1. Supreme Court Says Muslim Men Can Sue FBI Agents In No-Fly List Case, By Krishnadev Calamur and Nina Totenberg, NPR, December 10, 2020, 11:12 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, ruled Thursday that Muslims put on the no-fly list after refusing to act as informants can sue federal officials for monetary damages under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The case – Tanzin v Tanvir — involved three Muslim men who said their religious-freedom rights were violated when FBI agents tried to use the no-fly list to force them into becoming informants.
“We conclude that RFRA’s express remedies provision permits litigants, when appropriate, to obtain money damages against federal officials in their individual capacities,” the opinion said.
The 8-0 opinion was written by Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was not on the court at the time this case was argued, did not participate.
2. An Uplifting Update, on a Terrible Topic, By Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, December 10, 2020, Pg. A27, Opinion
We all need uplift this terrible year, so here’s inspiring news about some young heroes and the good they’ve achieved on a wrenching topic.
Young men and women who had been exploited by Pornhub as children shared their stories, their documentation and their mortification in hopes that this might prevent other children from being abused. And now, guardedly, there’s hope that they’ve brought about change.
Pornhub on Tuesday announced huge moves that could — if thoroughly put into effect — significantly curb future exploitation. I don’t trust Pornhub a bit, so officials will need to monitor this sector in a way they haven’t before.

Visa and Mastercard are reviewing their ties with Pornhub; there are calls for criminal prosecutions; activist groups like Traffickinghub are demanding action; and lawyers are circling with civil suits.
3. France Proposes Laws to Curb Islamist Activity, By Noemie Bisserbe, The Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2020, Pg. A11
The government of President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday proposed legislation to outlaw a broad array of activity that it defines as forms of “Islamist separatism,” from the abuse of home schooling to online hate speech.
Authorities have framed the legislation, which will be debated by parliament in January, as a response to the spread of radical Islamism, an ideology that the government says aims to build a parallel society where religious rules override civil ones.
That ideology, officials say, undermines the values of the French Republic and its principle of laïcité, which separates religion and the state.
4. Biden’s HHS pick praised by Catholic Health Association, not by some pro-lifers, By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter, December 10, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of Xavier Becerra to head the Department of Health and Human Services is being praised by the Catholic Health Association as a new opportunity for partnership in expanding access to health care, despite resistance from conservative Catholics warning that his appointment will pose threats to the conscience rights of religious believers.

The Catholic Health Association was critical to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, throwing the organization’s support behind the legislation at a time when the U.S. bishops’ conference opposed it. The U.S. bishops have since opposed efforts to repeal the legislation.
5. Pope’s Midnight Mass to start early to respect COVID curfew, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 10, 2020, 9:19 AM
Pope Francis will celebrate Midnight Mass earlier than usual to comply with Italy’s anti-coronavirus curfew and will deliver his Christmas Day blessing indoors to prevent crowds from forming in St. Peter’s Square.
The Vatican on Thursday released the pope’s COVID-19 Christmas liturgical schedule. It said the pope’s Dec. 24 Mass — which for years hasn’t been celebrated at midnight at all but at 9:30 p.m. to spare pontiffs from the late hour — would begin at 7:30 p.m. this year.
6. Pope Francis’ homeland could become the largest country in Latin America to legalize abortion, By Ana Vanessa Herrero and Ruby Mellen, The Washington Post, December 10, 2020, 6:00 AM
Now Argentina, the predominantly Roman Catholic home of Pope Francis, could become the largest country in Latin American to legalize elective abortion. The procedure is permissible only in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother — and even then, women sometimes have difficulty finding doctors who will perform it.

Legislation introduced by President Alberto Fernández, which would legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, is reopening a bitter debate that split the country two years ago. It’s expected to pass Argentina’s House of Deputies this week; it faces a tougher vote in the Senate, which could take it up this month.
7. Catholic Groups Declare War on Biden’s HHS Pick Becerra, By John Gizzi, Newsmax, December 9, 2020
In what is clearly shaping up to be the first major Senate confirmation battle of 2021, several high-profile Roman Catholic and pro-life organizations have weighed in against Joe Biden’s pick of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services.
“With Biden’s pick of Attorney General Becerra, we are seeing him make good on his promise to become the most radically pro-abortion president in history,” declared Jeanne Mancini of the March for Life, once considered a Catholic cause but increasingly attracting pro-lifers of all faiths.

Mancini’s strong words were echoed by Ashley McGuire of the Catholic Association.
“President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of Xavier Becerra to run HHS is a gross insult to Catholics,” said McGuire, “Becerra spent years tormenting the Little Sisters of the Poor in court, trying to force them to pay for things like abortion pills against their consciences. He also led efforts to force pro-life pregnancy resource centers to advertise for abortion. Thankfully both of his efforts failed at the Supreme Court.”
CatholicVote issued a statement charging “Joe Biden’s pick for head of HHS has targeted the Little Sisters of the Poor, waged war on the team who exposed Planned Parenthood’s body parts trade, and tried to strip conscience protections away from doctors and nurses.”
8. Court Strikes Another Blow Against California’s COVID Restrictions on Religious Services, By Graham Piro, Washington Free Beacon, December 9, 2020, 7:00 PM
Strict lockdowns on religious services are on life support after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of a California church challenging indoor-worship bans.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals awarded the South Bay United Pentecostal Church relief against the state’s worship restrictions. The church is one of several that have taken California governor Gavin Newsom (D.) to court over coronavirus lockdowns. The decision comes just days after the Supreme Court granted relief to a Pasadena church.
9. JFK was greeted with rock-star support from Catholics. Biden faces a much more divided tribe, By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, December 9, 2020, 1:16 PM, Opinion
Bishops have already created a working group to deal with the “difficult” situation of his presidency. Priests from Maryland to Fort Worth have preached that the president-elect isn’t even really a Catholic. But to many millions of Catholics who voted for him, Joe Biden and his focus on healing are a compassionate, Pope Francis-like model of their faith.
Catholics’ views on Biden seem to serve as a proxy for what kinds of Catholicism they think most urgently needs to be advanced. Should it be more focused on qualities like engagement and empathy or on purifying doctrine? Is it as interested in Catholic teachings on poverty, refugees and the environment as those on sexuality and reproduction, or should it continue to place abortion law above all?
Despite these divisions, Biden is poised to make his mark on American Catholicism.
10. Council for Inclusive Capitalism launches partnership with Vatican, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, December 9, 2020, 9:00 AM
The Council for Inclusive Capitalism launched a partnership with the Vatican on Tuesday, saying that it would be “under the moral guidance” of Pope Francis.
The council consists of global companies and organizations which share a mission to “harness the private sector to create a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system,” according to its website.
Members include the Ford Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Mastercard, Bank of America, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Merck. 
According to a press release from the council, the partnership with the Vatican “signifies the urgency of joining moral and market imperatives to reform capitalism into a powerful force for the good of humanity.”

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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