1. Appeals Ruling Keeps Texas Abortion Law in Place, By Jacob Gershman, The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2022, Pg. A6A Texas law forbidding women from ending unwanted pregnancies after six weeks could stay in effect for at least several more months under a ruling Monday by a federal appeals court. In a 2-1 opinion, the New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that before a challenge to the law could move forward in federal court, Texas’s highest court should address unanswered questions about Texas state law. The decision was a setback to Texas abortion clinics, which argued that they had a green light from the U.S. Supreme Court to pursue an injunction against the law, known as SB 8, in federal district court. https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-abortion-law-could-stay-in-effect-for-months-after-u-s-appeals-court-ruling-11642524651?___________________________________________________________ 2. Emmanuel Macron calls for abortion to be added to EU rights charter, By Catholic News Agency, January 19, 2022, 6:15 AM French President Emmanuel Macron called on Wednesday for abortion to be added to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Speaking to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on Jan. 19, Macron said that the rights charter, ratified in the year 2000, needed to be revised.“Twenty years after the proclamation of our Charter of Fundamental Rights, which enshrined, among other things, the abolition of the death penalty throughout the Union, I hope that we will be able to update it, in particular to be more explicit about environmental protection or the recognition of the right to abortion,” he said.  His appeal came the day after the European Union’s law-making body elected the pro-life Maltese politician Roberta Metsola as its new president. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250138/french-president-emmanuel-macron-calls-for-abortion-to-be-added-to-eu-rights-charter___________________________________________________________ 3. Cancel Culture Targets Charity, By Jeremy D. Tedesco, The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion Americans have always been free to give to nonprofit causes they believe in, but left-wing political activists are determined to limit that freedom. Considering these activists’ record of successfully convincing corporations to do their bidding on a host of issues, everyone who supports the American traditions of free speech, free association and privacy should be concerned. Unmasking Fidelity, a loose coalition of fringe groups, recently delivered a list of demands to Fidelity Charitable, which manages a donor-advised fund through which account holders can direct contributions to their favorite nonprofits. According to its website, Fidelity Charitable distributed $9.1 billion in 2020, making it the nation’s largest grant maker. On the list of Unmasking Fidelity’s demands was a call for Fidelity Charitable to disclose five years’ worth of its contributions to 10 targeted organizations, including the Family Research Council, Turning Point USA and my employer, the Alliance Defending Freedom. These are organizations with which the activists disagree on a variety of hot-button issues. Unmasking Fidelity is also demanding that Fidelity Charitable impose viewpoint-based litmus tests on the charities and causes its account holders can support. Those litmus tests would handicap conservative groups and advocacy.  No matter what you think about the issues of the day, everyone should oppose this name-and-shame censorship. A politicized philanthropic culture, in which an outside activist’s demands trump a donor’s intent—and even expose donors to harassment—is dangerous for people of every political stripe. https://www.wsj.com/articles/cancel-culture-targets-charity-donors-nonprofit-causes-free-association-censorship-unmasking-fidelity-philanthropy-privacy-first-amendment-11642524384?___________________________________________________________ 4. Lawmaker wants flags at half-staff once yearly for abortions, By Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, January 19, 2022 A panel of lawmakers has introduced a resolution that would have flags flown at half staff one day a year in recognition of abortions that have been performed since the medical procedure became legal nearly 50 years ago. The bill from Rep. Barbara Ehardt, a Republican from Idaho Falls, would designate Jan. 22 as the “Day of Tears.” The concept comes from a Virginia-based anti-abortion organization of the same name, which seeks to get similar legislation passed in every state. Ehardt told the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday that said “Day of Tears” resolutions are also expected to be introduced this year in Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina. https://apnews.com/article/idaho-idaho-falls-c7f14944f7e46a79c1f9eefcbb041088___________________________________________________________ 5. Pope Francis is right, Children force you to grow up, which millennials want to avoid at all costs, By Don Feder, The Washington Times, January 19, 2022, Pg. B4, Opinion Pope Francis spoke truth to the self-centered and incurred the wrath of the woke. At a recent public audience, the pontiff said the rising plague of childlessness is caused by selfishness, and many young couples have substituted pets for progeny. “We see a form of selfishness,” the pope observed. “People don’t want to have children. Maybe they’ll have one child and not more than that. And many couples don’t have any children because they don’t want any … but they have two dogs and two cats.” Nothing raises the hackles of millennials faster than suggesting that there’s something wrong with choosing not to have children or that their precious fur babies are no substitute for real babies.  When he discusses contemporary culture, I often disagree with Pope Francis. On the selfishness of the childless by choice and the coming Demographic Winter, his views are indisputable. Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer and syndicated columnist. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jan/18/pope-francis-is-right-pets-are-no-substitute-for-p/___________________________________________________________ 6. Pope on prisons: No inmate should ever be deprived of hope, By Frances D’emilio, Associated Press, January 19, 2022 Pope Francis issued a plea on behalf of prison inmates Wednesday, saying they should never be deprived of hope and always be given the opportunity to redeem themselves. In remarks at his weekly public audience at the Vatican, Francis told the faithful that “we risk being imprisoned in a justice that doesn’t allow one to easily get back up again and confuses redemption with punishment.” “For this, I want to recall today in a particular way our brothers and our sisters who are in prison,” the pontiff said. “It’s right that those who have made a mistake pay for their mistake, but it’s even more right that those who have done wrong should be able to redeem oneself from their mistake. There can’t be sentences without windows of hope.’’ https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-pope-francis-health-europe-vatican-city-5c252fdc933b4103178a54c8265ae097___________________________________________________________ 7. Brownback starts group to fund candidates who back religious freedom, ‘Noble cause,’ ex-Kansas governor, religious freedom envoy says, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, January 18, 2022 Former Sen. Sam Brownback on Tuesday announced he is leading a multi-faith group of religious leaders in the launch of a new group to support and fund candidates who commit to supporting religious freedom. The National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF) bills itself as “a non-profit, nonpartisan organization” that will support “candidates of all faiths, or no faith, who support laws and policies that protect everyone’s First Amendment right to peacefully practice their faith according to the dictates of their conscience,” the Kansas Republican, a former U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom, said in a press conference announcing the initiative. “This is a noble cause that we all should celebrate and encourage,” Mr. Brownback added. “We will organize nationally and in each of the 50 states. We will conduct educational campaigns about the necessity and the beauty of this sacred human right.” https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jan/18/brownback-starts-group-fund-candidates-who-back-re/___________________________________________________________ 8. West Virginia lawmakers introduce 15-week abortion ban, By Leah Willingham, Associated Press, January 18, 2022 West Virginia lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks — a proposal nearly identical to the Mississippi law currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. As the nation waits for the court to make a decision later this year in the abortion case that could overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, at least two states — West Virginia and Florida — have introduced bills mirroring Mississippi’s. Both the Florida and West Virginia bills would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-us-supreme-court-health-charleston-legislature-88029bc114aa8913bfe657acdc89f6c5___________________________________________________________ 9. Emily’s List says it will no longer endorse Sen. Sinema as she holds firm on filibuster, By Felicia Sonmez, The Washington Post, January 18, 2022, 7:59 PM Emily’s List, the national group that backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, said Tuesday that it will no longer endorse Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) because she opposes changing Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. In a Senate floor speech last week, Sinema said she would not support changing the chamber’s rules allowing a minority of senators to block legislation. The speech from Sinema, as well as a statement from Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), appeared to deliver a fatal blow to efforts by the White House and fellow Democrats to push through voting rights legislation that Republicans overwhelmingly oppose.  Describing the country as being “at an inflection point in the fight for voting rights and reproductive freedom,” Emily’s List President Laphonza Butler said in a statement Tuesday that the group’s mission “is not possible without free and fair elections.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/emilys-list-says-it-will-no-longer-endorse-sen-sinema-as-she-holds-firm-on-filibuster/2022/01/18/c8f96110-78ab-11ec-9102-d65488c31bb1_story.html___________________________________________________________ 10. Supreme Court Skeptical of Boston’s Exclusion of Christian Flag, Justices hear arguments on city’s refusal to let symbol of Christianity fly in front of City Hall, where various other flags have been featured, By Jess Bravin, The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2022, 5:05 PM The Supreme Court appeared doubtful of Boston’s refusal to fly a flag symbolizing Christianity before City Hall after dozens of other third-party flags ran on the pole, with several justices suggesting that local officials read too strictly the constitutional rule against establishment of religion. A city commissioner thought the Christian Flag, a century-old banner consisting of a white field with a red Latin cross in a blue canton, violated the “so-called separation of church and state,” Justice Neil Gorsuch said during Tuesday arguments. “If that’s mistaken, and if we all agree that’s mistaken,” he said, “what’s left to decide?” https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-skeptical-of-bostons-exclusion-of-christian-flag-11642533237?___________________________________________________________ 11. Ahead of trial, Finnish MP facing jail after tweeting Bible verse says case a test of religious freedom, By Catholic News Agency, January 18, 2022, 3:15 AM A former government minister facing jail after tweeting a Bible verse said that her trial next week will be a test of religious freedom. Päivi Räsänen, a physician and mother of five, explained that she had a “calm mind” ahead of the criminal trial beginning on Jan. 24. “I trust that we still live in a democracy, and we have our constitution and international agreements that guarantee our freedom of speech and religion,” said Räsänen, Finland’s interior minister from 2011 to 2015. “If I win the case, I think that it is a very important step for freedom of speech and religion. I think it’s not only important for Finland but also in Europe and other countries.”  According to ADF International, a Christian legal group that is supporting her, Räsänen could be given a two-year prison sentence for the tweet, after the Finnish Prosecutor General filed criminal charges against her on April 29, 2020.  The Prosecutor General charged Räsänen with incitement against a minority group, arguing that her statements were “likely to cause intolerance, contempt, and hatred towards homosexuals.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250125/ahead-of-trial-finnish-mp-facing-jail-after-tweeting-bible-verse-says-case-a-test-of-religious-freedom___________________________________________________________

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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