1. Abortion ban faces exceptions fight in South Carolina House, By Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press, August 30, 2022, 1:17 AMSouth Carolina House members plan to debate a new total ban on abortion Tuesday with no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest even as some Republicans in the GOP-dominated chamber suggested they can’t vote for the bill as written. But if the exceptions are put into the bill, the chamber’s most conservative members could join with Democrats to kill the bill, too. On the day before the debate, one of the most conservative House lawmakers said 20 Republican have signed his letter saying they would not commit to voting for the total ban with the rape and incest exceptions, which with the votes against from 43 Democrats would be enough to kill the bill.https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/abortion-ban-faces-exceptions-fight-in-south-carolina-house/2022/08/30/492ac89e-2822-11ed-a90a-fce4015dfc8f_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Yeshiva University Fights for Its Freedom of Religion, Schools should be able to have policies consistent with their faith, even if they are politically unpopular., By Thomas B. Griffith, The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2022, 8:13 PM, Opinion In recent years, a spate of lawsuits have asked whether, and to what degree, religious colleges and universities are free to craft policies consistent with their religious values, even when those policies are unpopular with those who don’t share those values. These decisions run the gamut from the mundane—whether to allow tobacco, alcohol, caffeine or meat on campus—to the headline-grabbing—how to structure on-campus housing arrangements or decide which student clubs get official school recognition. In these lawsuits, student plaintiffs typically ask the court to force the school to abandon a longstanding religious principle in favor of a policy incompatible with the school’s faith. But as judges continue to evaluate the legal merits of these cases, it is important to consider the real danger to the First Amendment, and to the continued viability of religious schools, each time a suit like this succeeds.  As a former federal judge, I’ve seen how it is vital that these institutions remain free to make these decisions without government interference. If not, these laudable institutions will be presented with a Hobson’s choice: They can either continue to fulfill their mission of faith formation and pastoral guidance, or they can conform themselves to the government’s demands. This pressure to conform is on full display in a case currently making its way up to the Supreme Court. In YU Pride Alliance v. Yeshiva University, plaintiffs have asked the lower courts to force Yeshiva to recognize an LGBTQ club on campus, which is inconsistent with Yeshiva’s interpretation of the Torah’s values. The New York courts agreed with the plaintiffs, denying Yeshiva’s repeated requests for a stay. With no other legal options available, Yeshiva is now asking the Supreme Court to step in and protect its religious identity once and for all. Whether right or wrong, and whether we agree or disagree with Yeshiva’s theology, the Supreme Court stated in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru (2020) that the First Amendment provides robust protections for the types of “internal management decisions” that are “essential to” the “central mission” of religious schools, including those related to spiritual formation. These protections force the government to keep its hands off an area in which it has no competency—religious doctrine—and afford religious schools the flexibility needed to fulfill their unique role. This hands-off approach is good not only for the religious, but also for government, keeping courts, legislatures and agencies out of the business of supervising religious controversies. And of course it benefits the students, who remain free to choose schools that best meet their intellectual and spiritual needs. When evaluating the merits of these suits, judges and all who benefit from the separation of church and state enshrined in the Constitution must safeguard these bedrock First Amendment principles. Mr. Griffith is a Washington lawyer and a lecturer at Harvard Law School. He served as a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 2005-20. https://www.wsj.com/articles/yeshiva-university-fights-for-its-constitutional-rights-first-amendment-free-speech-students-higher-education-religious-schools-values-morals-11661798761__________________________________________________________ 3. Religious health care providers beat ACA restriction appeal, By Associated Press, August 29, 2022, 8:56 PM A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a Texas federal court ruling that exempts a group of religious health care providers from the abortion and gender rights requirements of the Affordable Care Act. In an 18-page opinion filed Friday, the three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the permanent injunction by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Wichita Falls. The Franciscan Alliance, a Catholic hospital network in Indiana and Illinois, and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations and their 19,000 members nationwide sued to block the Biden administration from enforcing ACA provisions they feared would require them to perform abortions or gender-transition treatment. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/religious-health-care-providers-beat-aca-restriction-appeal/2022/08/29/a3e9b5b6-27fe-11ed-a90a-fce4015dfc8f_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Becciu can’t vote in conclave, says Vatican’s cardinal list, By The Pillar, August 29, 2022 Although Cardinal Angelo Becciu is attending the Vatican consistory of cardinals that opened on Saturday, he remains excluded from participating in a future conclave, according to an official Vatican list of the College of the Cardinals. In a statistical overview of the College of Cardinals, updated and distributed by the Holy See press office for the consistory’s opening on Saturday, Becciu’s name appears among the ordinary members of the college, whose primary right and duty is to participate in the conclaves which elect the Bishop of Rome. Cardinals lose the right to attend conclaves when they turn 80 years old. While Becciu is of voting age, the cardinal is listed as a “non-elector” on the Vatican’s list. The disgraced cardinal’s legal status was brought into question last week, after Becciu said in a homily Aug. 21 that Pope Francis had personally invited him to attend the consistory and would soon “reinstate” him to full membership of the College of Cardinals. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/becciu-cant-vote-in-conclave-says__________________________________________________________ 5. Abortion: The Sacred Idol of Our Throwaway Society, The Catholic pro-life cause is extremist, but not in the way abortion advocates assume., By Father Thomas Petri, National Catholic Register, August 29, 2022, Opinion Abortion advocates and pro-abortion politicians have long been real extremists on the issue. Any discussion of limiting abortion in legislation has been vociferously condemned as an attempt to curb the so-called “right to abortion.” Unrestricted and unlimited access to abortion has become a sacred idol to many people in the throwaway culture of death we live in. We know it and abortion advocates know it.  To be clear, the Catholic pro-life cause is extremist, but not in the way abortion advocates assume. In fact, abortion is a binary for us; a black and white issue. There is no gray. The unborn are living children: human persons made in the image of God with an intrinsic dignity and an inalienable right to live. In a world gone mad, where self-expression is the only “truth” many people recognize and acceptance the only virtue, it is inevitable that anyone who makes a claim for an objective reality—that the unborn are alive and have a right to life—will be labeled an extremist.   Of course, it’s up to politicians to determine the merit of any piece of legislation or initiative, and the optics of their own support for certain agendas. However, pro-life politicians aren’t meant to be and shouldn’t be extremists on the other side of extremist pro-abortion politicians. All things being equal, legislation that limits abortion, even if it still allows for abortion, can be supported, provided that the politician’s opposition to abortion is fully known. This is not to encourage the evil of abortion. On the contrary, St. John Paul noted that rather than representing cooperation with an evil law, such support can be “a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.” The same is true of statewide referendums. While an outright ban of abortion is preferable, given that even Planned Parenthood admits most abortions are for elective reasons and are not chosen because of rape or incest, a ban of abortion except in these limited instances would have the desired effect of drastically reducing the number of children who are murdered. Voters should consider the merit of supporting limited bans if a complete ban is not yet possible. We can not make the good the enemy of the perfect. In the meantime, we will continue to pray and to work for the conversion of hearts and minds to the plight of voiceless unborn, hoping to save as many as we can, until the evil of abortion in our country comes to an end and children are welcomed and loved for who they are: persons made in the image of God and called to eternal union with him. Father Thomas Petri Father Thomas Petri, O.P., S.T.D. is the President of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Catholic University of America. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/abortion-the-sacred-idol-of-our-throwaway-society__________________________________________________________

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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