1. House bill recognizes fetal pain, would bar most abortions after 20 weeks, By Catholic News Service, February 17, 2021
Citing leading experts in the field of fetal pain, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, said the proposed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would end the “excruciating suffering and physical pain of unborn babies” by barring most abortions after 20 weeks gestation.
Smith, a Catholic, who is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, was joined by 142 other members of the U.S. House in introducing the measure Feb. 15.
“We know that by 20 weeks unborn babies killed by abortion experience excruciating suffering and physical pain,” Smith said a statement.
2. Delayed Legion of Christ extortion trial goes ahead in Italy, By Associated Press, February 17, 2021
A judge in Milan has ruled that trial can go ahead in a case in which priests and lawyers of the Legion of Christ Catholic religious order are accused of offering to pay the family of a sexual abuse victim to lie to prosecutors.
During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, which was delayed by nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Judge Patrizia Nobile confirmed the charges of attempted extortion and obstruction of justice and set a May 13 trial date for the five suspects, said Daniela Cultrera, the lawyer for the victim’s family.
The investigation is an offshoot of a case in which Italy’s highest court in July upheld the conviction and 6 1/2-year prison sentence for a defrocked Legion priest, Vladimir Resendiz, for sexually abusing boys at the Legion’s youth seminary in northern Italy.
3. Pope again updates Vatican legal code amid scrutiny, probes, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 16, 2021, 11:57 AM
Pope Francis has made another set of changes to the Vatican City State’s legal code, which has come under heightened scrutiny and criticism as Vatican prosecutors seek to crack down on financial crimes and mismanagement by Holy See monsignors and money managers.
In a new law published Tuesday, Francis made two modifications to criminal trial procedures when defendants don’t show up, one of which allows their lawyers to defend them fully even in absentia.
The change could be seen as necessary, given an ongoing investigation into a Vatican real estate investment. The probe has implicated Italian nationals who, if the case goes to trial, may decide to not step foot in the city state’s tribunal given the risk of possible arrest.
In another reform, Francis consolidated the prosecutors’ office, making clear that all stages of appeal will be prosecuted from within their ranks.
4. Archbishop Naumann: Biden’s self-contradictory Catholicism on abortion deserves correction, By Catholic News Agency, February 16, 2021, 4:18 PM
President Joe Biden’s long self-presentation as a devout Catholic contradicts his strong political stands backing abortion. For Archbishop Joseph Naumann, this means Biden needs to acknowledge this, and the bishops need to correct him.
“The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching. It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching,” Naumann, the Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas, told Catholic World Report in an interview published Feb. 13.
“When he says he is a devout Catholic, we bishops have the responsibility to correct him. Although people have given this president power and authority, he cannot define what it is to be a Catholic and what Catholic moral teaching is,” the archbishop added.
“What he is doing now is usurping the role of the bishops and confusing people. He’s declaring that he’s Catholic, and is going to force people to support abortion through their tax dollars. The bishops need to correct him, as the president is acting contrary to the Catholic faith,” he said.
Naumann also serves as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

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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