1. A small GOP cohort is waging an uphill battle to offer more federal support to families after Roe’s fall., By Jeff Stein and Leigh Ann Caldwell, The Washington Post, August 8, 2022, Pg. A1, Analysis As the country processed the fall of Roe v. Wade, a few dozen GOP congressional staffers crammed into the second floor of the Monocle, a steak and seafood restaurant a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Over a buffet lunch, they listened to Samuel Hammond, an outside adviser to Sen. Mitt Romney, argue that Republicans have a heightened obligation to expand financial support for families now that abortion rights are no longer guaranteed nationwide. Hammond, a Canadian policy analyst who received government benefits when his father took a few years off to be a stay-at-home dad, pitched a proposal by Romney (R-Utah) to send monthly checks of $250 per child to millions of American parents. “Pro-life conservatives now have an obligation to address the financial insecurities associated with childbirth and parenthood,” Hammond told the July 1 gathering.  Since the Supreme Court moved in June to end national abortion protections, a long-running debate has flared within the GOP about whether and how to support parents. Hammond is part of a small cohort of conservatives arguing that the Dobbs v. Jackson decision requires a compassionate response to the millions of women likely to lose control over their pregnancies. Some influential antiabortion and religious groups, like Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, have endorsed measures like Romney’s, arguing that the government now has a greater obligation to provide material support to families. Calls for action may intensify since Kansas voters last week overwhelmingly defeated an effort to strip away their state’s abortion protections, highlighting the possible political danger the issue holds for the GOP with midterm elections looming. https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/08/07/republicans-family-benefits-roe-dobbs/__________________________________________________________ 2. Ukraine’s Vatican envoy hints Pope may be set to visit the country, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, August 8, 2022 Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See has hinted that a possible papal trip to his country could happen before the pope’s visit to Kazakhstan in mid-September, when he is expected to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. Pope Francis met with the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, on Saturday for a private conversation at the Vatican.  In a Tweet sent after the Aug. 6 meeting, Yurash quoted the pope as telling him, “I am very close to (Ukraine) & want to express this closeness through my visit to (Ukraine).” Yurash called these “important words” from the pope and said that “(Ukraine) for many years & especially since (the) start of (the) war has been waiting for (the) Pope & I’ll be happy to greet him before his trip to Kazakhstan.” In a separate Tweet, Yurash said his meetings with Pope Francis are “always inspirational. Especially when there is a chance to discuss and promote subjects that (are) ‘on table’ for a long time, like Pope’s visit to Ukraine.” https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/08/ukraines-vatican-envoy-hints-pope-may-be-set-to-visit-the-country__________________________________________________________ 3. Cardinal Tomko, oldest living cardinal, dead at 98, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, August 8, 2022, 4:53 AM Cardinal Jozef Tomko died early Monday morning in Rome at the age of 98. At the time of his death, the Slovakian-born cardinal was the world’s oldest living member of the College of Cardinals. Tomko died at 5:00 a.m. Aug. 8 in his apartment, where he was under the care of a dedicated nurse after hospitalization on June 25 for a cervical spine injury, according to Vatican News. He had returned home from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Aug. 6.  Tomko was a member of the College of Cardinals for over 37 years after St. Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in the consistory of May 1985. A confidant of John Paul II, Tomko had been secretary general of the Synod of Bishops for almost six years at the time he was created cardinal. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251990/cardinal-tomko-oldest-living-cardinal-dead-at-98__________________________________________________________ 4. Roman stunner: More or less, the Vatican tells the truth about its money, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, August 7, 2022, Opinion In the old days, it used to be said that how much money the Vatican has was among the mysteries of the faith, akin to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Funds were distributed among a bewildering variety of entities and accounts, many of them off the books – in some cases, cash was literally stuffed into desk drawers and cabinets in Vatican offices, replenished and doled out with no paper trail at all. Further complicating things, there’s long been ambiguity about what’s meant by “the Vatican” when it comes to accounting.  Friday’s new financial statement excludes the Vatican bank – which isn’t really all that consequential, since reforms begun under Pope Benedict XVI mean the bank now issues its own detailed and independently audited annual statement, so we know its situation – and also the government of the Vatican City State, which remains a bit more opaque. Even allowing for those omissions, however, Friday’s statement was still remarkable. It was prepared by the Secretariat for the Economy, an office created by Pope Francis as part of his first wave of reform in 2014, which is now led by Spanish Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves. For the first time it includes not just the Roman Curia but virtually every outfit that flies under the Vatican flag, with the number of entities covered rising from 60 in past statements to a robust 92 this time around. According to an interview with Guerrero in Vatican News, the state-run media service, previous reports only covered about 35 percent of the Vatican’s total financial footprint, while this one is pretty much the whole show. Among other things, it confirms what many long suspected, to wit, that the Vatican’s annual income and expenditures were significantly under-reported – they’re closer to $1 billion than the $350 million previously claimed – and that its total assets are around $4 billion instead of $2 billion.Overall, the statement presents a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that while the Vatican’s deficit for 2021 had been projected at around $33 million, it turned out to be only about $3.3 million. Guerrero attributed the result in part to the performance of Vatican investments and favorable currency conversion rates, but mostly to aggressive efforts to contain costs. The bad news is that to bring over-spending under control the Vatican is selling off about $20-$25 million of its patrimony every year, which means it’s cutting not just fat but muscle. Guerrero said revenues have to be increased, calling the pope’s missions “under-funded.” There’s also a ticking time bomb in the form of the Vatican’s pension fund, which lacks the resources to cover the costs of a rapidly aging workforce nearing retirement, meaning that deficits could grow exponentially without serious new investment.  This week, the Vatican more or less told us the truth about its financial situation – the full truth, or at least as close to it as the place has ever come. However ugly the picture may be, it’s still got to be better than the rosy landscapes we used to get. Pope Francis deserves credit for delivering, at least partially, on his pledges of transparency. He just has to figure out what to do about the hard truths we can now see more clearly thanks to his reforms. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/08/roman-stunner-more-or-less-the-vatican-tells-the-truth-about-its-money__________________________________________________________ 5. The New Politics of Abortion, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, August 7, 2022, Pg. SR3, Opinion Some liberals seemed genuinely surprised by the results of the Kansas referendum on abortion. A reliably Republican state, a sweeping pro-choice victory. Who could have foreseen it? Others suggested that only the pro-life side should be shocked. “The anti-abortion movement has long claimed that voters would reward Republicans for overturning Roe,” wrote Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. “They are now discovering how delusional that conviction has always been.” It’s true that activists often tend toward unrealistic optimism. But nobody who favored overturning Roe ought to be particularly surprised by the Kansas result. By the margin, maybe — but a Republican state voting to preserve a right to abortion emphasizes what’s always been apparent: With the end of Roe, the pro-life movement now has to adapt to the democratic contest that it sought. That requires addressing immediate anxieties head-on. It is not enough, for instance, for abortion opponents to react to stories about delayed care for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies in pro-life states by pointing out that the laws are being misinterpreted. All officialdom in those states should be mobilized to make hospitals fear malpractice suits more than hypothetical pro-life prosecution. And it requires longer-term creativity, so that every new protection for the unborn is combined with reassurances that mothers and children alike will be better supported than they are today. When I make the latter point I get a reliable liberal retort, to the effect that Republicans could have done more for families already, and didn’t, so why would that ever change?But this is the point of bringing democratic pressure to bear. Religious conservatives have pushed Republicans away from libertarian economics in the past — “compassionate conservatism” emerged from evangelicals and Catholics — but so long as abortion was essentially a judicial battle, the link to family policy was indirect. Now that Republicans have to legislate on abortion, though, there are incentives to make the link explicit — especially in states where socially conservative Democrats, especially Hispanic voters, might join a pro-life coalition. That doesn’t mean it will happen, just that the incentives of democratic politics are how it would happen. The end of Roe opens the door wide to a pro-life movement that’s incrementalist and creative; it doesn’t ensure that such a movement will emerge. But the results in Kansas show what will happen if it doesn’t. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/06/opinion/abortion-kansas-politics.html__________________________________________________________ 6. With Roe Gone, a Safe Alternative for Desperate Mothers, By Dana Goldstein, The New York Times, August 7, 2022, Pg. A14, Opinion The Safe Haven Baby Box at a firehouse in Carmel, Ind., looked like a library book drop. It had been available for three years for anyone who wanted to surrender a baby anonymously. No one had ever used it, though, until early April. When its alarm went off, Victor Andres, a firefighter, opened the box and found, to his disbelief, a newborn boy wrapped in towels. The discovery made the local TV news, which praised the courage of the mother, calling it “a time for celebration.” Later that month, Mr. Andres pulled another newborn, a girl, from the box. In May, a third baby appeared. By summer, three more infants were left at baby box locations throughout the state. The baby boxes are part of the safe haven movement, which has long been closely tied to anti-abortion activism. Safe havens offer desperate mothers a way to surrender their newborns anonymously for adoption, and, advocates say, avoid hurting, abandoning or even killing them. The havens can be boxes, which allow parents to avoid speaking to anyone or even being seen when surrendering their babies. More traditionally, the havens are locations such as hospitals and fire stations, where staff members are trained to accept a face-to-face handoff from a parent in crisis. All 50 states have safe haven laws meant to protect surrendering mothers from criminal charges. The first, known as the “Baby Moses” law, was passed in Texas in 1999, after a number of women abandoned infants in trash cans or dumpsters. But what began as a way to prevent the most extreme cases of child abuse has become a broader phenomenon, supported especially among the religious right, which heavily promotes adoption as an alternative to abortion. Over the past five years, more than 12 states have passed laws allowing baby boxes or expanding safe haven options in other ways. And safe haven surrenders, experts in reproductive health and child welfare say, are likely to become more common after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/06/us/roe-safe-haven-laws-newborns.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Pope meets Russia envoy; decrees Ukraine-based priest martyr, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, August 5, 2022, 10:02 AM Pope Francis met Friday with a top official of the Russian Orthodox Church ahead of an expected meeting next month in Kazakhstan with the Russian Orthodox leader, Patriarch Kirill, who has justified the war in Ukraine.  Francis’ audience with Kirill’s envoy came on the same day the pope made a symbolically meaningful decision for some Ukrainian Catholics: He declared an underground Ruthenian Greek Catholic priest who ministered during Soviet times in Ukraine, the Rev. Petros Oros, a martyr, fast-tracking him on the path to possible sainthood. Oros lived from 1917 until 1953, when he was killed out of hatred of the faith by Soviet forces, the Vatican said in a statement. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-meets-russia-envoy-decrees-ukraine-based-priest-martyr/2022/08/05/4473c63e-14c7-11ed-8482-06c1c84ce8f2_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Nicaragua police investigating bishop critical of government, By Gabriela Selser, Associated Press, August 5, 2022, 10:33 PM Nicaragua’s police said Friday they have begun an investigation against a Roman Catholic bishop who has been an outspoken critic of President Daniel Ortega’s government. They accused Bishop Rolando Álvarez, leader of the Matagalpa diocese, of allegedly “organizing violent groups” and inciting them “to carry out acts of hate against the population.” The police statement Friday said the investigation would include a number of people and warned that they would not be allowed to leave their homes while the investigation was carried out. Álvarez had been inside his residence Thursday when police cordoned the area. Álvarez came out to pray in the street and approach them with an outstretched crucifix. Police blocked his attempt to go to the cathedral Friday so he instead celebrated Mass from home. The police announced came just hours after first lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo criticized “sins against spirituality” and “the exhibition of hate” in an apparent reference to Álvarez. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nicaragua-police-investigating-bishop-critical-of-government/2022/08/05/24309a50-1530-11ed-8482-06c1c84ce8f2_story.html___________________________________________________________ 9. Anglicans recognize Pope as ‘father of the Church in the West,’ says archbishop of Canterbury, By Charlotte Evans, Catholic News Agency, August 5, 2022, 9:26 AM In ecumenical discussions at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England, Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, has said that most Anglicans recognize the pope as “the father of the Church in the West.”Welby said that he is “not proud” of the level of progress made in promoting Christian unity in recent years. He attributed this stasis in part to what he termed “habits of separation” that have been fostered over the last 500 years.Nonetheless, he believes that the majority of the Church of England’s members acknowledge the pope to be “the father of the Church in the West.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251971/anglicans-regonize-pope-as-father-of-the-church-in-the-west-says-archbishop-of-canterbury__________________________________________________________ 10. U.S. bishops urge support for mothers and babies after Biden abortion executive order, By Carl Bunderson, Catholic News Agency, August 5, 2022, 11:42 AM Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the U.S. bishops’pro-life chair, on Friday called on President Joe Biden to increase support and care for mothers and children.The Aug. 5 message was in response to an executive order from the president that facilitates abortion by allow states to use Medicaid to pay for abortion services for women traveling from other states. “I continue to call on the President and all our elected officials to increase support and care to mothers and babies, rather than facilitate the destruction of defenseless, voiceless human beings,” Lori said. He added that “Even preceding the Dobbs decision, my brother bishops and I have implored the nation to stand with moms in need, and work together to protect and support women and children.” “Continued promotion of abortion takes lives and irreparably harms vulnerable pregnant mothers, their families, and society,” Lori stated. “It is the wrong direction to take at a moment when we should be working to support women and to build up a culture of life.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251972/us-bishops-urge-support-for-mothers-and-babies-after-biden-abortion-executive-order__________________________________________________________ 11. Don’t ignore Canada’s spike in anti-Catholic hate crimes, watchdog says, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, August 5, 2022, 3:00 PM Catholics in Canada suffered the largest spike in religion-based hate crimes last year, and government officials must take action in response, a watchdog group has said. “Undoubtedly, this increase can be attributed to attacks on Catholic churches in Canada in 2021 including the deliberate burning down of churches,” the Toronto-based Catholic Civil Rights League said Aug. 4. “Mainstream media has reported the overall 27 percent increase, but the most staggering of all increases, the 260% rise in anti-Catholic hate crimes, has been largely ignored.” The number of incidents targeting Catholics increased more than 260% between 2020 and 2021, according to crime figures from Canada’s national statistical office, Canada Statistics. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251977/don-t-ignore-canada-s-spike-in-anti-catholic-hate-crimes-watchdog-says__________________________________________________________ 12. Our Catholic President and the Most Pressing Moral Issue of Our Time, By Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire, August 5, 2022, Opinion On numerous occasions throughout his public career, President Biden asserted his personal belief as a Catholic that human life begins at conception and that abortion, therefore, is morally wrong. He has always been quick to add, however, that he is unwilling to use the law to “impose” this personal conviction on anyone else. He presumably feels that since this understanding of human life is a function of uniquely Catholic doctrine or dogma, it would be as objectionable to require everyone to accept it as it would to require all Americans to assent to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception or to the articles of the Nicene Creed. But this is so much nonsense. Opposition to abortion is not a matter of doctrine in the strict sense of the term, but rather a conclusion drawn from moral reasoning and from the findings of objective science. It is an indisputable fact that human life—which is to say, a living human being with a distinctive genetic structure and identity—comes into existence at the moment of conception. It is furthermore a fundamental axiom of ethics that innocent human life ought never to be attacked. These insights and principles are the foundation of an argument against abortion that can and should be made in the public forum; they are decidedly not a matter of “dogma” peculiar to Catholicism. I fully understand that people might disagree with the line of reasoning that I’ve proposed. Fine, let’s argue the matter in the public forum and see which of us can garner majority support. But please don’t tell me that I’m imposing a dogma on you. And while I’m at it, may I say, I am mightily tired of the way the President and his allies use the term “impose.” Time and again, they say some version of, “I’m unwilling to impose my beliefs on others.” Now that we’ve established that opposition to abortion is not a matter of sectarian doctrine, can we also admit that any law, by its very nature, imposes on others? If a majority of federal representatives formulated a piece of legislation to set the speed limit at 65, and if the executive agreed with this determination, a law would go into effect imposing this viewpoint on the entire society. The same goes for tax codes, anti-trust regulations, minimum wage requirements, civil rights statutes, etc. Laws don’t suggest; they impose. And behind every truly just law, there is some moral principle: preserving life, establishing greater justice, protecting the poor, fostering the common good, etc. So if you were to ask me whether I was working to impose on the entire society a law that would protect the rights of the unborn, I would say, “Yes.” And then I would add: “And what’s your point?” And finally, can we please put paid to the silly position first articulated by Governor Mario Cuomo thirty-five years ago and then tiresomely repeated by far too many Catholic politicians ever since that “I am personally opposed to abortion, but publicly I support it.” Again, one might make such a distinction in regard to a strictly doctrinal matter, arguing, for instance, “I personally believe it is indispensable to attend Mass every Sunday, but I would never dream of sponsoring legislation to that effect.” However, since opposition to abortion, as we have just shown, is not a conviction born of “dogma” but rather of moral reasoning, it is utterly incoherent to claim that one can hold to the position privately but not defend it publicly. It would be precisely analogous to someone in the nineteenth century saying that though he personally finds slavery abhorrent, he will do nothing to eliminate it or even to stop its spread. It would also be precisely analogous to someone in the mid-twentieth century saying that though his personal conviction is that Jim Crow laws are morally repugnant, he will fight publicly to keep them in place. In light of this, can you see why so many Catholics, including your humble scribe, find the President’s statements and actions in regard to abortion policy so repellent? The man claims that he objects to abortion, that he considers it morally wrong, and yet, time and time again, in the most straightforward, even strenuous manner, he strives, by word and deed, to make it more available, more acceptable, more legally defended. In the nineteenth century, the viscerally anti-slavery Abraham Lincoln did not pursue the extreme anti-slavery policy advocated by the abolitionists; rather, he took a more moderate position, endeavoring to hem slavery in, to limit its spread, in the hopes that he was setting it on course for extinction. This was, for the sixteenth president, a matter of prudential political judgment. If our current president, convinced as he claims to be that abortion is wrong, were to take steps in the direction of curtailing the practice, or if he could have found positive words to say about the Dobbs decision that at least gives individual states the right to restrict abortion, I might see him in the mold of Lincoln. But instead, he presses forward, advocating the most radical pro-abortion policy imaginable, seeking to codify into law the Roe v. Wade and Casey decisions that essentially made abortion up to the moment of birth a matter of legal impunity in our country. President Biden speaks often of his Catholic faith, attends Mass regularly, and prays the Rosary. I have absolutely no reason to doubt the sincerity of his Catholicism. But I am sorry to say that, in regard to the most pressing moral issue of our time, he stands athwart both right reason and the explicit teaching of his Church. https://www.wordonfire.org/articles/barron/our-catholic-president-and-the-most-pressing-moral-issue-of-our-time/__________________________________________________________

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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