1. Ohio Is Another GOP Abortion Warning, By The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2023, Pg. A14, EditorialThe ballot question in Ohio on Tuesday said nothing about abortion, but it was a proxy battle, and everyone knew it. The side arguing for abortion rights won by 14 points in a state President Trump carried three years ago by eight points. Ohio joins Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin as warnings to Republicans about abortion politics.  The context is what’s coming on the ballot this November: an amendment to put abortion rights in the Ohio constitution.  That would be an abortion right more extreme than what prevailed under Roe v. Wade. Ohio has a law generally requiring parental consent for a minor seeking an abortion. Does this “burden” the reproductive rights of an “individual”? Would the “health” exception for late-term abortions be elastic enough to include an assessment of the mother’s mental, financial or familial health? Such complications are an example of why the people delegate lawmaking to elected representatives.  Republicans spent half a century working to overturn Roe, yet they weren’t prepared for the democratic policy debate when that finally happened in Dobbs last year. Now they’re seeing abortion regimes as loose as Roe, or potentially looser, imposed by voters even in conservative states. This political liability will persist until the GOP finds an abortion message that most voters can accept.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/ohio-is-another-gop-abortion-warning-c54b0974__________________________________________________________ 2. British man set for trial on ‘thoughtcrime’ after silent prayer near abortion clinic, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, August 10, 2023, Pg. A1 A former British army reservist is set to face a Nov. 16 trial on criminal charges arising from his silent prayer near an abortion clinic in Bournemouth, England, a British court said Wednesday. In November, Adam Smith-Connor stood silently with his head bowed and his back to the clinic on Ophir Road in the coastal resort town. A statement from his attorneys said the man “was praying silently for those facing difficult decisions relating to abortion, as well as praying regarding the child that he lost to an abortion that he now regrets paying for.” He was fined $127 initially but was criminally charged later with breaching a public spaces protection order covering the clinic and surrounding area. Council enforcement officers told him he was being fined because of “the prayer that you’ve admitted to.” Mr. Smith-Connor pleaded not guilty Wednesday during a hearing at Poole Magistrates’ Court. Outside the courthouse, Mr. Smith-Connor broke down in tears during his statement. He said he “stood silently” near the facility and “did not approach anyone [and] did not speak to anyone.” He said he is a 20-year British army reservist who served in Afghanistan and is “being prosecuted for a thoughtcrime.” He vowed to appeal his case “as far as we can, to the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary.”  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/aug/9/november-trial-set-british-man-adam-smith-connor-a/__________________________________________________________ 3. The FBI and ‘Radical’ Catholics, New evidence suggests the bureau probe was wider than director Christopher Wray said, By The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2023, 12:02 PM, Editorial Remember the tempest this year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation was found to be targeting some Catholics as “extremists?” The bureau cast it as the work of a single rogue field office. Well, it looks like the effort was more widespread than our G-men admitted to the public.  On July 25 the FBI finally provided the committee with a less-redacted version of that Richmond document. The report says that its information on Catholics was “primarily derived” from an “FBI Richmond contact”; an “FBI Portland liaison contact” who informed on a subject who “gravitated to” traditionalist catholicism; and an “FBI Undercover Employee” who reported on a subject who attended a Catholic church in California. It also says the FBI’s Los Angeles field office “initiated an investigation” into a subject, and that the Richmond office “[c]oordinated with” FBI Portland to prepare the field report. In other words, this was a widespread bureau effort. Why was this suspicion about religion so widespread at the FBI? Also troubling is the FBI’s decision to redact the Portland and Los Angeles roles from the original version of the Richmond document it provided Congress in March. In a letter with the less-redacted version, acting assistant FBI director Christopher Dunham said the redactions had been necessary to protect “information specific to ongoing criminal investigations.” What changed from March until July, other than a threat of contempt from the Judiciary Committee? It’s hard not to conclude that the bureau was trying to hide the breadth of its Catholics-as-radicals investigation.  Mr. Wray understandably defends his bureau’s integrity, but he undermines that effort when he or his deputies aren’t candid about what really happened. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fbi-and-radical-catholics-a2021275__________________________________________________________ 4. ‘Their Faith Is Not Supportive’: Massachusetts Bars Catholic Couple from Fostering Children, By Ari Blaff, National Review, August 9, 2023, 12:15 PM A Catholic couple is taking the state of Massachusetts to court over the state’s foster child policies, which prevented them from adoption because their religious beliefs “would not be affirming to a child who identified as LGBTQIA.” Despite Michael and Catherine “Kitty” Burke passing smoothly through 30 hours of interviews and assessments from the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the agency rejected the couple’s application stemming from their religious beliefs. “Kitty and Mike are devoutly Roman Catholic and not only attend church regularly, but they both also work for local churches as musicians,” the DCF wrote in a court filing submitted Tuesday and obtained by National Review. “[T]heir faith is not supportive and neither are they,” the filing continues.  The decision comes at a time when the DCF is straining to accommodate at least 1,500 children within their facilities and foster homes. “The crisis has become so extreme that the state has resorted to housing children in hospitals for weeks on end. Now more than ever, Massachusetts needs the help of parents like Mike and Kitty to foster children in need,” the Becket Fund, a legal group that advocates for religious liberties and is assisting the Burkes, added in a statement following the announcement.  https://www.nationalreview.com/news/their-faith-is-not-supportive-massachusetts-bars-catholic-couple-from-fostering-children/__________________________________________________________ 5. Why Barbie and Ken Need Each Other, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, August 9, 2023, Opinion Between the middle of the 1970s and the late 2010s, in their responses to the General Social Survey, American women reported themselves to be steadily unhappier. The trend was not drastic, but it was consistent: Women were less happy in the 1980s than they were in the 1970s, less happy in the Obama era than the Clinton era, and still less happy under Trump. For men, the trend was more complex. They started out slightly unhappier than women and then made gains in the Reagan and Clinton years, while female happiness declined. But then male unhappiness plunged between the 9/11 era and Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012, before stabilizing a bit thereafter. By the pre-Covid period, the sexes were close to parity — sharing more reported unhappiness than either had been experiencing 30 or 40 years before. These figures are drawn out of a fascinating new paper, “The Socio-Political Demography of Happiness,” from the University of Chicago economist Sam Peltzman. They are amenable to various interpretations, but I want to take the crudest reading, which is suggested by a different trend covered in the Peltzman paper: the persistent happiness advantage enjoyed by married couples over the unmarried, which has slightly widened since the early 1970s and now sits at around 35 points on a scale running from -100 to 100. Over that same period, Americans have become much less likely to be married overall. In 1970, just 9 percent of people ages 25 to 50 had never tied the knot; in 2018, it was 35 percent. So right there you have the simplest possible explanation for declining happiness: For women maybe first, and for men too, eventually, less wedlock means more woe.  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/09/opinion/barbie-ken-ideology.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Pro-Life Group Calls Ohio Ballot Measure’s Failure a ‘Warning for Pro-Life States’, By Brittany Bernstein, National Review, August 9, 2023, 8:37 AM Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America said Tuesday was a “sad day for Ohio” and a warning for other states after Ohio voters rejected a measure that would have increased the threshold required to pass a constitutional amendment. Ohio has used a simple-majority requirement since 1912, but the measure, Issue 1, would have bumped the threshold up to 60 percent. “It is a sad day for Ohio and a warning for pro-life states across the nation,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday night. “Millions of dollars and liberal dark money flooded Ohio to ensure they have a path to buy their extreme policies in a pro-life state. Tragically, some sat on the sideline while outsider liberal groups poured millions into Ohio.” The group said progressives used that money to “mislead the people of Ohio.”  https://www.nationalreview.com/news/pro-life-group-calls-ohio-ballot-measures-failure-a-warning-for-pro-life-states/__________________________________________________________ 7. Archdiocese of Philadelphia settles child sex abuse case against a deceased priest for $3.5 million, By Brooke Schultz, Associated Press, August 9, 2023, 8:36 PM The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will pay $3.5 million to settle a civil case alleging a now-deceased priest sexually assaulted a teenage boy nearly two decades ago, and church officials knew of similar reports about the priest dating back to the 1970s, attorneys for the victim announced Wednesday.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/08/09/archdiocese-of-philadelphia-sexual-assault-settlement/eb63153e-36e6-11ee-ac4e-e707870e43db_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Hindu nationals demand arrest of Catholic priest in India for saying king was not a god, By Anto Akkara, Catholic News Agency, August 9, 2023, 12:35 PM A Catholic priest in the Indian state of Goa was granted “anticipatory bail” Aug. 8 after police registered a criminal case against him for allegedly “hurting Hindu sentiments” in remarks he made about a Hindu king during a Sunday Mass in July. Hindu groups had staged demonstrations in front of the police station calling for criminal charges to be brought against Father Bolmax Pereira, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier Church in Chicalim in the Archdiocese of Goa. Pereira was quoted in the Mass posted on YouTube saying that 17th-century Hindu king Chatrapati Shivaji “was a national hero but not a god.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255049/catholic-priest-in-goa-given-anticipatory-bail-for-comment-about-hindu-king__________________________________________________________ 9. Bishops protest Biden administration’s addition of abortion to pregnant workers protections, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, August 9, 2023, 8:00 AM Catholic bishops are criticizing the Biden administration’s proposed rules related to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that would force employers to make accommodations for women who receive abortions. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which passed Congress with bipartisan support in 2022, established new protections for workers who are pregnant or recently had a child. It requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for women based on known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions as long as such accommodations do not create an undue hardship on the operations of the business. Although the law makes no mention of accommodating women who abort their children, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Monday issued proposed regulations that defined abortion as one of the “related medical conditions.” Under the draft regulations, employers would need to accommodate women for limitations that arise from “having or choosing not to have an abortion.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255046/bishops-protest-biden-administrations-addition-of-abortion-to-pregnant-workers-protections__________________________________________________________

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.