1. New state abortion laws range from felony to free, By Sean Salai, The Washington Times, April 13, 2022, Pg. A1 Performing an abortion in Oklahoma will be a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison under a bill signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday — just three days after lawmakers in Maryland went the other direction by expanding not only who can perform abortions but also requiring insurance to cover the procedure at no cost to the policyholder. The new laws in Oklahoma and Maryland reflect a rapidly splintering legal landscape as Republican-controlled states enact abortion restrictions while Democratic-run states race to codify abortion rights. A Supreme Court ruling expected in June could upend Roe v. Wade, the case that has guaranteed the right to abortion for the past half-century.  The Family Research Council report found that 18 states have laws restricting abortion under most or all circumstances, four states limit abortion when a baby’s heartbeat becomes detectable, five states ban abortion at a specific gestational age, and three states forbid abortion when the fetus can survive outside the womb. Another 14 states allow women to obtain abortions until birth with a broadly defined health exception, and six states allow “legal abortions at any point for any reason,” according to the report. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/apr/12/abortion-rights-without-roe-poised-splinter-across/___________________________________________________________ 2. Ukraine upset by Vatican inviting Russian to carry cross, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, April 13, 2022, 5:22 AM A close associate of Pope Francis on Wednesday defended the Vatican’s decision to have a Russian woman and a Ukrainian woman carry the cross together during a Good Friday procession that will be presided over by the pontiff. On Tuesday, both the Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See and the archbishop of Kyiv blasted the choice given Russia’s invasion and war in Ukraine. The women are both nurses who work together at a Rome hospital. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/ukraine-upset-by-vatican-inviting-russian-to-carry-cross/2022/04/13/47112834-bb0b-11ec-a92d-c763de818c21_story.html___________________________________________________________ 3. Vatican ambassador opposes bill to ban Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, April 13, 2022 On Tuesday the Vatican’s embassy in Ukraine voiced indirect opposition to a bill banning the activities of the Moscow Patriarchate in the country which, among other things, stipulates that all property belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church be nationalized. In their statement, the Vatican nunciature in Ukraine said they have “noted the existence of public discussions concerning certain Churches, their legal recognition and the respective use of property.” “In this regard, this nunciature considers it appropriate to state that the Holy See is opposed to any restrictive action taken against any Church or religious organization, in any country and in any situation,” they said. The statement comes after a draft bill was submitted March 29 to the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, banning the Moscow Patriarchate, including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate – a branch of Orthodoxy in Ukraine that reports to Moscow – from the territory of Ukraine. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2022/04/vatican-ambassador-opposes-bill-to-ban-russian-orthodox-church-in-ukraine___________________________________________________________ 4. European Church leaders write Putin, Zelenskyy urging Easter ceasefire, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, April 13, 2022 Two prominent European Church leaders have written a letter to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine urging a ceasefire in their ongoing war that spans the period between Catholic and Orthodox Easter celebrations. The letter was signed jointly by Jesuit Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and Reverend Christian Krieger, president of the Conference of European Churches (CEC). https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2022/04/european-church-leaders-write-putin-zelenskyy-urging-easter-ceasefire___________________________________________________________ 5. ‘Simply Wrong’: Vatican Official Criticized for Address to Pro-Homosexuality Catholic Organization, Xavière Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary at the Synod of Bishops’ general secretariat, delivered an online PowerPoint presentation to New Ways Ministry, which promotes homosexual and transgender rights in the Church, on April 3., By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, April 12, 2022 A recent lecture given by a high-level member of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops to a dissenting American organization has been criticized as “simply wrong” and part of a concerted effort to influence the current worldwide Synod on Synodality to legitimize the homosexual agenda in the Church.   Xavière Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary at the Synod of Bishops’ general secretariat responsible for coordinating all the Vatican’s synods, delivered an online PowerPoint presentation to New Ways Ministry, which promotes homosexual and transgender rights in the Church, on April 3. The subject was “Synodality — a Path of Reconciliation” — a discussion on the current Synod on Synodality that runs until October 2023.  The presentation, billed as a memorial lecture, was in honor of the late Salvatorian Father Robert Nugent, who, together with Sister of Loretto Jeannine Gramick, founded New Ways Ministry in 1977 to minister to  homosexual people in the Church. Sister Jeannine led the opening prayer before the lecture. Both Father Nugent and Sister Jeannine were disciplined by the Vatican in the 1990s because of the flaws in their approach to ministry to homosexuals persons.   Responding to the lecture, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura, told the Register it was “not proper that a member of the Synod of Bishops, representing this high-level consultative body in the Church, speak to an organization which is in dissent from the Church’s teaching on the homosexual condition, on homosexual acts, and to express the idea that somehow the Church can be reconciled with these positions which are contrary to her teaching.” He stressed that the Church’s teaching on homosexuality “is unchanging because it comes directly from the Scriptures and is faithfully taught in the magisterium.” To deliver such a lecture, he added, was therefore “simply wrong.” https://www.ncregister.com/news/simply-wrong-vatican-official-criticized-for-address-to-pro-homosexuality-catholic-organization___________________________________________________________ 6. Christian Faith Gets High Grades for Academic Success, In a new book, Jewish sociologist Ilana Horwitz documents the positive relationship between a committed Christian upbringing and grades and college outcomes, By Judy Roberts, National Catholic Register, April 12, 2022 Catholics who believe their faith offers both eternal and temporal benefits might not be surprised to learn that teens who take their religion seriously perform better academically, but it was something of a revelation to Ilana Horwitz, who holds a doctorate from Stanford University in education and Jewish studies. Having grown up in a family that didn’t openly practice their Jewish faith, the Tulane University sociologist knew few people like those she decided to study and write about in her book, God, Grades, and Graduation: Religion’s Surprising Impact on Academic Success. However, when she learned through a 2014 Pew “Religious Landscape” study that a fourth of all Americans still organized their lives around religion, she was intrigued and wanted to know whether religious upbringing influenced academic outcomes. Using data from the “National Study of Youth and Religion” and linking it to the National Student Clearinghouse, Horwitz  followed 3,290 teens from 2003 to 2012, examining the influence religion had on grades and college choice and completion.  What she found was that there was indeed a positive relationship between a conservative Christian upbringing and grades and college outcomes. Horwitz described the teens for whom this was true as “intensely religious,” meaning they attended church weekly or more often, felt close to God, prayed by themselves on a regular basis and emphasized the role of faith in their daily lives and decision-making.  She told the Register that in acknowledging a personal relationship with God, “The Catholic and evangelical [Protestant] kids didn’t look that different to me in terms of how much of their lives were organized around God and religion and doing things that would please God.” Of those she writes about, 50% were conservative Protestant and 14% were Catholic. Another 15% were Black Protestant, 12% were mainline Protestant and 6% were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All were public-school students. https://www.ncregister.com/news/christian-faith-gets-high-grades-for-academic-success___________________________________________________________

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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