TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 196 – Sisters Of Life On Marching In A Post-Roe World & Elizabeth Kirk Talks Beauty Of Adoption As thousands take to the streets for the first time marching for LIFE in a post-Roe world this weekend, Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review joins alongside Sister Mary Grace of the Sisters of Life to discuss how we can best move forward helping mothers choose life in this new era where abortion is no longer law of the land. Considering the statistic that for every one child adopted, 50 are aborted, Elizabeth Kirk joins sharing the beauty of this option given her own personal experience. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for Word of God Sunday. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. After Roe, Republicans Wrestle With What It Means to Be ‘Pro-Life’, Activists are pushing for tougher abortion restrictions, while politicians fear turning off swing voters who don’t support strict limits like a national ban, By Lisa Lerer and Katie Glueck, The New York Times, January 20, 2023, 5:00 AM For decades, opposition to abortion was a crucial but relatively clear-cut litmus test for Republican candidates: support overturning a constitutional right to an abortion, back anti-abortion judges and vote against taxpayer funding for the procedure. But now, six months after the Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights, the test has grown a whole lot harder — and potentially more politically treacherous. Even after a backlash in support of abortion rights cost Republicans key seats in the midterm elections, a restive socially conservative wing is pushing the party’s lawmakers to embrace deeper restrictions. That effort is likely to be on stark display on Friday in Washington, when anti-abortion activists gather for what is expected to be a lower-key version of their annual march. These activists and their allies are pressuring potential Republican presidential contenders to call for a national ban. Raising the stakes nearly two years before the 2024 contest, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, one of the most powerful anti-abortion groups, said that any candidate who does not support federal restrictions should be “disqualified” from winning the party’s nomination. But some Republican strategists worry that such a position could repel general-election swing voters, who polls show are turned off by the idea of a national ban. Other conservative activists are pushing for a new series of litmus tests that include restrictions on medication abortion, protections for so-called crisis pregnancy centers that discourage women from having abortions, and promises of fiercely anti-abortion appointees to run the Justice Department and the Food and Drug Administration. For Republican politicians, these activists are forcing the question of what, exactly, it means to be “pro-life” in a post-Roe v. Wade era. 2. March for Life returns to D.C. with a question: Now what?, With the long-sought goal of overturning Roe v. Wade achieved, antiabortion activists set new priorities., By Michelle Boorstein and Justine McDaniel, The Washington Post, January 20, 2023, 5:00 AM This year is a very different March for Life. Created in response to the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion across the country, the march has now achieved its stated aim of overturning the decision, thrilling activists like Scheidler. But as they stream to the National Mall on Friday, the protesters — and the antiabortion movement as a whole — are stepping into a new, uncertain era. Scheidler will be marching, as always, but what will become of this worldwide annual symbol, she says, isn’t clear.  “I don’t know. The national March For Life has launched a lot of marches around the country because they know the focus will move to the states. I think there is definitely something to us gathering annually in Washington, but I don’t know after this year — we’ll have to wait and see,” she said. “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to go somewhere in January where the weather is bad.” Officially, Friday’s march seeks to formalize this new phase, changing the route to pass the U.S. Capitol on the way to its longtime destination, the Supreme Court. The change, the march website says, reflects “that many national legislative battles loom” and “our need to maintain a presence in Washington.” The organization has created five state-level marches, and by 2030 aims to have one in every state. 3. FBI offers $25,000 reward for info on attacks on pro-life centers, critics ask what took so long, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, January 20, 2023, Pg. A2 The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information on a series of attacks and threats to pro-life pregnancy centers and offices, eight months after the start of the crime spree tied to the fall of Roe v. Wade. The bureau announced Thursday that it would pay up to $25,000 for information “leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for these crimes.” “Today’s announcement reflects the FBI’s commitment to vigorously pursue investigations into crimes against pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations, and reproductive health clinics across the country,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We will continue to work closely with our national, state, and local law enforcement partners to hold responsible anyone who uses extremist views to justify their criminal actions.”  At least 78 pro-life facilities have been attacked since the leak, according to the CatholicVote tracker, but the FBI has yet to announce any arrests, spurring frustration among pro-life advocates. CatholicVote president Brian Burch said he was pleased to see the Justice Department “finally acknowledge the widespread attacks on pregnancy resource centers.” But he wanted to know why the FBI waited until now. 4. Opening March for Life, bishop thanks pro-lifers but warns of tall task ahead, By John Lavenburg, Crux, January 20, 2023 Celebrating a Mass for the first National Prayer Vigil for Life in a post-Roe v. Wade nation, a senior U.S. prelate offered a message of gratitude for the efforts of pro-life advocates over the years but also a reminder of the tall task ahead. “Today we have so much to celebrate. For the first time in the 49-year-history of the March for Life, we can say that Roe vs. Wade, a blight on our nation, our system of justice, and our culture, is no more,” Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, said in his homily, drawing applause. “This is a moment for joy, and for gratitude; a moment to recall the countless souls who have dedicated themselves to political and social action, to prayer, and to service in the name of this cause.” “But even as we celebrate, we must remember: this is the beginning, not the end,” he continued. “A new important phase of work in the pro-life movement begins now.” 5. Cardinal says book by Benedict XVI’s secretary ‘unseemly’, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, January 19, 2023, 9:07 AM The archbishop of Vienna, a longtime friend and former student of Pope Benedict XVI, has confirmed that it was he who wrote a letter to his former teacher urging him to accept election as pontiff in 2005 if the votes went his way. Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn issued a statement Wednesday confirming a revelation in a new book by Benedict’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, that was published soon after Benedict died Dec. 31 at age 95. The book, “Nothing But the Truth: My Life Beside Pope Benedict XVI,” already has generated controversy, because it revealed confidential communications and exposed the tensions that simmered during the decade in which Benedict lived as an emeritus pope alongside Pope Francis. Schoenborn said the publication of the book was an “unseemly indiscretion” and distanced himself from it 6. Religious leaders sue to block Missouri’s abortion ban, By Jim Salter, Associated Press, January 19, 2023, 3:36 PM A group of religious leaders who support abortion rights filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging Missouri’s abortion ban, saying lawmakers openly invoked their religious beliefs while drafting the measure and thereby imposed those beliefs on others who don’t share them. The lawsuit filed in St. Louis is the latest of many to challenge restrictive abortion laws enacted by conservative states after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. That landmark ruling left abortion rights up to each state to decide. Since then, religious abortion rights supporters have increasingly used religious freedom lawsuits in seeking to protect abortion access. The religious freedom complaints are among nearly three dozen post-Roe lawsuits that have been filed against 19 states’ abortion bans, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.  It quotes the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Nick Schroer, as saying that “as a Catholic I do believe life begins at conception and that is built into our legislative findings.” A co-sponsor, Republican state Rep. Barry Hovis, said he was motivated “from the Biblical side of it,” according to the lawsuit. 7. After Supreme Court ruling, can jails show Christian television?, A man detained in a Virginia jail sued, saying Sunday broadcasts of Christian services violated his rights as a Sunni Muslim, By Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post, January 19, 2023, 11:04 AM A Virginia jail broadcasts Christian services on televisions throughout the facility every Sunday. Six years ago, a man detained at the facility sued, saying the practice violated his rights as a Sunni Muslim. But an appellate court says it cannot rule on whether showing the programs is constitutional, because the U.S. Supreme Court has changed the way it interprets government establishment of religion.  Judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit say that until last year, they would have applied the “Lemon test,” based on a 1971 decision that said the First Amendment prohibited government’s subsidizing of parochial schools. (The lead plaintiff in that case was Alton Lemon, a civil rights activist.) They would have looked at whether the policy had secular goals and effects and whether it would lead to government “entanglement” with religion or appear to be endorsement of one belief system.  “But … the Supreme Court upended that approach” with its ruling in favor of a high school football coach who led postgame prayers on the field, a three-judge panel said this week. “In its place,” the judges said, “courts should use an analysis that focuses on history, tradition, and original meaning.” The unanimous decision was written by Judge Julius N. Richardson, nominated by President Donald Trump, and joined by Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, first nominated by President Bill Clinton, and Judge Rossie Alston, nominated by Trump to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. (District judges occasionally sit on appellate panels.)  The Lemon test is now “finally dead,” Richardson wrote. “… It is now clear that Lemon and its ilk are not good law.” 8. Supreme Court has failed to find leaker of abortion opinion, By Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko, Associated Press, January 19, 2023, 4:49 PM The Supreme Court said Thursday an eight-month investigation that included more than 120 interviews and revealed shortcomings in how sensitive documents are secured has failed to find who leaked a draft of the court’s opinion overturning abortion rights. Ninety-seven employees, including the justices’ law clerks, swore under oath that they did not disclose a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, the court said. It was unclear whether the justices themselves were questioned about the leak, which was the first time an entire opinion made its way to the public before the court was ready to announce it. 9. In new book, the late Benedict XVI defends Christianity against claims of intolerance, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, January 19, 2023, 8:40 AM Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has posthumously defended Christianity against claims of intolerance “in the name of tolerance.” In a new book published in Italy, the late pontiff warns of a “radical manipulation of human beings” and “the distortion of the sexes by gender ideology” in the name of tolerance. Rejecting the argument of a German theologian about monotheism being linked to intolerance, Benedict counters that “the authentic counterweight to every form of intolerance” is, in fact, Christ crucified. The late pontiff’s contribution, dated December 2018, is published in a new collection of texts by the theologian pope, touted by the Italian publisher as a spiritual “quasi-testament.”

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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