TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 248 – Brian Clowes On March For Life & Tips For Building Stronger Marriages! As tens of thousands march for LIFE in our nation’s capital, we talk with Brian Clowes of Human Life International about ways to build a true culture of life in our post-Roe world. With the liberal media embracing open marriages and promoting polyamory, Ashley McGuire joins to discuss the true beauty of marriage and family, pointing to statistics that show married couples with children are the happiest! Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. The March for Life rallies against abortion with an eye toward the November elections, By Ashraf Khalil, Associated Press, January 19, 2024, 6:19 AM More than a year after a generational victory for their movement, opponents of abortion rights are rallying in the nation’s capital on Friday with an eye on presidential elections that could be heavily influenced by abortion politics. Thousands of protesters are expected on the National Mall for an hour of speeches and a march past the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court. But snow and frigid temperatures have been gripping the Washington metropolitan area, which could affect turnout for the march. Friday’s March for Life is the second such event since the June 2022 Supreme Court ruling that ended the federal protection for abortion rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade. Last year’s march was understandably triumphant, with organizers relishing a state-by-state fight in legislatures around the country. That fight rages on, with mixed results. The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reverted abortion lawmaking back to the states, and 14 states are now enforcing bans on abortion throughout pregnancy. Two more have such bans on hold because of court rulings. And another two have bans that take effect when cardiac activity can be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy — often before women know they’re pregnant. But abortion restrictions have also lost at the ballot box in Ohio, Kansas and Kentucky. 2. Pregnancy resource centers must not be excluded from government funding, By Rep. Chris Smith, The Washington Times, January 19, 2024, Opinion Pregnancy resource centers — supported by 83% of Americans — are an “oasis of love, compassion, empathy, respect, and care for both mothers and their precious children.” At a pregnancy resource center dinner in New Jersey, two women expressed though tears of joy their deep and abiding gratitude for the love, respect and care that persuaded them to reverse their decision to abort their babies. Then, two teenage girls spoke and thanked the director of the center for helping their mothers, who had just spoken about those difficult times. The girls said that if the director hadn’t been there for their mothers, “we’d be dead.” There are more than 2,700 pregnancy resource centers in the United States — each and every one of them an oasis of love, compassion, empathy, respect and care for mothers and their precious children. Americans agree. The new Marist national poll released this week found that 83% of Americans, including 75% of Democrats, support — I say again, support — pregnancy resource centers. Like all of us in this great human rights movement, they stand with every woman and for every child. We reject the violence of abortion — dismemberment, child beheadings and abortion pills that literally starve the unborn baby to death.  This week, under Speaker Mike Johnson’s leadership, two important pro-life bills authored by two courageous lawmakers, Michelle Fischbach and Ashley Hinson, passed the House. Ms. Fischbach’s legislation would prohibit President Biden’s new policy proposal that discriminates against pregnancy resource centers. The measure, the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act, would ensure that pregnancy resource centers cannot be excluded or restricted from receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding, which the president has proposed in a rule. Ms. Hinson’s Pregnant Students’ Rights Act would require colleges and universities to communicate and distribute information informing pregnant students of their rights, and the accommodations and resources available to them.  The United States and the world must more fully recognize the breathtaking miracle of the newly created life of an unborn child and that women deserve better than abortion. Chris Smith, a Republican congressman from New Jersey and co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, is serving his 22nd term. 3. Pope applauds pro-life leader after key Italian vote on assisted suicide, By Crux, January 19, 2024 Two days after the Italian region centering on the city of Venice narrowly failed to adopt a liberalized law on physician-assisted suicide, Pope Francis met Italy’s best-known pro-life leader who had been a major critic of the proposed legislation. Given that Massimo Gandolfini, founder of Italy’s “Family Day” movement, is routinely described in the Italian press as an “ultra-conservative,” the fact he was warmly received by Francis marks the latest reminder that despite the pontiff’s reputation as a progressive, he nevertheless can be surprisingly traditional on matters such as abortion, assisted suicide and “gender theory.” 4. Africans applaud British Lord’s push on Christian ‘genocide’ in Nigeria, By Ngala Killian Chimtom, Crux, January 19, 2024 A leading Catholic research entity in Africa has welcomed the call by a British Catholic politician in the UK for urgent action to resist the persecution of Christians in Nigeria. Johan Viljoen, director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute, an entity of the Southern Catholic Bishops’ Conference, called the recent push by Lord David Alton of Liverpool “commendable.” “Other major powers should follow suit, by demanding action from the Nigerian government. Any foreign assistance or investment to Nigeria should be made conditional to the strict observance of human rights,” Viljoen said. The reaction came after Alton used a Jan. 11 address in the British House of Lords to demand that the UK government address the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria as a matter of urgency, especially in the wake of Christmas massacres in the country’s Plateau State that claimed the lives of more than 200 Christians. 5. Vatican official says ties with Vietnam strengthening, predicts papal trip, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, January 19, 2024 After meeting Vietnamese officials Thursday, a top Vatican diplomat has said he will travel to Vietnam this spring as the two countries continue to make significant strides toward rapprochement, and that a papal trip is a likely possibility at some point in the future. A delegation representing the Communist Party of Vietnam visited the Vatican Thursday, holding private meetings with Pope Francis, Vatican Secretary of State Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, British Archbishop Paul Gallagher. The meeting comes several months after Vietnam and the Holy See last year struck an agreement for the appointment of a resident papal representative in the country. Speaking to journalists on the margins of a Jan. 18 press conference for activities commemorating the bicentenary of the death of Cardinal Ercole Consalvi, a legendary Secretary of State under Pope Pius VII in the Napoleonic era, Gallagher described his meeting with the delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam as having gone “very well.” 6. House votes to protect pro-life pregnancy centers from Biden plan to deny them funding, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, January 19, 2024, 5:00 AM The House of Representatives passed a resolution to maintain funding for pro-life pregnancy resource centers Thursday amid efforts within President Joe Biden’s administration to deny the facilities funding under a federal assistance program. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minnesota, would prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from stripping funds from the centers, which offer support for pregnant women and mothers who are in crisis pregnancies as an alternative to abortion. The resolution would thwart a proposed HHS rule change that would prohibit the facilities from accessing funds through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Republicans overwhelmingly supported the resolution, titled the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act, arguing that the facilities provide much-needed help to pregnant women. Alternatively, House Democrats, who claimed that the facilities provide false information about abortion, opposed the bill. It faces an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate. 7. Robert George Champions ‘Unborn Children and Equal Protection’, We must defend the defenseless., By Robert P. George, National Catholic Register, January 19, 2024 On Jan. 22, 1973, in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the laws of 50 states prohibiting or significantly restricting abortion. In the name of a generalized “right to privacy” allegedly implicit in the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, seven justices (Blackmun, Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall and Powell) created a license to kill the unborn. These men probably had no idea that they were unleashing a struggle for the soul of the nation — a struggle that continues to this day. Five of the Roe justices had been appointed by Republican presidents: two by Eisenhower, three by Nixon. Four of these five were regarded as conservative, “law-and-order” judges. All no doubt believed that legal abortion was an enlightened and humane policy, one that would ease the burdens of many women and girls and relieve the enormous cost to society of a high birthrate among indigent, often unmarried, women. They seemed blithely to assume that abortion would be easily integrated into the fabric of American social and political life.  Still, while there are good grounds for hope, there are no guarantees. As in all things, for us, there is only the honest and dedicated trying. The victory is ultimately in God’s hands and will come, if it does come, in his time and on his terms. We do know this: Our prayers, political and educational efforts and outreach to pregnant women in need have, by God’s mercy, already saved countless precious lives. We must not lose sight of this fact in our grief at the loss of so many others due to the injustice of our laws and the coldness of so many hearts toward abortion’s tiny victims. And we have indeed, with nearly unimaginable constancy and effort, achieved our proximate goal of overturning the moral and constitutional abomination that was Roe v. Wade. Reflecting on the carnage of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address concluded that “the great scourge of war” had been brought upon both North and South as punishment for the national sin of slavery. Perhaps God saw fit to let the nation survive despite that sin because of the sincere, selfless, prayerful and untiring efforts of the enemies of slavery to end that monstrous evil. Thanks be to God, the conflict over abortion has not produced, and will not produce, a civil war. Still, we must not forget that we are a people under judgment. We are called to account for the national sin of abortion. Like Thomas Jefferson, we must “tremble for our country when we consider that God is just.” We must pray that God, in his mercy, will not abandon us but will rather restore us to the ideals of our nation’s founding: our commitment to liberty and justice for all. We must plead that he will once again let the nation survive. This time, though, the question is not whether there will be a political entity called “the United States of America” on the North American continent; rather, it is whether the United States of America will remain a nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” 8. Biden’s campaign pushes abortion rights in the 2024 battle with Republicans, By Chris Megerian, Associated Press, January 18, 2024, 11:02 AM President Joe Biden’s reelection team is preparing a nationwide series of events and an advertising campaign focused on the battle over abortion rights, highlighting what Democrats believe will be a potent political weapon against likely Republican nominee Donald Trump. Vice President Kamala Harris has led the charge on the issue for the White House and will hold the first event in Wisconsin on Monday, which would have been the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the lawsuit that led to the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.Then Biden, Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will travel to Virginia on Tuesday for another campaign stop focused on abortion. It will be their first joint appearance for the 2024 reelection campaign. 9. Knights of Columbus poll: Two-thirds of Americans support some abortion restrictions, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, January 18, 2024, 3:45 PM About two-thirds of Americans support some level of government restrictions on abortion, according to a recent poll released by the Knights of Columbus.  The poll, which the Knights conducted with Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College, found that 66% of Americans believe that “limits should be placed on when abortion is allowed” and only 33% believe that “abortion should be allowed without any limits” when given the two options. Respondents who labeled themselves pro-life were more likely to support limits on abortion, with 91% choosing that answer. Among respondents who said they were pro-choice, 48% still believed there should be some limits on abortion. About 84% of Republicans supported some limits on abortion, as did 49% of Democrats and 66% of independents.  About 40% of respondents said that abortion should not be allowed in most circumstances: 9% said it should not be allowed in any circumstance, 9% said it should only be allowed to save the life of the mother, and 22% said it should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. 10. Marking One Month of ‘Fiducia Supplicans’: Opposition Shows No Signs of Abating, Criticism of the document that authorized the blessing of same-sex couples is seen as unprecedented by some Church historians., By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, January 18, 2024 One month after the Vatican released Fiducia Supplicans allowing the blessing of same-sex couples, the backlash the document triggered shows no signs of diminishing. The criticism has been so pointed and widespread, in fact, some historians say that never before has a papal document provoked such opposition and confusion, leaving many observers to wonder how the fallout can be resolved. “The existence of a sharp contrast between bishops and cardinals within the Church is now a reality that cannot be denied,” Church historian Roberto de Mattei told the Register. Pope Francis, he believes, “is provoking a deeper crisis than all the previous ones, not only because of the breadth of opposition, but also because of the fact that it comes from those ‘peripheries’ that Pope Francis has indicated as the authentic expression of the Church.” Approved by Pope Francis and published shortly before Christmas on Dec. 18, the declaration specifically allows, for the first time, non-liturgical blessings of same-sex couples and others in “irregular relationships.” The Vatican described its publication as an “innovative” step, broadening the meaning of blessings while at the same time remaining “firm” on the “traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage.”  A clear characteristic running through the document, said professor De Mattei, is “modernism” that “affirms fidelity to the Church’s magisterium while, with unscrupulous intellectual acrobatics, it overturns it.” Africa, he pointed out, is experiencing the greatest growth of baptized Catholics and, quoting Cardinal Robert Sarah, he said the bishops of Africa are “the heralds of divine truth in the face of the power and wealth of some episcopates of the West” who “believe themselves to be evolved, modern and wise in the wisdom of the world.” De Mattei also said the gravity of the revolt is heightened because it follows Francis’ wish to “democratize” the Church through synodality, giving bishops “a higher authority than the Roman one.”  Pope Francis, meanwhile, remains undaunted. Speaking to Roman clergy on Jan. 13, he said sometimes when a decision is not accepted, “it’s because you don’t understand.”  “The danger is when I don’t like something and I set it in my heart, I become a resistance and come to ugly conclusions,” he added. “This has happened with this last decision about blessing everyone.” 11. A Pivotal Year for Pro-Lifers, With a presidential election, a pair of abortion cases before the Supreme Court and numerous state measures on the ballot, Catholics must march for life all year long., By Michael Warsaw, National Catholic Register, January 18, 2024, Opinion The 2020 presidential election cycle was uniquely challenging for faithfully pro-life Catholics — yet the stakes are even higher this time around in 2024. After Joe Biden’s triumph in November 2020, the U.S. bishops were unable to celebrate the election of the second Catholic president of the United States without reservation. Instead, they were forced to take immediate steps in an attempt to counter the implementation of the new president’s extremist pro-abortion agenda, which runs completely contrary to what his professed Church teaches about the sanctity of unborn life.  Three years later, the bishops’ worst fears about the direction of the Biden administration have been confirmed. At every opportunity, legislatively as well as administratively, the president has pushed forward with his abortion extremism, in open defiance to what his faith declares about the issue that the U.S. bishops have reaffirmed repeatedly as the “preeminent priority” for Catholic voters.  Even worse, in close collaboration with the abortion lobby and the overwhelmingly pro-abortion Democratic caucuses on Capitol Hill, Biden is seeking to eradicate the opportunities for pro-life legislation at the state level that were created in June 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had wrongly held abortion to be a federal constitutional right.   At this pivotal pro-life moment, U.S. Catholics need to commit ourselves to marching forward boldly with this life-affirming message — not only on Jan. 19, not only throughout this crucial election year, but, rather, at every opportunity in our daily lives. The stakes are life itself, so we can’t afford to do anything less in terms of carrying our faithful convictions into the public square. Michael Warsaw Michael Warsaw is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the EWTN Global Catholic Network, and the Publisher of the National Catholic Register. 12. Rubio Memo Lays Out Pro-Life Strategy for GOP, By Mary Margaret Olohan, The Daily Signal, January 16, 2024 Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has a plan for a Republican Party struggling to message on abortion post-Roe v. Wade. “Pro-life Americans, leaders, and elected officials should consider three distinct, but related, steps to reverse course,” Rubio writes in a memo first obtained by The Daily Signal. The senator plans to share the memo with his colleagues in Congress this week ahead of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, The Daily Signal has learned. “First, we need to develop and fight for a compassionate, pro-family agenda that counters caricatures of our beliefs and makes life easier for mothers and their children,” he writes. “Second, we need to put Democrats on the defensive about their extreme support for abortion. Third, we need to tell the truth about what abortion is—the taking of innocent life—and advocate limits to the practice.” The senator told The Daily Signal that although the abortion landscape may have shifted, the stakes have not. “Our mission remains unchanged: Building a nation where every life is cherished and protected,” he explained.  Rubio’s three-part strategy—to fight for a pro-family agenda, to highlight Democratic extremism, and to tell the truth about the horrors of abortion—includes a point often lost in translation on Capitol Hill: Republicans have the moral high ground on an issue dealing with the killing of an unborn child. “Pro-lifers should recall that protecting unborn human beings is the moral center and purpose of our movement—and we cannot be shy about saying so,” he noted. “No pro-life strategy deserves the name without advocating just limits on abortion.” “This moment is an opportunity for Republicans to refocus and remember who we are,” he writes. “Our party believes in the dignity of the human person, the importance of family, and the unalienable right to life. There is no cause that unites those beliefs more perfectly, and that motivates tens of millions of our party’s supporters more fully, than the pro-life cause. We have a responsibility to advocate effectively for that cause.”

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.