1. Ohio Leaders Override Governor’s Veto, Clearing Way for Ban on Transition Care, By Anna Betts and Amy Harmon, The New York Times, January 25, 2024, Pg. A20 Ohio lawmakers on Wednesday overrode Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that would bar transgender minors from receiving puberty blockers, hormone therapy or gender transition surgery. The move by the Republican-controlled state legislature comes less than four weeks after the Republican governor’s veto. The state House voted on Jan. 10 to override Mr. DeWine’s veto, and the Senate has now cleared the way for the law to go into effect, in 90 days.  https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/24/us/ohio-transgender-ban-veto-override.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Cardinal Zen: Fiducia Supplicans ‘creates confusion’; suggests Fernández should resign, By Edward Pentin, Catholic News Agency, January 25, 2024, 8:30 AM Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun said Pope Francis’ recent declaration allowing the blessing of same-sex couples under certain conditions “creates confusion” and suggested that its author, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, should resign or be dismissed.  In a statement published Jan. 23 on his blog, Zen said the declaration Fiducia Supplicans contains numerous passages in need of clarification and “leaves many questions unanswered,” according to an unofficial translation. The 91-year-old Hong Kong cardinal emeritus highlighted in particular how the declaration appeared to him to condone sexual behavior in same-sex relationships by implying such a relationship has an “intrinsic goodness” and can “mature” and “grow.”  Noting how the declaration appears to be similar to Pope Francis’ response to one of five “dubia” that the cardinal and four other cardinals sent last summer in which they sought clarification on same-sex blessings, Zen said Fiducia Supplicans (“Supplicating Trust”) makes the claim that “same-sex sexual love is ‘similar’ to marital love!”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256632/cardinal-zen-fiducia-supplicans-creates-confusion-suggests-fernandez-should-resign__________________________________________________________ 3. Vatican tribunal rejects auditor’s wrongful termination lawsuit in a case that exposed dirty laundry, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, January 24, 2024, 2:29 PM The Vatican tribunal has rejected a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by the Holy See’s former auditor general and ordered him to pay restitution in a case that exposed the unseemly side of Pope Francis’ financial reforms. Libero Milone and his late deputy had sued the Holy See for 9.3 million euros, claiming they were essentially extorted by Vatican police and forced to resign in 2017 or risk arrest and prosecution for their work investigating and auditing the Holy See’s finances. In a decision released Wednesday, the tribunal rejected their claims. The tribunal found that the main target of the lawsuit, the Vatican secretariat of state, couldn’t be held liable for the alleged harm suffered by Milone and his deputy, Ferruccio Panicco. It ordered them to pay more than 110,000 euros in restitution to the secretariat of state and the office of the auditor general, which was also named in the lawsuit. Panicco died last year, but his estate remained as a plaintiff in the case.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/24/vatican-auditor-lawsuit-milone/5c08adae-bae9-11ee-b176-fe5fd794e716_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. More Americans are nonreligious. Who are they and what do they believe?, New report focuses on the ‘nones,’ the fastest growing segment of religion or (nonreligion) in decades. They may reflect the front line of future spirituality., By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, January 24, 2024, 10:00 AM Over the past half-century, as the number of Americans with no religious affiliation has gone from 5 percent to nearly 30 percent, the emphasis has often been on what they were leaving. A report released Wednesday on the “nones” finds that they are diverse, young, left-leaning and may offer clues to the future of making meaning in a secularizing country. The report, from the Pew Research Center, is one of the biggest yet on the nones, and it adds detail to this constituency that has been growing across a wide variety of demographic categories, including age, race, political leaning and education level. As the nation’s fastest-growing segment of religion (or nonreligion) in recent decades, the nones may reflect the front line of future spirituality. Fifty-six percent say they believe in “some higher power” aside from the God of the Bible; 67 percent say they believe that humans have a soul or spirit, and majorities say they believe that nonhuman animals and parts of nature can have spiritual energies. The Pew findings seem to debunk, or at least complicate, the idea that people who leave religion are hostile toward it. The overwhelming majority of nones say religion causes division and intolerance and encourages superstition and illogical thinking, but 58 percent also say religion helps society by giving people meaning and purpose.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2024/01/24/nones-no-religion-study/__________________________________________________________ 5. Religious ‘Nones’ in America: Who They Are and What They Believe, A closer look at how atheists, agnostics and those who describe their religion as ‘nothing in particular’ see God, religion, morality, science and more, By Gregory A. Smith, Patricia Tevington, Justin Nortey, Michael Rotolo, Asta Kallo And Becka A. Alper, Pew Research Center, January 24, 2024 Today, about 28% of U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated, describing themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” when asked about their religion. At Pew Research Center, we get lots of questions about this group, often called the “nones.” What do “nones” believe? Are they opposed to religion? What are their views about science? Is their growth good or bad for society, and why?Our survey data shows:

  • Most “nones” believe in God or another higher power. But very few go to religious services regularly.
  • Most say religion does some harm, but many also think it does some good. They are not uniformly anti-religious.
  • Most “nones” reject the idea that science can explain everything. But they express more positive views of science than religiously affiliated Americans do.

Surveys have consistently shown that many Americans view religion’s declining influence in society as a bad thing. “Nones” tend to vote less often, do less volunteer work in their communities and follow public affairs at lower rates than religiously affiliated people do. But the latest data shows that on a variety of measures, lower rates of civic engagement are concentrated among “nones” whose religion is “nothing in particular.”  And on some measures, attendance at religious services (not religious affiliation alone) is the key differentiator between people who are most civically involved and those who are not. For instance, religiously affiliated people who attend religious services at least once a month volunteer at much higher rates (41%) than both religiously affiliated people who don’t attend services regularly (17%) and “nones” (also 17%).  https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2024/01/24/religious-nones-in-america-who-they-are-and-what-they-believe/__________________________________________________________ 6. Greece faces growing opposition from the Orthodox Church over plans to legalize same-sex marriage, By Derek Gatopoulos, Associated Press, January 24, 2024, 12:37 PM Greece’s center-right government is speeding up its timetable to legalize same-sex marriage despite growing opposition from the powerful Orthodox Church. Government officials said Wednesday that the draft legislation would be put to a vote by mid-February. Greece would become the first Orthodox-majority country to legalize same-sex marriage if the law passes. The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, which heads Orthodox churches around the world, expressed its opposition to the same-sex marriage proposal. “Marriage is the union of man and woman under Christ … and the church does not accept the cohabitation of its members in any form other than marriage,” the Ecumenical Patriarchate said.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/24/greece-orthodox-church-same-sex-marriage/5b585a9e-bada-11ee-b176-fe5fd794e716_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Nevada judge approves signature-gathering stage for petition to put abortion rights on 2024 ballot, By Gabe Stern, Associated Press, January 24, 2024, 7:01 PM A Nevada judge has approved a petition by abortion access advocates as eligible for signature gathering in their long-standing attempt to get abortion rights on the 2024 ballot. Carson City District Judge James T. Russell made the ruling Tuesday, about two months after he struck down a similar yet broader version that, if passed, would have enshrined additional reproductive rights into the state’s constitution. If the Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom political action committee gets enough signatures, a question would appear on the November ballot that would enshrine abortion access into the Nevada constitution for up to 24 weeks, or as needed to protect the health of the pregnant patient. Then, voters would need to pass again on the 2026 ballot to amend the constitution.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/01/24/nevada-abortion-access-ballot/ac03bf40-baff-11ee-b176-fe5fd794e716_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Justice Department urges Supreme Court to maintain access to abortion pill, warning of harms to women, By Melissa Quinn, CBS News, January 24, 2024, 9:40 AM The Biden administration on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to preserve broad access to a widely used abortion pill, warning that limiting its availability would impose “grave harms” on women seeking medication abortions. The Justice Department and Danco Laboratories, the maker of the drug mifepristone, submitted filings to the Supreme Court that laid out their arguments for why the justices should reverse a lower court ruling that would roll back a series of actions taken by the Food and Drug Administration since 2016 that made the pill easier to maintain. Both Danco and the Biden administration defended the FDA’s actions from 2016 and into 2021 as lawful. Those changes included extending how late into a pregnancy mifepristone can be taken from seven weeks to 10 weeks; reducing the number of in-person visits required from three to one; and expanding the health care providers who can prescribe and dispense the drug. Most recently, the FDA said patients could receive mifepristone through the mail.  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-abortion-pill-mifepristone-justice-department/__________________________________________________________ 9. Catholics in Massachusetts, New York urged to oppose assisted suicide bills, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, January 24, 2024, 4:45 PM Residents of Massachusetts and New York are being urged by pro-life leaders and Catholic bishops to raise their voices against upcoming legislation that would legalize assisted suicide. In New York, the “Medical Aid in Dying Act” would allow a terminally ill patient to request medication that would put an end to his life. “A written request for medication … shall be signed and dated by the patient and witnessed by at least two adults who, in the presence of the patient, attest that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, the patient has decision-making capacity, is acting voluntarily, is making the request for medication of his or her own volition, and is not being coerced to sign the request,” the bill says. The New York State Catholic Conference, which opposed the bill the past two legislative sessions, put out a call to action following the start of the 2024 legislative session on Jan. 3.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256631/catholics-in-massachusetts-and-new-york-urged-to-oppose-assisted-suicide-bills__________________________________________________________ 10. Oklahoma archbishop: Supreme Court review of execution could further cause of abolition, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, January 24, 2024, 3:15 PM The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will review the case of an Oklahoma man on death row who may have been wrongfully convicted, a decision the Oklahoma City archbishop says could help further respect for “the dignity of life” for all people.Richard Glossip was first convicted in 1998 for allegedly ordering a handyman at a motel Glossip managed to murder the motel’s owner. Glossip was largely convicted on the handyman’s testimony. Since his initial conviction, two independent investigations have uncovered serious problems with his trial, including allegations of police misconduct and what were reportedly incorrect instructions given to the jury in the case. The state of Oklahoma previously admitted error and asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) to overturn Glossip’s conviction and grant him a new trial, but that court refused to do so and ordered Glossip’s execution to proceed. .  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256628/oklahoma-archbishop-supreme-court-review-of-execution-could-further-cause-of-abolition__________________________________________________________11. Yes, Dobbs Reduced Abortions, By Michael J. New, National Review, January 24, 2024, 10:43 PM, Opinion This past weekend, the New York Times ran a guest essay by historian Daniel K. Williams. In “Dobbs Didn’t Reduce Abortions. The Anti-Abortion Movement Needs a New Vision,” Williams claims that the state-level pro-life laws that have been enacted since the June 2022 Dobbs decision have been unable to reduce the U.S. abortion rate. He argues that strengthening the social safety net is a superior strategy for reducing the incidence of abortion. There are multiple problems with Williams’s analysis. First, for evidence that abortions have increased in the United States, he links to an analysis that cites the Society of FamilyPlanning’s #WeCount project. However, there are legitimate methodological concerns with the #WeCount abortion estimates. In its most recent analysis, it compares twelve months of post-Dobbs data to only two months of pre-Dobbs data. The #WeCount analysts clearly needed to collect more pre-Dobbs abortion data to properly analyze the impact of the Dobbs decision. Furthermore, pro-life policies resulted in abortion declines before the Dobbs decision. Texas started enforcing its Heartbeat Act on September 1, 2021.  Oklahoma started enforcing a heartbeat act in May 2022. That makes the post-Dobbs abortion declines in these states appear less dramatic and complicates the #WeCount analysis.  It is disappointing that Williams has bought into the pro-abortion narrative that legislation is an ineffective strategy for lowering abortion rates. His book Defenders of the Unborn is arguably the best history of the pro-life movement before Roe v. Wade. He demonstrates how the right-to-life movement in the 1960s and early 1970s was more ideologically diverse than it is today. Williams is certainly correct that pro-lifers should think creatively about how best to help pregnant women and mothers in a post-Dobbs world.  However, he should more candidly acknowledge the real success that pro-life laws have had in protecting both mothers and unborn children. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/yes-dobbs-reduced-abortions/__________________________________________________________

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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