1. Justices Take Up Religious Liberty—Again, By Michael A. Helfand and Nathan J. Diament, The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2021, Pg. A17, Opinion The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week over whether state government funding programs can discriminate against religion—the third time the court has taken up the issue in the past five years. It has already prohibited excluding religious institutions simply because they are religious institutions, but it equivocated on whether governments can deny funding that would be used for religious purposes. The justices should now make clear that all forms of religious exclusion in government funding are unacceptable.   It’s clearly unjust for states to withhold funds simply because they have secular and religious uses. Doing so is premised on a worldview that takes for granted a neat division between the secular and the religious. Few religions have such dividing lines. If the court is serious about protecting all faith communities equally, then it should prohibit religious discrimination based on status and use alike. Mr. Helfand is a professor of law at Pepperdine University, visiting professor at Yale Law School, and fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Mr. Diament is the executive director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. https://www.wsj.com/articles/justices-take-up-religious-liberty-freedom-funding-schools-vaccines-supreme-court-comer-11638475065___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope laments ‘hostility and prejudice’ with Cypriot Orthodox, By Menelaos Hadjicostis and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 3, 2021, 5:05 AM Pope Francis lamented centuries of hostility and prejudice that have divided Catholics and Orthodox as he met Friday with the leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Church and pointed to works of charity as a means to help heal the rift between Catholic West and Orthodox East. Archbishop Chrysostomos II hosted Francis for private talks at his residence and then invited the pope to the brand new Orthodox Cathedral of St. Barnabas for an encounter with the Holy Synod, the highest decision-making body of the Greek Orthodox Church. Sitting in front of the gilded iconostasis, or altar, and as the Orthodox clergymen chanted, Francis lamented the “broad furrows” that history had cleaved between Catholics and Orthodox as a result of the 1,000 year-old schism, when God wanted all Christians united. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-to-meet-cyprus-orthodox-leader-to-strengthen-ties/2021/12/03/17418a30-53f6-11ec-83d2-d9dab0e23b7e_story.html___________________________________________________________ 3. Will the Justices Let Go of Abortion?, Overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t settle the issue, but it would create the possibility of a settlement., By Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2021, 6:51 PM, Opinion Overturning Roe would mean returning a furiously contested national issue of almost 50 years standing to the democratic process. This wouldn’t “solve” the problem or “end” the struggle. It would bring the responsibility for solving and ending it closer to the people. In the short term it would cause new disruption and renewed argument, as Roe itself did when it negated abortion statutes in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Deep-blue states will go deep blue, red ones will go red, and purple states will tend toward more moderate laws. It will take time to play out. Politicians who stray too far from true public opinion, as opposed to whatever got burped up in a recent poll, will fairly quickly face backlash at the polls. It won’t be settled for a few years. But then it will settle. This path—overturning—is the closest America will get to justice and democratic satisfaction on this issue. https://www.wsj.com/articles/will-the-justices-let-go-of-abortion-roe-wade-jackson-mississipi-fifteen-weeks-dobbs-11638487513?___________________________________________________________ 4. Doctor Slams Sotomayor: “To Compare an Unborn Child to a Brain-Dead Person is Wholly Ignorant”, By Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews, December 2, 2021, 4:54 PM Doctors and scientists corrected U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor this week after she compared unborn babies to brain dead people and claimed they cannot feel pain until at least 24 weeks of pregnancy. Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a radiology specialist and senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said the justice’s statements were “wholly ignorant” of basic scientific knowledge. “To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science, which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby’s organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath,” Christie responded in a statement. On Wednesday, Sotomayor dismissed arguments that unborn babies should be protected from abortion, at the very least, by 15 weeks of pregnancy when they are capable of feeling pain. Those arguments came from Mississippi attorney Scott Grant Stewart as he asked the high court to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. During questioning, he told Sotomayor that unborn babies at early stages of pregnancy can be seen recoiling when being poked or touched. Sotomayor responded by claiming only a “gross minority of doctors” believe fetal pain exists before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Before this point, she asserted that unborn babies are like brain dead people who lack the consciousness to feel pain. https://www.lifenews.com/2021/12/02/doctor-slams-sotomayor-to-compare-an-unborn-child-to-a-brain-dead-person-is-wholly-ignorant/___________________________________________________________ 5. A weary pope urges Greek, Turkish Cypriots to heal division, By Nicole Winfield and Menelaos Hadjicostis, Associated Press, December 2, 2021, 1:35 PM ope Francis on Thursday urged Greek Cypriots and the breakaway Turkish Cypriots to resume talks on reunifying the Mediterranean island nation, saying threats and shows of force were only prolonging the “terrible laceration” its people have endured for nearly a half-century. A weary-looking Francis made the appeal as he arrived in the ethnically divided Cypriot capital at the start of a five-day visit that will also take him to Greece, a similarly Orthodox majority country on Europe’s southeastern edge. “Let us nurture hope by the power of gestures, rather than by gestures of power,” Francis told Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and other government leaders. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the north, where Ankara maintains more than 35,000 troops. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/europes-migrant-crisis-dominates-popes-cyprus-greece-trip/2021/12/02/b6d30780-5343-11ec-83d2-d9dab0e23b7e_story.html___________________________________________________________

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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