1. German Catholics want expanded lay roles, greater tolerance for dissent, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, August 11, 2022 In a new report summarizing the conclusions of a national consultation process among German Catholics, the country’s bishops report a desire for greater inclusion in the church of women and laypeople generally, as well as those who disagree on certain moral teachings. Titled “For a synodal Church – community, participation and mission,” the report summarizes the conclusions of the German Bishops’ Conference’s “Synodal Path” sent to the Synod of Bishops in Rome, ahead of a Synod of Bishops on Synodality at the Vatican next year.  Among other things, the report notes that women, youth, and faithful who belong to the Church, but who share different views on matters such as same-sex marriage, contraception, and abortion, often feel “marginalized” by their church communities, and that more space should be allowed for hearing their voices. The report also advocates for laypeople generally, especially women, to have a greater role in certain liturgical celebrations, such as baptisms and funerals, which they said would allow women and laypeople broadly more space to interpret the scriptures. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2022/08/german-catholics-want-expanded-lay-roles-greater-tolerance-for-dissent__________________________________________________________ 2. Abortion Laws Demand Fair Enforcement., By John Tinder and Susan Brooks, The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2022, Pg. A13, Opinion We are confident of Americans’ ability to work through the issue of abortion now that the Supreme Court has returned it to the democratic process. But it’s crucial for law enforcement to stay above the partisan fray. A case in Indiana leaves us deeply concerned on that score. Initially, some doubted news reports that a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim had traveled to Indiana for a legal abortion. There were also unsubstantiated claims that the physician who performed the abortion had failed to report the abuse of a child and the abortion performed on a girl under 16, as Indiana law requires. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita rushed precipitously into this fray. He told Fox News he was investigating the physician and “was looking at her licensure.” This, after admitting he hadn’t examined evidence that she complied with reporting requirements. Even worse was his inflammatory rhetoric: “We have this abortion activist acting as a doctor,” he said. Despite the arrest and confession of a defendant in the rape, and news accounts documenting the physician’s timely reporting, Mr. Rokita continues to say publicly that he is investigating her.  We are appalled that, by his own admission, Mr. Rokita announced his investigation before gathering the most basic facts.  A functioning democracy requires that citizens trust the state to enforce the law fairly. A prosecutor should never wield the government’s extraordinary authority for political or ideological aims. Mr. Tinder served as a federal judge, 1987-2015. Ms. Brooks, a Republican, represented Indiana’s Fifth Congressional District, 2013-21. Each served as U.S. attorney for Indiana’s Southern District, respectively from 1984-87 and 2001-07. https://www.wsj.com/articles/abortion-laws-demand-fair-enforcement-indiana-ten-year-old-victim-ohio-todd-rokita-prosecutor-investigation-11660140484__________________________________________________________ 3. The Words the Justices Won’t Say on Abortion, By Prof. Hadley Arkes, The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2022, Pg. A14, Letter to the Editor Regarding your editorial “The Kansas Abortion Message” (Aug. 4): Those lawyers from Texas in Roe v. Wade composed an exquisite brief, drawing on the most updated data from embryology, woven with principled reasoning, from which it extracted these points: that the offspring in the womb has never been anything other than a human being from its first moments; and that it receives its nourishment from the mother, but it has never been merely a part of its mother’s body. Yet the two dissenters in Roe drew nothing from that substantive brief, and they passed by the moment to offer the most natural judgment: whether or not the laws were justified in casting their protections over those human beings in wombs. The majority in Dobbs sought also to avoid speaking those key words about the human standing of the child, though it would have been no strain to speak them. Following “conservative jurisprudence,” the court held back from pronouncing any judgment on the moral substance. That is why Justice Brett Kavanaugh could write that “many pro-life advocates forcefully argue that a fetus is a human life”—as though there has been no long-settled, empirical truth on this matter, found in all the textbooks of embryology and obstetric gynecology. If the court had set down those simple, key words, it is hard to imagine that your editorial board could offer a warning to “those who believe life begins at conception.” Clearly, there are people who affect to “believe” that pregnant women carry living, growing offspring that may not yet be human. The editorial urges pro-lifers on to persuade these people, but on the anchoring premise that there is no ground of truth on which to test the arguments. The court, in Dobbs, overruled Roe, and I have been working in that cause for 49 years. But Roe also changed the culture. It transformed abortion from a thing to be abhorred, condemned and discouraged into a thing to be deeply approved, even celebrated and promoted. It would be a folly to think that Dobbs did anything to impart moral conviction or momentum to the pro-life side as it seeks to rescue even a handful of lives from the 800,000 annual U.S. abortions. As we survey the debris from Dobbs, I wonder whether some of us came to hate Roe v. Wade more than we hated abortion itself. https://www.wsj.com/articles/abortion-pro-life-choice-supreme-court-roe-v-wade-dobbs-kansas-arkes-11660084107?__________________________________________________________ 4. Abortion to remain legal in Wyoming while lawsuit proceeds, By Mead Gruver, Associated Press, August 10, 2022, 5:42 PM Abortion will remain legal in Wyoming while a lawsuit that contests a ban on the procedure in nearly all cases moves ahead, a judge ruled Wednesday. The lawsuit will likely succeed because the ban appears to violate the state constitution and is vague, Teton County District Judge Melissa Owens, in Jackson, wrote in granting the preliminary injunction. In the meantime, the abortion ban would likely harm pregnant women, such as those with serious complications, and their doctors, who would risk prosecution by giving abortions in an attempt to help, Owens wrote. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abortion-to-remain-legal-in-wyoming-while-lawsuit-proceeds/2022/08/10/4c6c2a5c-18f5-11ed-b998-b2ab68f58468_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Catholic schools’ free lunch funds jeopardized by Biden LGBT rule change, By Edie Heipel, Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, August 10, 2022, 6:00 PM Catholic school leaders need to be aware that their schools could be cut off from the federal government’s free and subsidized lunch program if their policies don’t comply with the Biden administration’s revised rules against LGBTQ discrimination, experts warn. Earlier this year the administration re-interpreted Title IX’s federal ban on sex discrimination to include “sexual orientation or gender identity.” Religious freedom and free speech advocates warn that the proposed rule change could be used to enforce mandates on hiring, bathrooms, using preferred pronouns, and dress codes.  The broadened definition now also applies to the National School Lunch Program, a federally funded meal assistance program administered by the Department of Agriculture that provides subsidized or free lunches to more than 30 million public and private school students from low-income households. That change promises to put pressure on religious schools not aligned with the Biden administration’s LGBTQ agenda, especially those serving low-income populations that rely heavily on the federal funds. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252011/catholic-schools-free-lunch-funding-threatened-by-biden-lgbt-rule-change__________________________________________________________ 6. Bill Barr: A Steady Hand in Tumultuous Times, By Ashley McGuire, Real Clear Politics, August 10, 2022, Book Review The nearly 600-page book [“One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General”] is, first and foremost, a balm for our tumultuous times. His is the rare modern story of a good and upright man and a life well and fully lived, much of it devoted to the bettering of his country. It is an equally rare depiction of a strong and decisive man with a steady hand, something that at times feels almost entirely absent from the political landscape. It is the story of a man of deep faith and virtue who admired his parents, adores his wife, and delights in his daughters, and who moved heaven and earth to care for one of them when she became seriously ill. Now, more than ever, it seems we desperately need a profile such as this to quell the cynicism growing in its absence.  But it’s his takedown of progressivism that makes the book essential reading for anyone trying to understand the current political climate. An expansion of his speech at Notre Dame in which he decried intolerant progressive politics as the new civic religion, oppressing anything and everything in its wake, the book ruthlessly dissects radical progressivism and its “messianic promises” whose sole aim is to “tear down society’s existing belief systems and institutions.” “The operative goal of this eclectic ideology,” he writes, “is destruction…. Like the Bolshevik movement, the successor ideology is clear about what it wants to destroy but hopelessly vague about what’s to take its place.” He makes some of the strongest and clearest condemnations of progressivism that can be found in current political philosophy. It is not “an extension of liberalism,” he argues, but rather “an illiberal movement aimed at replacing liberalism…. To achieve its end, it must pulverize the values of the middle and working classes, which it views as ignorant obstacles on the road to the Promised Land.”  And now, he argues, our educational system, after undergoing “forced secularization,” has become progressivism’s latest propaganda machine. Schoolchildren are now subjected to “militant secular progressivism,” which is little more than “oppositional ideologies” and “really nothing more than sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity.”   This has in turn created a “constitutional double standard,” by which secular ideologies are “given the protections of the Free Exercise Clause” but are not “subject to the prohibitions of the Establishment Clause.” The result is a world where religious parents basically cannot in good conscience send their children to public schools. This, he argues, is the actual violation of the Establishment Clause and religious liberty, especially for those parents who cannot afford to send their children to parochial schools. “The problem today is not that religion is being forced on others,” he writes. “The problem is that secular values are being forced on people of faith. Progressives claim not to like the law being used to force certain moral views on them, but they now want to use the law to force their moral values on others.” Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association and the author of “Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female.”  https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/08/10/bill_barr_a_steady_hand_in_tumultuous_times_148025.html__________________________________________________________

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.