1. Enrollment in US Catholic schools rebounds after sharp drop, By Luis Andres Henao, Associated Press, February 15, 2022 Enrollment in Catholic schools in the United States rose 3.8% from the previous academic year, rebounding from a sharp drop caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Catholic education officials reported Monday. The National Catholic Educational Association said nationwide enrollment increased by 62,000 to about 1.68 million students, marking the first increase in two decades and the largest jump it has recorded in at least five decades. “Enrollment at all types of schools — public, charter and private — were impacted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Catholic schools had a decline in enrollment of 6.4% from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021,” the NCEA said about the largest single year decline in the 50 years since it has collected data. “Catholic schools’ dedication in safely opening classrooms and supporting their communities’ needs last year is demonstrated in the 3.8% increase in enrollment.” https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/02/enrollment-in-us-catholic-schools-rebounds-after-sharp-drop___________________________________________________________ 2. #ItalyChurchToo: Abuse survivors demand Italy church inquiry, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 15, 2022, 7:33 AM Advocates for victims of sex abuse by Italian clergy launched a campaign Tuesday to demand a cover-up inquiry, lamenting that deference showed the Catholic Church hierarchy in Italy has conditioned everything from criminal prosecutions to media coverage of the problem. A consortium of groups said they hoped recent national inquiries in Germany and France, and planned ones in Spain and Portugal, would pressure the Italian Catholic Church to open its archives to independent investigators to ascertain the scope of the problem, assign responsibility to the perpetrators and bring restitution to the victims. But they acknowledged the context is far more complicated in Italy than in other European countries given the outsized political, economic and social weight the church carries in the pope’s backyard. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/italychurchtoo-abuse-survivors-demand-italy-church-inquiry/2022/02/15/6da4a25a-8e5b-11ec-8ddd-52136988d263_story.html___________________________________________________________ 3. Abortion rights proposed for Maryland’s constitution, By Brian Witte, Associated Press, February 14, 2022, 7:07 PM Leading Maryland House members said Monday that they will support a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights in the state, as well as other measures to broaden access, because of the possibility a conservative U.S. Supreme Court could overturn or weaken federal abortion-rights protections. If approved by the Maryland General Assembly, the constitutional amendment will go on the ballot for voters to decide in November. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abortion-rights-to-be-proposed-for-marylands-constitution/2022/02/14/b25414f4-8dce-11ec-8ddd-52136988d263_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. The aftermath: Pope’s CDF changes and curial reform, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, February 14, 2022 Pope Francis issued on Monday a new motu proprio reorganizing the internal structures of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The law effectively confirmed the congregation’s current competencies, and created a new senior role in the department. The new law signals that a long-expected radical shift in the CDF’s purpose and power seems off the table — and with it the chances of any epochal reordering of the Vatican’s departmental landscape. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/popes-cdf-changes-and-curial-reform___________________________________________________________ 5. Could Biden bypass state laws by placing abortion clinics on federal land?, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, February 14, 2022, 1:00 PM As the Supreme Court considers a case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade’s 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, legal experts are exploring strategies to protect abortion access. One such option proposes placing abortion clinics on federal land within states that restrict or ban abortion. The idea is that these clinics would fall under federal governance, rather than state law.  “When it comes to executive overreach that President Biden is considering, that’s something that Republicans would oppose adamantly,” House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said at a Feb. 8 House GOP press briefing. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250384/could-biden-bypass-state-laws-by-placing-abortion-clinics-on-federal-land___________________________________________________________ 6. Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders Call on Congress to Stop Medicaid Funding of Faulty Prenatal Tests, By Robert Chambers, Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, Chad Connelly, Tim Head, Kristan Hawkins, Colleen Holcomb, Dr. Alveda King, George Landrith, Dr. Jeanne Mancini, Ed Martin, Penny Nance, Terry Schilling, Frontiers of Freedom, February 14, 2022 Dear Chair Stabenow, Ranking Member Daines, Chair Eshoo and Ranking Member Guthrie: We write to you today on behalf of the millions of pro-life Americans we represent across the country to express our concern regarding the faulty science underpinning prenatal genetic testing. This situation requires immediate attention from Congress because these all too often inaccurate and flawed tests have tragically misled pregnant women into terminating otherwise healthy pregnancies. We therefore respectfully request that both the Senate Subcommittee on Healthcare and the House Subcommittee on Health investigate whether the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is properly regulating non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPTs). These tests, which are marketed to expectant families as a way to determine whether their unborn child suffers from a rare genetic condition, are wrong a remarkable 85% of the time according to one recent report. Considering the fact that these unreliable tests are now used by more than a third of pregnant women in America and that many families have tragically opted for an abortion when a potentially false positive is rendered instead of seeking another test to confirm the result, the lives of millions of unborn children are at risk.  In light of these concerning reports, we respectfully request that lawmakers on Capitol Hill take immediate action. First, Congress should ensure that anyone receiving an NIPT is warned that the tests are largely inaccurate. Second, the financial models of these testing companies are based on Medicaid covering the costs of these tests for average and low risk pregnancies. Just as the Hyde Amendment prevents the use of federal funds to cover the cost of abortion, under no circumstances should Medicaid be extended to cover tests that may mislead women into killing their unborn children. https://www.ff.org/coalition-pro-life-leaders-stop-medicaid-funding-faulty-prenatal-tests/___________________________________________________________ 7. In new Catholic numbers, an ‘imponderable’ movement shaping history, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, February 13, 2022, Opinion On Friday, the Vatican published the latest edition of the Annuario Pontificio, a big thick red volume that’s a combination between a statistical yearbook and a personal directory, as well as the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae. Among other things, these books record changes in Catholic population over the past year, which allows observers to track demographic movements in the church over time. Taking a look at the new set of numbers is instructive. For one thing, the Annuario notes that Catholicism added 16 million new members in 2020, the latest year for which statistics are available. Granted, that meant the church did no more than keep pace with overall global population growth, but it’s still significant at a time when most western perceptions are that the church is shrinking due to the fallout from the sexual abuse crisis, various scandals at senior levels, bitter political infighting, increasing irrelevance to younger generations, and any number of other alleged failures.  Second, it’s notable that the vast majority of this growth is outside the western sphere. The Catholic population grew in Africa and Asia in 2020, by 2.1 percent and 1.8 percent respectively. The share of the world’s Catholics who live in Africa has been climbing steadily over recent decades. Africa alone shot up from 1.9 million in 1900 to 130 million in 2000 and an estimated 236 million today, representing almost twenty percent of the global total.  Third, the data also reveal a serious mismatch in how Catholic personnel are allocated around the world, one that’s been clear for years but continues to grow steadily worse, either by conscious choice at the leadership level or a simple lack of imagination about how to fix it.  Consider that North America has almost the same number of priests as all of Africa, despite the fact that there are 84 million Catholics in the US and Canada and more than three times that number in Africa, at 236 million. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/02/in-new-catholic-numbers-an-imponderable-movement-shaping-history___________________________________________________________

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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