1. Top Court to Hear Same-Sex Case, Justices to weigh whether a business can refuse services for religious reason, By Jess Bravin, The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2022, Pg. A4 The Supreme Court said Tuesday it would consider whether a Colorado website designer had a First Amendment right to refuse to produce same-sex wedding announcements, the latest clash between LGBT and religious rights. Since its landmark 2015 decision extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, Obergefell v. Hodges, the high court has moved cautiously in carving out constitutional exemptions for organizations and business owners opposed to those rights. Last June, the justices decided that a Catholic foster-services agency receiving city funding was entitled to turn away same-sex couples, despite local laws prohibiting such discrimination. The decision was based, however, on the court’s own reading of Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance and its contract with Catholic Social Services rather than broad constitutional principles. https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-to-decide-constitutional-right-to-deny-service-to-same-sex-couples-11645542502?___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis urges sides to take a step back in Ukraine conflict, By Associated Press, February 23, 2022 Pope Francis is urging all sides in the Russia-Ukraine dispute to examine their consciences before God and pull back from threats of war. In an appeal at the end of his weekly general audience Wednesday, Francis said he was pained and alarmed by developments in Ukraine, which he said “discredit international law.” He didn’t single out Russia’s massing of troops at Ukraine’s borders or its recognition of two rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine. But he noted: “Once again, the peace of everyone is threatened by vested interests.” The Vatican is toeing a fraught diplomatic and ecumenical line, given its efforts to reach out to the Russian Orthodox Church and convene a second meeting between Francis and its leader, Patriarch Kirill. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2022/02/pope-francis-urges-sides-to-take-a-step-back-ukraine-conflict___________________________________________________________ 3. 25 years later, Legion of Christ victims seek reparations, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 23, 2022, 4:33 AM A Connecticut newspaper exposed one of the Catholic Church’s biggest sexual abuse scandals by reporting 25 years ago Wednesday that eight men had accused the revered founder of the Legion of Christ religious order of raping and molesting them when they were boys preparing for the priesthood. It took a decade for the Vatican to sanction the founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, and another decade for the Legion to admit he was a serial pedophile who had violated at least 60 boys. In the meantime, the original whistleblowers suffered a defamation campaign by the Legion, which branded them liars bent on creating a conspiracy to hurt a man considered a living saint. As they marked the quarter-century anniversary of revelations that tarnished the legacy of St. John Paul II, three of Maciel’s victims are still seeking reparations from the Legion to compensate for the abuse they suffered and the “moral” harm done to their reputations by the order. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/25-years-later-legion-of-christ-victims-seek-reparations/2022/02/23/a3160772-948b-11ec-bb31-74fc06c0a3a5_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Noem, South Dakota Republicans take aim at abortion pills, By Stephen Groves, Associated Press, February 22, 2022, 7:11 PM Gov. Kristi Noem’s proposal to make South Dakota one of the hardest places in the country to get abortion pills gained support Tuesday from Republican House lawmakers, even though a federal judge has halted a similar state rule from taking effect. Every Republican on the House Health and Human Services committee voted to advance the bill for a vote in the full chamber this week. It would require women seeking an abortion to make three separate trips to a doctor in order to take abortion pills. Women in South Dakota can currently get both drugs in the two-dose regimen during a single visit and take the second dose at home. Noem is not the only South Dakota politician taking aim at abortion pills. Her Republican primary challenger, Rep. Steve Haugaard, is pushing a proposal to ban administration of the drugs for abortions altogether. His bill passed the Republican-controlled House Tuesday and will next be considered in the Senate. But both proposals would face uphill battles in federal court. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/noem-south-dakota-republicans-take-aim-at-abortion-pills/2022/02/22/c5ab8508-941f-11ec-bb31-74fc06c0a3a5_story.html___________________________________________________________ 5. Appeals court upholds ruling blocking SC abortion law, By Denise Lavoie and Meg Kinnard, Associated Press, February 22, 2022, 5:29 PM A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that temporarily blocks the enforcement of South Carolina’s fetal heartbeat law, which would ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” is similar to abortion restriction laws previously passed in a dozen states that became tied up in the courts. South Carolina’s law requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for fetal cardiac activity, which can typically be detected about six weeks into pregnancy. Once activity is detected, the abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/appeals-court-upholds-ruling-blocking-sc-abortion-law/2022/02/22/edc1a4f0-942e-11ec-bb31-74fc06c0a3a5_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. With war looming, will Kyiv get a Catholic patriarch?, By The Pillar, February 22, 2022 While the prospect of a renewed Russian invasion in Ukraine is becoming a reality, the Vatican office which oversees Eastern Catholic Churches is considering a request that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church be given “patriarchal” status. The move would highlight the historical and contemporary importance of the largest Eastern Catholic Church in the Catholic communion.  It is not yet clear whether the congregation will recommend to Pope Francis a change in status for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which includes nearly 4.5 million Catholics, and which is presently headed by a “major archbishop,” rather than a patriarch. But amid the prospect of Russian invasion, appointment of a patriarch for the Ukrainian Church would be “great moral support” across Ukrainian society, according to Anatolii Babynskyi, a Church historian at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/with-war-looming-will-kyiv-get-a?___________________________________________________________

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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