1. A new front in the abortion wars, Democrats for Life undermine church teachings from within, By Anne Hendershott. The Washington Times, August 17, 2016, Pg. B3.

It is difficult to understand why Fordham ethics professor Charles Camosy would take to the pages of Crux — a Catholic news website that is funded by the Knights of Columbus — to attack a pro-life speech recently given at the annual convention of the Knights of Columbus by Carl Anderson, the leader of the Knights of Columbus.

In an article entitled, “Knights Leader Right on Abortion, Wrong on Catholic Voting Duties,” Mr. Camosy, a board member of Democrats for Life, suggests that Mr. Anderson was “absolutely incorrect” to suggest that Catholics cannot vote for the pro-choice candidate. Calling Mr. Anderson a “polarizing figure a champion for many conservative Catholics for many of the same reasons the Catholic left considers him deeply problematic,” Mr. Camosy continues his commitment to promoting Democratic Party politicians — even those with 100 percent pro-abortion voting records — over those who promise to protect the unborn.

Earlier this year, Mr. Camosy strategically deployed the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on “proportionate reasons” for voting for a pro-choice candidate to argue that Catholics can be permitted to vote for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. In Crux, Mr. Camosy called the Republican Party a “fake pro-life party.”


2. Emails raise questions about credibility of Washington Planned Parenthood probe, By Bradford Richardson. The Washington Times, August 17, 2016, Pg. A1.

 An email exchange between a Washington state deputy attorney general and a University of Washington administrator suggests that the state Attorney General’s Office did not review critical documents before it exonerated Planned Parenthood in an investigation of fetal tissue procurement last year.

In the email chain, Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich asks Ian Goodhew, director of government relations for UW Medicine, for documents pertaining to the relationship between Planned Parenthood and the university’s Birth Defects Research Laboratory.

After Mr. Goodhew pushes back to make sure the documents would remain confidential, Ms. Dietrich responds that the documents would no longer be necessary for the investigation.


3. Pope’s choice for new Vatican post boosts moderates, Americans, By John L. Allen Jr., Editor. Crux, August 17, 2016.

By naming Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas on Wednesday as the first head of the Vatican’s newly created mega-department for Laity, Family, and Life, Pope Francis has accomplished two things at once: He’s handed another major victory to pastoral moderates, and he’s also further disabused notions that he’s cool to Americans.

(Farrell, 68, isn’t American by birth since he was born in Dublin and came of age in Ireland, but by now he’s spent almost half his life in the States, including the last 14 years as an American bishop. 

Farrell joined the Legion of Christ but left fairly early on, before sexual abuse controversies broke out around the order’s controversial founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado. He moved into the Archdiocese of Washington in 1984, where he served as a pastor and also took over a center for Hispanic ministry from then-Capuchin Father Sean P. O’Malley, who’s now the Cardinal of Boston.


4. God and Brexit, By George Weigel. First Things, August 17, 2016.

Ever since the United Kingdom decided in June to leave the European Union, contending (and sometimes overlapping) explanations have been offered for a vote that stunned the world’s opinion-makers: a perceived loss of national sovereignty to a transnational organization; concerns over current EU immigration policy and the effect of open EU borders on jobs and the rule of law; frustrations with petty bureaucratic regulation by EU mandarins in Brussels. Together, these amount to what’s often called the EU’s “democracy deficit,” which seems to me real enough.

 I’d like to suggest another, perhaps deeper, answer to the question of the EU’s current distress, though: To put it bluntly, the “democracy deficit” is a reflection of Europe’s “God-deficit.” Let me connect the dots.

The founding fathers of today’s European Union—which began as the European Coal and Steel Community before morphing into the European Common Market and then the EU—were, in the main, Catholics: Italy’s Alcide de Gasperi, West Germany’s Konrad Adenauer, France’s Robert Schumann. Appalled by the self-destruction that Europe had wrought in two world wars, they sought an answer to aggressive nationalism in economic partnerships that would bind the West Franks (the French) to the East Franks (the Germans) so that war between them would be inconceivable. It was a practical idea, it worked, and it was understood to be the first step toward forms of political partnership and integration.


5. Colorado Voters to Consider Suicide Drugs for Terminally Ill, Associated Press, August 16, 2016.

Colorado voters this fall will decide whether terminally ill people should be allowed to receive prescriptions for drugs to end their own lives.

The “Medical Aid in Dying” measure was certified Monday as having enough petition signatures to make ballots this fall.

Five other states have some law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives.

Oregon passed the first right-to-die law in 1998, followed by Washington, Vermont and, last year, California. Montana’s state Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that doctors could use a patient’s request for life-ending medication as a defense against any criminal charges.


6. Democrats put Planned Parenthood ahead of Zika, By Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, contributor. The Hill Online, August 16, 2016, 12:46 PM.

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie specializes in radiology in the Miami area and serves on the advisory board for The Catholic Association.

During a fast fundraising stop in Miami, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made an appearance at Borinquen Clinic, a community health center on the front lines of the growing Zika epidemic, and urged Congress to return for a special session and “get a bill passed.”

However, Clinton neglected to mention it was Senate Democrats who, at the last minute, scuttled a deal negotiated by the House and Senate approving a $1.1 billion for Zika response.  Their main objection? The bill restricted funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Instead, the bill allocated $40 million for comprehensive community Health Centers like Borinquen, which offer a much wider range of services than the abortion giant does.  Mrs. Clinton demands that Congress return and cobble together a new compromise that includes Planned Parenthood, no matter how long it might take.


7. California religious colleges dodge a bullet. But what’s next?, By Kevin Jones. Catholic News Agency, August 16, 2016, 4:49 PM.

A bill that threatened to defund California religious colleges that do not accept same-sex marriage and gender ideology has been amended, but the danger could return.

“The schools dodged an enormous bullet,” Gregory S. Baylor, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA Aug. 16. “The provisions that were dropped would have made it very difficult for them. They would have been forced to choose between remaining faithful to their religious beliefs about a variety of issues and participating in the CalGrant program.”

Baylor’s religious freedom legal group helped defend some of the California schools targeted by California legislature bill S.B. 1146.