1. Oklahoma governor poised to sign bill criminalizing abortion, By Eugene Scott, The Washington Post, April 12, 2022, 8:15 AM Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is poised to sign a bill that makes performing an abortion in the state illegal, as Republican-led states rush to restrict abortion access while the Supreme Court weighs the fate of Roe v. Wade. The governor’s office said in a statement that Stitt will be joined at the signing ceremony Tuesday morning by members of the legislature, faith leaders and a number of antiabortion groups “in support of protecting lives of unborn children in Oklahoma.”  Since September, when the Texas law went into effect, banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, patients from that state have been traveling to Oklahoma for abortion care. Oklahoma has treated approximately 45 percent of patients who have left Texas for abortions, more than any other state, according to a recent study from the University of Texas at Austin. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/12/abortion-oklahoma-criminal/___________________________________________________________ 2. Bishops sign letter warning that Germany’s ‘Synodal Path’ could lead to schism, By Catholic News Agency, April 12, 2022, 6:00 AM More than 70 bishops from around the world have released a “fraternal open letter” to Germany’s bishops warning that sweeping changes to Church teaching advocated by the ongoing process known as the “Synodal Path” may lead to schism. The letter expresses “our growing concern about the nature of the entire German ‘Synodal Path,'” which the signatories say has led to confusion about Church teaching and appears focused more on man’s will than God’s. “Failing to listen to the Holy Spirit and the Gospel, the Synodal Path’s actions undermine the credibility of Church authority, including that of Pope Francis; Christian anthropology and sexual morality; and the reliability of Scripture,” the letter states. “While they display a patina of religious ideas and vocabulary, the German Synodal Path documents seem largely inspired not by Scripture and Tradition — which, for the Second Vatican Council, are ‘a single sacred deposit of the Word of God’ — but by sociological analysis and contemporary political, including gender, ideologies,” the letter continues.  Those lending their names to the document include such well-known prelates as Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, and Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250945/fraternal-letter-bishops-germany-synodal-path___________________________________________________________ 3. Cardinal Parolin says religion is fundamental to promoting peace, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, April 12, 2022, 4:45 AM Religions make a fundamental contribution to promoting peace. So much so, that if an ecumenical version of the interreligious Document on Human Fraternity were to be produced, one of its themes would be peace. That is what Cardinal Pietro Parolin said in the fourth part of a recent exclusive interview with CNA. The Vatican Secretary of State also spoke about the role of religions in promoting reconciliation and the possibilities of ecumenical diplomacy. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250950/cardinal-parolin-says-religion-is-fundamental-to-promoting-peace___________________________________________________________ 4. New American envoy arrives at unique moment in US/Vatican relations, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 12, 2022, Opinion Yesterday, former Senator Joseph Donnelly presented his credentials to Pope Francis as the 12th Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See, since the beginning of formal diplomatic relations under President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Ironically, Reagan wanted closer ties with the Vatican under Pope John Paul II in part because of perceptions that the U.S. and the Polish pope had a common enemy in the Soviet Union, i.e., Russia. Today, Donnelly steps into the ambassador’s role when that common enemy is back with a vengeance amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. As a result, one could make a good case that Donnelly steps into his new role at a propitious moment to be the American envoy to Pope Francis’s Vatican. That’s important, in part because it hasn’t always been so. From the beginning, Pope Francis has made his personal ambivalence about the United States clear, especially American conservatism – from the infamous “ecumenism of hate” essay by two of his closest friends and allies denouncing a perceived partnership between conservative Catholics and Evangelical Protestants in America, to his more recent swipe at EWTN as doing “the work of the devil” for its criticisms of his papacy.  For right now, what does seem clear is that Donnelly arrives at a moment of deep global upheaval, which means he’ll be seeing a lot of the Vatican’s top brass for both formal and, more often, informal conversations. For once in the Pope Francis era, those exchanges won’t be contentious. Instead, vis-à-vis Ukraine, the United States and the Holy See are basically on the same side, which creates the possibility of all sorts of new partnerships between the world’s most important hard and soft powers, respectively. That reality marks a significant change in climate – a “great thaw,” perhaps – between Washington and Rome. Where it may lead remains uncertain, but if you’re Joseph Donnelly today, you may be content just to ride this wave as long as it lasts. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/04/new-american-envoy-arrives-at-unique-moment-in-us-vatican-relations___________________________________________________________

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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