1. Pope visits Malta in April after virus postponed 2020 trip, By Associated Press, February 10, 2022, 7:11 AM Pope Francis’ first foreign trip of the year is to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, the Vatican said Tuesday in announcing an April 2-3 trip that had originally been scheduled for 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.  The Vatican hasn’t announced any other trips for 2022, but he has had longstanding plans to visit South Sudan, and there is talk of a possible stop in Congo. In addition, Francis has said he hopes to visit Lebanon soon, though conditions there will determine if he can make the trip this year. There had been rumors of a visit to Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea in 2020, but the pandemic put that trip off, and the continued waves of infections might rule out a rescheduled trip for this year. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-visits-malta-in-april-after-virus-postponed-2020-trip/2022/02/10/8d472910-8a6a-11ec-838f-0cfdf69cce3c_story.html___________________________________________________________ 2. Georgia bill banning abortion pills by mail advances, By Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press, February 9, 2022 Georgia Republicans advanced a bill Wednesday that would ban the delivery of abortion pills by mail and require women to be examined by a physician in person before the pills are dispensed. The state Senate’s health and human services committee voted 7-5 in favor of the legislation after an expedited hearing that drew abortion opponents and supporters. The bill would still need approval from the state Senate and House before it could become law. More than a dozen other Republican-led states have passed measures limiting access to the pills, including outlawing delivery by mail. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-business-georgia-9b38222cb7552dfa8965262e84401f34___________________________________________________________ 3. Muslim leaders ‘alarmed’ by Catholic politician’s inclusion in European Islamophobia report, By Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2022, 8:00 AM A body representing more than 1,000 Muslim leaders worldwide expressed alarm on Tuesday at a Catholic politician’s inclusion in a report on Islamophobia in Europe. The Global Imams Council said on Feb. 8 that it regarded a reference to Marijana Petir in the European Islamophobia Report 2020 as “inaccurate, irresponsible, and defamatory.” “The Global Imams Council was alarmed to learn of the inclusion of the Honourable Marijana Petir, Member of the Croatian Parliament, in the European Islamophobia Report published on Dec. 29, 2021, and her classification as an ‘Islamophobe.’ We reject this charge and consider it false, inaccurate, irresponsible, and defamatory,” said a statement signed by the group’s president, Imam Mohammad Baqir al-Budairi.“Marijana Petir MP is known to this Council as an advocate for peace, harmony, coexistence, and the rights of persecuted Christians worldwide, more specifically in the Middle East.”  Petir said it was unclear how giving scholarships to persecuted Christians could be characterized as Islamophobia.  “Her statements critical of Islamist extremists and terrorists do not make her an Islamophobe. It is her duty as an elected Member of Parliament to condemn all forms of terrorism, and she has this Council’s support in doing so,” it said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250334/muslim-leaders-alarmed-by-catholic-politician-s-inclusion-in-european-islamophobia-report___________________________________________________________ 4. Vatican symposium to explore relationship between priests and laity, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2022, 1:00 PM The Vatican will hold an international symposium next week to discuss the theology of the relationship between Catholic priests and the laity. The conference, “For a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood,” will take place Feb. 17-19 in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. The symposium was first announced in April 2021. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, has organized the meeting together with the France-based Research and Anthropology Center for Vocations. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250336/vatican-conference-to-study-relationship-between-priests-and-lay-people___________________________________________________________ 5. Pro-lifers lament High Court ruling on abortion in N Ireland, By Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2022, 2:00 PM A pro-life group said that a High Court ruling on Tuesday indicates that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland could block future attempts to restrict abortion in the region. A judge dismissed a challenge on Feb. 8 brought by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) to a directive to expand abortion services issued by the Secretary of State Brandon Lewis. Liam Gibson, SPUC’s policy and legal officer, said that his organization was considering an appeal against the judgment, which declared that the Northern Ireland secretary had “broad, expansive powers” regarding abortion. “If this judgment is allowed to stand, the Secretary of State can simply block any attempt to restrict abortion or restore the right to life of unborn children,” Gibson said in a Feb. 8 statement. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250338/pro-lifers-lament-high-court-ruling-on-abortion-in-n-ireland___________________________________________________________ 6. Injunction blocks South Dakota abortion pill restriction, By Stephen Groves, Associated Press, February 9, 2022 A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against a South Dakota rule that would make the state one of the hardest places in the U.S. to get abortion pills. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier issued the injunction late Tuesday against a rule pushed by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem that would have required abortion-seekers to make three separate visits to a doctor to take abortion pills. Schreier previously issued a temporary restraining order last month to keep the state from implementing the rule. Women in South Dakota can currently get both drugs in the two-dose medication-induced abortion regimen during a single visit and take the second dose at home. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-bill-clinton-karen-schreier-planned-parenthood-944fd360162fa5502179b0974365425a___________________________________________________________

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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