1. ‘The abortion president’, Familicide gets a boost from Biden, By The Washington Times, February 3, 2021, Pg. B2, Editorial
Contrary to its “progressive” label, abortion is wildly out of step with Americans. A Marist poll released last week found only 15 percent of respondents favoring unrestricted abortion. A slim majority agree that abortion should either be banned or legal only in cases in which the mother’s life is endangered, or only as a result of rape or incest. Nearly six in 10 oppose using taxpayer money for abortion, and 77 percent abhor funding the practice in other nations.
In some places, resistance to unrestricted abortion is building. On Friday, the South Carolina State Senate approved a bill that would ban termination of a pregnancy in which a fetal heartbeat is detectable, usually around six weeks after conception.
Mr. Biden may be on-board with familicide, the killing of the human family, but Americans aren’t ready for life on the cheap.
2. Australian police find no crime in Vatican money transfers, By Associated Press, February 3, 2021, 7:42 AM
Australian police said Wednesday they found no evidence of criminal misconduct in money transfers from the Vatican that a financial agency mistakenly inflated by almost $1.8 billion and fueled corruption speculation.
Australian Federal Police investigated the transfers to Australia that the country’s financial intelligence agency, Austrac, reported to the Senate in December amounted to $1.8 billion over six years.
Austrac last month revealed it had vastly overstated the sums, blaming the miscalculation on a computer coding error. The Vatican said transfers to Australia since 2014 amounted to $7.35 million and were for legitimate expenses including running its embassy and contractual debts.
3. President Biden Needs to Name an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, President Trump’s pick, Sam Brownback, was relentless in observing and condemning religious persecution while encouraging world leaders to take steps in advancing religious freedom., By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, February 2, 2021, Opinion
The early days of Joe Biden’s presidency have seen a whirlwind of activity, most of which unsurprisingly carries on where the Obama administration left off. It’s significant, then, that the Biden administration endorsed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration that China has committed genocide in its horrific treatment of the Uyghurs and other religious minorities.
Is this a one-off or is the White House serious about advancing the cause of international religious freedom?

What will “standing against” such atrocious religious and ethnic persecution look like for the Biden administration? 
A good place to start would be the immediate nomination and confirmation of someone with a demonstrated record of advancing religious liberty as ambassador-at-large for international freedom among the first wave of non-cabinet presidential appointments.

Open Doors International recently reported that more than 340 million Christians worldwide experienced a high level of persecution and discrimination in 2020. The group notes that in the period between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, there was a 60% increase in the number of Christians killed because of their faith (4,761 in total, an average of 13 every day).
Africa is one of the deadliest continents for Christians. Nigeria stands out as the locus of the worst slaughter.
In December 2020, the Department of State designated Nigeria as a “Country of Particular Concern” for the first time ever due to “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.” More than 12,000 Christians in Nigeria have been killed in Islamist attacks since June 2015.

Promptly naming a strong ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom will show that America’s commitment to the cause of advancing international religious freedom is unwavering. Failing to do so, by contrast, could permit the scourge of religious persecution we see today to become a global plague afflicting the world for years to come.
 4. Pope Francis adds memorials of 6 Saints to Roman Calendar, Pope Francis inserts four new liturgical Memorials into the Roman Calendar: Martha, Mary, and Lazarus will be celebrated together, while Gregory of Narek, John of Avila, and Hildegard of Bingen will have their own optional memorials., By Devin Watkins, Vatican News, February 2, 2021
The Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments released two decrees, approved by Pope Francis, on Tuesday.
One inscribed the Memorial of Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus into the Roman Calendar on 29 July.
This means all liturgical books around the world will be updated with the prayers and texts proper to these three companions of Jesus.

In a separate decree, Pope Francis inscribed three Optional Memorials in the Roman Calendar for three Doctors of the Church.
– Saint Gregory of Narek, Abbot and Doctor of the Church, on 27 February;
– Saint John De Avila, Priest and Doctor of the Church, on 10 May;
– Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, on 17 September.
5. ‘A victory for transparency’: Louisiana applauds court order to unseal abortion clinic records, By Catholic News Agency, February 2, 2021, 4:00 PM
Louisiana’s attorney general is applauding a federal court order to unseal documents and records that abortion providers have fought to keep secret.
“Now the public may be able to see the full record in cases where abortion providers are seeking to minimize regulation against a backdrop of documented health and safety violations, destruction of medical records, and medical malpractice,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry stated on Tuesday.
In a 28-page order written on Jan. 28 and published Feb. 2, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana ordered June Medical Services, LLC and other abortion facilities to unseal a number of documents; the order allowed for the redaction of sensitive information.

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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