1. Nikki Haley Gets Real on Abortion, The GOP candidate makes the pro-life case for political realism., By The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2023, Pg. A20, Editorial Republicans urgently need to sort out their political argument on abortion, and the best effort we’ve heard so far is Nikki Haley’s speech on Tuesday combining the moral case against abortion with a politics of persuasion and humility.  Compromise and incrementalism are often unpopular in movements rooted in moral conviction, but the pro-life right can’t dictate the law when most voters still think abortion should be legal. Americans have grown more uneasy about abortion as ultrasound technology and neonatal care have improved, but a ban in the first trimester lacks majority support.  Democrats and the press won’t let the GOP duck abortion in 2024, and Roe blocked real debate for decades. The party could do worse than Ms. Haley’s pitch for seeking discrete policy victories while building a broader cultural consensus. https://www.wsj.com/articles/nikki-haley-abortion-speech-republicans-roe-v-wade-72c91bdf__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope to visit Hungary amid diverging views on war, migrants, By Justin Spike and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 26, 2023, 6:35 AM The spiritual priorities of Pope Francis will be on display during a trip this week to Hungary, where the populist government will seek to downplay its diverging views on matters like immigration and minority rights while focusing instead on points where it aligns with the pontiff.  The visit will be a political boon for Orbán, whose contentious stances on migration, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and LGBTQ+ rights stand in stark contrast with Francis’ views of inclusion and acceptance for the marginalized and support for Kyiv during Moscow’s war.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/04/26/pope-francis-hungary-visit-orban-ukraine/aa474a4c-e403-11ed-9696-8e874fd710b8_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope allows women to vote at upcoming bishops’ meeting, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 26, 2023, 7:40 AM Pope Francis has decided to give women the right to vote at an upcoming meeting of bishops, an unprecedented change that reflects his hopes to give women greater decision-making responsibilities and laypeople more say in the life of the Catholic Church. Francis approved changes to the norms governing the Synod of Bishops, a Vatican body that gathers the world’s bishops together for periodic meetings. The Vatican on Wednesday published the modifications he approved, which emphasize his vision for the lay faithful taking on a greater role in church affairs that have long been left to clerics, bishops and cardinals. …. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/04/26/pope-francis-vatican-women-catholic-synod/27d5e612-e427-11ed-9696-8e874fd710b8_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Pitting religious freedom against Sunday mail goes back to the founding, The implications of Sunday mail delivery for employers, workers and the First Amendment, By Rebecca Brenner Graham, The Washington Post, April 26, 2023, 6:00 AM, Opinion A familiar battle in the struggle between church and state in the United States is making headlines again — one that dates to the founding of the nation. While the cast of characters has evolved over two centuries, the themes remain the same.The issue at hand? Sunday mail delivery. On April 18, the Supreme Court heard the case of former U.S. Postal Service employee Gerald Groff, an evangelical Christian who was pushed out of his job for refusing to work on Sundays because it conflicted with his Sabbath. Groff contends that the Postal Service did not reasonably accommodate his religious practices as mandated by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and seeks to reverse almost 50 years of legal precedent — further dismantling the perceived “wall” between church and state. However, the impact would stretch beyond your mailbox. An exception for Sunday religious observers would create an inequity for those who are not religious, who would remain victim to the overwork culture, while religious Christians avoid it. It would also reverse the decision Congress took on the issue in the early republic.  While the court will rule on the meaning of a provision in the Civil Rights Act, a ruling in favor of Groff would be a reversal of how the battle over Sunday mail in early America turned out — and would be yet another sign that today’s Supreme Court has tipped the balance of power between the First Amendment’s two religion clauses strongly toward the Free Exercise Clause. Rebecca Brenner Graham holds a PhD in History from American University, with a dissertation on Sunday mail delivery. Her forthcoming book on Frances Perkins’s refugee policy will be published by Kensington in 2025. https://www.washingtonpost.com/made-by-history/2023/04/26/sunday-mail-religious-freedom-constitution/__________________________________________________________ 5. Senior German priest resigns over handling of abuse claims, By Associated Press, April 25, 2023, 12:56 PM A senior Roman Catholic priest in Germany has been removed from office after criticism of his handling of abuse allegations against a seminary director in the Diocese of Limburg, the German Catholic Church said Tuesday. Vicar General Wolfgang Roesch had asked Limburg’s bishop to relieve him of his duties following the publication of a report about the case of the Rev. Christof May. The priest and seminary head was found dead in June 2022 after being questioned as part of a probe into allegations of inappropriate behavior. The Limburg Diocese said Bishop Georg Baetzing approved Roesch’s request with immediate effect.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/04/25/germany-catholic-church-abuse-limburg-priest-resignation/3056d6a4-e38a-11ed-9696-8e874fd710b8_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. In Texas, Republicans push bills aimed at enhancing faith’s role in school, By Jack Jenkins, Religion News Service, April 25, 2023, 11:27 AM Texas’ Republican-dominated legislature is working its way through a slate of bills aimed at increasing religion’s presence in the state’s public schools, drawing criticism from Democrats, clergy and activists who say the proposals violate the separation of church and state and are emblematic of Christian nationalism. The controversy revolves around three bills: One mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; another allows school districts to require local campuses to set aside time for staff and students to pray and read religious texts; and a third allows administrators to furnish schools with chaplains in addition to existing counselors. The state senate passed the first two bills on Thursday, and the proposal involving chaplains is expected to come up for a vote this week. Lawmakers have yet to vote on companion bills in the Texas House of Representatives.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2023/04/25/texas-republicans-push-bills-aimed-enhancing-faiths-role-school/__________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican preparing text for divorced and remarried couples, Cardinal Farrell says, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, April 25, 2023, 3:50 PM The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life is preparing a document that will address divorced and remarried couples at the request of Pope Francis, according to the dicastery’s prefect, Cardinal Kevin Farrell. Farrell mentioned the in-progress document in a speech delivered in Italian on April 22 that opened a meeting of the dicastery, which promotes the pastoral care of the family and the mission of the lay faithful. Farrell spoke about the importance of providing help and guidance to “those experiencing marital crises of all kinds.” “On this front, the dicastery is also working on the preparation of a text that will specifically concern — as you wished, Your Holiness — men and women who, having a failed marriage behind them, live in new unions,” Farrell said in his opening address.Farrell did not say when the document will be released. The Church teaches that Catholics who are divorced and remarried without an annulment are not to take holy Communion, a teaching reaffirmed by St. John Paul II in the 2005 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio. Pope Francis has said during his pontificate that there may be case-by-case situations where divorced and remarried Catholics can access the Eucharist, including situations where the spouses practice continence within their marriage.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254172/vatican-preparing-text-for-divorced-and-remarried-couples-cardinal-farrell-says__________________________________________________________

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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