TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 200 – Bishop Burbidge On A Post-Roe World & Archbishop Naumann Talks ‘Radical Inclusion’ USCCB Pro-Life Chair Bishop Michael Burbidge joins Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson to discuss the vital work to be done in a post-Roe world especially for mothers and babies in need. At the bottom of the hour, Archbishop Joseph Naumann tells us why ‘radical inclusion’ can’t supersede Catholic doctrine. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. GOP wants info on Catholic extremist hunt, By Kerry Picket, The Washington Times, February 17, 2023, Pg. A2 House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan said Thursday that he and fellow committee Republican Rep. Mike Johnson have called on FBI Director Christopher B. Wray to turn over information on a since-rescinded FBI memo that specified certain Catholics as “violent extremists.” In a letter sent to Mr. Wray, the lawmakers said they have written to him “several times” in the past year about “startling” claims that the bureau is misusing domestic violent extremism resources for seemingly political reasons. The panel is continuing its probe of the FBI’s handling of DVE investigations. “Since those letters, new information has become public about the FBI’s targeting of a set of Catholic Americans for their religious beliefs,” wrote Mr. Jordan, of Ohio, and Mr. Johnson, of Louisiana. “We, therefore, write to request additional information about this serious misuse of federal law-enforcement resources.” 2. The Better-Off-Dead Mentality, Vermont is pushing to become the U.S.’ second destination state for ‘death tourism’ as legislators seek to legalize assisted suicide for nonresidents., By Michael Warsaw, National Catholic Register, February 17, 2023, Opinion Legislators in Vermont are pushing for their state to join Oregon as the nation’s second “sanctuary” state for assisted suicide. The proposed legislation would allow people from states where this life-ending practice remains illegal to travel to Vermont to kill themselves with the assistance of local medical personnel. The premises underlying the bid to make Vermont the second destination state for “death tourism” are profoundly disturbing. For one thing, the idea that a state can be a “sanctuary” for assisted suicide implies that some measure of “holiness” is attached to killing people off medically — a belief that is becoming prevalent among euthanasia and assisted-suicide proponents, as New York Times Catholic commentator Ross Douthat recently noted. For another, it transforms doctors and nurses who participate in these legalized killings from healers into death-dealers, in direct violation of the “do no harm” principle of the Hippocratic Oath that has underpinned medical ethics in Western societies for more than 2,000 years. Even more fundamentally, assisted suicide is in total contradiction to the foundational moral teaching communicated by God to Moses in the Fifth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” Instead the message that’s now being communicated is: “You’re better off dead.”  To meaningfully combat the evil of medically assisted suicide, Catholics must play our own part whenever and wherever an opportunity arises. Alongside of our prayers, there are a variety of ways we can help out — including taking time to personally accompany persons suffering from terminal diseases and other serious illnesses; financially supporting pro-life hospices that provide authentically compassionate care to those in their final days; and actively supporting government policies to assist those who are physically or mentally ill and those who are economically and socially marginalized in other ways, while strongly opposing policies that would advance the culture of death. Above all, we must strive always to see the face of Jesus in the faces of those who are suffering, appealing to us to provide them with the solace and love that they deserve. Only in this way can we hope to rebuild a more life-affirming culture in our nation. Michael Warsaw is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the EWTN Global Catholic Network, and the Publisher of the National Catholic Register. 3. Pope Francis underlines that papacy is a lifetime post, By Associated Press, February 16, 2023, 10:00 AM Pope Francis has made clear in comments published Thursday by a Jesuit journal that he believes being pope is a lifetime position and that Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was an exception. “I for the moment do not have that on my agenda,” Francis told Civita Cattolica, in the clearest statement he has made on the issue. 4. Kentucky high court lets near-total abortion ban continue, By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press, February 16, 2023 Abortion access in Kentucky remained virtually shut off Thursday after the state’s highest court refused to halt a near-total ban that has largely been in place since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Kentucky’s Supreme Court, which was weighing challenges to the state’s near-total ban and a separate one that outlaws abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, sent the case back to a lower court for further consideration of constitutional issues related to the more restrictive ban. The court weighed in on the issue after Kentucky voters last year rejected a ballot measure that would have denied any constitutional protections for abortion. The justices heard arguments in the case a week after the November midterm elections, and activists on both sides had anxiously awaited the ruling. The state’s Republican-led Legislature passed both of those laws. The justices ruled on narrow legal issues Thursday. They left unanswered the larger constitutional questions about whether access to abortion should be legal in the Bluegrass State. 5. At 103, Sister Jean publishes memoir of faith and basketball, By Luis Andres Henao, Associated Press, February 16, 2023, 8:34 AM At age 103, Sister Jean awakes daily at 5 a.m. She sits up quickly to avoid going to sleep again — “I’ve got too much to do,” she says. After prayers for the day ahead, she reads the Gospel on her tablet. “I guess there aren’t too many 103-year-old nuns using iPads these days – there aren’t too many 103-year-olds, period,” she writes in her memoir that will be published Feb. 28. “But I’m pretty comfortable with modern technology. I’ve always said, ‘If you’re not moving forward, you’re going to get left behind real quick.’ Adaptability is my superpower.” In “Wake Up with Purpose: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years,” Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt tells her life story, offers spiritual guidance and shares some of the lessons she’s learned. The beloved Catholic nun captured the sports world’s imagination and became something of a folk hero as the chaplain for the Loyola Chicago men’s basketball team that reached the NCAA Final Four in 2018. 6. National Archives signs agreement to ensure free speech at museum after alleged pro-life discrimination, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, February 16, 2023, 4:40 PM When several people in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life visited the National Archives Museum last month they were taken aback when staff told them to cover up the pro-life messaging on their clothing or leave the building. Today, National Archives administrators signed a legal agreement to ensure that such an incident won’t happen again and offered the plaintiffs a tour of the National Archives Museum as well as a personal apology. Whether this agreement heads off litigation against the federally-funded museum remains to be seen. The plaintiffs had filed a suit Feb. 8 with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, charging the National Archives with violating their First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights as well as the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 7. Two UK Catholics acquitted after being charged for praying in front of abortion clinic, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, February 16, 2023, 10:00 AM Two U.K. Catholics, one of whom is a priest, were acquitted Thursday of all charges against them after they were accused of breaking the law for praying in front of an abortion clinic. The two were represented by legal counsel from the faith-based law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF UK) at the Birmingham Magistrates’ Court in Birmingham, about a three-and-a-half-hour drive northwest from London. Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for ADF UK, said in a Feb. 16 statement that “today’s court case is of great cultural significance. This isn’t 1984, but 2023 — nobody should be criminalized for their thoughts, for their prayers, for peaceful expression on a public street.” Both Father Sean Gough — a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham — and Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, co-director of March for Life UK, were charged with violating a local Public Spaces Protection Order that censors speech in the area around a Birmingham abortion clinic. 8. Archbishop: Bolivia AG ‘wants to intimidate us’ by having bishops testify about coup d’etat, By Catholic News Agency, February 16, 2023, 11:30 AM In the case known as “Coup I,” Bolivia’s attorney general’s office has requested that 10 bishops testify regarding their role in the alleged 2019 coup d’état that led to the resignation of President Evo Morales. Archbishop Percy Galván of La Paz, the nation’s capital, charged that the move is an attempt to “intimidate us,” and two former presidents have decried this effort as persecution of the Church. In 2019, Morales ran for the fourth time in a row, despite the fact that a referendum in 2016 had prohibited a fourth term for a president. Morales was re-elected in a process questioned by international organizations over suspicions of fraud. Amid widespread protests and strikes, Morales fled the country and was granted political asylum in Mexico and later in Argentina. After Morales’ departure, the second vice president of the Senate, Jeanine Áñez, became interim president of the country. For Morales’ political party, the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), to which current president Luis Arce also belongs, this constituted a coup d’état. 9. Dutch cardinal defends plan to end Sunday celebrations without priests, Cardinal Willem Eijk is committed to eliminating Sunday Word and Communion services in the absence of a priest over the next five years., By Luke Coppen, The Pilllar, February 16, 2023 A Dutch cardinal has said that he is pressing ahead with a plan to phase out Sunday Word and Communion services in the absence of a priest within his territory. Cardinal Willem Eijk, the Archbishop of Utrecht, said in a Feb. 14 letter that he was committed to eliminating the priestless Sunday celebrations over the next five years, so that the Mass can “occupy its rightful central place” among local Catholics, despite protests from some members of the archdiocese. In parts of Europe that have seen sharp declines in priestly vocations, Catholics routinely gather on weekdays for Celebrations of the Word and Communion, led by a permanent deacon or lay person. Scripture readings and the proclamation of the Gospel are followed by the distribution of Holy Communion, consecrated at a previous Mass. 10. Mark Houck’s Family, Children Relive Harrowing FBI Encounter in Daily Signal Tell-All Documentary, By Mary Margaret Olohan, The Daily Signal, February 16, 2023 Mark Houck’s children were startled awake by a loud banging on their door.  The older girls looked out the window, saw flashing lights, and ran out to the landing to see what was going on.  Crowded on the front porch and the front lawn were about 15 FBI agents, with guns pointed at their parents. It was around 7 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. “They were all the way lined down my driveway,” the children’s father said. “I had agents on my porch with long guns.”  Mark and Ryan-Marie believe they were targeted by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department in an effort to intimidate, silence, and scare the family for their pro-life work—praying outside abortion clinics for the women headed inside to abort their unborn babies.  In early February, our Daily Signal team went to the Houck’s Pennsylvania home to hear about that day when the DOJ arrested Mark, charging him with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Mark pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. His legal team argued that the DOJ was violating the Constitution by engaging in “viewpoint discrimination” and “selective prosecution,” violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment’s protection for the free exercise of religion.  The FACE Act charges stemmed from a 2021 incident outside a Philadelphia-based Planned Parenthood where Mark pushed an abortion clinic volunteer who was repeatedly harassing his son (Mark Jr). Local authorities ultimately dismissed the matter—until the Biden DOJ re-upped it in response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade  Represented by the Thomas More Society, Mark went to trial. A jury declared him not guilty of the FACE Act charges in late January.  “We took on Goliath—the full might of the United States government—and won,” his attorney Peter Breen said that day. “The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution’s discriminatory case, which was harassment from Day One. This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement. The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”  Last week, Mark attended the State of the Union as the guest of Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. He also took his family back to the abortion clinic in Philadelphia where this all began, and as a family, they thanked God for their deliverance and prayed for the unborn. Those seven children watched as their father was torn from his home, and then they watched him walk free. Now they will continue to fight for life with him. “I hope they grow up and remember how courageous their father was,” Ryan-Marie shared emotionally. “I hope they remember the faith that we had. That God did not abandon us and was with us every step.” “I hope they just remember the truth prevailed.”

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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