1. Free exercise of religion should rule the day, In 303 Creative v. Elenis, Supreme Court can no longer punt, By The Washington Times, December 7, 2022, Pg. B2, Editorial The Supreme Court on Monday heard the case of 303 Creative v. Elenis, involving a Christian graphic designer in Colorado who, for moral and religious reasons, refuses to design websites for potential customers related to same-sex marriage. The high court is taking its third bite of this apple and needs to get it right this time. Kicking the can down the road again with a split-the-difference ruling as it did in June 2018 in the case of a Christian baker (coincidentally, also from Colorado) who declined to design custom wedding cakes for gay couples isn’t an option.  This time, the Supreme Court needs to rule definitively and unequivocally that compelled speech is not free speech and in favor of the First Amendment right not only to merely hold religious beliefs but also to be able to live them out in practice. That need takes on added urgency in light of the lame-duck Congress’ near-certain passage this week of the so-called Respect for Marriage Act. If it becomes law, it will only further embolden the militant LGBTQ left to compel obeisance to its agenda through costly lawsuits against religious conscientious objectors.  The only reason the LGBTQ left would target Ms. Smith and others like her as they have is that they don’t believe tolerance should be a two-way street. They need to be reintroduced to the concept of “live and let live.” So, we’ll say it again: The Supreme Court can do that in 303 Creative v. Elenis by coming down affirmatively and unambiguously on the side of free speech and the free exercise of religion. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/dec/6/editorial-in-303-creative-v-elenis-supreme-court-c/__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis Compares War in Ukraine to the Holocaust, Pontiff intensifies his rhetoric on Russia’s invasion, which he recently likened to the Soviet genocide, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2022, 6:45 AM Pope Francis on Wednesday compared the war in Ukraine to the Nazi genocide of the Jews, in his latest escalation of rhetoric on the war. The comments risked aggravating tensions between the Vatican and Moscow following the pope’s earlier comparison of the war to Soviet-instigated genocide and his characterization of ethnic-minority Russian troops as especially cruel. Greeting Polish pilgrims at his weekly public audience at the Vatican, the pope noted a recent commemoration of Operation Reinhardt, the 1941 German effort to exterminate the Jews of Poland, which killed about  two million people. “History repeats itself, repeats itself. Look at what is happening now in Ukraine,” the pope said, in an apparently off-the-cuff comment added to his prepared text. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pope-francis-compares-war-in-ukraine-to-the-holocaust-11670413517__________________________________________________________ 3. Jesuit artist has ministry cut; Vatican doesn’t prosecute, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 6, 2022, 3:58 PM The Vatican came under pressure Tuesday to explain why it didn’t prosecute a famous Jesuit artist and merely let his order restrict the priest’s ministry following allegations that he abused his authority over adult women. The Jesuits, the same order to which Pope Francis belongs, announced in a statement made public this week that the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith had determined the statute of limitations had expired and closed the case against the Rev. Marko Ivan Rupnik. Mosaics by Rupnik, a native of Slovenia who is as close as it gets to an official Vatican artist, decorate the Lourdes basilica, a chapel in the Apostolic Palace and churches around the globe.  The vast majority of such cases handled by the Dicastery often fall beyond the 20-year statute of limitations in church law. But for over a decade, the Dicastery has regularly waived the time limit, precisely because of the time needed for victims to come to terms with their abuse and report it. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/jesuit-artist-has-ministry-cut-vatican-doesnt-prosecute/2022/12/06/daf7f872-75a3-11ed-a199-927b334b939f_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Baltimore seals documents related to clerical sexual abuse report, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, December 6, 2022, 3:30 PM A judge in Baltimore this week ordered all proceedings, filings, and communications related to the release of a major attorney general’s report on clerical sexual abuse to be made confidential.  Judge Anthony Vittoria of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City issued a confidentiality ruling Dec. 2 in response to a request from an anonymous group of people named in the report but who were not accused of abuse, the Baltimore Sun reported. At issue is a 456-page report compiled by the office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, consisting of information given by the Archdiocese of Baltimore along with information gathered from interviews that claims to identify more than 600 victims of clerical abuse in the archdiocese dating back eight decades. It is currently unclear whether the report will lead to any new criminal charges. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253002/baltimore-seals-documents-related-to-clerical-sexual-abuse-report__________________________________________________________ 5. U.S. Catholic population shows growth, trends southward, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, December 6, 2022, 12:00 PM The Catholic population in the United States has grown by about 2 million people in 10 years. With nearly 62 million people, it continues to constitute the largest religious body in 36 U.S. states, according to the latest religion-focused survey of America’s religious congregations. Over the last decade, many Catholics, the survey found, have moved to the South. “Perhaps the most notable changes were by region,” Clifford Grammich, a political scientist involved in the U.S. Religion Census, told CNA Dec. 5. “Fifty years ago, 71% of U.S. Catholics were in the Northeast and Midwest; in 2020, 45% were. And the South now has more Catholics than any other region. I was surprised to see there are now more Catholics than Southern Baptists in Missouri and Virginia.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252998/us-catholic-population-shows-growth-trends-southward__________________________________________________________ 6. UK Supreme Court to rule on ‘censorship zone’ outside abortion facilities, By Madeleine Teahan, Catholic News Agency, December 6, 2022, 9:06 AM Pro-life and free-speech campaigners in the United Kingdom are awaiting a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court on Wednesday regarding censorship zones around abortion clinics. The Northern Irish Assembly adopted the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Northern Ireland Bill in March. However, Northern Ireland’s attorney general, Dame Brenda King, referred the bill to the Supreme Court out of concern that it was incompatible with fundamental freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. The bill in question prohibits “direct” and “indirect” pro-life “influence” within a 100-meter vicinity of abortion premises. It stands to criminalize quiet or silent prayer along with the distribution of leaflets that offer women alternatives to abortion. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252997/uk-supreme-court-to-rule-on-censorship-zone-outside-abortion-facilities__________________________________________________________

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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