1. EU Catholic bishops criticize European Parliament resolution on Poland’s abortion law, By Catholic News Agency, February 25, 2021, 6:15 AM
Catholic bishops across Europe have criticized a European Parliament resolution on Poland’s abortion law.
In a letter released on Feb. 25, the bishops said that the resolution, passed on Nov. 26, 2020, would have “a very negative impact” on the way that the European Union (EU) is seen by member states.
The European Parliament, the EU’s law-making body, passed the resolution by 455 votes to 145 after Poland’s top court ruled that a 1993 law permitting abortion for fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional.
The resolution lamented what it called a “de facto ban on the right to abortion in Poland.”
2. Amazon Faces Questions Over Removal of Book by Conservative Author, Republican senators send letter to Jeff Bezos in which they say the company’s move signals to conservative Americans that their views aren’t welcome, By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2021, 10:22 PM
A group of Republican senators is asking Amazon.com Inc. to explain why it recently removed a book about transgender issues that had been on sale on the platform for about three years.
In a letter to Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos dated Wednesday, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana and Josh Hawley of Missouri said a book by conservative scholar Ryan T. Anderson, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” was no longer available on Amazon nor on its Kindle and Audible platforms.
Amazon, they wrote, has been “unable to provide a sufficient explanation” as to how the book “supposedly violated a vague, undefined ‘offensive content’ standard.”
3. Vatican foreign minister: religious freedom ‘being eroded’ by COVID-19 response, By Catholic News Agency, February 24, 2021, 5:00 AM
A robust understanding of the right to religious freedom is being eroded in the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican’s foreign minister said in a video message to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
“The Holy See would like to reiterate the urgency of protecting the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In particular, religious belief, and the expression thereof, lies at the core of the dignity of the human person, in his or her conscience,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher said on Feb. 23.
Gallagher, the Holy See’s secretary for relations with states, said that “the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic reveals that this robust understanding of religious freedom is being eroded.”
“The Holy See would like to stress that, as is recognized in numerous human rights instruments, the freedom of religion also protects its public witness and expression — both individually and collectively, publicly and privately — in forms of worship, observance and teaching,” he said.
4. Bishops lack communion over Biden, abortion, and sacrament, By The Pillar, February 24, 20201
One month into his presidency, the Catholicism of Joe Biden continues to be a focus of media attention, with religious and secular press noting the tension between the president’s faith and some of his administration’s policies, most notably on abortion.
A recent article in the Atlantic noted ongoing debate among Catholics about Biden’s reception of Communion, despite longstanding guidance from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that Catholic politicians who advance legal protections or funding for abortion are in a state of grave sin, and should not receive the Eucharist.
In the weeks since his inauguration, Biden has leaned into both his Catholic identity and his campaign pledges to support abortion funding and legal protection.

Bishops are free to exercise judgment over who receives the Eucharist in their territories, even as concerns Catholics who live in other dioceses.
But while the norms exist, few U.S. bishops have formally prohibited prohibited pro-abortion politicians from receiving Holy Communion.

Before Biden’s inauguration, the U.S. bishops established a working group to address the “unique” challenges of a Catholic president who appears to dissent from Church teaching on key issues, including the scope for confusion his public witness as a Catholic could cause.
Among the projects planned by that committee was a statement on the question of Holy Communion. Work on the statement has reportedly been transferred to the doctrine committee of the USCCB. There is no expected timeline for its release.

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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