1. Jesuits in US bolster outreach initiative aimed at encouraging LGBTQ+ Catholics, By David Crary, February 6, 2024, 8:03 AM Even as Catholic dogma continues to repudiate same-sex marriage and gender transition, one of the most prominent religious orders in the United States — the Jesuits — is strengthening a unique outreach program for LGBTQ+ Catholics. The initiative — fittingly called Outreach — was founded two years ago by the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit who is one of the country’s most prominent advocates for greater LGBTQ+ inclusion in the Catholic Church. Outreach, a ministry of the Jesuit magazine America, sponsored conferences in New York City in 2022 and 2023, and last year launched a multifaceted website with news, essays and information about Catholic LGBTQ+ resources and events.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/02/06/lgbtq-catholics-outreach-jesuits-pope-francis/2780ce02-c4f0-11ee-bbc9-9b5ca9b20779_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Virginia bishops implore laity to resist push for assisted suicide, By John Lavenburg, Crux, February 6, 2024 Virginia’s Catholic bishops have raised concerns that assisted suicide could soon become legal in the state after legislation promoting the practice recently advanced in both the state House and Senate, with debate in each chamber expected in the coming weeks. In a Feb. 5 message, Bishops Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Barry Knestout of Richmond wrote to “implore” the faithful of their dioceses to contact their state senator and delegate and “urge them to reject assisted suicide legislation.” “Every suicide is a tragedy. Assisted suicide facilitates tragedies, and makes the most vulnerable people even more vulnerable,” Burbidge and Knestout said. “Legalizing it would place the lives of people with disabilities, people with mental illness, the elderly, and those unable to afford healthcare – among others – at heightened risk of deadly harm.” The senate legislation, SB 280, states that it “allows an adult with a terminal condition to request an attending health care provider to prescribe a self-administered controlled substance for the purpose of ending the patient’s life.” It defines a “terminal disease” as one that is incurable and irreversible that will produce death within six months.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2024/02/virginia-bishops-implore-laity-to-resist-push-for-assisted-suicide__________________________________________________________ 3. Conservative Nebraska lawmakers push bills that would intertwine religion with public education, By Margery A. Beck, Associated Press, February 5, 2024, 8:32 PM Conservative lawmakers who want to intertwine religion with school curriculum in Republican-dominated Nebraska presented a slew of bills Monday to the state Legislature’s education committee. The list includes a bill that would give parents more control over their local school’s library books and curriculum and another that would allow public school students to receive school credit for attending religious classes outside school. Another measure would change school funding to loop in private school tuition while forbidding the state from interfering in private schools’ curriculum or beliefs. Sen. Dave Murman, the conservative chairman of the Nebraska Legislature’s Education Committee, has revived his so-called parents rights bill that would make it easier for parents to object to curriculum and remove books from school libraries. The bill introduced last year was among those that stalled as conservatives focused on passing a bill to allow taxpayer money to be used to fund private school scholarships. That measure, signed into law last June, is the subject of a ballot referendum that will ask voters in November to repeal it.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/02/05/education-religion-nebraska-private-school-republican/a7a5c6e8-c48f-11ee-bbc9-9b5ca9b20779_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. South Carolina woman seeks clarity on abortion ban in lawsuit backed by Planned Parenthood, By James Pollard, Associated Press, February 5, 2024, 1:58 PM A South Carolina woman who traveled elsewhere for an abortion just days after reaching six weeks of pregnancy wants a court to affirm that the state’s ban on the procedure — when a “fetal heartbeat” can be detected — should not take effect until later in a pregnancy. In a lawsuit filed in state circuit court Monday, Taylor Shelton and Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s chief medical officer Dr. Katherine Farris argued that the Republican-led state Legislature provided two different definitions of “fetal heartbeat” in its law restricting abortions. They said the correct interpretation is that the ban begins around nine weeks, and not six weeks as currently practiced. The complaint marks yet another attempt by abortion providers to relax the state’s so-called fetal heartbeat law. The South Carolina Supreme Court reversed course last summer when it upheld the ban after striking down a similar version. Last fall, the justices declined to take up Planned Parenthood’s request to broaden the narrow window in which a pregnancy can be legally terminated, leaving the group to start over at the lower courts.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/02/05/abortion-bans-south-carolina-planned-parenthood-republicans/52a692ac-c44f-11ee-bbc9-9b5ca9b20779_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Argentine archbishop criticizes cardinals who back Fiducia Supplicans, By Walter Sanchez Silva, Catholic News Agency, February 5, 2024, 6:00 PM Héctor Aguer, the archbishop emeritus of La Plata, Argentina, criticized two cardinals who have expressed their support for the Vatican declaration Fiducia Supplicans, which allows for the blessing of homosexual couples. In an article titled “The Consequences of F.S,” published Feb. 2 in Infovaticana, Aguer referred to “the division pulsating in the Church” that is evident in the reactions to the declaration made last December by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF). After enumerating various indicators of the secularization of the West, the archbishop points out that “the vital reality of the Church is moving toward the East and is flourishing in Africa and Asia. I say it with sadness: I am the grandson of Europeans, and the culture that I have assumed is European, but the spirit of the revolution has devastated Christian culture; the crisis is expressed in ecclesiastical progressivism, complicit in a revolution that liquidates the natural order of creation.” The archbishop emeritus went on to criticize the position of Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, who spoke on Jan. 22 at the beginning of the winter session of that country’s permanent bishops’ council. The prelate referred to the arguments that Zuppi used to justify Fiducia Supplicans, when the latter referred to the document as an “outlook of mercy” and the “loving gaze of the Church on all the children of God, without undermining the teachings of the magisterium.” “Once again the contradiction: Even the example that [DDF prefect Cardinal Victor Manuel] Fernández offers of ‘blessing’ extends this to the mutual help that the members of the couple provide to each other, in other words, homosexual unions are approved,” the Argentine archbishop continued.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256741/argentine-archbishop-criticizes-cardinals-who-back-fiducia-supplicans__________________________________________________________

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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