TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 138 – Science Lesson For Justice Sotomayer & Tom Carroll On Saving Catholic Preschools! After oral argument was heard at the Supreme Court on Dobbs v. Jackson last week, Dr. Grazie and TCA colleagues Ashley McGuire and Leigh Snead discuss some of the most pivotal moments including Justice Sotomayer’s faulty thinking on fetal pain and the skewed media narratives picking on Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s words about the option of adoption. TCA colleague Maureen Ferguson also joins as we hear about a sneaky provision that the Biden administration is attempting to put into the Build Back Better bill that would adversely affect Catholic early education programs with Tom Carroll, superintendent of Boston Archdiocese Catholic schools. As we prepare for Gaudete Sunday, Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily as we enter into the 3rd week of Advent. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. France’s heritage authorities back controversial plans for Notre-Dame Cathedral’s interior, By Catholic News Agency, December 10, 2021, 5:00 AM France’s heritage authorities approved on Thursday controversial plans for the interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Members of the National Heritage and Architecture Commission backed the proposals during a closed-door meeting on Dec. 9 amid an outcry over the restoration of the cathedral badly damaged by fire in 2019. French media quoted the Ministry of Culture as saying that “the experts gave a favorable opinion on the interior refurbishment program.” 2. New York, California pro-lifers push abortion alternatives to help women, By John Lavenburg, Crux, December 10, 2021 California and New York Catholic conference leaders are emphasizing the need for pro-life advocates to double their efforts in advocacy for abortion-alternatives and walking with pregnant women after state politicians announced plans to expand abortion access. The announcements came this week after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week of a case on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks or pregnancy, where it could overturn Roe v. Wade – the 1973 decision that declared a nationwide right to abortion – and put abortion laws in the hands of state legislatures.  Nonetheless, political leaders in California, in conjunction with pro-abortion organizations, released a proposal of 45 policy recommendations for the state to consider. These include: Funding the procedure for women that come to California for abortion services, increased funding for abortion providers, and dozens of measures to make it easier for clients to access abortion. “It just seems like there is this frantic need to kind of pull out all of the stops to just make abortion the only possible answer and it’s really terrible,” said Kathleen Domingo, the California Catholic Conference executive director, about the report.  Kathleen Gallagher, the New York Catholic Conference director of pro-life activities, told Crux that James idea is “absurd,” claiming that politicians in New York and California “are just trying to use abortion as a political football.” Case in point, Gallagher said, is the fact that James – who suddenly dropped her New York governor bid on Dec. 9 – didn’t include any details of how much the fund would cost, or how it would work in her announcement. 3. For ethical guidance on abortion, let’s look to Europe, By Michael Gerson, The Washington Post, December 10, 2021, Pg. A19, Opinion Dozens of European countries limit elective abortion to 15 weeks. Several of them set that period at 14 weeks. A majority limit elective abortion to 12 weeks, including Denmark, Germany, Norway and France. These countries generally allow for abortions at later stages if the physical or mental health of the mother is threatened, or in the case of serious fetal defect. But almost all these laws are more restrictive, on paper, than the regimen set out in Roe v. Wade. Little of this can be attributed to activist religious groups “imposing” a moral vision. These are some of the most secular countries in the world. European abortion law engages in legal and ethical balancing because there are contending liberal values that require balancing — a public responsibility to value human dignity and a public duty to respect the autonomy of those who become pregnant.  The explicit or effective ending of Roe comes at a low point in America’s political capacity for deliberation. But there is no more fundamental task of a political community than to define the human community. And what sounds impossible will soon be unavoidable. 4. Judge says Texas abortion law’s enforcement mechanism unconstitutional, By Meryl Kornfield and Reis Thebault, The Washington Post, December 9, 2021, 11:58 PM The enforcement mechanism for Texas’s abortion ban, which is the most restrictive in the nation and effectively outlaws the procedure, violates the Texas constitution, a state judge ruled Thursday. While a win for abortion rights advocates, the narrow decision by District Judge David Peeples of Austin does not include an injunction that would halt litigation against doctors or others who “aid or abet” an abortion. Texas Right to Life, an antiabortion group that supported the legislation, said it will appeal the ruling. Meanwhile, according to abortion providers, the law, known as S.B. 8, remains in effect, continuing a near-total ban on abortion before many people know they’re pregnant at six weeks. 5. The Supreme Court is on a religious crusade, By Paul Waldman, The Washington Post, December 9, 2021, 1:02 PM, Opinion Conservative Christians have plenty of reasons to feel that their beliefs are not ascendant in modern America. But they have one unquestioned redoubt of power: the Supreme Court, whose majority is determined to keep widening their privileges, to excuse them from laws others must obey and to force government to change its rules to accommodate their beliefs. This week the court demonstrated it once again. While they may not get the attention of decisions on abortion or guns, those justices have issued a series of rulings whose effect is to give a privileged position to conservative Christians, always in the name of “religious freedom.” By the time they’re done, the separation of church and state will seem like a historical artifact from a bygone time.  They also seem sympathetic to the argument so common on the contemporary right that Christians are a kind of persecuted majority. Living in a society that increasingly incorporates pluralist mores and practices — such as “Happy Holidays” signs — constitutes oppression so brutal that government, the law and the Constitution itself must bend to lessen their burden. Protecting these noble victims requires steadily whittling away at the Establishment Clause. Whenever this era in the Supreme Court’s history ends, we’ll have a very different legal system when it comes to church and state. You can bet that all kinds of plaintiffs are waiting to see just how far the court will go in dismantling that wall. They’re nowhere near done.

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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