to a political backlash that results in state and federal laws that are even more permissive than what Roe has allowed. Only by forming Americans “step by step” to embrace a society where abortion is “unthinkable” for a pregnant woman in crisis will Americans actually embrace a law banning abortion. Unfortunately, we are not there. Far from being “unthinkable,” a majority of Americans regard abortion as a pragmatic option for women. While Americans remain evenly split in identifying as pro-life or “pro-choice,” six out of 10 support first-trimester abortion. In other words, while Americans are uncomfortable with the extreme abortion position of the Democratic Party, which would have the U.S. remain one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the average citizen still holds that ending an unborn child’s life is a viable option in some circumstances. We have a lot of work to do.  The Roe era might end, and the urgency of putting our discipleship into action for the gospel of life has never been greater at all these levels. But with our efforts and God’s grace, we can make abortion unthinkable by advancing a society that supports life and family and enshrining a pro-life culture in law for generations to come. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/abortion-after-roe-evangelizing-culture-begins-now___________________________________________________________ 4. Top Asian prelate calls Hong Kong ‘a police state’ after Cardinal Zen’s arrest, By Nirmala Carvalho, Crux, May 16, 2022 One of Asia’s top Catholic cardinals said the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen is a cause of concern “about the situation for human rights and threats to religious freedom in Hong Kong.” Myanmar Cardinal Charles Bo, the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, issued a statement on May 14, three days after the authorities arrested Zen and accused him of violating the territories draconian security law, imposed on the former British colony by Beijing in 2020 after a series of pro-democracy protests in the territory. The cardinal has participated in a fund that is raising money for the defense of those accused under the security law. Zen was released on bail the same day as his arrest, after hours of questioning by police. “My brother Cardinal, His Eminence Joseph Zen, was arrested and faces charges simply because he served as a trustee of a fund which provided legal aid to activists facing court cases. In any system where the rule of law exists, providing assistance to help people facing prosecution meet their legal fees is a proper and accepted right. How can it be a crime to help accused persons have legal defense and representation?” Bo said in his statement. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-asia/2022/05/top-asian-prelate-calls-hong-kong-a-police-state-after-cardinal-zens-arrest___________________________________________________________ 5. China’s arrest of a 90-year-old cardinal reveals its fear, By Nancy Pelosi, The Washington Post, May 15, 2022, Pg. A33, Opinion On June 4, the world will mark 33 years since the Tiananmen Square massacre. On that day — a date that is seared into the consciousness of all freedom-loving people — we remember one of the greatest acts of political courage in modern times. Beijing’s horrific slaughter of its own citizens crushed the protest but could not extinguish the flame of freedom that burned in their hearts. Yet, a generation later, Beijing is fighting harder than ever to extinguish that flame. Indeed, over the past 30 years, the Chinese Communist Party’s appalling human rights record and repression of political freedoms have only worsened. On Wednesday, Beijing launched its latest assault: ordering the arrest of 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong. Zen was charged with “colluding with foreign forces,” after serving as a trustee of a now-disbanded relief fund providing criminal defense to those charged in cases involving freedom of speech and expression. Four colleagues — barrister Margaret Ng and singer-activist Denise Ho, scholar Hui Po-keung and former Legislative Council member Cyd Ho — were also rounded up under the same pretext. Zen is an outspoken champion of democracy in the Catholic community, advocating for religious liberty in Hong Kong and, in 2016, urging the Vatican to reject an agreement that would give the People’s Republic of China say over the ordination of bishops. But he is not only a leader of Hong Kong’s and other Chinese Catholics. To a broader audience, he is a critical voice of conscience: an embodiment of moral fortitude, who has been a constant presence as Hong Kong has led a decades-long pursuit of the freedoms promised with the handover from British rule.  For the people of Hong Kong — and for all yearning for freedom around the world — the entire international community has a responsibility to forcefully speak out against these arrests and demand that the CCP end its abuses. The world is watching. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, is speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/13/nancy-pelosi-cardinal-zen-arrest-hong-kong-china/___________________________________________________________ 6. In tiny Malta, the Catholic Church still has a shot at getting secularism right, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, May 15, 2022, Opinion Almost 50 years ago, Pope Paul VI said that “the split between Gospel and culture is, without a doubt, the drama of our times.” In large measure, he was referring to the breach between religious faith and secular culture, which is especially pronounced in the West, and, above all, in Western Europe. Across most of Western Europe, Mass attendance rates stand at all-time lows, vocations to the priesthood and religious life have bottomed out, and states long ago legalized virtually all of the behaviors the Catholic Church vigorously opposes, including divorce, birth control, abortion and same-sex marriage. The residue of the church’s ferocious resistance to all of that has fueled an equal-and-opposite anti-clericalism, which is a defining feature of many European societies. However, there’s one corner of Western Europe where the divorce between faith and culture is still playing out in real time: The tiny island nation of Malta, with a population just over 500,000, has an outsized role in the global church as, historically at least, one of the most pervasively Catholic societies on earth.  What all this suggests is that Malta may be the only place in Europe where the church still has the chance to defuse the bomb before it goes off, meaning to manage the transition to a largely secular society without the “split” to which Paul VI referred. Since 2015, the figure most responsible for how all this turns out has been Archbishop Charles Scicluna, whose 63rd birthday is today. In terms of outlook and style, Scicluna is known as a churchman who prefers to avoid public crusades over contentious issues. That may be ironic, given Malta’s history as a crusader stronghold ruled by the military order of the Knights of St. John from 1530 to 1798, but perhaps it takes a country that knows in its bones what a crusade means to decide to avoid it whenever possible.  The bottom line is that in Scicluna, the Catholic Church may have its best shot at finally getting the transition to secularism right, at least in this tiny corner of the world. It’s too early to tell how things will play out, but the mere prospect is intriguing – especially because, while secularism may have arrived in Western Europe first, the cultural forces it represents sooner or later seem destined to reach the rest of the world too. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/05/in-tiny-malta-the-catholic-church-still-has-a-shot-at-getting-secularism-right___________________________________________________________ 7. Pope rallies from knee pain to proclaim 10 new saints, By Nicole Winfield, The Washington Post, May 15, 2022, 10:34 PM Pope Francis created 10 new saints on Sunday, rallying from knee pain that has forced him to use a wheelchair to preside over the first canonization ceremony at the Vatican in over two years.  They include a Dutch priest-journalist who was killed by the Nazis, a lay Indian convert who was killed for his faith and a half-dozen French and Italian priests and nuns who founded religious orders. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-rallies-from-knee-pain-to-proclaim-10-new-saints/2022/05/15/313814f2-d42c-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html___________________________________________________________ 8. Another Miss for Politicized Science, By The Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2022, Pg. A12, Editorial The public’s confidence in scientific institutions has suffered greatly during Covid-19 as lockdowns and mask mandates outlived the underlying evidence. Don’t expect that to improve as an ostensibly prestigious medical journal tries to politicize medicine with an editorial denouncing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. The Lancet exhorts this week that, “The fact is that if the US Supreme Court confirms its draft decision” overturning Roe v. Wade, “women will die. The Justices who vote to strike down Roe will not succeed in ending abortion, they will only succeed in ending safe abortion. Alito and his supporters will have women’s blood on their hands.” Allow us to offer some peer editorial review. The Court’s draft decision doesn’t end abortion in America. It returns the question to the states, where the public and elected representatives would debate and vote.  The Lancet is trying to lend the imprimatur of science to an American legal and political debate. But the journal will damage the pro-abortion cause if the public starts to dismiss medical expertise as merely another vehicle for the progressive agenda. https://www.wsj.com/articles/another-miss-for-politicized-science-the-lancet-roe-v-wade-abortion-supreme-court-samuel-alito-11652480176?___________________________________________________________ 9. The End of Roe v. Wade, For a constitutional scholar and pro-choice Democrat, there are reasons to endorse the leaked draft opinion overturning the 1973 abortion decision—and to see it as vindication for a range of liberal priorities., By Akhil Reed Amar, The Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2022, Pg. C1, Opinion The recent leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overruling Roe v. Wade has prompted many commentators to charge that a hyper-politicized, conservative Court is on the verge of losing its legitimacy and plunging America into a constitutional abyss. Should the draft become the Court’s ruling, they argue, it would threaten a wide range of basic rights and perhaps the rule of law itself. These are dire assessments, reflecting the country’s intense, long-standing divide over the issue of abortion. But they don’t stand up to scrutiny.  Precedents fall for many reasons. Sometimes the world changes in ways that mock the logic and expectations of the old ruling. Sometimes opposing lines of cases evolve and clash, and something must give. Most fundamentally, sometimes the Court comes to believe that an old case egregiously misinterpreted the Constitution, so the old case must go.  In short, I am a Democrat who supports abortion rights but opposes Roe. The Court’s ruling in the case was simply not grounded either in what the Constitution says or in the long-standing, widely embraced mores and practices of the country. Perhaps I’m wrong in thinking that, and perhaps the Dobbs draft is wrong too. But there is nothing radical, illegitimate or improperly political in what Justice Alito has written. Mr. Amar is a professor of constitutional law at Yale and the author, most recently, of “The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-end-of-roe-v-wade-11652453609?___________________________________________________________ 10. US report details church-state collusion on Native schools, By Peter Smith, Associated Press, May 14, 2022, 9:10 AM A new Interior Department report on the legacy of boarding schools for Native Americans underscores how closely the U.S. government collaborated with churches to Christianize them as part of a project to sever them from their culture, their identities and ultimately their land. The role of churches forms a secondary part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report, released Wednesday after a yearlong review sparked by the 2021 discoveries of hundreds of potential graves at former residential schools in Canada. Most of it focuses on the government’s responsibility for its own officials’ actions and policies. But it details how the government provided funding and other support to religious boarding schools for Native children in the 19th and early 20th centuries to an extent that normally would have been prohibited under rules on separation between church and state. Churches had clout with the government as well, it adds, and were able to recommend people for appointments to federal positions on Native affairs. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/us-report-details-church-state-collusion-on-native-schools/2022/05/14/49b77d60-d387-11ec-886b-df76183d233f_story.html?___________________________________________________________ 11. Why the Head of the Antiabortion March for Life Will Keep Marching, Even if Roe is overturned, Jeanne Mancini says the movement still has work to do, By David Montgomery, The Washington Post, May 14, 2022, 9:00 AM, Opinion The future of the antiabortion movement was on display in the crowd of about 1,000 that gathered for the Virginia March for Life outside the Capitol in Richmond. It was a Wednesday morning in late April, five days before the stunning leak of a draft decision that would signal that the Supreme Court was actively considering overturning Roe v. Wade. Yet the marchers intuited that a dramatic pivot in their nearly 50-year struggle was at hand. They carried signs that said, “The Future Is Anti-Abortion.” College students who were less than half the age of the Roe decision chanted, “We are the post-Roe generation! We will abolish abortion!” That they were here at all was thanks, in part, to a woman standing to the side before the march began, chatting with her parents while her Tibetan terrier rescue dog, Tobias, stood nearby on a leash. Jeanne Mancini, 50, became a leading figure in the antiabortion movement a decade ago and almost by accident. After holding lower-level policy jobs related to ending abortion, she stepped in as president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund upon the death of the march’s founder, Nellie Gray.  Mancini always knew that next year’s national March for Life would be a milestone, if only because it would mark the 50th anniversary of the court decision that launched the march in the first place. Now she realizes that she is planning what could be the first post-Roe March for Life. She is behind schedule in coming up with a theme for the event (it’s different every year) in part because she’s waiting for the court’s official ruling. She’s sure of one thing. If the court’s opinion truly does mark the end of the beginning of the abortion struggle, “we will still need to march.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2022/05/14/jeanne-mancini/___________________________________________________________ 12. Louisiana justices toss COVID-related charges against pastor, By Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press, May 13, 2022, 6:22 PM The Louisiana Supreme Court threw out charges Friday against a pastor who flouted restrictions on gatherings early in the coronavirus pandemic, ruling 5-2 that the governor’s executive orders violated freedom of religion. “This is a tremendous win for religious civil liberties and it has vindicated us in our … battle with the governor trying to close the churches down,” said the Rev. Tony Spell, who drew national attention when his congregation continued to meet in the spring of 2020, while much of the nation was in lockdown. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/louisiana-justices-toss-covid-related-charges-against-pastor/2022/05/13/d2162866-d308-11ec-886b-df76183d233f_story.html___________________________________________________________ 13. German Bishops’ President Asserts ‘The Need to Develop the Church’s Teaching’, The assembly of the synodal path has voted in favor of documents calling for the priestly ordination of women, same-sex blessings, and changes to teaching on homosexual acts., By Catholic News Agency, May 13, 2022 The president of the German bishops’ conference has expressed his belief that Church teaching needs further development, in response to critique of the synodal path in that country. The statement came in the latest instance of epistolary exchange between Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg and Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver. “Our Church needs change in order to faithfully carry out her mission and take the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of our time. And the urgent need for change also includes the need to further develop the Church’s teaching. Such is my conviction,” Bishop Bätzing wrote in a May 5 letter to Archbishop Aquila. The assembly of the synodal path has voted in favor of documents calling for the priestly ordination of women, same-sex blessings, and changes to teaching on homosexual acts.  In May 2021, Archbishop Aquila wrote that the synodal path’s first text put forward “untenable” proposals for changes to Church teaching. He was among the drafters of an April 11 open letter that warned the synodal path may lead to schism, now signed by more than 100 bishops, six of whom are cardinals. And on May 2 he wrote to Bishop Bätzing reiterating that the synodal path challenges, and even repudiates, the deposit of faith. https://www.ncregister.com/cna/german-bishops-president-asserts-the-need-to-develop-the-church-s-teaching___________________________________________________________ 14. Cardinal Parolin hopes Zen arrest will not complicate Vatican-China dialogue, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, May 13, 2022, 11:00 AM Cardinal Pietro Parolin has said that he is “very sorry” about Cardinal Joseph Zen’s arrest earlier this week and hopes it will not complicate the Holy See’s dialogue with China.“I would like to express my closeness to the cardinal who was freed and treated well,” Parolin said on May 12, according to Vatican News, the Holy See’s online news portal.The Vatican Secretary of State, a key architect of the Holy See’s provisional agreement with Chinese authorities on the appointment of bishops, added that Zen’s arrest in Hong Kong should not be read as “a disavowal” of the agreement with Beijing, which is up for renewal this fall. Parolin told journalists that his “most concrete hope is that initiatives like this cannot complicate the already complex and not simple path of dialogue between the Holy See and the Church in China.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251230/cardinal-parolin-hopes-cardinal-zen-arrest-will-not-complicate-vatican-china-dialogue___________________________________________________________ 15. The Arrest of Cardinal Zen Marks a New Low in Hong Kong, China’s Communist Party quietly crushes dissent in the first free, prosperous city to fall to totalitarians since World War II., By Mark L. Clifford, The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2022, 6:47 PM, Opinion The arrest this week of 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen marks a new low in China’s destruction of Hong Kong’s democracy. Cardinal Zen, the Roman Catholic bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 through 2009, was arrested along with other prominent activists, including lawmaker Margaret Ng and pop star and gay-rights activist Denise Ho. Their alleged crime? Involvement in an organization that provided bail and legal counsel to those arrested during the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations. China’s strategy for outlawing dissent has evolved since the brutal crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 33 years ago. It no longer relies on tanks; in Hong Kong, it is silently smothering opposition.  Hong Kong no longer has the right to be considered a unique member of the international community. The territory should be stripped of its privileged status in economic, trade, health, and sporting groups, where it enjoys its own membership, separate from that of China. These bodies include the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization and the International Olympic Committee. Beijing treats Hong Kong like a troublesome peripheral region that needed to be crushed. The world must recognize that harsh reality. Mr. Clifford is president of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong and author of “Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World: What China’s Crackdown Reveals About Its Plans to End Freedom Everywhere.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/tiananmen-without-the-tanks-china-ccp-democracy-hong-kong-cardinal-joseph-zen-jail-activist-catholic-arrest-11652471162?___________________________________________________________ 16. Some Catholic abortion foes are uneasy about overturning Roe, By David Crary, Associated Press, May 13, 2022, 11:24 AM Some anti-abortion Catholics say such an outcome would be the answer to their prayers.  The archbishops echoed the calls of other Catholic leaders who, after the Supreme Court leak, suggested that a reversal of Roe should be coupled with expanded outreach and support for pregnant wo…men and new mothers. [Archbishop] Lori highlighted a USCCB program called Walking With Moms in Need, saying the church should redouble its efforts “to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, and during the early years of parenthood.”  Professor O. Carter Snead, who teaches law and political science at the University of Notre Dame, said via email that most Catholics engaging in anti-abortion activism “are not hard political partisans but rather people seeking to care for moms and babies by whatever means are available.” As an example, Snead cited Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture – which he directs – and one of its initiatives, called “Women and Children First: Imagining a Post-Roe World.” Through teaching, research and public engagement, the initiative seeks to strengthen support for “women, children (born and unborn), and families in need.” However, achieving broad bipartisan collaboration on such initiatives may not come soon, Snead acknowledged. “It is true, regrettably, that the only political party that has been willing to partner to provide legal protection for the unborn is the Republicans,” he said. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/some-catholic-abortion-foes-are-uneasy-about-overturning-roe/2022/05/13/c7fe5a70-d2d0-11ec-886b-df76183d233f_story.html___________________________________________________________

TCA Media Monitoring provides 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. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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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.