1. Planned Parenthood to spend record $50M in midterm elections, By Brian Slodysko, Associated Press, August 17, 2022, 5:14 AMPlanned Parenthood, the nation’s leading reproductive health care provider and abortion rights advocacy organization, plans to spend a record $50 million ahead of November’s midterm elections, pouring money into contests where access to abortion will be on the ballot. The effort, which breaks the group’s previous $45 million spending record set in 2020, comes months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that created a constitutional right to have an abortion. It will be waged by the organization’s political and advocacy arms and will focus on governor’s offices, U.S. Senate seats and legislative races in nine states where abortion rights could be restricted or expanded depending on the outcome at the ballot. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/planned-parenthood-to-spend-record-50m-in-midterm-elections/2022/08/17/0bf2e05c-1e0d-11ed-9ce6-68253bd31864_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Will future Canadians owe the disabled an apology for euthanasia?, By Charles Lane, The Washington Post, August 17, 2022, 7:00 AM, Opinion Last month, Pope Francis came to Canada and expressed regret for the Roman Catholic Church’s part in running notoriously abusive residential schools for Indigenous children, which operated between 1880 and 1996.  Francis was in Canada to apologize, not to preach — which may be why he said relatively little about that country’s legalization of euthanasia in 2016. Rebranded as “medical assistance in dying,” or MAID, the formerly taboo practice is now hailed in Canada as both humane medical care and essential to patient autonomy. It enjoys strong support in opinion polls and the full backing of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government. Still, Francis’s church is doctrinally opposed to euthanasia, and he has personally condemned it, so the pope did allude, in one of his public addresses, to “patients who, in place of affection, are administered death.” He could, and should, have said more. Even before Francis’s visit, there was evidence euthanasia has problems. Between 2016 and 2021, Canadian medical personnel administered lethal doses to more than 31,000 people who were usually — but not always — terminally ill. Since 2019, Canadian law has said that “intolerable” suffering due to “incurable” illness, which could include various chronic disabling conditions, may be sufficient to qualify for a lethal injection. These permissive standards may be resulting in avoidable death or distress for vulnerable people, and disability rights advocates are expressing concern, as Maria Cheng of the Associated Press reported Aug. 11.  Properly, if belatedly, recognized by Francis and others as “evil” today, in their own time the schools for the Indigenous in Canada were started confidently, with self-consciously good intentions, as places to provide children much-needed assimilation into the dominant English-speaking, Christian culture. The policy’s intellectual authors were later honored and the Canadian public remained broadly supportive, or indifferent, even after abuses had been reported. “One of the most haunting aspects of the Canadian Indian Residential School system was that one of Canada’s worst historical crimes was managed and defended by people who fervently believed they were doing the right thing for ‘the Indian,’” Tristin Hopper wrote in the National Post last year. As they expand euthanasia today, Canadians should bear in mind that they, too, are subject to the law of unintended consequences and to the judgment of future generations. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/17/pope-francis-and-canada-euthanasia/__________________________________________________________ 3. Why politics may not be the magic bullet in terms of refilling the pews, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, August 17, 2022, Opinion Germany’s bishops now have delivered to Rome the long-awaited results of their “synodal path,” a controversial national consultation of the country’s Catholics, and anyone with a passing familiarity with German Catholicism over recent decades won’t find many surprises. In broad strokes, Germany’s Catholics seem to want more empowerment of laity, especially women, including a say in the selection of pastors and bishops as well as a preaching role for lay people. They also favor greater tolerance for disagreement with official church teaching on hot-button issues such as contraception, gay marriage, celibacy and women’s ordination. Calls for such changes are linked to declines in both Mass attendance and church membership, with the suggestion being that German Catholics are abandoning ship in frustration over what they see as a church that’s “encrusted, overly hierarchical, and old-fashioned.” None of this is new, and it’s hardly confined to Germany. Across the developed world Catholicism has been struggling with declining numbers for decades, and those declines are often pegged to perceived failures to deliver desired reforms. Yet in the developed nation for which we have the best data about how people make decisions on religious affiliation, the United States, it turns out things aren’t quite so simple.  It’s at least worth pondering the possibility that the religious decisions people make are driven far more by personal considerations – such as the experience they’ve had of an individual Catholic parish, the people who make it up, and how welcome they felt there – than by abstract matters of church politics. By extension, maybe it’s not as simple as implementing a series of policy changes. Maybe, if Catholicism wants people to stick around, the battle has to be fought at the retail level, in direct pastoral care and attention, and not whether popes or bishops veer to the left or the right. Granted, the U.S. isn’t the rest of the world. However, it’s worth noting that as Catholic membership in Germany has gone down the ethos in the German hierarchy has been fairly liberal, suggesting that mere ideological realignment may not be the magic bullet there either. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/08/why-politics-may-not-be-the-magic-bullet-in-terms-of-refilling-the-pews__________________________________________________________ 4. Cardinal Ouellet allegations will raise Vatican criticisms, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, August 16, 2022 Canadian media reported Tuesday that Cardinal Marc Ouellet has been accused in a class-action lawsuit of inappropriately touching an intern, allegedly kissing her at a 2010 ordination party, and then sliding his hand down her back and touching her posterior. The cardinal has not yet made a statement about the allegations, nor has the Holy See officially indicated whether any canonical process will be undertaken. The allegations are the kind unlikely to be prosecuted as crimes, and neither guilt nor innocence is especially likely to be proved. Ouellet will most likely remain for some time in a middle ground, neither exonerated nor condemned. But the Vatican’s handling of the case already – in the 19 months since Pope Francis apparently learned of the allegations – is likely to draw criticism for the pontiff, renewing the frequent charge that Francis does not have a handle on addressing sexual misconduct allegations among bishops.  It is also worth noting that because Ouellet’s Vatican department is charged with overseeing Vos estis lux mundi investigations, there are more stakeholders than it might initially seem. Ambiguity about the cardinals’ situation will have a ripple effect, with uncertainty compounding about the credibility of investigations already overseen his dicastery — especially those which have exonerated accused bishops. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/ouellet-allegations-will-raise-vatican__________________________________________________________ 5. Pressure grows on German bishops over ‘synodal way’ co-president’s abortion stance, By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, August 16, 2022 Pressure is growing on Germany’s bishops to cut ties with the co-president of the country’s controversial “synodal way” after she called for the nationwide provision of abortion. On Monday, the Catholic group Maria 1.0 criticized a response from the German bishops’ conference to its open letter urging bishops to sever links with Irme Stetter-Karp, president of the powerful lay Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK).  The German bishops’ conference, which said in June that it regretted the deletion from the criminal code, immediately sought to distance itself from Stetter-Karp’s remarks.  The letter, which has almost 2,000 signatories, said that Stetter-Karp had “crossed a red line.” It accused her of misusing “her position as the highest-ranking lay representative of the Catholic Church and co-president of the synodal way in order to lobby for a personal, sociopolitical cause.”  The bishops’ conference responded to Maria 1.0 in a letter dated Aug. 11. It thanked the group for its “comments and suggestions,” which it promised to take on board “critically.” It also underlined the German bishops’ consistent defense of human life from conception until natural death, including through the annual “Week for Life” initiative. Maria 1.0 criticized the response, which was signed by Frank Ronge, head of the faith and education department within the German bishops’ conference secretariat. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/pressure-grows-on-german-bishops__________________________________________________________ 6. Lag in slavery reparations from US Jesuits irks descendants, By Deepa Bharath, Associated Press, August 16, 2022, 10:54 AM Last year, the U.S. branch of the Jesuits pledged to raise $100 million for a reconciliation initiative in partnership with descendants of people once enslaved by the Catholic order. On Tuesday, a leader of those descendants expressed deep dissatisfaction with the order’s lack of progress since then. Joseph Stewart, in a publicly released letter to the head of the order, contends the Jesuits have failed to uphold their side of the partnership with the urgency the circumstances demand. Stewart and other descendants are the progeny of 272 enslaved men, women and children sold in 1838 by the Jesuit owners of Georgetown University to Louisiana plantation owners to pay off the school’s debts.  Their partnership and joint creation of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation was announced in March 2021. The Jesuits pledged to raise $100 million within five years with a broader goal of reaching $1 billion from an array of donors. The money would pay for educational opportunities for current and future descendants, and the foundation would oversee fundraising and grant allocation. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/lag-in-slavery-reparations-from-us-jesuits-irks-descendants/2022/08/16/505676ea-1d73-11ed-9ce6-68253bd31864_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. California appeals court rejects COVID-19 fines for church, By Associated Press, August 16, 2022, 9:12 PM A California church that defied safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic by holding large religious services won’t have to pay about $200,000 in fines, a state appeals court ruled. Calvary Chapel San Jose and its pastors were held in contempt of court and fined in 2020 and 2021 for violating state and county limits on indoor public gatherings. The rules were aimed at preventing the spread through close contract of the virus, which has caused more than 10 million confirmed cases and more than 93,500 deaths since the pandemic began in mid-2020, according to state public health figures. But on Monday, California’s 6th District Court of Appeal reversed those lower court decisions, citing a May 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in February 2021 that a ban by Gov. Gavin Newsom on indoor worship services in counties where COVID-19 was surging violated freedom of religion.  Despite the ruling, Santa Clara County said it will continue to seek $2.3 million in penalties against the church for violating other COVID-19 rules that weren’t affected by the decision, such as requiring face masks during services in late 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/california-appeals-court-rejects-covid-19-fines-for-church/2022/08/16/9e99f54c-1dc9-11ed-9ce6-68253bd31864_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Abortion ban goes to S. Carolina House floor for big fight, By Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press, August 16, 2022, 4:49 PM A near total abortion ban in South Carolina that does not include exceptions for pregnancies’ caused by rape or incest was sent to the state House floor Tuesday but not without hints and warnings that the lack of exceptions could cause a big legislative fight in a few weeks. The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-7 to approve the ban. All yes votes were from Republicans and all votes against the bill from Democrats. But three Republican committee members who were at the meeting did not vote.  South Carolina currently has a six-week ban passed in 2021 that went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abortion-ban-goes-to-s-carolina-house-floor-for-big-fight/2022/08/16/eacedb32-1da4-11ed-9ce6-68253bd31864_story.html__________________________________________________________ 9. Swiss bishops’ Synod report: Catholic Church denies equality to women and excludes LGBT people, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, August 16, 2022, 9:02 AM On Monday, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference published a document for the upcoming Synod on Synodality in Rome reporting the Catholic Church was seen as suffering from clericalism —as well as “denying equality to women” and excluding “people with LGBTQ identity.” “Several official church positions on the role of women in church and society, on sexuality and lifestyles are perceived as pejorative and exclusionary,” the Swiss report said according to CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner. “The Synodal Assembly of Switzerland, held on May 30, 2022, in Einsiedeln Abbey, finalized the report based on comments and requests for adjustments,” the bishops explained.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252044/catholic-church-denies-equality-women-excludes-lgbt-people-swiss-report-synod-on-synodality-claims__________________________________________________________ 10. ‘Trans-Medicine:’ It’s Real and It’s Dangerous, Catholics must, with due care and concern for those afflicted by gender dysphoria, push back against the grave error of gender ideology and reaffirm the objective truths about the human person, By Andrea M. Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, August 16, 2022, Opinion A few years ago none of us had heard of “trans-medicine.” It sounded like something from a low-budget science fiction movie. Now most of us have. It’s real and it’s dangerous.   Despite medical and moral concerns — particularly when it comes to children — the federal government insists that hospitals and health-care professionals provide “gender-affirming” procedures and therapies and that health insurance plans cover the costs. Lawsuits filed by Catholic health-care institutions and doctors may well offer the only chance to stop the madness.    Catholics must, with due care and concern for those afflicted by gender dysphoria, push back against the grave error of gender ideology and reaffirm truths about the human person. Victories for religious freedom, conscience righ and sound medical judgement in cases brought by Catholic organizations and medical professionals may be right around the corner. Watch this space.  Andrea Picciotti-Bayer is a civil-rights attorney and the director of the Conscience Project. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/trans-medicine-it-s-real-and-it-s-dangerous__________________________________________________________

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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