1. D.C. Abortion Pictures Reveal Uncomfortable Truths, By Maureen Ferguson, Newsweek, April 18, 2022, 6:30 AM, Opinion Sometimes it’s because images are hard to look at that we feel compelled to view them.  So it is with the images of the five nearly full-term aborted babies recently surrendered to Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. The babies in the photographs allegedly came out with the medical waste from a late-term abortion clinic in the nation’s capital. The photographs are unsettling in the extreme—little boys and girls, far along in their development and their bodies mostly intact, all of them not simply dead but killed. It’s not a coincidence that the police department’s homicide unit took custody of the five little bodies. Naturally, we want to look away because the photos are ghastly, but even more so because we don’t want our hearts to break. But when we look away, it enables the barbarity to continue behind the clinic doors. In the comparable case of notorious late-term abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia, officials looked the other way for 17 years. Gosnell performed thousands of abortions, delivering many infants alive and “snipping” the backs of their necks to sever the spinal cord. Gosnell’s technique only came to light during a drug bust at his clinic, because he also dealt in illegal prescription drugs. The photographs of the late-term babies allegedly aborted at D.C.’s Washington-Surgi Clinic are eerily similar to the images of Gosnell’s victims. Medical experts told pro-life group Live Action that the babies appeared old enough to survive outside the womb, raising the question of whether they had been born alive. D.C. police seem to be looking the other way, however, declining to do autopsies to determine cause of death. Sixty-nine members of Congress have written to the FBI requesting an investigation, since local detectives have demonstrated such a strange lack of curiosity.  The abortion right created by Roe has always been based on subtle, soothing and slippery lies. It’s not really a baby. We don’t know when life begins. The baby isn’t viable. It’s not really violent. It’s not really painful. Women can’t succeed without abortion. These new images of abortion victims—like those of civilians targeted in Ukraine or the last minutes of George Floyd’s life—challenge us to see through the lies. The abortion industry wants us to look away. But the faces of those five babies, and the thought of their wounded and exploited mothers, are five of the most powerful reasons to overturn Roe. Maureen Ferguson is a Senior Fellow for The Catholic Association. https://www.newsweek.com/dc-abortion-pictures-reveal-uncomfortable-truths-opinion-1698021___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope makes Easter plea for Ukraine peace, cites nuclear risk, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, April 17, 2022, 9:39 AM On what is supposed to be Christianity’s most joyful day, Pope Francis made an anguished Easter Sunday plea for peace in the “senseless” war in Ukraine and in other armed conflicts raging in the world, and voiced worry about the risk of nuclear warfare. “May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of this cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged,” Francis said, speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-leads-crowds-in-1st-outdoor-easter-mass-since-pandemic/2022/04/17/bd790f66-be33-11ec-b5df-1fba61a66c75_story.html___________________________________________________________ 3. On Good Friday, Francis opts for graciousness as geopolitical strategy, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 17, 2022, Opinion As a personal rule of thumb, I try to remember that while I’ve often regretted being the nastier, more aggressive party to an argument, I’ve never felt that way when I was the more gracious participant. When you exude graciousness, you may technically lose the argument on points, but you’ll win in a landslide on style. As a geopolitical matter, Pope Francis opted for graciousness himself on Good Friday by inviting two women, one a nursing student in Rome named Albina and the other a nurse named Irina who are personal friends, one of whom happens to be Russian and the other Ukrainian, to carry the cross together during the thirteenth station of the traditional Via Crucis (“Way of the Cross”) ceremony. The pope went ahead with the plan despite a chorus of criticism from Ukrainians, including the head of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who called the decision “incoherent and offensive,” as well as Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See. A consortium of Catholic media outlets in Ukraine actually refused to carry the Via Crucis ceremony in protest of the Russian/Ukrainian duo. The Ukrainian argument seems difficult to refute: That by pairing a Russian and a Ukrainian, whatever their personal relationship, the pope risked implying a moral equivalence between Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression and Ukraine’s legitimate right to self-defense.   By installing graciousness as a cornerstone of his geopolitical strategy, however, he appears to be trying to take the long view.  Of course, it’s entirely understandable why many Ukrainians aren’t in the mood for proleptic gestures of reconciliation. When you’re spending most of your time trying to protect yourself and your loved ones from being slaughtered, graciousness can be a tough sell. Yet at some point, a capacity for graciousness may well make the difference between peace and permanent war. Perhaps Pope Francis is hoping that his Good Friday gamble will pay off when that moment comes. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/04/on-good-friday-francis-opts-for-graciousness-as-geopolitical-strategy___________________________________________________________ 4. A leap forward for abortion access, By The Washington Post, April 17, 2022, Pg. A26, Editorial At a time when reproductive rights are under unprecedented attack across the country, Maryland took a significant step to increase access to abortion statewide. Not only will women in Maryland benefit from the forward-looking legislation that lifts outdated barriers on who can perform abortions, but also the expansion of access could help women from other states where laws are being passed to restrict or ban abortions in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling soon on a Mississippi case challenging Roe v. Wade. If the court — as abortion rights activists fear — rolls back or overturns the landmark 1973 decision-making abortion legal across the country, it is expected there will be an influx of women into states such as Maryland that are committed to keeping the procedure safe and legal.  States such as Maryland are preparing to become havens for women seeking places to go to get the care that they deem critical to their health and well-being. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/16/marylands-decision-expand-who-can-perform-abortions-is-leap-forward/___________________________________________________________  5. For many, Easter Sunday marks a return to in-person worship, By Steve LeBlanc, Giovanna Dell’orto and Deepa Bharath, Associated Press, April 17, 2022 For many U.S. Christians, this weekend marked the first time since 2019 that they gathered in person on Easter Sunday, a welcome chance to celebrate one of the year’s holiest days side by side with fellow congregants.  The pandemic erupted in the country in March 2020, just ahead of Easter, forcing many churches to resort to online or televised worship. Many continued to hold virtual services last spring after a deadly winter wave of the coronavirus and as vaccination campaigns were still ramping up. But this year more churches opened their doors for Easter services with few COVID-19 restrictions, in line with broader societal trends. Among them were Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston, which since last June has once again required most churchgoers to attend Mass in person — though those with health risks may still watch remotely, and pastors have been asked to make space for social distancing in churches. https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-lifestyle-easter-nyc-state-wire-44efc655f6a34c682d41db3c7f9a1f48___________________________________________________________ 6. Pope Francis and a Dark Chapter of Canadian History, A welcome and heartfelt apology for Catholics’ role in the country’s abusive residential school system., By Michael Taube, The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2022, 4:30 PM, Opinion Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for the Roman Catholic involvement with Canada’s residential school system. His heartfelt contrition may bring some reconciliation for the indigenous people affected by this disturbing part of my country’s history and the many Canadians frustrated, saddened and embarrassed by it. The gesture was long awaited by indigenous leaders and came after an intense week of discussions between Pope Francis and First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegations. Before an audience that included 200 bishops as well as indigenous delegates and their supporters in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, on April 1 the pontiff expressed “sorrow and shame for the role that a number of Catholics, particularly those with educational responsibilities, have had in all these things that wounded you, and the abuses you suffered and the lack of respect shown for your identity, your culture and even your spiritual values.”  Pope Francis is a Jesuit who strongly believes in social justice and his apology seemed to come from a real sense of personal responsibility for indigenous assimilation in New France and Canada. In an age when governments and public officials issue apologies with almost flippant ease, he clearly believes the church should be accountable for its role in the difficult history of Canada’s residential schools. For me and other Canadians, it’s greatly appreciated. Mr. Taube, a columnist for Troy Media and Loonie Politics, was a speechwriter for former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pope-francis-and-a-dark-chapter-of-canadian-history-graves-indigenous-people-schools-apology-11650225567?___________________________________________________________ 7. German bishops’ president responds to letter warning of schism risk in synodal path, By Catholic News Agency, April 16, 2022, 12:40 PM Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, president of the German bishops’ conference, responded Thursday to a letter warning the country’s synodal path could lead to schism by defending the process as a response to abuses in the Church. “The Synodal Path is our attempt in Germany to confront the systemic causes of the abuse and its cover-up that has caused untold suffering to so many people in and through the Church,” Bishop Bätzing wrote April 14 to Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver. The German bishop’s letter was published April 16 at the German bishops’ conference website. More than 80 bishops from around the world signed an April 11 open letter sent by Archbishop Aquila that warned sweeping changes to Church teaching advocated by the synodal path may lead to schism.  “I can reassure you with an open heart: these fears with regard to the synodal path of the Catholic Church in Germany are not correct,” Bishop Bätzing wrote. “So the synodal path in no way undermines the authority of the Church, including that of Pope Francis, as you write.” “I was able to speak to the Holy Father several times about the synodal path,” the German bishop said. “In his letter to the pilgrim people of God in Germany, he expressly asked us to walk the path as a search ‘for a bold response to the present situation’ and at the same time as a spiritual path, asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250999/german-bishops-president-responds-to-letter-warning-of-schism-risk-in-synodal-path___________________________________________________________ 8. Top Vatican cardinal: ‘Legitimate concerns’ about Germany’s ‘Synodal Path’, By Catholic News Agency, April 15, 2022, 11:15 AM A top cardinal at the Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis’ apprehension about Germany’s “Synodal Path,” telling EWTN in an exclusive interview that critics have raised “legitimate concerns” about the controversial re-assessment of Church teaching on sexual morality and other critical issues. “I very much hope that the German bishops will not simply defend themselves but really enter into a dialogue. Because there are legitimate concerns behind this that have to be taken seriously,” Cardinal Kurt Koch said Thursday. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250994/cardinal-koch-synodal-path-germany___________________________________________________________ 9. The First Amendment at a Falls Church clinic, By Shira M. Zemel, The Washington Post, April 15, 2022, 11:15 AM, Opinion When anti-abortionists shift their tactics from protest to policymaking and attempt to encode their Christian theology into the laws of our nation, they shift from exercising their First Amendment rights to infringing upon my rights as an American Jew. I have stopped giving much thought or attention to the antiabortion protesters outside of the Falls Church Healthcare Center every day, just up the street from where I have lived for the past eight years. If this is how these people choose to spend the precious time we are given on this Earth — intimidating patients seeking medical care — then so be it. I ignore them and do clinic defense work to help ensure patients are able to enter the clinic with dignity. I co-direct National Council of Jewish Women’s abortion access campaign, 73Forward, and I serve on the board of directors of ARCH, the Falls Church Healthcare patient fund. These things feel much more productive than standing on a street giving credence to the “antis” with hate-filled photoshopped billboards. This afternoon, however, on the day that Passover will begin, I will escort patients entering Falls Church Healthcare Center. Escorts are not normally needed at our local clinic on Fridays, but on this one, Good Friday, we’ve been asked to show up because of the uptick in protesters outside as they close out their “40 Days for Life” campaign.  But if it is the First Amendment that protects these antiabortion extremists when taunting teenage students across from their public high school, then we cannot forget that the First Amendment should also guarantee my right to an abortion according to my Jewish tradition.  I watch these protesters on the sidewalk in my community and wonder if they see the irony that the same First Amendment that protects their right to cruelly harass schoolchildren and clinic patients (and observe Good Friday as they wish, protesting outside the clinic) is the same right that protects mine to not be told how to live my Judaism. How dare they try to encode their theology into the laws of our nation? Of course the antis will never see this. It’s clear from their graphic posters that their zeal long ago blinded them as much in biology class as it did in civics class. It’s my sincere hope though that the only blindness that prevails here is that of Lady Justice seeing the First Amendment applied equally. Shira M. Zemel is co-director of National Council of Jewish Women’s 73Forward abortion access campaign. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/15/first-amendment-falls-church-clinic/___________________________________________________________ 10. Abortion ban after 15 weeks signed into law in Florida, By Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press, April 14, 2022 Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban into law Thursday as the state joined a growing conservative push to restrict access to the procedure ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could roll back abortion rights in America. “This will represent the most significant protections for life that have been enacted in this state in a generation,” DeSantis said as he signed the bill at an evangelical church in the city of Kissimmee. https://apnews.com/article/us-supreme-court-health-ron-desantis-florida-lifestyle-8e8fb722fcb84ae86fd6be17f48503a9___________________________________________________________

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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