1. Iowa Legislature will take up 6-week abortion ban during special session Tuesday, By Hannah Fingerhut, Associated Press, July 11, 2023, 6:16 AM Iowa’s Legislature convenes Tuesday in a special session focused exclusively on abortion restrictions, where Republican lawmakers will work to push through a new ban on abortion after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. The day will be a marathon of committee hearings and floor debates in both chambers, with votes likely to extend late into the night. Demonstrators for and against the bill are expected to rally at the capitol building throughout the day. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the rare session after the state Supreme Court declined to reinstate a law she signed in 2018 that is practically identical to the one being proposed Tuesday. Abortion is currently legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/07/11/iowa-abortion-ban-special-session/283ca8b4-1fa2-11ee-8994-4b2d0b694a34_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. How to interpret Pope Francis’ choice of new cardinals, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, July 11, 2023, 3:00 AM, Analysis With his ninth consistory in 10 years of his pontificate, Pope Francis will lock down his influence on the College of Cardinals for the next conclave, considering the overwhelming majority of cardinals will have been created by him. As of June 2, there were 121 cardinals with the possibility of entering the conclave. Nine were created by John Paul II, 31 by Benedict XVI, and 81 by Francis. With the 18 new cardinal electors, 99 cardinals created by Pope Francis can enter the conclave to choose the next pope. Between now and the end of the year, another seven cardinals will turn 80 and lose the possibility of joining the conclave. They are: Giuseppe Versaldi, Angelo Comastri, Patrick D’Rozario, Leonardo Sandri, Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung, Jean Zerbo, and Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne. Of these, only Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung and Jean Zerbo had been created by Pope Francis.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254767/analysis-how-to-interpret-pope-francis-choice-of-new-cardinals__________________________________________________________ 3. The eminent Christophe Pierre, By JD Flynn, The Pilar, July 10, 2023, 3:02 PM, Analysis It should come as little surprise to Catholics that Archbishop Christophe Pierre was named by Pope Francis on Sunday among 21 new members of the College of Cardinals. The archbishop, who has served as apostolic nuncio to the United States since 2016, has been for decades tasked with important assignments in the Vatican’s diplomatic corps — and has been a champion for the ecclesial agenda of Pope Francis. But while Pierre’s red hat is not a surprise, the timing is earlier than might have been expected — and the archbishop’s new status could well have an impact on his work for the Church in the United States.  Sources in Rome say that Pierre has had less influence than usual in deliberations about the selection of American metropolitan archbishops, because of the prominence of Cupich and Tobin, both of whom have enjoyed the pope’s ear directly. But with Pierre’s appointment as a cardinal, the nuncio may well have more muscle to flex in Rome, and easier standing in deliberations with Cupich and Tobin. That could shift the balance on episcopal appointments at a crucial time for the U.S. — with Pierre seemingly more likely than Cupich to avoid incendiary appointments, in favor of institutional “safe picks.” That shift would likely favor bishops regarded as competent administrators and present pastors, over bishops too heavily involved in the Church’s own culture wars. Of course, it remains to be seen if Pierre’s red hat will yield that effect. But for however long he remains U.S. nuncio, the archbishop’s newfound eminence may well mean a new chapter in Pierre’s approach to his duties on Massachusetts Avenue. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/the-eminent-christophe-pierre__________________________________________________________ 4. Future Portuguese cardinal on WYD: ‘We don’t want to convert the young people to Christ’, By Walter Sanchez Silva, Catholic News Agency, July 10, 2023, 4:00 PM “We don’t want to convert the young people to Christ or to the Catholic Church or anything like that at all,” said Bishop Américo Aguiar, the head of World Youth Day (WYD) Lisbon 2023 who will be created a cardinal by Pope Francis in September. World Youth Day will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, Aug. 1–6. Aguiar, an auxiliary bishop of Lisbon, made the statement July 6 in an interview with RTP Notícias, three days before Pope Francis announced the creation of 21 new cardinals, including the prelate. In the interview, the bishop said that in his opinion the intention of World Youth Day is to have young people journey together, respecting their diversity.  “We want it to be normal for a young Catholic Christian to say and bear witness to who he is or for a young Muslim, Jew, or of another religion to also have no problem saying who he is and bearing witness to it, and for a young person who has no religion to feel welcome and to perhaps not feel strange for thinking in a different way.”  World Youth Day was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1985. It has always been an opportunity for young people from all over the world to personally encounter Christ and choose to give themselves completely to his service in the priesthood or in consecrated life.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254764/future-portuguese-cardinal-on-wyd-we-don-t-want-to-convert-the-young-people-to-christ__________________________________________________________ 5. Catholic higher ed still open to all, bishops say after Supreme Court blocks affirmative action, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, July 10, 2023, 8:44 AM The U.S. bishops have reaffirmed the importance of education access for marginalized racial groups after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action in higher education. “Education is a gift, an opportunity, and an important aspect of our democracy that is not always within the reach of all, especially racial and ethnic groups who find themselves on the margins,” Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, said in a July 7 statement. “It is our hope that our Catholic institutions of higher learning will continue to find ways to make education possible and affordable for everyone, regardless of their background.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254761/catholic-higher-ed-still-open-to-all-bishops-say-after-supreme-court-blocks-affirmative-action__________________________________________________________ 6. Welcoming the Stranger: Family Opens Home and Hearts to a Dying Woman, As secular waves whisper assisted suicide, the world is full of Guadalupes — men, women and children who have washed up alone on rocky shores — offering us as Catholics the opportunity to show true compassion., By Grazie Pozo Christie, National Catholic Register, July 10, 2023 Guadalupe moved in with us for six weeks, almost three years ago. She had been renting a room from my neighbor Nery, a kind, elderly woman who needed the companionship much more than the nominal rent she charged Guadalupe. Nery came to see me one day to ask if we could offer Guadalupe a place to stay for a few weeks while she visited family in California. We knew Guadalupe, as, indeed, everyone in our parish knew her. She was a little Mexican woman, just a little over four feet tall, with skin as brown as a nut and the quiet dignity of the honest, working poor. She was a masterful cook with a great relish for invention, and had she drawn a different number in the great lottery of life she would have been a great chef, I think.  The story of her life was one of bitter poverty and many cruel trials.  She married for love, at 15 or 16, and was widowed soon after, when her young husband fell from a great height while working in construction. This happened in Texas, and I never asked her how they managed to cross the border. Her son Andres was born after his death, prematurely and with severe facial deformities. She raised him by herself, nursing him with adoring tenderness through many surgeries, and all of this while working as a maid and cook. Only God knows how.  All these crosses were nothing, it turns out. Andresito earned a scholarship to a college in Colorado, as he, like his mother, had a fine brain. With much effort his mother was able to help pay for a studio in a squalid apartment house near campus. There was a drug dealer in the building who conceived a great hatred for Andresito, ridiculing him spitefully when he passed him in the hallway. One night in a drug-fueled rage he beat poor Andresito to death.  Guadalupe sank to the bottom of the abyss at the death of her son, a place inaccessible to human help. But, of course, not inaccessible to the God who traveled there on purpose to lead his children out. And lead her out he did, into cheerfulness and gratitude, life-saving work and friendship. And faith, always faith. Of course I said Yes when I was asked to give her a home for a short time.  We always told her to rest, that she didn’t work for us. But it was a gift she could give us, and receiving gifts is a work of mercy, sometimes. Before many months had passed, Guadalupe had become part of our family. She lavished her love on us, mainly through food, but also with her large calm and ever-present good humor. She and I would cry together over the few photos she had of Andresito sometimes, it’s true. She would say, “It is very hard, very hard.” But mostly she expressed her steady, sustaining belief that God was, after all, very good to her — hadn’t he given her 19 years of mother-love? She would be reunited with her son someday soon, of that she had no doubt. Nery did not return from California, and Guadalupe developed heart trouble before the year was out, needing open heart surgery. We took her back home when she left the ICU and nursed her back to health. I was scared of the added responsibility and work, I admit it. But she was so cheerful and grateful, especially when our children helped her. My husband, especially, took such good care of her, as he loved her very much. I learned to love her a lot also, when I cared for her physical needs. That’s the way God works, you know. He made us to know our duty before we could love it, and doing it, we learn to love it.  So Guadalupe died at home, exactly five days after her last dialysis treatment. What can I say about this? It was terrible. It was beautiful. It was a great burden. It was a great gift. It broke my heart that it was I holding her hand and not Andresito. I was extraordinarily glad that she was not dying alone. The world is full of Guadalupes — men, women and children who have washed up alone on rocky shores. When we find them in our path they sometimes become our responsibility, though they aren’t family, or even friends. It’s hard to understand the spiritual calculus of all this, but it seems to me that, yes, “God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb” but he does it by having you, or I, build a warm and cozy sheepfold for his little ones. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/welcoming-the-stranger-family-opens-home-and-hearts-to-a-dying-woman__________________________________________________________

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