1. Argentina, Uruguay bishops fight push for euthanasia in their countries, By Inés San Martín, Crux, December 16, 2021 Euthanasia might soon be legalized in Uruguay and Argentina, which could have a domino effect in the world’s most Catholic continent, where the practice is banned everywhere but in Colombia. Euthanasia is the procedure through which a medical professional terminates a life at the request of the patient or their family, in a medical facility.  Cardenal Daniel Sturla, archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay, spoke about the matter in his Christmas message, released earlier this week, supporting “the defense of life from conception to natural death,” and rejected any “action that searches for death.” The message comes as the Uruguayan parliament debate issues related to palliative care and euthanasia.  In neighboring Argentina, a project to legalize euthanasia called “Good Death” was presented by three legislators last November. The initiative aims at regulating what it calls the “right of every person to ask for assistance and receive the needed help to die when they are suffering grave or incurable illness, as well as a chronic illness.” The bill was not presented by the party of President Alberto Fernandez, but the local bishops are interested in knowing where he stands on this issue, and sources have told Crux that though the issue was on the agenda for the annual meeting the leadership of the bishops’ conference had with the president on Wednesday, it wasn’t a priority since it’s not something the president can decide. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-americas/2021/12/argentina-uruguay-bishops-fight-push-for-euthanasia-in-their-countries___________________________________________________________ 2. The Supreme Court, Weaponized, By Linda Greenhouse, The New York Times, December 16, 2021, 5:00 AM, Opinion The imminent evisceration of the constitutional right to abortion, clearly apparent from the Dec. 1 argument in the Mississippi abortion case, is only the beginning.  Last week’s argument in a religion case from Maine indicated that a decades-old understanding about the extent to which religious schools can lay claim to taxpayer support is similarly about to be shattered.  The grant of review in the Maine religious schools case came at the very end of the last term. The grant itself was no surprise; the case is tailor-made to complete a project that Chief Justice Roberts has approached incrementally with the clear goal of enabling religious institutions to enjoy the same public benefits as secular institutions.  The new case would transform the permissive into the mandatory, asking the court to rule that Maine cannot exclude religious schools from a program that, in school districts too small to have their own high schools, offers tuition reimbursement to parents who choose to send their children to a private school. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/16/opinion/supreme-court-trump.html___________________________________________________________ 3. New Zealand abuse report says Church hasn’t taken ‘sufficient steps’ to address problem, By Charles Collins, Crux, December 16, 2021 A new report on sexual abuse in New Zealand says abuse in religious settings often causes “particular harm” to victims. The report quoted Thomas Doyle, a former Catholic priest and a leading expert in abuse in the Catholic Church, who called it “soul murder.” The report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care – titled He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu; from Redress to Puretumu — was tabled in New Zealand’s parliament on Dec. 15. The document makes recommendations on how survivors of abuse in state and faith-based care should be listened to and how they should be compensated. The three religious denominations covered in the report were the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and the Salvation Army.  The Crown Commission makes several recommendations, a public apology, streamlined communications and redress methods, and greater sensitivity to the cultural needs of New Zealand’s Māori and Pacific Islander communities. The report was welcomed by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, the Congregational Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand representing Catholic religious orders and similar entities, and Te Rōpū Tautoko, the group formed to coordinate Catholic engagement with the royal commission. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-oceania/2021/12/new-zealand-abuse-report-says-church-hasnt-taken-sufficient-steps-to-address-problem___________________________________________________________ 4. Cardinal Pell Has One Question for Cardinal Becciu: ‘Will He Just Tell Us What the Money Was Sent for?’, The former prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy sat down for an interview on his three-volume ‘Prison Journal’ touching on his incarceration, Cardinal Becciu and Vatican finances., By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, December 16, 2021 During a visit this month to St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California, Cardinal Pell spoke with Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond about the spiritual impact of incarceration, his decision to forgive his accuser and the Vatican financial corruption trial that may be linked to his own case.  [Interviewer:] You left your position as the inaugural prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy to stand trial in Australia, suspending your campaign to reform the Vatican’s financial system. Later, you learned that significant sums of money were transferred to Australia around the time of your arraignment in 2017. Are you confident that these allegations will come up in the Vatican trial? [Cardinal Pell:] I’m not confident of anything with the Vatican trial. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m not even entirely sure that it will go ahead. It might fail for legal reasons. There’s no doubt that 2,300,000 [Australian dollars] was sent from the Vatican to Australia. Cardinal Becciu acknowledged that. We just received the available recordings of the [Vatican] trial, and it looks as though Msgr. [Alberto] Perlasca, [the longtime investment manager for the Vatican], said under interrogation that the money was sent to the bishops’ conference in Australia for my legal defense. That’s certainly not true. We’ve asked the bishops’ conference, they received nothing. We certainly received nothing. So I have one question for Cardinal Becciu: “Will he just tell us what the money was sent for?” And if it’s nothing to do with me or for entirely innocent purposes, good, I would be quite pleased, and we can get on with our lives. [Interviewer:] What did you know about the London property scandal when you served as prefect? [Cardinal Pell:] I didn’t know a great deal when I went home. We did know the Secretary of State would not give us access to their records, and would not let the auditors in. We also knew they made an accounting error on the London property, which had the effect of masking it. We picked that up. But we were entirely ignorant of the debacle that was developing.  [Interviewer:] The Church seems to be split on whether to maintain or relax Church discipline, specifically on reception of the Eucharist. [Cardinal Pell:] We’re not just offering hospitality at Mass, with Holy Communion. If you come to my place, I’ll offer you a biscuit and tea or coffee, it wouldn’t matter who you were. But that’s not what we believe about the Eucharist. We believe it really is the body and blood of Christ, the son of God. You have to be a monotheist. You have to believe in Jesus Christ, and in the Real Presence. St. Paul wrote about the dispositions necessary to make a good and fruitful reception of Communion. https://www.ncregister.com/interview/cardinal-pell-has-one-question-for-cardinal-becciu-will-he-just-tell-us-what-the-money-was-sent-for___________________________________________________________ 5. Pope’s missing apology adds to ‘lack of trust’ from Indigenous people in Canada, By Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service, December 15, 2021, 2:63 PM A meeting at the Vatican between Pope Francis and the Indigenous communities in Canada, originally scheduled for Friday through Sunday (Dec. 17-20), was postponed due to the pandemic with the promise that the pope might visit the country next year. But the scandals tied to the Christian-run residential schools in Canada, as well as the lack of a formal apology by the Vatican to local Indigenous communities, make it “an open question,” according to Jesuits on the ground, whether Francis will be warmly welcomed when he does go to Canada. https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/popes-missing-apology-adds-to-lack-of-trust-from-indigenous-people-in-canada/2021/12/15/bcd35304-5de0-11ec-b1ef-cb78be717f0e_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. The FDA could permanently lift some restrictions on abortion pills, By Sarah Mccammon, NPR, December 15, 2021, 4:54 PM Before the pandemic, doctors like Nisha Verma could only prescribe abortion pills to patients who came to her clinic in person. But at least for now, the Biden Administration is allowing patients to get the pills by mail.  Last year, reproductive rights groups successfully sued to suspend the in-person dispensing rule, arguing it exposed patients to unnecessary risk from COVID-19. The Trump Administration fought that decision to the Supreme Court, which allowed the rule to be reinstated. Then, the Biden Administration stepped in this April to once again allow patients to receive the abortion pills by mail during the pandemic.  Now, the Food and Drug Administration faces a Thursday deadline to complete a review that could lead to removing several restrictions on the pill, including making this easier access permanent. A coalition of medical and reproductive rights groups asked the FDA to permanently remove the in person rule, and other restrictions, for the abortion pill mifepristone. As a result of litigation spearheaded by groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, the FDA agreed to review its regulations and report back. https://www.npr.org/2021/12/15/1064598531/the-fda-could-permanently-lift-some-restrictions-on-abortion-pills___________________________________________________________

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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