1. President, member of Vatican academy strike back at pro-life critics, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, February 13, 2024 Both the Italian archbishop who heads the Pontifical Academy for Life, and an Ango-Italian economist who serves on it, struck back on Monday at critics who claim their statements and views are at odds with traditional Catholic doctrine on sexual morality. Mariana Mazzucato, a Rome-born economist who’s served as an advisor to the UN, the World Health Organization, and the governments of both Scotland and South Africa, urged people to focus on her academic work, which she insisted have nothing to do with abortion or even religion. Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the academy’s president, likewise brushed off criticism of his views on matters such as contraception, insisting that the academy’s role should be to promote academic reflection and discussion. Mazzucato’s appointment to the academy in October 2022 generated controversy among pro-life activists because of social media postings earlier that year criticizing a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in America. Several Catholic entities, including the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) voiced concern over Mazzucato’s appointment, maintaining that it was inappropriate for someone who publicly expressed pro-choice views to belong to a Vatican entity tasked with promoting the Church’s moral stance on life issues.  https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2024/02/president-member-of-vatican-academy-strike-back-at-pro-life-critics__________________________________________________________ 2. Post-Roe v. Wade, more patients rely on early prenatal testing as states toughen abortion laws, By Laura Ungar and Amanda Seitz, Associated Press, February 12, 2024, 12:42 PM Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, many health care providers say an increasing number of patients are deciding the fate of their pregnancies on whatever information they can gather before state abortion bans kick in. But early ultrasounds show far less about the condition of a fetus than later ones. And genetic screenings may be inaccurate. When you find out your fetus has a serious problem, “you’re in crisis mode,” said doula Sabrina Fletcher. “You’re not thinking about legal repercussions and (state) cutoff dates, and yet we’re forced to.” About half of states ban abortion or restrict it after a certain point in pregnancy.This leaves millions of women in roughly 14 states with no option to get follow-up diagnostic tests in time to feasibly have an abortion there if they wanted, a paper published last March in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found. Even more states have abortion cutoffs too early for mid-pregnancy ultrasounds.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/02/12/abortion-genetic-testing-ultrasound-amniocentesis-roe/82111bcc-c9cf-11ee-aa8e-1e5794a4b2d6_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope names biochemist who contributed to COVID vaccine to Pontifical Academy for Life, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, February 12, 2024, 5:45 PM A Nobel-prize winning biochemist and researcher who helped develop the mRNA technology used to create the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines — Katalin Karikó — is one of the newest members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life. Pope Francis announced the appointment of Karikó, who lectures at the University of Szeged in Hungary, in a news release on Feb. 10. The pontifical academy, which St. John Paul II established in 1994, studies and provides input on the use of biomedicine in the protection of life. Karikó, who was born in Szolnok, Hungary, received the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work to develop mRNA technology. The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute issued a news release saying she and co-researcher Drew Weissman received the award “for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.”  “Through their groundbreaking findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times,” the news release noted.  Karikó, like some of the pope’s other appointments to the Pontifical Academy for Life, is not Catholic herself. When John Paul II established the academy through a motu proprio in February 1994, the then-pontiff wrote that he would appoint individuals who represent various branches of the biomedical sciences “that are most closely related to problems concerning the promotion and protection of life.”   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256810/pope-names-biochemist-who-contributed-to-covid-vaccine-to-pontifical-academy-for-life__________________________________________________________ 4. Cardinal Müller: Efforts to Explain ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ Add to Confusion Over Document, Cardinal Müller lamented that as a consequence of the declaration, ‘nobody is speaking about the blessing of marriage, of children, of the family,’ which is ‘our duty,’ and ‘not to divide the Church.’, By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, February 12, 2024 Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, said frequent efforts to try to clarify and explain Fiducia Supplicans (Supplicating Trust) are only deepening confusion and what is needed instead is a return “to the clarity of the word of God” rather than “bowing down to this absolutely wrong LGBT and woke ideology.” In an interview with the Register, given in Rome on Jan. 29, Cardinal Müller responded to the continuing fallout of the Dec. 18 declaration that allowed “pastoral” and “spontaneous” non-liturgical blessings of those in same-sex and other “irregular relationships.” The document has met widespread resistance, especially in Africa. The cardinal reiterated that he believes there was “no need” for the declaration and that people in same-sex relationships are “not brought to the Church by relativizing the truth and cheapening grace, but by the unadulterated Gospel of Christ.” “How dare we, as the servants of Jesus Christ, make this Divine teaching unclear with mere human sophistry?” he said.  https://www.ncregister.com/interview/cardinal-mueller-efforts-to-explain-fiducia-supplicans-add-to-confusion-over-document__________________________________________________________

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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