1. School district argues coach’s prayer pressured students, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, April 4, 2022, Pg. A6 Attorneys for the school district in Washington state that fired an associate football coach who continued to pray at the 50-yard line following games after being told to stop said the Supreme Court should reject the coach’s appeal because he pressured students on the team to pray with him.  The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the case April 25.  Jeremy Dys, special counsel for litigation and communications at First Liberty Institute, a public-interest law firm representing Mr. Kennedy, said the Bremerton district’s argument would travel far beyond the 50-yard line if it succeeds.  Mr. Dys responded: “Over 35 amicus briefs filed by hundreds of individuals, scholars, community leaders, members of Congress, and organizations across the country expressed support of the only thing Coach Kennedy has ever sought: the ability to pray quietly by himself at the 50-yard line following the games he coached. Banning a coach from praying quietly by himself, just because he can be seen by the public, is wrong and violates the Constitution. No American should be forced to choose between their faith and the job they love.” https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/apr/1/school-district-argues-football-coachs-postgame-pr/___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis gives new Vatican role to Cardinal Turkson, By Catholic News Agency, April 4, 2022, 4:23 AM Pope Francis on Monday appointed Cardinal Peter Turkson as the new chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. The Ghanaian cardinal succeeds the 79-year-old Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, who has led both institutions since 1998. The pope accepted Turkson’s resignation as prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development last December. Turkson served as the archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, before he was called to Rome in 2009 to be president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250877/pope-francis-gives-new-vatican-role-to-cardinal-turkson___________________________________________________________ 3. How Six Nuns Transformed India, By Jyoti Thottam, The New York Times, April 3, 2022, Pg. SR10, Opinion In the spring of 1947, nothing about the future of India, its identity as a nation or the kind of country it would be, was certain. India would soon be free from British colonial rule, but it could not fulfill the basic needs — let alone the hopes and ambitions — of most of its people. That would require new institutions, new ideas, and men and women who were willing to take a chance on building them.   That was the period during which a handful of Catholic nuns from Kentucky chose to come to Mokama, a small town at a railroad junction in northern India on the southern banks of the Ganges River, to start a hospital.  It is hard to overstate the boldness of what the sisters at Nazareth Hospital accomplished within two years of arriving in India.  It was perhaps not exactly what Bhore had in mind when he imagined 36 staff members assigned to two doctors. But it was close, and the sisters had fulfilled Bhore’s recommendations almost to the letter, setting up a basic primary-care hospital and village health center that devoted most of its resources to easily treated communicable diseases, infant mortality and child delivery, and a school to train nurses. The nursing school eventually attracted generations of Indian women as students, some of them just teenagers, many of them also motherless or fatherless children. These young women would force the order to examine everything about its work in India and what it meant to be a missionary. After Lazaro, the hospital finally found its “lady doctor,” Mary Wiss, a sister from their order who would have to choose between her religious vocation and her calling as a surgeon. India has taken many turns inward and outward in the 75 years since independence, and although it remains a proudly pluralistic democracy, that tradition seems increasingly fragile. The hospital has managed to endure through all of this. Its presence, as an institution founded and run by women, stands as a challenge to those in power, a lasting reminder of those early years and that crystalline moment of hope. Jyoti Thottam (@JyotiThottam) is a member of the editorial board. She was Time magazine’s South Asia bureau chief from 2008 to 2012 and is the author of “Sisters of Mokama: The Pioneering Women Who Brought Hope and Healing to India,” from which this essay is adapted. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/02/opinion/india-nuns-nurses-hospital.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Pope prays for end to ‘sacrilegious’ war, refugee welcome, By Nicole Winfield and Luigi Navarra, Associated Press, April 3, 2022, 12:16 PM Pope Francis prayed Sunday for an end to the “sacrilegious” war in Ukraine and for the world to show compassion to refugees as he concluded a two-day visit to Malta that was dominated by his concern for the devastation unleashed by Russia’s invasion.  Malta has long been at the heart of the European debate over refugee policy. The country of a half-million is frequently criticized by humanitarian groups for refusing to let rescue ships dock at its ports. The government argues it has one of the EU’s highest rates in processing first-time asylum applications relative to the population, and says other, bigger European countries should do more to shoulder the burden. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-prays-for-kindness-to-refugees-as-he-wraps-malta-visit/2022/04/03/4cd2f854-b31a-11ec-9dbd-0d4609d44c1c_story.html___________________________________________________________ 5. Pope still working on meeting Russian Orthodox patriarch, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 3, 2022, 3:33 PM Pope Francis said Sunday he was still working on arranging a meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, despite that leader’s seeming justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and said he wouldn’t rule out travelling to the region if it would help. Speaking to reporters en route home from Malta, Francis said he and Patriarch Kirill were thinking of a possible location in the Middle East. But he provided no details other than to recall that they spoke by video on March 16. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-still-working-on-meeting-russian-orthodox-patriarch/2022/04/03/c94f62ee-b380-11ec-8358-20aa16355fb4_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. From Death Penalty to Eternal Life, By Fr. Roger Landry, The Catholic Thing, April 3, 2022, Opinion In a dozen countries, there remains a death penalty for adultery and, in several others, mob justice inflicts it extra-judicially. Most people in “civilized” countries find this shocking. That someone should suffer consequences, not to mention ruthless punishment, for presumably consensual sexual activity – involving only “private” action that supposedly doesn’t injure or impact anyone else – seems ethically outrageous. The same condemnation by modern sensibilities normally accompanies the discovery of the Levitical imperative, “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.” (Lev 20:10) People ask, “How could a merciful God have allowed this?” – even just for a time, not to mention commanded it. Such a question, however, often betrays a lack of seriousness about the harm of sin in general and the damage of adultery in particular. How can we be soft with regard to what led to Jesus’ crucifixion? How can we be indulgent with regard to the infidelity that ruptures a covenant of love with a spouse and with God, and that severs so many families? Today 22 percent of American men and 14 percent of U.S. women admit in surveys they have engaged in extramarital affairs during their marriage, percentages that shame and fear likely deflate. Many more, who have not committed adultery in the flesh,  commit regularly what Jesus labeled “adultery in the heart” (Mt 5:28) through pornography use, frequently with similarly seismic results to their marriages and families. That’s why it’s important for us to slow down and ponder why some societies have retained capital punishment for adultery and, more importantly, why God would have commanded it: it’s so that people might learn the gravity of the sin by the severity of the penalty. That gravity has never changed. Neither, in reality, has the punishment: there is still a death penalty, indeed an eternal one, associated with the sin of adultery, which is why we call such a sin “mortal.” When committed with knowledge and deliberate consent, adulterers experience death in their soul, by choosing to cut themselves off from the Lord of life.  The Divine Bridegroom indeed never ceases to love His bride with cleansing mercy, which He lavishly dispenses in the most precious one-on-one dialogue in life. He hopes that we will never cease to trust in that spousal love and its restorative power. In the midst of a harsh world that seeks to accuse, summarily condemn, and kill, He wants to forgive, save and give life. In response to the eternal death penalty due to adultery, He seeks through mercy to give eternal life and bring us to the eternal nuptial banquet. That makes His dismissal, “Go and sin no more,” not just a summons to grateful love, but a motivation to try to “drag” before Him as many as we can to receive the same life-giving fresh start. https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2022/04/03/from-death-penalty-to-eternal-life/?___________________________________________________________ 7. Poll Says 48% Back Abortion Restriction, By Catherine Lucey, The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2022, Pg. A4 More American voters favor the idea of a 15-week abortion ban than oppose it, according to the latest Wall Street Journal poll, as the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling that could alter the nation’s abortion landscape. With lawmakers in several states pushing forward with bills that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, 48% of voters said they would strongly or somewhat favor such restrictions, with exemptions to protect the health of the mother, while 43% were in opposition. At the same time, the survey found a majority of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, underscoring the complicated views many Americans hold on the issue. https://www.wsj.com/articles/support-for-15-week-abortion-ban-outweighs-opposition-wsj-poll-finds-11648821601?___________________________________________________________ 8. With Roe endangered, Democrats divide on saying the word ‘abortion’, By Caroline Kitchener, The Washington Post, April 2, 2022, 7:00 AM [A]s Democrats seek to mobilize voters ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe, a rhetorical divide has emerged around the one word at the center of the debate. Many far-left liberals will say “abortion” every time they talk about the issue, while some Democrats who will face competitive races in 2022 and 2024 — including the president — have rarely used it, relying instead on broader terms such as “reproductive freedom” and “a constitutional right.”  The vast majority of abortion rights groups say that’s the wrong strategy. To protect the right to abortion, they say, Democrats need to unapologetically embrace abortion, a process that starts with saying the word and continues by talking about the procedure as a positive, said Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and executive director of We Testify, who created an online tracker titled “Did Biden Say Abortion Yet?” (So far, Biden has included the word in three public statements and one tweet but has not said the word in public as president, according to a review of his comments.) https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/02/abortion-rhetoric-roe/___________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.