1. Pope worried about Nicaraguan bishop sentenced to 26 years, By Megan Janetsky, Associated Press, February 13, 2023 Pope Francis on Sunday expressed sadness and worry at the news that Bishop Rolando Álvarez, an outspoken critic of the Nicaraguan government, had been sentenced to 26 years in prison. It’s just the latest move against the Catholic Church and government opponents, and comes amid growing concern for Álvarez. “The news that arrived from Nicaragua has saddened me no little,” the pontiff said, expressing both his love and concern at a traditional Sunday gathering in St. Peter’s Square. He called on the faithful to pray for the politicians responsible “to open their hearts.” Álvarez was sentenced Friday, after refusing to get on a flight to the United States with 222 other prisoners, all opponents of President Daniel Ortega. In addition to his prison term, Álvarez was stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship. The bishop said if he boarded the plane, it would be he was admitting he was guilty to a crime he never committed, according to a person close to Álvarez who asked not the be identified out of fear of reprisal.  https://apnews.com/article/pope-francis-united-states-government-daniel-ortega-nicaragua-vatican-city-31939878a63a01f4259694f8265c5b69__________________________________________________________ 2. Women Encounter Abortion Delays After Roe Decision, By Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2023, Pg. A3 Seven months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, some abortion clinics say new state bans on the procedure are pushing abortions later into pregnancy. Since the high court’s decision to remove constitutional protections for abortion, the procedure has become largely inaccessible in nearly one-third of the states, either because a ban is in place or because clinics have shut down owing to legal uncertainty. Clinics in states where abortion is still legal say they are facing strains, with a surge in demand leading to delays. While there isn’t yet broad national data on post-Roe trends, a number of clinics say appointment-wait times have typically increased by weeks, for both in-state and out-of-state patients.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/women-encounter-abortion-delays-as-clinics-draw-patients-from-out-of-state-f40e318b__________________________________________________________ 3. Portugal church sex abuse study: victims may number 4,800, By Barry Hatton, Associated Press, February 13, 2023, 6:52 AM More than 4,800 individuals may have been victims of child sex abuse in the Portuguese Catholic Church and 512 alleged victims have already come forward to speak out, an expert panel looking into historic abuse in the church said Monday.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/portugal-church-sex-abuse-study-finds-512-alleged-victims/2023/02/13/48c34c16-ab83-11ed-b0ba-9f4244c6e5da_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. National Archives staff told visitors to hide antiabortion slogans, lawsuit says, By Fredrick Kunkle, The Washington Post, February 11, 2023, 9:00 AM Antiabortion advocates hoping to view the Constitution at the National Archives were ordered not to display their slogans during their visit, in violation of their constitutional rights, according to a federal lawsuit filed against the agency this week. The advocates, who were in the District attending the 50th annual March for Life last month, allege that a group of security guards at the National Archives and Records Administration’s building told them to hide or remove buttons, hats and clothing that contained messages such as “Life is a HUMAN RIGHT” and “Pro-Love is the New Pro-Life” when they entered the Rotunda, where the Constitution and its Bill of Rights are on display.  The National Archives issued an apology Friday and said officials were still trying to determine what happened. “Early indications are that our security officers quickly corrected their actions, and from that point forward, all visitors were permitted to enter our facility without needing to remove or cover their attire,” the Archives said in a statement. The statement said the National Archives’s policy is explicit in allowing visitors to enter the building wearing clothing or buttons with “protest language, including religious and political speech.” The agency declined to comment further, citing the pending litigation.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/02/11/national-archives-dc-pro-life/__________________________________________________________ 5. Clergy sex abuse suits could bankrupt San Diego diocese, By Associated Press, February 10, 2023, 8:43 PM The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said Friday it may declare bankruptcy in the coming months as it faces “staggering” legal costs in dealing with some 400 lawsuits alleging priests and others sexually abused children. In a letter that was expected to be shared with parishioners this weekend, Bishop Robert McElroy said the cases were filed after California lifted a statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse claims.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/clergy-sex-abuse-suits-could-bankrupt-san-diego-diocese/2023/02/10/165a1fda-a9ac-11ed-b2a3-edb05ee0e313_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Abortion pill could be pulled off market by Texas lawsuit, By Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press, February 10, 2023, 4:35 PM A Texas lawsuit with a key deadline this month is posing a threat to the nationwide availability of medication abortion, which now accounts for the majority of abortions in the U.S. The case filed by abortion opponents who helped challenge Roe v. Wade seeks to reverse a decades-old approval by the Food and Drug Administration. If a federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump sides with them, it could halt the supply of the drug mifepristone in all states, both where abortion is banned and where it remains legal.  On Friday, a group of 22 Democratic-led states weighed in, saying the consequences of reversing the approval could be “nothing short of catastrophic. A similar-sized group of Republican states also filed briefs supporting the reversal, saying the ability to order pills by mail undermines their laws banning abortion.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abortion-pill-could-be-pulled-off-market-by-texas-lawsuit/2023/02/10/33f4c784-a95c-11ed-b2a3-edb05ee0e313_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Archbishop Chaput: Only worthy agenda for synod is one given to us by Jesus in the Gospels, By Kelsey Wicks, Catholic News Agency, February 10, 2023, 9:00 AM, Interview ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, recently interviewed Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, about the controversies and confusion that have arisen around the German bishops’ Synodal Way. The North American archbishop, who has participated in numerous synods during three pontificates — including as one of the representatives of America at the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family — is a widely recognized authority on the matter.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253604/synod-on-synodality-archbishop-chaput-asks-bishops-only-to-use-jesus-agenda__________________________________________________________ 8. Priest charged for praying for free speech in U.K. abortion clinic ‘buffer zone’, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, February 10, 2023, 10:38 AM A Catholic priest who faced criminal charges for praying for free speech outside an abortion clinic after business hours is the latest to run afoul of a strict buffer zone law in the English city of Birmingham. “I pray wherever I go, inside my head, for the people around me. How can it be a crime for a priest to pray?” Father Sean Gough, a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said in a Feb. 9 statement from the ADF UK legal group. Gough stood near a closed abortion clinic on Station Road in Birmingham with a sign that said “praying for free speech.” Police officers approached him and at first told him they did not believe he was breaking Birmingham’s public spaces protection order. Officials invited him to an interview at the police station where they questioned him about his actions and criminally charged him with “intimidating service users” of the abortion clinic. He faced a second charge related to an “unborn lives matter” sticker on his parked car. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253606/priest-charged-for-praying-for-free-speech-in-uk-abortion-clinic-buffer-zone__________________________________________________________

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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