1. Church leaders work to protect pro-life Hyde amendment, By John Lavenburg, Crux, August 12, 2021
Members of the U.S. bishops’ conference pro-life arm say they view the Aug. 10 vote by the U.S. Senate to preserve the Hyde Amendment as an important sign that the provision still has bipartisan support.
In a near partisan 50-49 vote, Democrat Joe Manchin, a Catholic, joined all of the Republicans in voting yes to a budget resolution amendment late Tuesday night to preserve Hyde – a longstanding provision that prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion.

The amendment to preserve Hyde – called the Lankford Amendment after Republican Senator James Lankford who introduced it – however, was non-binding and therefore won’t necessarily be included in the House of Representatives version, or any subsequent budget legislation.
2. Churches deemed essential in future states of emergency, By Holly Ramer, Associated Press, August 11, 2021, 4:21 PM
Churches and other houses of worship will be considered providers of essential services during future states of emergency in New Hampshire.
Gov. Chris Sununu on Tuesday signed a bill that allows such religious organizations to operate to the same degree as essential businesses during a state of emergency.
3. Cardinal Cupich reportedly ‘leaning hard’ on bioethics center to retract stance on Covid vaccine exemptions, By Alejandro Bermudez and Carl Bunderson, Catholic News Agency, August 11, 2021, 5:32 PM
Amid disagreement among Catholic leaders over whether there is a moral obligation to receive a coronavirus vaccine, board members at the National Catholic Bioethics Center have told CNA that Blase Cardinal Cupich has urged that the center retract its guidance against mandated immunization.
One board member told CNA that Cardinal Cupich has been “leaning hard” on the bishops and some prominent lay board members, but did not elaborate on specific names. The NCBC board members spoke with CNA on the condition they not be identified by name.

The NCBC wrote in a July 2 statement that it “does not endorse mandated COVID-19 immunization” with any of the three approved vaccines, citing a December 2020 note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which says, in part, that “practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”
4. Federal court dismisses lawsuit against Indianapolis archdiocese, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, August 11, 2021, 3:09 PM
A federal district court on Wednesday tossed out a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, filed by a former Catholic school guidance counselor fired for entering a same-sex marriage contract.
Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana on Aug. 11 ruled that the former Roncalli Catholic High School counselor, Lynn Starkey, qualified as a minister of religion; thus, the archdiocese and school were exempt from federal workplace discrimination prohibitions, regarding her termination of employment.
Young wrote that “the court concludes the ministerial exception bars all of Starkey’s claims.” He granted summary judgement to the archdiocese in the case, ruling in favor of their petition to dismiss Starkey’s lawsuit.
Luke Goodrich, VP and senior counsel with Becket, the firm that represents the archdiocese in the case, stated on Twitter that the decision was a “big win” for religious freedom.
5. Ruling blocking HHS ‘transgender mandate’ called ‘victory for conscience’, By Catholic News Service, August 11, 2021
A U.S. District Court judge’s Aug. 9 ruling to block the Biden administration’s mandate that doctors and hospitals perform gender-transition procedures despite their own moral or medical objections is “a victory for common sense, conscience and sound medicine.”
That is the view of Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, based in Washington. He is the lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case.

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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