1. Catholic leaders react to new state-level abortion legislation, By John Lavenburg, Crux, April 7, 2022 Catholics leaders in Colorado and Oklahoma reacted with dismay and praise for their state legislatures earlier this week as the former enshrined the right to abortion into state law, and the latter passed a near-total abortion ban. Colorado and Oklahoma are the latest states to enact either pro-life or pro-abortion laws while the future of Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance. The Colorado and Oklahoma bills are the most extreme to be enacted this legislative session. In response to the Colorado bill, Archbishop Samuel Aquaila of Denver wrote, “Jesus forgive us!” on social media, adding that the bill is a “triumph for the culture of death and further erosion of the dignity of human life. We will continue to pray for the conversion of hearts.”  Pro-life states in recent months have passed abortion bans in anticipation of a favorable decision in the Dobbs case; Oklahoma being the latest.  “I appreciate the continued efforts of the Oklahoma State Legislature in working to protect the unborn,” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City told Crux in a statement. “It is especially important that we make clear at the state level the existence of a right to life as we wait for the decision in the Dobbs case at the U.S. Supreme Court.” “We must respect the value and God-given dignity of every human person and strive to support moms and families in crisis so that they know there are better choices available for them and their babies,” the archbishop continued. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/04/catholic-leaders-react-to-new-state-level-abortion-legislation___________________________________________________________ 2. First pope, now US churches face boarding-school reckoning, By Peter Smith, Associated Press, April 6, 2022, 11:27 AM As Native Americans cautiously welcome Pope Francis’ historic apology for abuses at Catholic-run boarding schools for Indigenous children in Canada, U.S. churches are bracing for an unprecedented reckoning with their own legacies of operating such schools. Church schools are likely to feature prominently in a report from the U.S. Department of the Interior, led by the first-ever Native American cabinet secretary, Deb Haaland, due to be released later this month. The report, prompted by last year’s discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites in Canada, will focus on the loss of life and the enduring traumas the U.S. system inflicted on Indigenous children from the 19th to mid-20th centuries. From Episcopalians to Quakers to Catholic dioceses in Oklahoma, faith groups have either started or intensified efforts in the past year to research and atone for their prior roles in the boarding school system, which Native children were forced to attend — cutting them off from their families, tribes and traditions.  There were at least 367 boarding schools across the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, according to the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, a Minneapolis-based advocacy group. Most were government-run; many others were run by Catholic and Protestant churches. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/first-pope-now-us-churches-face-boarding-school-reckoning/2022/04/06/11e4b8d0-b5be-11ec-8358-20aa16355fb4_story.html___________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Francis kisses Ukrainian flag from ‘martyred’ Bucha, By Associated Press, April 6, 2022, 10:07 AM Pope Francis on Wednesday kissed a battered Ukrainian flag that he said was brought to him from the “martyred” Ukrainian city of Bucha as he denounced the “massacre” there and called again for an end to the war. Francis held the flag as he welcomed a half-dozen Ukrainian refugee children up to the stage of the Vatican audience hall at the end of his Wednesday general audience and gave them each a giant chocolate Easter egg. He urged prayers for them and for all Ukrainians. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-francis-kisses-ukrainian-flag-from-martyred-bucha/2022/04/06/f6db4834-b5b2-11ec-8358-20aa16355fb4_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Generation Z is finding faith, but falling away from religious affiliationMental health tops the list of pandemic-related challenges, nearly half report depression, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, April 6, 2022 Making direct connections to young adults aged 13 to 25 is needed to help members of so-called “Generation Z” overcome mental health issues and form sound spiritual connections, the executive director of a research group studying the cohort said Wednesday. Clergy and lay leaders can no longer wait for young adults to walk into a facility, because many of them just do not do that any more, the study found.  Such connections may be vital as Generation Z regroups after two years of isolation, which for many came during a period when socialization with others — and guidance from adult leaders — is important in forming social skills and reinforcing spiritual values, he said. The Springtide survey revealed that 30% of people aged 13 to 25 say their faith has grown during the pandemic, more than those who said it weakened (18%) or was lost completely (8%). Mental health tops the list of pandemic-related concerns, Springtide said in announcing the survey results. More than half of those surveyed, 53% listed mental health as their top challenge. At the same time, 48% of those responding say they are either “moderately” or “extremely depressed,” with 25% also saying they’re “extremely stressed.” Extreme anxiety was reported by 26% of respondents, while 21% said they’re “extremely lonely.” The number reporting no connection with a higher power “at all” fell from 36% in 2021 to 27% this year, the group reported. And, the survey noted, 61% of those in Generation Z agreed with the statement, “the adults in my life don’t truly know how much I am struggling with my mental health.” While personal faith is ticking upward, the canvass of 1,796 members of the cohort shows young adults are moving away from religious communities. Results indicate 44% of young people say they “never” attend worship services, up from 30% last year. A quarter of those surveyed (26%) say their relationships with religious leaders have become weaker since the pandemic, though 23% say those ties have strengthened. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/apr/6/generation-z-finding-faith-falling-away-religious-/___________________________________________________________

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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