TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 210 – Suffering with Infertility: Getting Past Grief, Naprotechnology, and Joys of Adoption Marking National Infertility Awareness Week, Dr. Grazie Christie speaks to author Marie Meaney about her own journey with infertility offering advice on ways women can carry these wounds to the foot of the cross. Fertility care practitioner Guadalupe Carral discusses the many ways medicine may help achieve pregnancy in a way that aligns with our Catholic faith. And TCA colleague Leigh Snead opens up about her own journey to then, find such joy in adoption. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for Good Shepherd Sunday. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Amid Ukraine war, pope to give vision for Europe in Hungary, By Nicole Winfield and Justin Spike, Associated Press, April 28, 2023, 6:15 AM Pope Francis will outline his vision for the future of Europe during a three-day visit to Hungary that started Friday, with Russia’s war in Ukraine, migration flows and Hungary’s tense relations with Brussels looming large over the pontiff’s weekend journey. Hungarian officials say Francis’ pilgrimage was designed primarily to let the pope minister to the country’s Catholic community and to encourage its members in their faith. But with the war unfolding next door and Hungary butting heads with other European Union nations over rule of law issues and LGBTQ+ rights, Francis’ words and deeds in the heart of Europe will carry strong political undertones. 2. Abortion Bans Fail in South Carolina and Nebraska, By Adeel Hassan and Eliza Fawcett, The New York Times, April 27, 2023 South Carolina and Nebraska, two conservative states that have been pushing to ban abortion, on Thursday both failed to pass new bills prohibiting the procedure, preserving wide access to abortion in those states and handing surprise victories to abortion rights advocates. In Nebraska, a bill to ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — a strict prohibition that would outlaw the procedure before most women know they are pregnant — failed to advance in the state legislature, making it unlikely to move forward for the remainder of this year’s legislative session. The bill fell one vote short of the 33 needed in order to advance, after two senators did not vote. Gov. Jim Pillen, a Republican who had supported the bill, said after the vote that it was “unacceptable for senators to be present not voting on such a momentous vote.” Mr. Pillen, who described himself as “a staunch defender of life” said he was “profoundly disappointed” by the outcome. In South Carolina, the senate rejected a bill that would ban most abortions in the state. The bill had already been passed by the House, but the Senate’s five women — three of whom are Republicans — opposed the bill and spoke forcefully against it. 3. N. Carolina GOP seeks big private school voucher expansion, By Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press, April 27, 2023 Public money for private school tuition would be available to all of North Carolina’s K-12 students regardless of income under Republican-backed legislation that began advancing in the General Assembly on Wednesday. For nearly all of their history, the private school grants were only available to families who would qualify for free or reduced-price lunch at school or have been a little above that financial cut-off. Now, a Senate committee has passed a massive expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship Program, created in 2013. Republican leaders from both chambers hailed it as a milestone for school choice. 4. Vermont passes bills aimed at protecting abortion pills, By Lisa Rathke, Associated Press, April 27, 2023, 7:01 PM The Vermont Legislature passed reproductive and gender-affirming health care bills on Thursday with a late addition aimed at protecting access to a medication widely used in abortions even if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration withdraws its approval of the pill, mifepristone. The bills protect providers from discipline for providing legally protected reproductive and gender affirming health care services. Legislators recently tacked on medicated abortion to the definition of legally protected reproductive health care services, and believe the state is the first to do so. 5. Oklahoma bill expanding religious freedom to government contracts heads to governor’s desk, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, April 27, 2023, 9:30 AM Legislation that would expand religious freedom protections to include government contracts and receiving government funding passed both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature and now heads to the governor’s desk. Oklahoma law prohibits government entities from imposing a “substantial burden” on a person’s free exercise of religion “even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.” The Religious Freedom Act, which now awaits Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt’s signature, would expand the definition of a substantial burden to include contracts with the government or the receipt of state funds. 6. Why has Cardinal Hollerich changed his tune on the ‘synodal way’?, By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, April 27, 2023, 2:57 PM, Opinion In the beginning, it seemed that Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich didn’t have a bad word to say about Germany’s “synodal way.” But in interview after interview this year, the cardinal has criticized the project, which formally ended in March with the endorsement of women deacons, married priests, lay preaching at Masses, and same-sex blessings. How has Hollerich’s view of the synodal way evolved? And what might be the reasons for the change?  It’s possible to argue, therefore, that his view of the synodal way has remained largely consistent, but that when his fears were realized, he began to express himself more forcefully. Let’s call this the steady evolution theory.  An alternative explanation is that Hollerich’s tone changed following his appointment as general rapporteur. When his comments on homosexuality caused uproar, this argument goes, the cardinal began to weigh his words more carefully, aware he was now seen as a spokesman for the global synodal process.  According to this explanation — let’s call it the public relations theory — Hollerich recognized that if his avant-garde theological opinions were assumed to be driving the global synod process, then large parts of the Catholic world would reject it.   A third explanation is that Hollerich has been pulled out of the German theological world and into the Vatican’s orbit since his appointment as general rapporteur. According to this idea, which could be called the Vatican inculturation theory, the cardinal has gone from seeing the Church through the eyes of a Central European archbishop to viewing it from a Roman perspective. 7. Mincione battles Vatican state and Italian press in UK courts, By The Pillar, April 27, 2023, 3:33 PM Lawyers for both the Vatican Secretariat of State and an Italian news publisher have fired back in court, against the investment manager who sold the Holy See the London building at the center of ongoing Vatican financial scandal. Raffaele Mincione remains embroiled in multiple court cases, in several jurisdictions, as he attempts to clear his name over accusations of fraud, money laundering, and other allegations over his dealings with the Vatican. In a UK court, Mincione is asking judges to rule that he acted in good faith in all his dealing with the Holy See, and arguing that the criminal charges he faces in Vatican City are an attempt to undo a legitimate business deal, in which he’s done nothing wrong.  In a separate legal action, Mincione is also suing the Italian publisher GEDI Group, which publishes the newspaper La Repubblica and the magazine L’Espresso, for defamation over its coverage of the London deal. Mincione is seeking damages over coverage by the GEDI group’s publications which suggested the businessman knowingly acted to defraud the Vatican over the building at 60 Sloane Ave., and participated in the diversion of some 100 million euros of Church funds earmarked for charitable purposes in accounts like Peter’s Pence.  In addition to his suits against the Secretariat of State and GEDI in London, in Luxembourg Mincione is also suing Credit Suisse, one of the banks used by the Secretariat of State, alleging that “failed to divulge crucial information about the origin of the money which they used to subscribe to the WRM Group sub-fund, in order to cover up the exact origin of the funds.” 8. Paglia Prioritizes Political Pragmatism Over Prophetic Witness, As has been the case before, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life often begins with the political situation and then sees where the Gospel and the Catholic Tradition can fit., By Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Catholic Register, April 26, 2023, Opinion The statement from the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL) should have been a dog-bites-man story, hardly worth issuing. Yet there it was, affirming that its president, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia “reiterates his ‘No’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the magisterium.” In recent years, that the PAL president fully adheres to the magisterium has become, surprisingly, something of a man-bites-dog story. Why that should be is worth noting and speaks to the general environment in Rome. The PAL was founded by Pope St. John Paul II to advance the Church’s teaching and witness to the sanctity of human life by drawing on the best scholarship from a variety of disciplines. Thus, when Archbishop Paglia said last week that a potential Italian law removing criminal penalties for euthanasia and assisted suicide would be “feasible” and that “legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in,” it struck many as contrary not only to Catholic teaching but the purpose of the PAL.  There was quite a fierce reaction from many Catholic and pro-life circles, especially given the archbishop’s history. He is one of the curious characters that has come to great prominence in the pontificate of Pope Francis.  In his recent comments on euthanasia, Archbishop Paglia spoke of development in the Church’s teaching on the death penalty. Pope Francis amended the Catechism of the Catholic Church to declare it “inadmissible.” The Holy Father — like John Paul before him — would have seen the teaching on the death penalty and on euthanasia as part of the same principle regarding the sanctity of life. However, Archbishop Paglia took a different tack, suggesting that if the teaching on the death penalty could develop toward its “inadmissibility” then perhaps the teaching on euthanasia could develop toward its “feasibility.” From the point of view of Catholic moral teaching, that is an odd and incorrect comparison to make. From a political point of view, though, it makes sense: The political consensus is against the death penalty in Italy, and Catholic teaching affirms that; so if the political consensus in Italy permits abortion and may favor euthanasia, then it might be feasible for Catholic teaching to accommodate that. It is the priority of pragmatism over prophetic teaching.  A pastor has to take account of the political when exercising his prophetic role. Recent events in Rome suggest that the pragmatic has been made the priority.

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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