1. An Early Surge of Faith Among the Young, By Clare Ansberry, The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2023, Pg. A11 A greater share of young adults say they believe in a higher power or God.\ About one-third of 18-to-25-year-olds say they believe—more than doubt—the existence of a higher power, up from about one-quarter in 2021, according to a recent survey of young adults. The findings, based on December polling, are part of an annual report on the state of religion and youth from the Springtide Research Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit. Young adults, theologians and church leaders attribute the increase in part to the need for people to believe in something beyond themselves after three years of loss.   Other polls, including Gallup, ask specifically about believing in God and show a decline in young adults who believe in God.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-surprising-surge-of-faith-among-young-people-424220bd__________________________________________________________ 2. The Court’s Abortion Pill Reprieve, By The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2023, Pg. A16, Editorial America’s supposed descent into “The Handmaid’s Tale” was put on pause Friday after the Supreme Court stayed a lower-court order restricting access to the abortion pill mifepristone. Note the irony of progressives praising the same High Court they call a threat to democracy and women’s rights.  The Fifth Circuit has fast-tracked the case and will hold oral arguments on the government’s appeal next month. That means the High Court could hear the case next term with a decision coming by the summer of 2024. Democrats must be elated because this will keep abortion politics in the news during the 2024 campaign season and put Republicans on defense. No wonder they are cheering the Supreme Court they otherwise claim is “illegitimate.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-supreme-courts-abortion-pill-reprieve-ec40ef8b__________________________________________________________ 3. The Pro-Life Movement Can’t Lead With Compromise, Begin with courage, strength and truth, By Lila Rose, The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2023, Pg. A16, Letter to the Editor In “Republicans Can Reset the Abortion Debate” (op-ed, April 19), Ryan Anderson makes many points in which we are in perfect agreement, particularly on the “truth about the precious child in the womb: The entity that ultrasound technicians refer to as ‘your baby,’ whose heartbeat expectant mothers and fathers anxiously wait to hear and whose grainy pictures we share in text messages, is a human being of profound worth.” But he makes one argument with which I disagree: “Running on an absolutist pro-life platform now is the mirror image of the mistake Democrats have made running on an absolutist pro-abortion platform.” Pro-life candidates should always lead with the truth. Elective abortion is an act of violence that starves or tears a living human child limb from limb. There is no compromise on killing a child. Every human being, including every preborn child, deserves due process and equal protection under the law. That means a total ban on indiscriminately killing them.  Instead of leading with compromise, the pro-life movement must lead with courage and strength. Lila Rose is the founder and CEO of Live Action https://www.wsj.com/articles/pro-life-movement-abortion-strategy-compromise-live-action-7241af82__________________________________________________________ 4. Pontifical Academy for Life president calls medically assisted suicide ‘feasible’, By Shannon Mullen, Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, April 23, 2023, 3:02 PM Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has spoken in support of legalized medically assisted suicide, calling it “feasible” despite the clear teachings of the Catholic Church against it. “Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance, but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in,” Paglia said in a speech on April 19 during the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. The Italian archbishop’s remarks were part of a presentation that included a documentary about an Italian man who went to Switzerland to die by assisted suicide. A video of the discussion, in Italian, is available here. The Italian news outlet Il Riformista published the text of Paglia’s speech on Saturday. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder” and “gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and the respect due to the living God, his Creator” (CCC 2324).  More recently, in August 2022, Paglia was sharply criticized by abortion opponents for referring in an Italian television interview to Law 194 — the 1978 law legalizing abortion in Italy — as a “pillar of society.” In a subsequent statement, the Pontifical Academy of Life said the comment was taken out of context. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254160/pontifical-academy-of-life-president-calls-medically-assisted-suicide-feasible__________________________________________________________ 5. Yeah, John Paul II used to leave the Vatican with Polish monsignors … so?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 23, 2023, Opinion Recently a media thunderstorm erupted in Rome when the brother of the “Vatican girl,” referring to the 1983 disappearance of a 15-year-old girl that’s become the  most notorious unsolved mystery in recent Vatican history, went on Italian television to play a recording of an ex-mobster alleging that Pope John Paul II was complicit in a Vatican pedophile ring that included his sister. The brother, Pietro Orlandi, added: “They tell me that Wojtyla [the given name of John Paul II] used to go out at night with two Polish monsignors, and it certainly wasn’t to bless houses.”  That bombshell triggered a ferocious Vatican counter-offensive, including Pope Francis himself calling the suggestion about his predecessor “offensive and unfounded.” Orlandi has since tried to walk back his words, insisting that he wasn’t accusing John Paul II of anything but rather simply passing along an audio recording to Vatican investigators.  Setting aside the Orlandi case and the claims about pedophilia, if the question is simply whether John Paul II ever went out from the Vatican in secret fashion in the company of fellow Polish clergy, the answer is a resounding “yes.” To be clear, John Paul’s penchant for slipping the surly bonds of the Vatican was known even at the time. In 1983, a reporter named Andrea Purgatori for Corriere della Sera, the most respected newspaper in Italy, published a story with the following title: “Employees of the Holy See: Wojtyla leaves by himself, without telling anybody.”  It probably would be wise, therefore, to keep this episode in mind as a caution against going off the deep end before all the facts are at hand. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2023/04/yeah-john-paul-ii-used-to-leave-the-vatican-with-polish-monsignors-so__________________________________________________________ 6. Even after abortion pill ruling, reproductive rights remain in the balance, By The Washington Post, April 22, 2023, 4:43 PM, Editorial The Supreme Court said late Friday that the abortion pill mifepristone — a drug millions of women have used to terminate early pregnancies — would remain widely available, at least for now.  The Biden administration was right to call the lower court’s decision an unprecedented attack not only on women’s health care but also on the authority and expertise of the FDA, whose approval of mifepristone relied on data from numerous clinical trials. In recent years, the conservative legal movement has targeted multiple facets of the administrative state, and the attack on the FDA is no exception: If the Supreme Court agreed with Judge Kacsmaryk, the FDA’s regulatory authority over other drugs would be called into question. Though the justices have avoided this mistake, for the moment, Friday’s decision nevertheless underscores how crucial, and vulnerable, access to reproductive care remains. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/04/22/supreme-court-abortion-rights-mifepristone-ruling/__________________________________________________________ 7. Why DeSantis and Trump are hyping the death penalty, By Jason Willick, The Wahington Post, April 22, 2023, 6:30 AM, Opinion The political power of the death penalty, at least for Republican voters, persists notwithstanding the increasing obsolescence of actual executions. Why? In the 2010 book “Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition,” New York University sociologist David Garland argued that the purpose of the death penalty in Western societies has changed over time. In the early-modern period — roughly 1400 to 1700 — the death penalty was a tool of state-building. The rise of dramatic and violent public executions, especially for enemies of the state, was designed to help Europe’s monarchs establish their dominion in a world of shifting political boundaries and sources of authority. In the modern period — from the 19th century into the 20th century — the Western death penalty took on the more utilitarian purpose of controlling crime. It was increasingly uniform and bureaucratic. Consistent with the developing science of criminal justice, executions were a method the state used to keep the peace.  “The system of capital punishment that exists in America today is primarily a communication system,” Garland argued. “It is about mounting campaigns, taking polls, passing laws, bringing charges, bargaining pleas, imposing sentences, and rehearing cases. It is about threats rather than deeds, anticipated deaths rather than actual executions. What gets performed, for the most part, is discourse and debate.” The purpose of the death penalty, in other words, is no longer protecting the state or the public as such. It’s to be a source of material for politicians, activists, journalists, filmmakers and others. If democracy is a performance, drama and emotion drive engagement.  But what we should be worried about is not the return of death as an instrument of authoritarian rule, or the routine execution of criminals that has sometimes been the Western norm. No, what we should worry about is the increasing frivolousness of our late-modern politics, and the ease with which it cheapens human life. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/04/22/trump-desantis-death-penalty-position/__________________________________________________________ 8. Hong Kong bishop closes Beijing visit amid rising Sino-Vatican tensions, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, April 22, 2023 Hong Kong’s Bishop Stephen Chow closed a five-day visit to Beijing this week urging love for both Church and state and extending an invitation to his mainland counterpart, at a time when Vatican-China relations are facing increased strains. Chow, 63, was invited to visit by Beijing Bishop Joseph Li Shan sometime last year.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-asia/2023/04/hong-kong-bishop-closes-beijing-visit-amid-rising-sino-vatican-tensions__________________________________________________________ 9. Supreme Court preserves access to abortion pill for now, By Mark Sherman, Associated Press, April 21, 2023 The Supreme Court on Friday preserved women’s access to a drug used in the most common method of abortion, rejecting lower-court restrictions while a lawsuit continues. The justices granted emergency requests from the Biden administration and New York-based Danco Laboratories, maker of the drug mifepristone. They are appealing a lower court ruling that would roll back Food and Drug Administration approval of mifepristone.  Two of the nine justices — Samuel Alito, the author of last year’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and Clarence Thomas — voted to allow restrictions to take effect, and Alito issued a four-page dissent. No other justices commented on the court’s one-paragraph order, and the court did not release a full vote breakdown. https://apnews.com/article/supreme-court-abortion-pill-mifepristone-access-f781488016640bf571faf36096339ea4__________________________________________________________ 10. Latinos leaving Catholicism and organized religion, study says, By Silvia Foster-Frau and Rachel Hatzipanagos, The Washington Post, April 21, 2023, 6:00 AM  Latinos, like the rest of the country, are increasingly leaving church pews. About 30 percent of Latino adults are not religiously affiliated — a dramatic increase from just 10 percent in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center report. Fueling the shift are young Latinos between the ages of 18 and 29, half of whom say they have no religious affiliation. U.S.-born Latinos, who are driving the community’s growth, are also half as likely to belong to a church than Latino immigrants, the Pew study found.  While Catholicism has been a long-ingrained facet of Latino identity, the Pew survey shows the share of Latino Catholics is shrinking. In 2010, 67 percent of Latinos in the United States considered themselves Catholic, compared to 43 percent now, which is still twice as likely as U.S. adults overall. For every one Latino adult who said they had joined the Catholic Church, 23 Latinos had left, the survey found.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/04/21/latino-catholic-atheist/__________________________________________________________

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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