1. Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Judge says he’ll block abortion-referral ban.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 25, 2019, A Section

A federal judge in Oregon will block President Donald Trump’s policy of prohibiting taxpayer-funded health care providers from referring pregnant women to abortion clinics, the state’s top legal officer said.

Opponents of the administration’s rules say they will ensure that Planned Parenthood and other health providers that offer abortion services are cut off from hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding.

But Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor with The Catholic Association, has said the rule “simply clarifies that abortion is not an appropriate method of family planning.”

“The difference between the two is profound,” Ferguson said. “Title X money is appropriated by Congress for preventative family-planning services and was never meant to subsidize abortion clinics.”


2. Attorney general ties to Planned Parenthood hit in pro-life case.

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, April 25, 2019, Pg. A1

There’s no doubt that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is a staunch pro-choice Democrat, but the question is whether he’s too close to Planned Parenthood to prosecute undercover prolife activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

Their effort to force Mr. Becerra to recuse himself received a boost Friday when the California Supreme Court ordered the suspension of a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday to consider their petition accusing him and his predecessor, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, of being motivated by political bias.

“From Kamala Harris to Xavier Becerra, both of them have been very much embedded with Planned Parenthood,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, which represents Ms. Merritt.

Defense attorneys argued that Mr. Becerra has “publicly and consistently demonstrated his loyalty to Planned Parenthood” by, for example, blasting in 2016 the “witch hunt against Planned Parenthood” and referred to the investigators as “culprits.

Mr. Becerra has a history of demanding that government officials recuse themselves from proceedings.

The defense has also argued that California state prosecutors have revealed their bias by pressing charges against Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt, but not hidden-camera videos by news outlets.


3. Faith-based agency to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt kids.

By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, April 25, 2019, Pg. A7

Bethany Christian Services, a faith-based adoption agency in Michigan, has opted to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt children in order to comply with a new state rule banning discrimination against gay parents.

“Bethany will continue operations in Michigan, in compliance with our legal contract requirements,” an adoption agency spokesman said Wednesday. “The mission and beliefs of Bethany Christian Services have not changed.”

The agency is responsible for 8% of Michigan’s more than 13,000 adoptions and foster-child placements each year.

Last month, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that adoption and foster agencies thatdiscriminate against LGBTQ parents would not receive state referrals.

Last week, St. Vincent Catholic Charities, another faith-based adoption agency, filed a lawsuit in federal court against Michigan officials and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II, citing religious discrimination.

The lawsuit says that Michigan’s nondiscrimination rules amount to a gag order on St. Vincent’s ministry. It forces social workers hired by the Catholic organization to approve and certify home relationships as healthy that the Roman Catholic Church disapproves of as sinful, states the suit, which was filed by the religious liberty law firm Becket.


4. Baltimore Archdiocese names 23 clergy accused of sex abuse.

By David McFadden, The Associated Press, April 25, 2019

The Catholic archdiocese in Baltimore on Wednesday published the names of 23 dead priests and religious brothers who it says were credibly accused of child sex abuse after their deaths.

The release of the names marks a revision to an archdiocese policy that once prohibited the naming of priests and brothers who were no longer alive when they were accused of abusing youngsters.

“It is hoped that this step will demonstrate the archdiocese’s commitment to transparency and provide encouragement and healing for victim-survivors of abuse,” archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine said in an email.


5. New Memphis bishop notes ‘challenge of leadership’ in troubled diocese.

By Christopher White, Crux, April 25, 2019

Bishop David Talley has one word to describe his initial two weeks and three days on the job in Memphis: “joy.”

Talley, who was installed as the new head of the diocese earlier this month, says that he’s been welcomed “with open arms” by the clergy, religious, and laity alike.

Although he didn’t arrive on the scene under the most joyful of circumstances – his predecessor resigned his post in October of last year after a Vatican-backed investigation into his management style – the Georgia native says that hasn’t prevented him from experiencing happiness in his new home of West Tennessee.

In an interview with Crux, Talley said he recognizes the “overarching challenge of leadership” facing the diocese.


6. The Perils of Doing Your Own Thing.

By Jonathan B. Coe, Crisis Magazine, April 25, 2019

When we survey the debris of philosophical, religious, political, economic, cultural, moral, and spiritual cataclysms throughout history (and pre-history), we often find the same culprit, often working in concert with other bad actors. It’s the same perpetrator that Pius X found when examining the roots of Modernism in his tour de forceencyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis: Immanence.

For the reader not familiar with the concepts of Immanence and Transcendence, Transcendence means that God stands above and apart from his created order like a painter to his painting. If the created order didn’t exist, God would still exist.

In Pantheism, God is the created order. If the universe did not exist, then neither would God, and, if everything is God, then we are God, too, or at least have the god within to consult and direct our lives.

This god within is Immanence. While the orthodox Catholic looks outside of herself to the teaching of the Magisterium rooted in Scripture and Tradition to guide her life, the person animated by Immanence, and this includes many practicing “Catholics,” only has to consult the god within on matters of doctrine and practice. Hence, the rampant heterodoxy, even among weekly Mass attenders.

Finding Immanence in our present age is like finding hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water. It’s a secular culture after all, and, by definition, Immanence is its modus operandi.

We see this in the broader American culture that encourages people to “follow their heart,” and embrace “your truth” (e.g., Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the 75th Golden Globe Awards). The wildly popular book, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, encourages the reader to listen to “the god within.”

Ross Douthat argues that “the god within” isn’t a divine voice at all, but an amplified human voice that caters to our self-love. Chesterton rightly pointed out in Orthodoxyt hat Immanence turns into self-worship: “That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within.”

Chesterton goes on to say that Christianity instructs a man to look outwards and “behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain.”