1. Pope’s Abuse Stance Disappoints Some.

By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2019, Pg. A6

Pope Francis on Sunday strongly condemned sexual abuse but offered no specific solutions, disappointing clergy and laypeople who had hoped for a breakthrough at an unprecedented global summit to address the crisis in the Catholic Church.

The pope, in his widely awaited closing speech, said the church’s response should avoid “defensiveness that fails to confront the causes and effects of these grave crimes.” He also warned against overreaction “provoked by guilt for past errors and media pressure” and emphasized that abuse is a problem in wider society beyond the church.

Expectations had been high for the speech, the culmination of the pope’s most high-profile response to the abuse crisis, but it appeared unlikely to heal divisions within the church or repair the confidence of believers in the U.S. and elsewhere after years of revelations of abuse and of coverups by senior clergy.

Some victims’ advocates criticized that wider focus as a tactic for shifting blame from the hierarchy. But Austen Ivereigh, a biographer of Pope Francis, tweeted that, by “bringing in the broader context of child exploitation,” the pope “wasn’t minimizing clerical abuse, but showing that eradicating it is an even greater responsibility for church.”


2. At anti-abuse summit, Francis short on specifics.

By Chico Harlan and Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, February 25, 2019, Pg. A2

For four days, some of the world’s highest-ranking Catholics listened to speeches about the “outrage of the people” and the imperative of action. They heard testimony from abuse victims, including one who movingly played the violin. And on Sunday, they gathered in a frescoed Vatican hall, where Pope Francis concluded the summit on clerical sexual abuse by calling for an “all-out battle” against the scourge. 

But the unprecedented meeting ended Sunday with few concrete remedies, and it left the Catholic Church much where it started at the beginning of the week: asking for more time from an impatient faithful to draw up ways to reliably police itself.

“We are dealing with abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth,” Francis said in a speech that was short on specifics but mentioned future “legislation.”

The vague outcome underscored the looming challenge for an institution that has long acknowledged the seriousness of clerical abuse but struggled to curtail it. While some participants said the event would prove to be a turning point, many victims said it had amounted to a training seminar that skirted key decisions and raised points that should have been obvious years ago.


3. Pope’s sex abuse summit: What it did and didn’t do.

By Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press, February 25, 2019, 5:53 AM

Pope Francis’ summit on preventing sexual abuse was never going to meet the expectations placed on it by victims groups, the media and ordinary Catholics outraged over a scandal that has harmed so many and compromised the church’s moral authority so much.

Indeed, no sweeping new law was announced to punish bishops who cover up abuse. No files were released or global reporting requirement endorsed requiring priestly rapists to be reported to police. In his final speech to the summit Sunday, Pope Francis even fell back on the hierarchy’s frequent complaint of unfair press coverage.

But something has changed.

By inviting the leaders of Catholic bishops conferences and religious orders from around the world to a four-day tutorial on preventing sex abuse, Francis has made clear that they all are responsible for protecting the children in their care and must punish the priests who might violate them, or risk punishment themselves.

“In people’s justified anger, the church sees the reflection of the wrath of God, betrayed and insulted by these deceitful consecrated persons,” the pontiff said.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s longtime sex crimes prosecutor, told reporters at the summit’s end that his main takeaway after four days was that there is now a recognition within the church that “abuse of minors is an egregious crime, but so too is cover-up.”

And with that, he said, “There is no going back.”


4. Four take-aways from the pope’s summit on clerical sexual abuse. 

By John L. Allen Jr., Editor, Crux, February 25, 2019

The summit provided an amplifier for the rhetoric of reform, but relatively little in terms of concrete new policies or law. If anything, there’s actually some basis to suspect division and ambiguity about certain key accountability measures, such as defrocking as the more-or-less standard punishment for abuser priests and releasing the names of clergy facing credible accusations of abuse.

On Sunday, the Vatican vowed new anti-abuse guidelines for the Vatican City State, a handbook outlining the procedures to follow in abuse cases, and new task forces to help bishops’ conferences and dioceses that lack the resources to implement anti-abuse protocols on their own. It also announced that on Monday, summit organizers will meet with Vatican officials to discuss next steps.

In the immediate wake of the summit, here are a few take-aways that seem supported by the experience of the last four days.

Global perspective is key
Approaching this event as an American or a Western European was, from the very beginning, arguably destined to be an exercise in frustration. What’s become conventional wisdom in those parts of the world, where the abuse scandals have been a fact of Catholic life for decades, remains novel and sometimes almost incomprehensible elsewhere.

Ending with a whimper, not a bang
Francis opened the summit on Thursday with a stirring talk declaring that the People of God were expecting “concrete, effective measures” to combat clerical abuse, not the repetition of “simple and predictable condemnations.” That language evoked a sense of resolve and purpose that was broadly welcomed.

The pope’s verbiage at the end of the meeting, on the other hand, met with a far more mixed reaction.


5. Church moving from ‘American problem’ to American solutions on clergy abuse. 

By Christopher White, Crux, February 25, 2019

If the global clergy sex abuse crisis was once thought of as an “American” problem, Pope Francis’s efforts to get the global Church to take the issue seriously may now be drawing on American solutions.

Seventeen years ago, 2002 marked a turning point for the U.S. clergy abuse crisis. Bishops tangled with Rome to amend canon law and enact a “one-strike and you’re out” policy for abusive priests – something which, at the time, was criticized in Rome and elsewhere as a distortion of Church law and a typically American form of “cowboy justice.”

Yet as bishops gathered around the world in Rome this week for an anti-abuse summit convened by Francis, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Ireland told reporters he believed the universal Church was moving “much closer” to enacting that American innovation as a global policy.

In an interview with Crux on Saturday, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, offered a similar conclusion.

“The Church is moving toward zero tolerance,” he said, but “it isn’t quite there yet.”


6. Letters from the Vatican: #6, Reports and Commentary, from Rome and Elsewhere, on the “Meeting for the Protection of Minors”.

Edited by Xavier Rynne II, First Things, February 25, 2019

How can the success or failure of the Vatican “abuse summit,” which concluded yesterday, be measured? A week ago, your editor suggested one analytic tool: ten points which, if agreed upon by the participants, would constitute a “considerable success.” Reviewing them one by one may help get into preliminary focus a complex affair that was many things, including a sober and severe examination of conscience and a moment of cautious but real hope.

1. Did the summit recognize that sexual abuse is a global plague? Even prior to the summit, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., made this point and suggested that the Church ought to make combatting sexual abuse a pastoral priority. There seemed to be a tacit recognition of this among many of the participants. And the pope laid out the available facts in a lucid and concise way in his discorso concluding the meeting. But was there sufficient recognition of the fact that the Catholic Church will not make a major contribution to eradicating or at least seriously abating the plague until its own credibility as a body that lives what it teaches is restored? There was some of that implicit in Saturday evening’s penitential liturgy. But more might well have been said on this point: when the Church’s evangelical witness is compromised by sexual scandal, so is its capacity to be the “field hospital” to which Pope Francis refers in his programmatic apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. 

4. Did the meeting recognize that optional celibacy is not the answer to the abuse crisis?  Few participants in the summit seem to have bought the line being peddled by some in the meeting’s Off-Broadway dimension, that a married clergy would mitigate the crisis of clerical sexual abuse. Whether they express it in these terms or not, summit participants seemed to understand that, in a world where marriage has too often been degraded into a legal contract for mutual convenience (and tax benefit), to suggest that marriage is some sort of crime prevention program is not helpful. More attention might have been paid, however, to how important strong friendships with joyful, faithful married couples are in priestly formation, before and after ordination. To borrow a phrase from ecumenical theology: the “mutual exchange of gifts” between celibates and married couples might have been highlighted more than it was last week.

10. Did the meeting grasp that deep and authentic Catholic reform is every Catholic’s responsibility? There was insufficient discussion of this, as there was insufficient discussion of the more comprehensive crisis of chastity in the Church. The Holy Father’s closing statement, however, pointed in this direction, and it is surely a theme to be stressed in the months and years ahead.   


7. Why Celibacy Matters, How the critique of Catholicism changes and yet remains the same.

By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, February 24, 2019, Pg. SR11, Opinion

The rhetoric of anti-Catholicism, whether its sources are Protestant or secular, has always insisted that the church of Rome is the enemy of what you might call healthy sexuality. This rhetorical trope has persisted despite radical redefinitions of what healthy sexuality means; one sexual culture overthrows another, but Catholicism remains eternally condemned.

So if Catholics look at these changing-yet-recurring critiques of the church and see only bigotry, they would be making a grave mistake. A critic of the church can be quicker to see problems than a believer, and when critiques are dismissed just because they partake of anti-Catholic stereotypes — well, you get the disgraceful way the church treated allegations of clerical sex abuse for many years.

The sexual ethic on offer in our own era should make Catholics particularly skeptical. That ethic regards celibacy as unrealistic while offering porn and sex robots to ease frustrations created by its failure to pair men and women off. It pities Catholic priests as repressed and miserable (some are; in general they are not) even as its own cultural order seeds a vast social experiment in growing old alone. It disdains large families while it fails to reproduce itself. It treats any acknowledgment of male-female differences as reactionary while constructing an architecture of sexual identities whose complexities would daunt a medieval schoolman.

In the name of this not-obviously-enlightened alternative, Catholicism is constantly asked to “reform” away practices that are there because they connect directly to the New Testament — in the case of celibacy, to Jesus’ own example and his hard words for anyone making an idol of family life.

This seems like a bad bargain, no matter how much hypocrisy there may be in Rome.

That clerical celibacy doesn’t guarantee asceticism is obvious, any more than attending Mass guarantees prayerfulness (trust me on that one). But it preserves the call even when the system is corrupted. And to lose that call, in this era of scandal and unfinished purgation, could easily leave only the corruption, undiluted and unchecked.


8. Not on the Vatican Agenda, but on Participants’ Minds: Homosexuality.

By Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York, February 24, 2019, Pg. A10

Called to the Vatican this week by Pope Francis to grapple with the crisis of child sexual abuse by clergy, nearly 200 leaders of the Roman Catholic Church sat for lectures on responsibility, accountability and transparency.

But privately, they kept raising one issue not on the agenda: homosexuality.

At the meeting, even as organizers and attendees pushed time and again to focus the discussions on pedophilia, the conflicting views about homosexuality within the church emerged as a distraction.

Pope Francis has clearly shifted the discussion, if not church doctrine, to a more inclusive position on homosexuality.

Each day at the meeting, reporters from conservative Catholic news outlets peppered the meeting’s organizers with questions about why they are dodging the topic of homosexuality.

Some advocates for gay equality in the church said their message seemed to have gotten through to church leaders.

But among the bishops in the room with Francis, the issue was not exactly settled.


9. Vatican abuse summit is ‘wake-up call’ for non-Western nations.

By Chico Harlan,
The Washington Post, February 24, 2019, Pg. A16

Some go so far as to describe Pope Francis’s landmark four-day summit on child protection, which ends Sunday, as a direct warning for Catholic authorities across Asia, Africa and other parts of the world where abuse scandals have not yet left a searing mark.

They say the next decades of the Catholic Church’s efforts against clerical abuse depend on whether those countries can be pushed to take safeguarding measures preemptively, rather than responding only after a crisis explodes into the open.

On the first day, victims from five continents — North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa — told the bishops in videotaped testimony about the trauma of their experiences. And the Vatican has drawn up a geographically balanced lineup of featured speakers, including a nun from Nigeria who on Saturday told the bishops about several cases she knew of in that country.

But there remains some resistance to the idea that sexual abuse is a pressing global church crisis.

In 2011, the Holy See had asked countries to draw up their own child protection guidelines, but not every country has followed the request. On the website it created for this event, the Vatican posted such procedures for 31 different countries. Only two countries in Africa are listed, South Africa and the Central African Republic. Only Sri Lanka and South Korea represent Asia. The Vatican also included guidelines from Kerala, a southern Indian state.


10. N.J. priest speaks publicly for the first time about McCarrick.

By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, February 24, 2019, Pg. C1

Less than a week after Theodore McCarrick became the first cardinal ever defrocked, a New Jersey priest has for the first time agreed to be interviewed about his accusations that McCarrick sexually abused him in the 1990s and the effect the alleged abuse has had on his life and career.

In exclusive interviews with The Washington Post, the Rev. Lauro Sedlmayer said the interactions with McCarrick, who was then his archbishop, in Newark, set off a downward spiral that severely damaged his psyche and career. Now 61, the priest says that he told three bishops but that nothing was done.

The Brazilian-born Sedlmayer has been in a standoff with his superiors for a decade, with both sides filing lawsuits and making accusations of sexual and financial impropriety.


11. Maryland House speaker to withdraw bill to enshrine abortion protections.

By Ovetta Wiggins, The Washington Post, February 24, 2019, Pg. C1

Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch plans to withdraw his bill to enshrine a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy into the state constitution because Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. appears reluctant to move it forward this session.

The legislation would place a question on the 2020 ballot about whether to amend the state constitution to include abortion protections.

Busch said rather than engage in a battle with Miller over the bill, he decided to withdraw it. “We have too many things at risk to get in an argument for something that can’t go on the ballot until 2020,” he said.

Nine other states have abortion protections in their constitutions, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights: Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey and New Mexico.


12. Abuse statistics discovered buried on Vatican website. 

By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post, February 23, 2019, Pg. A6

In the thick packet of materials the Vatican released leading up to its high-profile sex abuse summit, one kind of information was missing: statistics about abuse cases. 

The Vatican does not publicize the new cases that it handles, though some experts say it might have among the most comprehensive abuse-related data sets in the world.

But on Friday, an Italian journalist said he was tipped off by a Vatican source that some statistics were hiding in plain sight — buried in a section of the Holy See’s website. The collection of pages shows hundreds of abuse cases annually being handed by bishops to the Vatican’s disciplinary body, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, or CDF.

The obscure Vatican Web pages show year-by-year data on the number of new cases sent to the Holy See concerning clerics accused of “serious offenses,” including abuse of minors but also possession of child pornography and spiritual offenses. The information is contained in a series of annual summaries, from 2012 until 2017, about the activities of the CDF. Although there is no specific data about how many clerics faced accusations of abusing minors, the 2017 report said the “majority” of serious offense cases involved such accusations.


13. Plan to Make Bishops Accountable Strikes U.S. Survivors as Inadequate.

By Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times, February 23, 2019, Pg. A9

The unprecedented meeting in Rome on clerical sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has drawn participants from around the world. But there is one country with a particularly large stake in what happens at the Vatican this week.

The yearning for a response from Pope Francis yielded on Friday a first step to holding bishops accountable for abuse in their dioceses. And it was an American — Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago — who presented the proposal. But survivors and law enforcement officials say they doubt that the church’s response so far matches the magnitude of the crisis sweeping the United States.

Under canon law, only the pope has the authority to judge a bishop, posing a bureaucratic challenge for an institution with thousands of bishops across the world. Cardinal Cupich proposed that top Catholic clerics in each country, assisted by lay people, be given the power to investigate accusations of misconduct against the top of their local church hierarchies, instead of waiting for Rome to “come up with all the answers.”

This framework is the clearest idea yet of how the Catholic Church globally might decide to hold its highest clerics accountable for misconduct. But there was no guarantee that Rome would codify the proposals, or that bishops worldwide would enact them.


14. Forgiveness for Abusive Priests Divides Church.

By Drew Hinshaw, Francis X. Rocca and Natalia Ojewska, The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2019, Pg. A9

One Sunday morning last year, the Rev. Jacek Wentczuk stood before his congregation and made a startling admission. He was a convicted sex offender, he said, found guilty in 2012 of molesting a 15-year-old girl in a nearby town. His bishop was considering transferring him.

Parishioners rallied to the side of the popular Catholic priest, who insisted he had done nothing wrong.

“We gave him a chance,” said Monika Landzberg, a doctor at the local hospital. “This crime cannot weigh on a man until the end of his life.”

There are deep splits in the world-wide Catholic Church over how to handle cases of sexual abuse involving priests, with some clergy and laity arguing that any member of the clergy who sexually abuses a minor should be removed from ministry. Others call for a more flexible, lenient response.

In the U.S., the church has adopted a zero-tolerance approach. Church leaders in Australia, Canada, Ireland and elsewhere also have moved aggressively against clergy who transgress.
But in many other places, including Poland, a less-strict standard prevails.


15. Is There a Link Between a Decline in U.S. Births and Abortion?, Data show American women are having fewer babies, but they are also having fewer abortions.

By Jo Craven McGinty, The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2019, pg. A2

A main driver of the recent decline in U.S. fertility has been a steady decrease in births by teenagers and women in their 20s.

Fertility is near record lows based on two measures: Around 3.85 million babies were born in 2017, the lowest number since 1987. And at 1.8, total fertility, the number of children women are expected to have in their lifetimes, is near the 1976 low of 1.7.

But the number of abortions is also down.

In 2014, the most recent data available, the number fell to 926,200.

That is 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, the lowest rate observed in the U.S. since 1973, when abortion became legal in all states. That year, there were 16.3 abortions per 1,000 women.

In addition to tracking abortions, Guttmacher also counts the number of facilities where abortion is provided, something the CDC doesn’t track. It has found that the number of clinics providing abortions fell 6% between 2011 and 2014 with the steepest declines in the Midwest (22%) and the South (13%).

That change explains part, but not all, of the decrease in the number of abortions.

“The evidence suggests the decline in some states was due to fewer clinics,” Dr. Jones said, “but there was no coherent trend in states with more restrictions.”

Michigan, for example, lost a third of its abortion clinics between 2011 and 2014, but its abortion rate didn’t change, Dr. Jones said. The institute also saw declines in states that support abortion, including New York and California.

Among the factors that may have contributed to the decline are the increased use of long-acting, reversible birth control and a reduction in the number of unplanned pregnancies.


16. Legal loophole may be closing for bishops who hide sex abuse. 

By Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press, February 23, 2019

The legal loopholes that have allowed Catholic bishops to escape sanction when they cover up clergy sex abuse cases may be closing.

Two U.S. cardinals have confirmed that the Vatican is working on a “clarification” to a 2016 law that was supposed to hold bishops and religious superiors accountable when they fail to protect their flocks but never really did.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston told a press conference Friday during Pope Francis’ sex abuse prevention summit that he had been “guaranteed” that the new document would “come out very soon.” Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said the document would “standardize” procedures within the various Vatican offices to investigate bishops and order their removal.

The new document would further clarify the law Francis issued in 2016, entitled “As a Loving Mother,” which he passed instead of creating a special tribunal section inside the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to handle abuse of office cases.


17. Letters from the Vatican: #5, Reports and Commentary, from Rome and Elsewhere, on the “Meeting for the Protection of Minors”.

Edited by Xavier Rynne II, First Things, February 23, 2019

At the beginning of February, a month in which an intense, global mediaspotlight has been focused on Catholicism’s struggles with clerical sexual abuse, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. As February now comes to a close with a global meeting of Catholic leaders to address that abuse, it’s worth reflecting on the fact  that the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord was once known as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

The soul of the Catholic Church is being pierced, day after day, by a seemingly endless scandal of sexual abuse. And it must be hoped that, as many secret thoughts—and temptations, and, worst of all, actions—are being revealed, this piercing is an unavoidable and necessary part of a great process of purification: the purification that is essential if the Church is to preach the gospel credibly and offer that friendship with Jesus Christ that is the greatest of human liberations. As these LETTERS have insisted, and as will be argued again below by Mary Rice Hasson, the reform of the Church is a summons to greater fidelity, for the abuse crisis is, at bottom, a crisis of infidelity. 

The Church will never be completely cleansed of infidelity—the Church will never be completely pure—until it is finally and definitively purified in the Kingdom of God: after the Lord Jesus returns in glory, the Last Judgment has been rendered, the wedding feast of the Lamb has begun, and the New Jerusalem—the heavenly City built on the foundation of the apostles—is the dwelling place of the righteous and the saved. To understand that the final purification of the Church is an eschatological, or Kingdom, reality ought not cause us to lose heart, though, about the work of purifying the Church that belongs to every Catholic here and now. It should, rather, invite us to greater efforts in the work of reform, because we are assured that, whatever our failures, God will ultimately make things right. 

It was never in the cards for this global meeting to produce a comprehensive template for Catholic reform. The Church is too diverse, the meeting is too short, and there is still too much denial, fear, and institutional lethargy at play in the Vatican and in some sectors of world Catholicism for any such dramatic turning point to be reached in a mere four days. All the more reason, then, for concerned Catholics to become aware of what reformist efforts are underway, to encourage what is life-giving in them, and to urge their local pastors and bishops on to even deeper, more effective reform initiatives.  So this weekend double-issue of LETTERS FROM THE VATICAN will focus heavily on reforms that are underway, or that could be readily adopted, in the Church in the United States and parallel local situations around the world—after a bracing reflection on the imperative of defining today’s crisis correctly.


18. Women take Catholic bishops to task at Vatican abuse summit.

By Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press, February 22, 2019

A prominent Nigerian nun blasted the culture of silence that has long kept clergy sexual abuse hidden in the Catholic Church, telling Catholic leaders Saturday that they must transparently admit their mistakes to restore trust among the faithful.

A Mexican journalist followed up, telling the bishops and others at Pope Francis’ abuse summit that their collective failure to report abuse and inform their flocks about predator priests made them complicit in the crimes.

The first two days focused on the responsibility of church leaders in tending to their flocks, and how they must be held accountable when they fail to properly protect young people from predator priests. Saturday was dedicated to issues of transparency and breaking the code of silence.


19. US cardinals hope new accountability stops abusers in future. 

By Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press, February 22, 2019

Two U.S. cardinals attending the Vatican’s sex abuse prevention summit said Friday that the downfall of their former colleague, Theodore McCarrick, was sad for the Catholic church but they hoped a new spirit of accountability would prevent future cover-ups of bishop misconduct.

Cardinals Sean O’Malley of Boston and Blase Cupich of Chicago addressed the McCarrick scandal at a press conference on the second day of Pope Francis’ summit, which was dedicated Friday to holding the Catholic hierarchy accountable for preventing sexual abuse.

Francis defrocked McCarrick, 88, last week after a Vatican investigation found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adults, including during confession. His downfall has sparked a crisis in credibility in the Catholic hierarchy, since it was apparently an open secret in some U.S. and Vatican circles that he slept with seminarians.


20. Trump steps up attack on Planned Parenthood. 

By Jessie Hellmann, The Hill Online, February 22, 2019, 5:45 PM

President Trump is intensifying his attack on federal funding for Planned Parenthood with the introduction of new rules on Friday that are widely seen as a way of gutting federal funding to the group.

The women’s health organization could lose millions of dollars in funding if the sweeping changes to a federal family planning program are upheld in court. 

Under the changes, clinics aren’t eligible for Title X Family Planning funds unless they are physically and financially separate from abortion providers. 

That means clinics couldn’t share space or staff with abortion facilities. Clinics would also be banned from referring women for abortions or counseling them on abortion as an option to end pregnancy. 

This could disqualify many of Planned Parenthood’s 600 centers across the country, which receives about a quarter of Title X funds annually to provide reproductive health and preventive services to low-income women.


21. TCA Statements on Title X Regulations.

The Catholic Association, February 22, 2019

“The new Title X regulations are a long-overdue clarification that abortion is not family planning. There are countless women’s health centers around the country that provide healthcare to needy and vulnerable women without violently ending innocent life. Poll after poll makes clear that the American people don’t want their tax dollars subsidizing abortions; these new regulations ensure that federal funds can be used to help women without destroying life and enriching abortion providers.”  Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association

“The Title X program is and always has been a family planning program, and this new rule simply clarifies that abortion is not an appropriate method of family planning.  Contraception prevents pregnancy, while abortion stops the beating heart of a developing human. The difference between the two is profound. Title X money is appropriated by Congress for preventative family planning services, and was never meant to subsidize abortion clinics.” Maureen Ferguson, Senior Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association

“The new Title X regulations make a whole lot of sense to Americans who understand that abortion is not healthcare, and who do not want their hard-earned money subsidizing the elimination of unborn children. The new regulations prevent tax dollars from underwriting the abortion industry, but at the same time they redirect the those funds to Federally Qualified Community Health Centers that provide holistic care to the whole family, including prenatal care.” Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association

“The administration’s new regulations are pro-woman, pro-family and pro-healthcare, especially as they bring needed help to unserved or underserved areas of the country. The new Title X regulations will ensure that federally-funded family planning programs provide care for needy women who are often victims of sexual abuse intimate partner violence, incest, or human trafficking, but not subsidize abortion providers. These women won’t be victimized, in some cases for a second time, by abortion providers who use smoke-and-mirrors accounting to skirt federal law.” Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, Legal Advisor for The Catholic Association Foundation.


22. Kaine Hints at Opposition to Caring for Newborn Abortion Survivors. 

By Bill McMorris, Washington Free Beacon, February 22, 2019

Democratic senator Tim Kaine has been silent on whether he supports legislation to protect infants who survive abortion, but told a constituent he opposed weakening Roe v. Wade.

Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy advisor with The Catholic Association, said the vote has nothing to do with Roe. The absence of protections in federal law would only serve to kill infants.

“A senator who opposes the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, is voting to allow infanticide, which has no place in a civilized and compassionate society,” she said.

The Senate will vote on the bill on Monday.