1. Medical board asked to drop anti-abortion boss as president, By Associated Press. The Washington Times, August 23, 2016, Pg. A8.

Groups representing doctors, consumers and women have asked the state medical board to remove the president of Ohio Right to Life as the board’s leader because they say he can’t be impartial in abortion-related cases.

In a letter dated Friday, organizations including Common Cause Ohio, Doctors for Health Care Solutions, Democratic Voices of Ohio, the National Organization for Women and the liberal policy group ProgressOhio alleged Mike Gonidakis has a conflict of interest on a pending complaint involving three Ohio abortion providers.

“Mike Gonidakis has two jobs: He is president of Ohio Right to Life, an organization dedicated to ending abortion, and he’s president of the Ohio State Medical Board, a panel that received a complaint about three abortion providers,” said Sam Gresham, chairman of Common Cause Ohio. “Mr. Gonidakis pronounced the doctors guilty without hearing from them or the patient. His two jobs clearly pose a conflict that he cannot rectify.”


2. A look at the crisis of the Church in Germany, By Anian Christoph Wimmer.  Catholic News Agency, August 23, 2016, 3:04 AM.

The plummeting number of priestly vocations in the Catholic Church in Germany is raising questions about the roots of the problem, and whether the situation has been manufactured to promote non-priestly ministry.

 According to figures published by the German bishops’ conference, never before have so few priests been ordained in the Church in Germany: a total of 58 men became priests in the country in 2015.

 Within the last decade, the number of ordinations has dropped by half: In 2005, a total of 122 diocesan priests were ordained. And five decades ago, in 1965, the number was 500.


3. New aide says Francis wants to hear laity, not just bishops and priests, By Crux Staff. Crux, August 22, 2016.

Sometimes when new Vatican appointments are announced, it’s a bit opaque who actually called the shot. That’s definitely not the situation, however, with Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, named last week to be the first-ever head of a new Vatican department devoted to laity, family and life.

 In his case, it’s abundantly clear who pulled the trigger: Pope Francis himself.

 “One day in May, my secretary walked into my office, because I didn’t answer the phone, and she said the pope is on the telephone,” Farrell recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah, sure … probably one of my bishop or priest friends just calling up imitating the pope’.”

 In fact, it really was Francis, who proceeded to lay out for Farrell what he wants him to do in his new Vatican role, which he likely will take up in early October


4. Life Amid War: Peace Comes in the Form of South Sudan’s Churches, By Peter Jesserer Smith. National Catholic Register, August 22, 2016.

“If we die, we die with these people.”

 Amid the screams and constant crackle of gunfire outside the Don Bosco compound in Gumbo, South Sudan, the priests, religious and lay staff made their decision: They would stay with the 20,000 people who had sought refuge behind their gates to the very end.

Father Shyjan Job and his fellow Salesian priests said their last prayers and prepared themselves to meet God. All that stood between them and death by the machete’s swing or the AK-47’s spray of bullets on the evening of July 10 was the chain-link fence and an iron gate encircling their church, their school and adjacent buildings.


5. Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Wrong, By Ryan T. Anderson. The Daily Signal, August 22, 2016.

 A major new report, published today in the journal The New Atlantis, challenges the leading narratives that the media has pushed regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

 Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender.

 The major takeaway, as the editor of the journal explains, is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.”


6. Obama’s Transgender Edict Enjoined Nationwide by Federal District Court in Texas, by Mark Pulliam. National Review- Bench Memos, August 22, 2016, 12:37 PM.

In a 38-page decision dated August 21, but released today, Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction against the Obama administration’s edict — in the form of a “Dear Colleagues” memo — that recipients of federal funds grant access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers to transgender individuals.

 Texas and twelve other states brought the challenge on May 25. The hearing on plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion, filed on August 3, was held on August 12. Judge O’Connor concluded that the Obama administration’s regulation-by-memo failed to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act and contradicted the terms of the statutes it purported to enforce.

 Notably, Judge O’Connor declined to follow the Fourth Circuit’s contrary decision in G.G. ex rel Grimm v. Gloucester Cty. Sch. Bd., 822 F.3d 709 (4th Cir. 2016), noting that the U.S. Supreme Court recalled the Fourth Circuit’s mandate and stayed the preliminary injunction entered by the district court in that case.


7. Crimes and no punishment, Violence is only one of the problems faced by Christians in Egypt. The Economist, August 20, 2016.

It began with an argument over money, says a resident of Karam village in Minya. A shop-owner called Ashraf, a Coptic Christian, could not pay his Muslim suppliers. So they started a rumour that Ashraf was having an affair with a Muslim woman. In May a group of enraged Muslim men burned down his house along with several other homes owned by Christians. Ashraf’s elderly mother was stripped naked and dragged around the village.

 Tensions are rising between Egypt’s two largest religious communities. The head of the Coptic church, Pope Tawadros (pictured above), says attacks against Christians, who make up between 5% and 15% of the population, occur about once a month. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a pressure group, counted 77 incidents of sectarian violence and tension in Minya, where there is a large Christian minority, since 2011. At least ten incidents this year have resulted in discord, death and destruction.