1. March for Life protesters of Roe consider instead celebrations of Dobbs, By Sean Salai, The Washington Times, February 23, 2023, Pg. A1 Pro-lifers want to keep marching against abortion annually in Washington, but some are pushing to move national events from January to June to celebrate the end of Roe v. Wade. Thousands of activists attended the 50th annual March for Life last month. That event marks the anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court ruling in Roe that legalized abortion nationwide. Leaders of 40 Days for Life, Students for Life of America and Healing the Culture say it’s time to redirect national efforts to the June 24 anniversary of the high court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson last year. That decision overturned Roe and returned jurisdiction over abortion to the states.  Mr. Carney said 40 Days for Life is planning a nationwide event on June 24. Officials at Students for Life of America say they are planning a national rally in Washington for the same day.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/feb/22/pro-lifers-debate-moving-dc-anti-abortion-march-ju/__________________________________________________________ 2. Prosecutors charge man in killing of Los Angeles bishop, By Stefanie Dazio, Associated Press, February 23, 2023 Prosecutors charged a man Wednesday with killing a Catholic bishop in a crime that stunned Los Angeles religious and immigrant communities. Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, 69, was fatally shot multiple times Saturday in the bedroom of his home in Hacienda Heights, an unincorporated community about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles. The suspect, Carlos Medina, is the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper. Medina had done work at the bishop’s home and was arrested Monday by a SWAT team. LA County District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday that Medina is charged with one count of murder with a special allegation that he personally used a firearm. “Charging Mr. Medina will never repair the tremendous harm that was caused by this callous act, but it does take us one step closer to accountability,” Gascón said. Medina faces 35 years to life in prison. He appeared in court Wednesday afternoon, and his arraignment was postponed to March 22. https://apnews.com/article/los-angeles-crime-religion-46bb9a3a9109ab5c285d233218078026__________________________________________________________ 3. John Paul II’s legacy is alive and well, and living in Kyiv, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, February 23, 2023, Opinion Three leaders of NATO member states – and, as it happens, three Roman Catholic laity deeply involved in politics – all issued stirring defenses of Ukraine this week, as the one-year anniversary of its war with Russia approaches tomorrow. US President Joe Biden delivered a forceful speech in Warsaw Tuesday in which he vowed that the free world “will not tire” in its support for Ukraine, thundering that “tyrants” such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin only understand the word “no,” while his host, Polish President Andrzej Duda, insisted that “Ukraine must win this war.”  In his own speech Tuesday, Duda explicitly cited the example of Pope John Paul II, whose support of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the late 1970s and 1980s helped set the dominos in motion that led to the collapse of the Soviet empire. “The Pope, St. John Paul II, spoke of solidarity,” Duda said. “Nobody can oppose what we obtained through solidarity. Thanks to our efforts, we broke the chain of communism and we entered the free world. We helped open up the Iron Curtain.” “This was thanks to human solidarity, and today it allows us to help the Ukrainians,” the Polish leader said.  Despite those divergences, Biden, Duda and Meloni today are united in their support for Ukraine and opposition to Russia. Whether they’re aware of it or not, Catholic social teaching as articulated after the Second Vatican Council, with its emphasis on human rights, democracy and personal freedom, likely has influenced their outlook. Duda perceives that the Western defense of freedom in central and eastern Europe are in continuity with the vision of John Paul II; whether Biden and Meloni would put things that way almost doesn’t matter, because they’re operating out of the John Paul playbook regardless. Pope John Paul II’s legacy, in other words, is alive and well and living in Kyiv. The spirit of John Paul II is also thriving today in Washington, Warsaw and Rome – anywhere, really, where Catholics involved in public life, whatever their ideological differences on other fronts, are once again involved in trying to sustain a moral campaign of resistance to Russian-imposed tyranny.  For his part, Pope Francis has tried to remain even-handed on the conflict, expressing keen sympathy for Ukrainian victims of the war while also suggesting some legitimacy to Russia’s claims of NATO aggression. Yesterday during his General Audience, Francis said that “real victory” in Ukraine “cannot be built on ruins.” In that sense, Francis is sort of the yin to John Paul’s more aggressive yang. Time will tell whether these two papal forces are actually complementary, and together can help restore harmony to the geopolitical cosmos. For now, it’s enough to note that although there’s only one pope at a time, Ukraine proves that two papal legacies definitely can share the same stage. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2023/02/john-paul-iis-legacy-is-alive-and-well-and-living-in-kyiv__________________________________________________________ 4. Legalized suicide is dicey proposition, Why we spare pets from end-of-life pain and misery, but not people, By Joseph Curl, The Washington Times, February 23, 2023, Pg. B4, Opinion In the last month, two older couples took matters into their own hands.  Getting old is tough. Many people worry that they’ll have no control at the end.  My mom’s last years were dreadful. She had horrifying hallucinations, heard voices, didn’t recognize her husband or children, and soiled herself frequently. It got so bad I thought about asking one of her doctors to simply give her an overdose of pain medication to end it all. I never did, but I’ve wondered since then why we euthanize our pets — giving them a humane death to prevent further suffering — but we won’t do the same for people. In several countries, including Canada and Switzerland, assisted suicide is legal. In the U.S., 10 states have a euthanasia policy, and seven others are weighing whether to pass their own doctor-assisted suicide laws — known as Medical Aid-in-Dying (MAiD) — in the coming months. The law in Canada has led to terrifying results. Last year, more than 10,000 Canadians ended their lives via euthanasia, an increase of a third over the previous year, the Daily Mail reported. Canada has a liberal guideline on who can legally end their life, allowing people to die exclusively for mental health reasons — or even for hearing loss.  The U.S. has far more stringent rules. Nearly every state that has MAiD allows terminally ill adults with less than six months to live to ask doctors for a lethal dose of drugs that they can then ingest themselves, typically at home. But doctors don’t really know just how long someone has to live. For example, Alice Bozeman was told in 2009 that she had terminal lung disease and would die within six months, hinting that she may want to make use of Washington state’s recently passed physician-assisted suicide law. Ms. Bozeman lived for nearly 12 more years and died at home in Colorado, aged 72, in February 2021.  Not Dead Yet says it is a “national, grassroots disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination against old, ill and disabled people. Not Dead Yet helps organize and articulate opposition to these practices based on secular social justice arguments. Not Dead Yet demands the equal protection of the law for the targets of so called ‘mercy killing’ whose lives are seen as worthless.” It’s a dicey topic. We spare our pets from pain and misery that comes at the end of life, but not people? That seems wrong. On the other hand, government can hardly do anything right. Remember the fiasco that was President Barack Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program? Do we really want to give the government control of life and death? Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/feb/22/legalized-suicide-in-america-dicey-proposition/__________________________________________________________ 5. Biden Admin Looks To Repeal Trump-Era Religious Protection for Students, By Claire Sprang, The Washington Free Beacon, February 22, 2023 The Biden administration is preparing to revoke a Trump-era religious protection for university students, calling the rule “unduly burdensome.” The Department of Education announced Tuesday that it is proposing to rescind the religious freedom section of the 2019 executive order “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities,” which requires federal departments to ensure that colleges receiving federal grants “promote free inquiry” consistent with the First Amendment. If the Education Department revokes the rule, the agency will delegate cases of religious discrimination by universities to the courts, rather than threaten to pull grants from the institutions of higher education. The executive order “caused confusion about schools’ nondiscrimination requirements” and is “unduly burdensome” for the department, said Nassar Paydar, assistant secretary for postsecondary education. The department insisted that with existing First Amendment protections, the executive order was unnecessary to prevent religious discrimination. The proposed rule change comes amid a spike in anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses, with Jewish students filing suit against universities for harboring anti-Jewish faculty and student groups.  https://freebeacon.com/biden-administration/biden-admin-looks-to-repeal-trump-era-religious-protection-for-students/__________________________________________________________ 6. Vermont considers ending clergy abuse reporting exemption, By Wilson Ring, Associated Press, February 22, 2023, 5:16 PM The Vermont Legislature is considering a proposal that would end an exemption to the state’s child abuse and neglect reporting laws for members of the clergy. On Wednesday, the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee held the first of what could be several meetings on the subject before it votes on the proposal. Attorney Benjamin Novogroski, of the office of Legislative Counsel, says Vermont’s mandated reporting law includes doctors, teachers and social workers who are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect. In some circumstances, members of the clergy also are required reporters, but not when the member of the clergy learns of the abuse during a setting such as the confessional. Novogroski said that in researching the proposal, he found that when other jurisdictions have attempted to enact similar legislation it has been criticized for ostensibly interfering with the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/vermont-considers-ending-clergy-abuse-reporting-exemption/2023/02/22/ddd66df6-b2ea-11ed-94a0-512954d75716_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Missouri lawmakers try to strengthen abortion ban, By Summer Ballentine, Associated Press, February 22, 2023, 4:38 PM Legislation considered Wednesday in a Missouri state Senate committee would bolster the state’s abortion ban. Republican Sen. Mike Moon’s measure would add a line to the Missouri Constitution that says: “Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion.” “Let the voters weigh in on this,” Moon said. “They will confirm with us that life is precious, and it should not be snuffed out prematurely through abortive actions.” Abortion is already outlawed in Missouri. A law banning the procedure kicked in last year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/missouri-lawmakers-try-to-strengthen-abortion-ban/2023/02/22/4d6d550e-b2f9-11ed-94a0-512954d75716_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. FBI undermined freedom of religion, Bureau has veered off course and should be held accountable, By The Washington Times, February 22, 2023, Pg. B2, Editorial Last week, the bishop of Richmond, Virginia, issued (for him) an aggressive and welcome statement about the FBI’s Richmond office identifying those Catholics who attend the traditional Latin Mass as potential threats to the nation’s domestic tranquility. Bishop Barry Knestout said that the FBI memo “should be troubling and offensive to all communities of faith, as well as all Americans. … A preference for traditional forms of worship and holding closely to the Church’s teachings on marriage, family, human sexuality, and the dignity of the human person does not equate with extremism.” He went on: “I call on all national representatives from the Commonwealth of Virginia in the House and Senate to exercise their role of oversight, to publicly condemn this threat to religious liberty, and to ensure that such offenses against the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion do not occur again.”  Allowing the FBI to slide away on this would be a mistake. At a minimum, the bureau should have to identify who wrote and who saw the memo. It seems reasonable to ask who at the FBI is willing to undermine freedom of religion and characterize an entire group of citizens as potential terrorists just because they have a solid preference for some old-time religion. It is an especially important question given that federal law enforcement has turned a blind eye to about 250 attacks on Catholic churches and nearly 100 attacks on pro-life facilities over the last few years.  Now they’re taking a run at religion. The good news is that the citizenry is finally onto the game. Last Sunday, when the most recent target — St. Joseph’s parish in Richmond (home of a Latin Mass) — was alerted by the pastor to the FBI’s concerns, chuckles rippled through the pews. The parishioners know that the FBI has become unhinged, political and ridiculous. Law enforcement lives and dies on its credibility. The FBI now has little. It is time to clean house. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/feb/21/editorial-fbi-undermined-freedom-of-religion-and-s/__________________________________________________________ 9. Leader of US bishops condemns crackdown on church in Nicaragua, By John Lavenburg, Crux, February 22, 2023 In the wake of the Nicaraguan government’s continuing crackdown on Catholics, which includes recently sentencing a bishop to 26 years in prison, the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference is calling for government intervention to restore human rights in the Central American nation. After refusing exile, Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, was sentenced to 26 years in prison by the government on Feb. 10, stripped of his citizenship and given a large fine on charges of treason, undermining national integrity and spreading false news. “His sentencing marks yet another escalated human rights violation in the ongoing ordeal the Catholic Church faces in Nicaragua,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the US bishops’ conference, said in a Feb. 21 statement. “Yet in this dark hour, courageous hope, charity, and solidarity are bearing witness to the enduring vitality of the faith of the people of Nicaragua and among Catholics worldwide supporting the Nicaraguan faithful,” he continued.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/02/leader-of-us-bishops-condemns-crackdown-on-church-in-nicaragua__________________________________________________________ 10. The Catholic right wing takes a wrong turn, By Justin Dyer, The Washington Post, February 21, 2023, 6:45 AM, Opinion Conservatism, at its best, seeks to conserve America’s founding principles: economic and religious liberty, representative government, constitutionalism and private enterprise. But in an inauspicious turn, growing segments of the political right dismiss these principles as liberal and blame the country’s founding for our current malaise.  Weary of the messiness of democratic politics, and dismayed by the libertinism of American culture, an alarming number of conservative intellectuals are looking to Europe’s pre-liberal past for ideas to guide us in a post-liberal future. The most radical of these visions flies under the flag of “integralism” and takes its bearings from an old current in Catholic social thought. It is radical in the sense that it strikes at the root of the ideas underpinning the American experiment. Lost in the conflict is the rich moral and theological inheritance of the American political tradition. Gained is a mess of authoritarian pottage.  Integralism is the intellectual right’s reaction to the illiberalism of the far left. As a political vision, it is monumentally imprudent. These combustible questions of religion and national citizenship once tore the West apart and fostered centuries of horrendous cruelty and injustice for Europe’s religious minorities. Countries with serious integralist parties in the 20th century now rank among the lowest in religiosity. And scholars such as Allen Hertzke and Rodney Stark have marshaled a wealth of empirical evidence to show that religious liberty is not only good for individual human flourishing but good for the flourishing of the institutional church. Implausible as the integralist vision might seem from the vantage point of 21st-century America, it points to a troubling trend that we must take seriously. Too many thinkers are losing faith in the United States, and Americans remain ignorant of the moral foundations of their republic. For conservatives working to conserve America’s first principles, the task is to make the case anew for the wisdom of the U.S. founding, the theological basis of religious liberty, and the moral framework of private enterprise and limited, constitutional government. Justin Dyer is executive director of the Civitas Institute and a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent book, co-authored with Kody Cooper, is “The Classical and Christian Origins of American Politics: Political Theology, Natural Law, and the American Founding.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/02/21/catholic-integralism-wrong-republicans/__________________________________________________________ 11. Pope intervenes again to restrict celebration of Latin Mass, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 21, 2023, 10:53 AM Pope Francis has intervened for the third time to crack down on the celebration of the old Latin Mass, a sign of continued friction with Catholic traditionalists. Francis reasserted in a new legal decree published Tuesday that the Holy See must approve new celebrations of the old rite by signing off on bishops’ decisions to designate additional parish churches for the Latin Mass or to let newly ordained priests celebrate it. The decree states that the Vatican’s liturgy office, headed by British Cardinal Arthur Roche, is responsible for evaluating such requests on behalf of the Holy See and that all requests from bishops must go there. For weeks, Catholic traditionalist blogs and websites have reported a further crackdown on the old Latin Mass was in the works, following Francis’ remarkable decision in 2021 to reimpose restrictions on its celebration that were relaxed in 2007 by then-Pope Benedict XVI.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-intervenes-again-to-restrict-celebration-of-latin-mass/2023/02/21/160b7b92-b1df-11ed-94a0-512954d75716_story.html__________________________________________________________ 12. Ohio Abortion-Rights Coalition Begins Push for Constitutional Amendment, Voters in several states approved similar constitutional protections last year, By Jennifer Calfas, The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2023, 6:00 AM An effort to place a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on the ballot is brewing in Ohio. Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom and Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights filed paperwork with the state’s attorney general Tuesday in one of its first steps to try to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. The coalition aims to place the amendment on the November ballot, using a mechanism abortion-rights groups have turned to after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year and returned the question of abortion’s legality to states.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/ohio-abortion-rights-coalition-begins-push-for-constitutional-amendment-9ab5d752__________________________________________________________ 13. Jesuit barred from artistic activity after new abuse claims, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 20, 2023, 8:44 PM Pope Francis’ Jesuit religious order has decided to prohibit a prominent Jesuit artist whose mosaics decorate churches around the globe from pursuing his artistic activity after 15 more people came forward with fresh accusations against him of spiritual, sexual and psychological abuse. The Jesuits told The Associated Press that they are weighing further disciplinary measures against the Rev. Marko Ivan Rupnik following a third church investigation into allegations he used his exalted status as one of the Catholic Church’s preeminent religious artists to manipulate adult women into sexual activity.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/jesuit-barred-from-artistic-activity-after-new-abuse-claims/2023/02/20/5721fe0e-b189-11ed-94a0-512954d75716_story.html__________________________________________________________ 14. The Nicaraguan Priest Who Won’t Go Into Exile, Bishop Rolando Álvarez rejects Daniel Ortega’s phony humanitarian act., By Mary Anastasia O’Grady, The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2023, 11:43 AM, Opinion Nicaraguan strongman Daniel Ortega sent 222 political prisoners into exile Feb. 9. Before boarding a plane for Washington, the prisoners were told to sign a document that said their departure was voluntary. Most media reports described them as having been freed, as if Mr. Ortega had suddenly decided that keeping them locked up was wrong. But exile isn’t liberty, as Mr. Ortega—a disciple of the late Fidel Castro—well understands. For decades before his death in 2016 the Cuban dictator jailed and tortured his political opponents. Some who survived and couldn’t be broken attracted international attention. Mr. Castro’s fallback option was to kick the unrepentant nonconformists out of their homeland while framing their exile as humanitarianism. Mr. Ortega learned well from his mentor. He has rid himself of some of his most capable political adversaries. But if he thought he would clean up his image as a despot, he didn’t count on Rolando Álvarez, 56, the Roman Catholic bishop of Matagalpa. Bishop Álvarez, who has been under house arrest since August for his independent speech from the pulpit, declined the offer to board the plane to Dulles International Airport. This infuriated the dictator and his wife, Rosario Murillo, whom Mr. Ortega considers the country’s co-president. The next day the dissident priest was hauled before a Sandinista court for a summary trial. He received a 26-year prison sentence. He is now in a maximum-security cell at La Modelo prison, notorious for its inhuman conditions. The U.S. State Department has called for his “immediate release.”  Nicaragua’s Bishop Álvarez decided exile wasn’t for him. He has been speaking for years in support of peace, tolerance and respect for human rights. He regularly denounced religious persecution and abuses by the regime. But what really put a target on his back was his fearlessness before squads of heavily armed Ortega goons. Dressed in his cassock and packing only sacramental images, he simply refused to back down. Military dictatorships don’t deal well with the faithful because they answer to God alone. Confidencial quoted an unnamed Catholic Church source last week who said that the bishop is “very serene, filled with God and aware and firm in the decision” he made not to leave the country. A dictator who finds it necessary to silence an unarmed cleric, by locking him up in a dungeon, admits he is a hated man—as is his wife. Bishop Álvarez, on the other hand, has become a symbol of courage in the struggle for Nicaraguan liberty. https://www.wsj.com/articles/matagalpa-nicaragua-priest-father-rolando-alvarez-exile-detention-torture-isolation-daniel-ortega-rosario-murillo-36bf5426__________________________________________________________ 15. Ron Wyden’s Nullification Doctrine, A powerful Democratic Senator calls on the FDA and Biden to ignore a possible court order on an abortion drug., By The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2023, 7:14 PM, Editorial The idea that politicians can ignore a court order they oppose isn’t new, but it is radical. Yet last week Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who runs the Finance Committee, called on the Biden Administration to ignore a legal ruling even before it is made. “In the coming days a lawless Trump-appointed judge is expected to ban access to abortion medication nationwide,” Mr. Wyden wrote on Twitter after making the same point on the Senate floor. “I’m calling on the FDA to protect the safety of every woman in America by keeping the drug on the market no matter the ruling.” Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is hearing a case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, claiming the agency erred in approving mifepristone, a drug first approved in 2000 and widely used for abortions. Judge Kacsmaryk hasn’t ruled in the case, but Mr. Wyden calls him out as a Trump appointee and “lifelong right-wing activist” who worked as a lawyer for social conservative causes. If the judge issues a nationwide injunction against mifepristone, Mr. Wyden says doctors and the FDA should defy the order, at least until the Supreme Court rules on the case. This is a moment to mark: A powerful U.S. Senator says ignoring the courts is justified if you disagree with their decisions.  The Wyden demand shows how radical progressives have become on the judiciary. They’ve gone from smearing conservative judicial nominees, to trying to pack the Supreme Court, and now to calling for active refusal to follow judicial orders. The Proud Boys aren’t the only threat to American democracy. https://www.wsj.com/articles/ron-wydens-nullification-doctrine-abortion-mifepristone-kacsmaryk-lincoln-dred-scott-progressives-d8876343__________________________________________________________ 16. Montana lawmaker: There’s a religious right to abortion, By Amy Beth Hanson, Associated Press, February 17, 2023, 7:07 PM Abortion rights groups are challenging abortion bans in some states by arguing the bans — supported by certain religious principles — violate the religious rights of people with different beliefs. Conservative Christians for decades have argued that life begins at conception and abortion should be illegal and 47 states have laws that allow health care workers to opt out of providing abortions if that violates their religious beliefs or morals. In Montana, a state lawmaker who is an ordained Jewish rabbi argues religious freedom laws that protect health care workers’ religious beliefs should also protect abortion rights for those who belong to religions that support such rights. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/montana-lawmaker-theres-a-religious-right-to-abortion/2023/02/17/44df653a-af20-11ed-b0ba-9f4244c6e5da_story.html__________________________________________________________

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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