TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 147 – Catholic Convert Dr. Gavin Ashenden & Tom Farr On China’s Aggression Amid Beijing OlympicsWith the news of yet another Anglican bishop converting to Catholicism this week, Dr. Grazie Christie and Leigh Snead chat with former chaplain to the queen of England Dr. Gavin Ashenden about his own conversion and what this moment means for the fate of Protestantism. With the Beijing Olympics are underway, RFI’s Tom Farr joins along with Maureen Ferguson shine a light on the grave religious freedom violations taking place across the country–and what we as Catholics can do to help those suffering including Jimmy Lai. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pm ET on EWTN radio! 1. Silicon Valley’s Secret Christians, Discomfort with faith cuts the tech industry off from a necessary moral foundation., By Peter Rex, The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion Having held tech jobs in Silicon Valley and Seattle, I’ve experienced a combination of hesitation and hostility toward my Catholic faith. Eastern Orthodox, Mormon and Protestant colleagues at my company have had similar experiences, leading them to worry about being open with their religious beliefs. The fear is valid. For all its talk of diversity, the tech industry has little room for devout believers. This discomfort with faith cuts off much of tech from the moral foundation it needs.  Tech needs an infusion of faith. It could make the industry more humane and enlightened and morally grounded, helping lift up those it currently pushes down. This transformation may already be under way, thanks to the swarm of tech companies moving from the West Coast to Texas, Florida, Tennessee and other states where religious belief still runs high. Yet with most of tech still centered in Silicon Valley and Seattle, this trend needs to accelerate. Tech isn’t a god, nor are tech leaders, but they do need God. Mr. Rex is founder and CEO of Rex, which builds and invests in tech companies. 2. Church leaders condemn assisted suicide as Italy debates euthanasia, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, February 11, 2022 Several prominent Vatican officials, including Pope Francis, have condemned the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide as the Italian parliament examines a draft euthanasia bill and prepares to evaluate a petition for a referendum on the issue. In his Feb. 9 general audience, which was dedicated to the Christian approach to death, Pope Francis warned against both the futile prolongation of life and the artificial acceleration of death through so-called assisted dying. “After having done everything that is humanly possible to cure the sick, it is immoral to engage in futile treatment,” the pope said during his speech. 3. Virginia Senate Democrats defeat 20-week abortion ban, By Sarah Rankin, Associated Press, February 10, 2022, 2:14 PM A Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate committee defeated a bill Thursday that would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in most circumstances. The measure from Republican Sen. Amanda Chase failed on a party-line vote of 6-9. While a similar bill is alive in the GOP-controlled House, it has not been docketed for a hearing that legislative procedure would require take place by Friday. 4. Abortions in Texas fell 60% in 1st month under new limits, By Paul J. Weber, Associated Press, February 10, 2022, 5:44 PM Abortions in Texas fell by 60% in the first month under the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S. in decades, according to new figures that for the first time reveal a full accounting of the immediate impact. The nearly 2,200 abortions reported by Texas providers in September came after a new law took effect that bans the procedure once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy and without exceptions in cases of rape or incest. The figures were released this month by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. 5. Pope Francis: Lack of basic health care access is a ‘social virus’, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, February 10, 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. 6. Potential Supreme Court nominee faces questions on religious rights case, By Robert Barnes, The Washington Post, February 9, 2022, 4:57 PM Leondra R. Kruger argued 12 cases at the Supreme Court, representing the United States in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and one of them is receiving special scrutiny as President Biden decides whether to nominate her to the bench. The Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was a unanimous loss for the Obama administration and a landmark win for religious organizations. The justices for the first time agreed with lower courts and the organizations that the Constitution provides a “ministerial exception” that shields churches and other religious groups from anti-discrimination laws in certain hiring and firing decisions. Kruger, then a lawyer in the solicitor general’s office and now a justice on the California Supreme Court, failed to win even the vote of her recent boss — Justice Elena Kagan, who was confirmed to the court in 2010 after serving as President Barack Obama’s solicitor general. Kagan termed the government’s argument “amazing,” and not in a good way.  It doesn’t appear Kruger’s California court has had reason to interpret the Hosanna-Tabor precedent, although she mentioned it matter-of-factly in another First Amendment case. But conservative groups hold out Kruger’s argument as a reason to be wary of her. “Leondra Kruger was the number two in the SG’s office at the time” the brief was filed, said Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, which has opposed Biden’s judicial nominations. “It is insulting to her and defies common sense to suggest that she would not have been instrumental in the development of the government‘s position in this case.”

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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