1. France’s National Assembly votes on enshrining women’s rights to abortion in French Constitution, By Associated Press, January 30, 2024, 3:14 AM France’s National Assembly takes up a bill Tuesday meant to enshrine a woman’s right to an abortion in the French Constitution, the first key step in a legislative process that also requires a vote in the Senate. The measure has been promised by President Emmanuel Macron following a rollback of abortion rights in the United States. Macron’s government wants Article 34 of France’s constitution amended to include that “the law determines the conditions by which is exercised the freedom of women to have recourse to an abortion, which is guaranteed.”A constitutional amendment must pass both chambers of parliament and then be approved either in a referendum or by a three-fifths majority of a joint session of parliament. Macron’s government is aiming for the second method, though the measure’s level of support in the Senate is less certain than in the National Assembly.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/30/france-constitution-abortion-right-assembly/7c67f16c-bf36-11ee-a4c6-8f5c350e9316_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. African cardinal says ‘Fiducia’ has discredited synod on synodality, By Ngala Killian Chimtom, Crux, January 30, 2024 An African cardinal who recently led the continent’s bishops in rejecting blessings for same-sex couples has now lashed out at the timing of the Vatican document that opened the door to such a move, calling it “damaging” to the synodal process convened by Pope Francis. Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo said that because the Dec. 18 release of Fiducia Supplicans, which authorized non-liturgical blessings of the persons involved in same-sex relationships, came between the two Synods of Bishops on Synodality, it created the misleading notion that the document was the fruit of synodal discussions. “The timing, the moment when this document was published, was damaging for the synodal process,” Ambongo said Jan. 25. The 64-year-old Ambongo, who also serves as president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), said the timing of the document’s release “brought discredit to the synod, to synodality.”  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-africa/2024/01/african-cardinal-says-fiducia-has-discredited-synod-on-synodality__________________________________________________________ 3. Quebec cardinal denies abuse allegations but decides to temporarily step aside, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, January 30, 2024 After being named in a class-action sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Quebec, Cardinal Gérald Lacroix has denied the allegations against him but has announced his decision to step aside until the matter is clarified. On Jan. 25, Lacroix was named in a class action lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Quebec in 2022, with court documents alleging that he inappropriately touched a 17-year-old girl on two occasions, in 1987 and 1988. In a Jan. 26 statement, the Archdiocese of Quebec said that Lacroix “categorically denies the allegations against him” and considers the allegations “unfounded.” However, they said the cardinal had decided to temporarily withdraw from leadership of the archdiocese and that they accepted the decision “with sadness.” In coming days, the statement said, Lacroix would “send a personal communication” to the archdiocese “which will be relayed to the media.”   https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-americas/2024/01/quebec-cardinal-denies-abuse-allegations-but-decides-to-temporarily-step-aside__________________________________________________________ 4. GOP Finds a Winning Abortion Message, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley offer the pro-life movement its best chance at saving the unborn., By Tim Busch, The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2024, 6:49 PM, Opinion The GOP hasn’t crowned its nominee for president, but the party has found what it’s sought for months: a winning message on abortion. Though different in style, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley strike similar notes on the issue. Both are pro-life, yet neither supports a federal ban. Their message resonates with a majority of Republicans and could sway a majority of Americans, 55% of whom told Gallup that they oppose abortion in the second trimester. Their position offers the pro-life movement the best chance at saving the unborn.  Both candidates offer exactly what Americans are looking for: consensus. Polls show that voters want something of a compromise—neither strict bans nor limitless access. While Democrats have successfully run state and federal campaigns warning against national restrictions in the past two years, they’ll struggle to pull the same stunt with Mr. Trump or Ms. Haley. Both candidates can shake their heads, smile at the camera, and honestly say: “I stand with the American people.” Many in the pro-life movement are fearful of this development, concerned that the Republican Party is abandoning its principles for the sake of political expediency. They needn’t fret. Mr. Trump and Ms. Haley haven’t gone soft on abortion. They’re simply doing the hard work of being pro-life without alienating the majority of Americans who describe themselves as pro-choice.  In the post-Roe landscape, pro-lifers won’t be maximally effective unless we win elections, influence policy, and continue to shape hearts and minds. One of the most successful ways to persuade more people to the cause is with a pro-life president behind the bully pulpit: someone who can uniquely make the case in the public square that unborn children and pregnant mothers deserve protection. In Mr. Trump and Ms. Haley, the movement has its winning message for life. https://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-finds-awinning-abortion-message-trump-haley-best-chance-save-unborn-26557fa0__________________________________________________________ 5. Pennsylvania high court revives case challenging limits on Medicaid coverage for abortions, By Marc Levy, Associated Press, January 29, 2024, 3:46 PM Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court said Monday that a lower court must hear a challenge to the constitutionality of a decades-old state law that limits the use of Medicaid dollars to cover the cost of abortions, a major victory for Planned Parenthood and the abortion clinic operators who sued. The decision also elicited hope that the state Supreme Court may one day find a right to abortion in Pennsylvania’s constitution after the U.S. Supreme Court ended nearly a half-century of federal abortion protections by overturning Roe v. Wade. The 3-2 decision both overturns a lower court decision to dismiss the case on procedural grounds and puts aside a 1985 state Supreme Court decision that upheld a law banning the use of state Medicaid dollars for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.  The lawsuit, brought in 2019 by Planned Parenthood and other operators of abortion clinics, said the 1982 law unconstitutionally discriminates against poor women.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/01/29/pennsylvania-abortion/1e810352-beca-11ee-a4c6-8f5c350e9316_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Supreme Court sets date for high-stakes abortion pill oral arguments, The case is to be the Supreme Court’s first significant return to the abortion issue since it overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022., By Kierra Frazier and Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico, January 29, 2024, 7:33 AM The Supreme Court on Monday set a date for one of the highest-stakes and closest-watched cases of the term — announcing it will hear oral arguments on how patients can access mifepristone, the commonly used abortion pill, on March 26. In December, the high court said it would hear the case brought by the conservative group Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine challenging policies expanding access to the drug mifepristone. Those policies, issued in recent years by the FDA, have allowed the pills to be prescribed online, mailed to patients and dispensed at brick-and-mortar pharmacies.  The court turned down a broader challenge by the same group that sought to overturn the decades old approval of the drug for use in abortions — arguments that could have effectively banned the pills nationwide.  https://www.politico.com/news/2024/01/29/supreme-court-abortion-pill-00138347__________________________________________________________ 7. Pope Francis creates ‘new’ diocese in China, accepting borders drawn by Beijing, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, January 29, 2024, 1:40 PM The Vatican announced Monday that Pope Francis has created a “new” diocese in mainland China — a decision that tacitly recognizes diocesan borders drawn by Beijing, according to Asia News. The pope has suppressed the former Apostolic Prefecture of Yiduxian, which had been a vacant see since 2008, and replaced it with the Diocese of Weifang, which takes its name from the prefecture-level city of more than 9 million people in China’s central Shandong province. The Vatican announced the erection of the Weifang Diocese on Jan. 29, the day of the consecration of the diocese’s first bishop, Bishop Anthony Sun Venjun. The Holy See Press Office said that Pope Francis established the diocese on April 20, 2023, “in the desire to promote the pastoral care of the Lord’s flock and to attend more effectively to its spiritual good.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256669/pope-francis-creates-new-diocese-in-china-accepting-borders-drawn-by-beijing__________________________________________________________ 8. Pope Francis: Small ideological groups oppose same-sex blessings; Africa a ‘special case’, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, January 29, 2024, 2:40 PM Pope Francis suggested that the opposition to the Vatican’s approval of nonliturgical blessings for same-sex couples mostly comes from “small ideological groups” with the exception of Africa, which he said is “a special case.” “Those who vehemently protest belong to small ideological groups,” Francis said in an interview on Monday with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, according to an English translation from the Church-run Vatican News Regarding the bishops in Africa, who have expressed some of the strongest criticisms of such blessings, the pontiff said they are “a special case” because “for them, homosexuality is something ‘ugly’ from a cultural point of view; they do not tolerate it.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256671/pope-francis-small-ideological-groups-oppose-same-sex-blessings-africa-a-special-case__________________________________________________________ 9. State-level marches for life bring message of hope to state capitals, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, January 29, 2024, 6:30 AM In the aftermath of the annual March for Life held in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, major state-level march events have gotten underway, bringing pro-life advocates to state capital cities where the preservation of a culture of life continues to hang in the balance this year. Marchers in Kentucky, Kansas, and Indiana kicked off 2024’s state-level march for life demonstrations last week, bringing thousands to the streets of their respective capital cities to show their support for the unborn and for mothers. Advocates will hold state-level marches throughout 2024, most of them in the first half of the year. These first three demonstrations followed the national March for Life on Jan. 19.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256677/state-level-marches-for-life-bring-message-of-hope-to-state-capitals__________________________________________________________ 10. Argentine President Javier Milei, Pope Francis to meet, By Julieta Villar. Catholic News Agency, January 29, 2024, 6:50 PM Pope Francis confirmed that he will meet with the president of Argentina, Javier Milei, who will be attending the canonization of Blessed María Antonia of St. Joseph — also known as Mama Antula — the first Argentine female saint, to be held Feb. 11 in Rome. In this context, the Holy Father said he was “ready to start a dialogue” with the president of his native country and assured that he wasn’t offended by the insults that Milei had hurled against him before he was elected president. “Words during the election campaign come and go,” the pope downplayed. Regarding Milei’s visit to the Vatican, the pontiff said: “On Feb. 11, the canonization of ‘Mama Antula,’ founder of the House of Spiritual Exercises of Buenos Aires, will take place. Before canonizations it is customary to greet the authorities in the sacristy.” “And then I learn that he asked me for a meeting: I accepted, and so we’ll be seeing each other. And I am willing to start a dialogue, talking and listening, with him. As with everyone,” the pope explained.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256678/argentine-president-javier-milei-pope-francis-to-meet__________________________________________________________

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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