TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 149 – Real Dangers Of Abortion Pills & Jessica Hooten Wilson On The Scandal Of Holiness As secular media advanced the lie last week that the abortion pill is safer than Tylenol, Dr. Donna Harrison joins to discuss the real dangers of chemical abortions and why the FDA is complicit in promoting this harmful pill. We also revisit with Jessica Hooten Wilson discussing her new book, ‘The Scandal of Holiness.’ Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily as we prepare for Lent beginning next week. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Persecuted Christians Have Much to Teach, By Robert Nicholson, The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion Most Western media coverage of Near Eastern Christians focuses on their persecution, and their plight deserves to be better known. But Christians in the Near East are more than an oppressed people. They belong to unique national communities rooted in a premodern, pre-Islamic landscape, suffused with the Semitic culture of the early church. As Western culture turns against itself, the endangered faithful might help us more than we can help them. Indigenous to modern Iraq, the Assyrian Church of the East is the easternmost branch of apostolic Christianity—conservator of the world’s oldest eucharistic liturgy and guardian of the Aramaic language of Christ. This “Nestorian Church” was separated from Western Christianity in 431 at the Council of Ephesus, after bishops in Assyria and Babylonia broke with the imperial church over the nature of Jesus and Mary. The church is woefully forgotten today, often thought to be a branch of Catholicism or Orthodoxy. Yet in its heyday it was larger than the Latin and Greek churches and stretched deep into Central Asia, China and India.   The hope of the West lies in a revival of the Western church, which will come only with a rediscovery of the incarnational, action-oriented Christianity of the Semitic East. The West is materially strong but spiritually weak. Hyperpolitical, overly digital and drifting in our faith, we can look to leaders like Mar Awa as examples of another way—the original way. Mr. Nicholson is president of the Philos Project. 2. Pope visits Russian embassy to show concern over ‘war’ in Ukraine, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, February 25, 2022 Friday morning, the day after Russian military forces invaded Ukrainian territory, Pope Francis paid a quick visit to the Russian embassy to the Holy See in Rome to voice concern over what he called the “war” now taking place. According to a Vatican statement, the pope spent about 30 minutes at the embassy “to convey his concern for the war.” To this point, Russian officials have described the incursion as a “special military operation,” insisting it’s not a war. A Vatican spokesman told Crux that rather than an attempt by the Vatican and the pope to mediate the conflict, Francis’s decision to visit the embassy, which is located on the main road leading up to St. Peter’s Square, was exclusively to “express his concern.” 3. Shroud of Turin’s controversial history examined, Exhibit hosts replica of burial cloth, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, February 25, 2022, Pg. A10 The Museum of the Bible will open a major exhibit on the Shroud of Turin on Saturday, but its top curator says the genuineness of the alleged burial cloth of Jesus isn’t the point. “Whether or not the shroud is authentic, it’s certainly part of the impact of the Bible and reflects back on the stories of the Bible,” said Jeffrey Kloha, the museum’s chief curatorial officer.  The exhibit, titled “Mystery and Faith: The Shroud of Turin,” will feature a “three dimensional reconstruction” of the shroud, but not the original that is kept in Turin. It is designed to explain the relic’s fascination for millions through the ages, Mr. Kloha said. 4. Over half of U.S. abortions now done with pills, not surgery, By Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press, February 24, 2022, 9:58 AM More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery, an upward trend that spiked during the pandemic with the increase in telemedicine, a report released Thursday shows. In 2020, pills accounted for 54% of all U.S. abortions, up from roughly 44% in 2019.  The pandemic prompted a rise in telemedicine and FDA action that allowed abortion pills to be mailed so patients could skip in-person visits to get them. Those changes could have contributed to the increase in use, said Guttmacher researcher Rachel Jones. The FDA made the change permanent last December, meaning millions of women can get a prescription via an online consultation and receive the pills through the mail. That move led to stepped-up efforts by abortion opponents to seek additional restrictions on medication abortions through state legislatures. 5. There’s No Crisis of Faith on Campus, Many religious parents worry that higher education will weaken their children’s belief, but evidence shows the result is often just the opposite., By Ryan Burge, The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2022, 9:58 AM As a pastor who is also a professor of social science, I am often asked by parents of teenagers who were raised in a religious environment how their son or daughter can maintain their faith when they go off to some large state university or private liberal-arts college. Many parents seem to believe that as soon as their child walks into a freshman class, they will throw out their Bibles and pick up Nietzsche.  Using data from 12 years of Harvard University’s Cooperative Election Study, an annual survey of more than 50,000 Americans, I calculated the share who identified as atheist, agnostic and nothing in particular at six education levels, ranging from those with no high school diploma to those with graduate degrees. The results are clear: People with the least education are the most likely to indicate that they have no religious affiliation. In 2008, 26% of those without a high school diploma identified as an atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular. Only 19% of those with a graduate degree did. And that 7-point gap stayed fairly consistent over the following 12 years.  Young people who pursued higher education are 9 percentage points more likely to indicate that they are Protestant and 5 points more likely to say that they are Catholic than those who ended their education at high school. There’s no difference between the percentage of the two groups who say they are atheist—both are around 7%.  As a parent myself, I completely understand the tendency to shelter our children. But college comes at an ideal time in the life-cycle for young people to venture out and engage with people who don’t share their beliefs. Exposing teenagers to new ideas and new cultures is one of the most powerful things we can do for the next generation. Mr. Burge is a pastor in the Baptist church and a professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University. This essay is adapted from his new book “Twenty Myths About Religion and Politics in America,” published March 1 by Fortress Press. 6. Faith Is Center Court in Alabama High School Basketball Controversy, Huntsville school says it chose to forfeit game after requests to move game to accommodate Sabbath was denied, By Joseph Pisani, The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2022, 7:57 PM Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is showing support for a high-school basketball team that says it was forced to forfeit a game because the state’s athletic association wouldn’t make a religious accommodation.  Ms. Ivey wrote a letter to the athletic association, asking a series of questions about the incident, including why it couldn’t make the accommodation. “As I’m sure you know, few things are more important to Alabamians than their faith,” the Republican governor wrote in the letter, which was posted on her Twitter account. The Alabama High School Athletic Association said it is working on a response. She also sent a letter to Oakwood, inviting the team to the state Capitol. 7. Top Vatican official pleas for peace, negotiation in Ukraine crisis, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, February 24, 2022 Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has condemned a Russian military offensive in Ukraine, calling the move tragic and issuing an appeal for negotiation and goodwill to prevail in preventing the outbreak of further violence. Parolin opened his Feb. 24 message referring to an appeal made by Pope Francis at the end of his Wednesday general audience address, in which he announced that March 2, Ash Wednesday, would be a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine. 8. Catholic charity commits $1 million to aid Ukraine’s 6,229 religious, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, February 24, 2022, 3:28 PM A Catholic aid organization is sending emergency support to the faithful in Ukraine as Russia invades the country.  “The situation is getting worse every day,” Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk of Kharkiv, who leads one of the dioceses that Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) will support, said in a Thursday press release. “We live now from hour to hour.”’ ACN committed one million euros (equal to $1.1 million USD) to support the work of the Church in Ukraine on Thursday, and is accepting help raising funds to assist the Church in the country. Its support comes after Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early Thursday morning with the firing of airstrikes and missiles.

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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