1. Abortion debate to drive election, By David Jackson, USA Today, January 24, 2022Advocates who support and those who oppose abortion rights aren’t waiting around for a new Supreme Court ruling on the subject. They’re already operating in a political world without Roe v. Wade. Organizations are spending more and revamping campaign strategies for voter turnout and candidate support for the midterm elections, assuming the Supreme Court will overturn the landmark abortion rights case.  Abortion rights activists fear the worst, given the still-new ideological makeup of the Supreme Court. Conservative jurists, including critics of the Roe ruling, enjoy a 6-3 advantage because of the addition of three justices appointed by President Donald Trump: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Abortion rights supporters have used the threat of a Roe reversal in recent elections with mixed results. This year, they are already campaigning on the real thing. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2022/01/21/abortion-roe-v-wade-activism/6566254001/?___________________________________________________________ 2. Women Shouldn’t Need Abortions for Equality, By Tish Harrison Warren, The New York Times, January 24, 2022, Opinion But when it comes to abortion, the left can speak of personal choice in overly simplistic ways. As we recall the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade this weekend, it’s worth asking what kind of world this decision helped create. What is often unacknowledged is that the widespread availability and at times encouragement of abortion creates systemic realities where abortion becomes the easier choice for women who have unintended pregnancies — to the extent where these women can feel that it is their only choice. Carrying a human life to term and either raising a child or placing a child with an adoptive family are, in all circumstances, arduous goods — moral, spiritual and social goods that also carry significant difficulty and risk. The choice to do something that is good but hard seems more or less possible to us because of what the culture around us values, celebrates, supports and finds acceptable.  Carrying a child to term will never be easy (and is, of course, more difficult than recycling). But a culture deciding that all life — including life in the womb — is valuable and worthy of protection would create systemic realities that open up ethical and practical possibilities for women. In the same way, a culture that embraces abortion on demand will end up, however unintentionally, incentivizing that choice. This has downstream consequences for women deciding whether to continue with a pregnancy. Tish Harrison Warren (@Tish_H_Warren) is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America and author of “Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep.” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/22/opinion/roe-legal-abortion.html___________________________________________________________ 3. Former pope was at meeting where pedophile priest discussed, By Associated Press, January 24, 2022, 7:12 AM Retired Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged that he did attend a 1980 meeting at which the transfer of a pedophile priest to his then-diocese was discussed, saying an editorial error was responsible for his previous assertion that he wasn’t there. Authors of a report on sexual abuse between 1945 and 2019 in the Munich archdiocese, which Benedict — then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — led from 1977 to 1982, on Thursday faulted his handling of four cases during his time as archbishop and said his claim that he wasn’t at the meeting lacked credibility. Benedict, who provided lengthy written testimony, denies any wrongdoing on his part.  [Benedict’s longtime secretary, Monsignor Georg] Gaenswein added that Benedict is still reading carefully through the report and will need some time to finish doing so. He added that there will be a statement from the former pope on the report and that it also will spell out how the erroneous assertion about the meeting happened. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/former-pope-was-at-meeting-where-pedophile-priest-discussed/2022/01/24/f7b4e206-7d0e-11ec-8cc8-b696564ba796_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Tennessee Couple Say Adoption Agency Turned Them Away for Being Jewish, By Christine Hauser, The New York Times, January 23, 2022, Pg. A22 Last year, Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram, a Jewish couple living in Tennessee, planned to adopt a boy in Florida. But on the day they were set to begin a family-training course required in their state, an initial step in the process, the agency that had been scheduled to provide the training backed out, saying the couple did not share its Christian beliefs, a lawsuit says.  The lawsuit, filed in state court in Tennessee on Wednesday, comes nearly two years after Gov. Bill Lee signed a law that allows state-funded child-placement agencies to decline to assist in cases that ”would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”  In addition to the couple, the lawsuit names as plaintiffs four religious leaders and two Tennessee residents who objected to their taxes being used to fund the alleged discrimination. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/22/us/tennessee-jewish-couple-adoption.html___________________________________________________________ 5. For first time, Pope Francis installs women in two church ministries, By Inés San Martín, Crux, January 23, 2022 Pope Francis installed women as well as men from all over the world as catechists and lectors on Sunday, marking a break with what had been church law reserving those ministries to men, even if women have performed those functions in many parts of the Catholic world for decades without the formal designation. Francis conferred the ministries during a celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica of the Sunday of the Word of God, which he instituted in 2019, to encourage among all Catholics an interest in knowing the sacred Scriptures and their central role in the life of the church and the Christian faith. https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/01/for-first-time-pope-francis-installs-women-in-two-church-ministries___________________________________________________________ 6. To tell the Catholic story this week, you need both Munich and Mustafa, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, January 23, 2022, Opinion ver the centuries, the Catholic Church often has led the pack in two distinct specialties: Breaking your heart, and then stitching it back together again with a fresh infusion of hope. This past week brought classic examples of both. Out of Munich, we got a report from a law firm commissioned by the archdiocese documenting almost 500 cases of clerical sexual abuse stretching over 74 years, including four abusers who served on the watch of the future Pope Benedict XVI when he served as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.  Whatever one makes of the report at the level of detail – and there’s already vigorous debate over its assertions about the then-Cardinal Ratzinger – on the whole, it’s another depressing reminder of the way the abuse scandals have laid waste to both the church’s moral credibility and also its internal morale. Yet beyond Munich, there’s also Mustafa. He’s a 5-year-old from Syria born without limbs due to a developmental problem during pregnancy, apparently caused by his mother’s inhalation of chemical weapons during an attack by government forces during the Syrian Civil War. His father, Munzir al-Nazzal, also lost a leg during the conflict.  As for Mustafa, Caritas in Siena has pledged not only to provide housing, but also to pay for food expenses and pocket money for the family. They’ve also volunteered to help them forge relationships in the city to favor the process of integration in Italy, including learning the language – presumably a far easier task for the young children than mother and father. (Language school, however, will have to wait until the family has completed Italy’s mandatory COVID quarantine for new arrivals who aren’t fully vaccinated.) Reportedly, Cardinal Augusto Lojudice of Siena played a key role in working with Italy’s Foreign Ministry to secure the necessary entrance visas for the family, and in overseeing plans for their assistance now that they’re in the country. Coincidentally, the 57-year-old Lojudice currently is considered among the candidates to succeed Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia as president of the Italian bishops’ conference when Bassetti turns 80 in April. While Mustafa’s future is anyone’s guess, it seems a safe bet it’s more likely to be a happy one today than before the Catholic Church got involved. That, in a nutshell, is the Catholic story. For anyone paying attention, this past week brought both agony and ecstasy, both pain and pride – much as the Church has done, often on a weekly basis, for the last 2,000 years, and undoubtedly will continue to do until the end. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/01/to-tell-the-catholic-story-this-week-you-need-both-munich-and-mustafa___________________________________________________________ 7. Archbishop: Church, its people stand ready to help expectant mothers, By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, January 23, 2022 The Catholic Church and its people stand ready not only to help expectant mothers bring their pregnancies to term but to assist women who have had abortions, said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. The ministries are many, he said in his homily at the Jan. 20 Mass that began the annual National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The vigil was held prior to the Jan. 21 March for Life in Washington. “I salute Project Rachel and other pioneering ministries that provide healing and spiritual renewal to women and couples after an abortion,” Lori said in his homily. He also praised the Sisters of Life, which he called “a growing religious community of women who, by their way of life, bear witness to the beauty and dignity of every human life.” https://cruxnow.com/cns/2022/01/archbishop-church-its-people-stand-ready-to-help-expectant-mothers___________________________________________________________ 8. With new AG, Virginia takes new position on abortion case, By Associated Press, January 22, 2022 Virginia’s new attorney general has altered the state’s position on a closely watched abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court, with his office now saying it should be left to individual states to decide on restrictions. When Democrat Mark Herring was attorney general, the state joined more than 20 other states in a brief filed in September urging the justices to declare unconstitutional Mississippi’s law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Herring was a strong supporter of abortion rights. Republican Jason Miyares, an abortion opponent, defeated Herring in November and took office last weekend.https://apnews.com/article/us-supreme-court-health-virginia-0d0a33c018eb82297cb2b7211ac7f4cb___________________________________________________________ 9. Biden reaffirms support for abortion on anniversary of Roe v. Wade, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, January 22, 2022, 10:40 AM President Joe Biden pledged to defend a so-called right to abortion and reaffirmed his commitment to the widespread availability of the procedure in a Jan. 22 statement marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. “The constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago today is under assault as never before,” reads the statement, which was co-signed by Vice President Kamala Harris. “It is a right we believe should be codified into law, and we pledge to defend it with every tool we possess.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250190/president-joe-biden-and-vice-president-kamala-harris-release-pro-abortion-statement-on-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade___________________________________________________________ 10. Monks in New Mexico desert dedicated to hospitality reflect on two years without guests, By Chris Moody, The Washington Post, January 22, 2022, 8:00 AM Hidden in this canyon of crimson sandstone cliffs encompassed by miles of federally protected wilderness, the Monastery of Christ in the Desert seems like an ideal place to ride out a pandemic. For more than 50 years, a small community of Benedictine monks has quietly lived, worked and worshiped here in a cluster of off-grid adobe buildings along the banks of northern New Mexico’s Chama River. Considered the most remote Catholic monastery in the hemisphere, it can be reached only by a 13-mile single-lane earthen road that winds through the canyon. Abiquiú, the closest village — population 151 — is 25 miles away. Groves of cottonwood and willows line the river where bald eagles hunt for rainbow trout. Black bears, coyotes and cougars prowl the pinyon- and sage-scented Santa Fe National Forest, which surrounds the monastery. Despite the difficult journey, outsiders have flocked to this serene abbey for decades in search of spiritual renewal. As adherents of the sixth-century Rule of Saint Benedict, which teaches that monasteries are to treat visitors as they would Jesus himself, the monks graciously welcome outsiders.  For nearly two years now, guests have been prohibited from staying at the monastery, leaving the monks in a position they have never faced before. “Guests are part of who we are,” said Brother Chrysostom, the monastery’s bearded guestmaster, who joined the fellowship in 2017. “We can only go so long without guests, and not just for financial reasons. For identity reasons. Not having visitors would betray the whole Benedictine charism.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/monks-in-new-mexico-desert-dedicated-to-hospitality-reflect-on-two-years-without-guests/2022/01/21/bbe4a932-6f35-11ec-b9fc-b394d592a7a6_story.html___________________________________________________________ 11. We marched for life. And for the true equality of women, Roe v. Wade has destroyed women and unborn children. It is time to recognize that human rights begin in the womb., By Ashley McGuire, USA Today, January 22, 2022, 8:00 AM, Opinion The 2022 March for Life was different than the 48 that preceded it. This year, we marched on the brink of a post-Roe world.   That’s cause for histrionics among abortion-rights advocates. But for March for Life supporters, it’s cause for a calm and steadfast seriousness. The end of Roe is hardly the end of our work as a movement. Rather, it’s a critical marker in our efforts to build up a culture where women flourish freed from the death tax of abortion. The first March for Life, held the year after Roe v. Wade, drew about 20,000 people. Now the crowds are estimated to have grown at least tenfold. Every year the press dings the march by issuing some variation on the headline, “Thousands attend anti-abortion rally.” But everyone knows the truth; the movement has ballooned, in size and savvy, in the decades that have passed since abortion became legal.  Overturning Roe would restore the right of the people to have a say in the laws governing and regulating abortion. But building a society in which mothers flourish is a much larger project, one that demands a new radicalism that celebrates and protects what makes women different. Equality begins in the womb, as the theme of this year’s March for Life attests. But defending the womb safeguards equality between the sexes. Our movement has been hard at work tilling the soil of a society where women can thrive as women, rather than as imitations of men built on the broken bones of our babies. We march knowing full well that that work doesn’t end with Roe. Rather, it begins anew. Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2022/01/22/march-life-end-roe-wade-era/6596288001/___________________________________________________________ 12. Pro-abortion message projected on Catholic National Shrine, By Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner, January 21, 2022, 8:59 AM This year’s march has seen a new injection of politics because of President Joe Biden’s efforts to expand abortion protections and attack states trying to end it. Biden is a mass-attending Catholic. He has come under fire from CatholicVote.org, which this week launched a “Catholic Accountability Project” to expose pro-abortion Catholic politicians and celebrities. The postings by Jenkins prompted the anti-abortion group to tweet, “The president of the United States is the most prominent Catholic in America. He must condemn this immediately. His implicit defiance of Catholic social teaching on life has fueled this division in our church that activists are now exploiting.” They added, “Abortion is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. As in the past, there will be those who resist the forward march of justice. Whether they’re burning crosses or putting offensive messages on churches, we pray for their conversion. And we march on.” https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/washington-secrets/pro-abortion-message-projected-on-catholic-national-shrine___________________________________________________________ 13. Pope vows justice for abuse victims after Ratzinger faulted, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, January 21, 2022, 9:53 AM Pope Francis vowed Friday to provide justice to victims of clergy sexual abuse and German authorities called for further investigation after an independent audit faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI for having botched four cases of abuse when he was archbishop of Munich, Germany. The fallout from the report continued to reverberate Friday as church officials digested the findings that a pope credited with having turned the Vatican around on the abuse issue had in fact mishandled cases earlier in his career. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-vows-justice-for-abuse-victims-after-ratzinger-faulted/2022/01/21/689b7536-7aa6-11ec-9dce-7313579de434_story.html___________________________________________________________

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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