1. Vatican names 3 women to office that vets bishop nominations, By Associated Press, July 13, 2022, 7:23 AM Pope Francis on Wednesday named three women to serve as members of the Vatican office that vets bishop nominations, in another first for women to have a say in Catholic Church governance. The Dicastery for Bishops oversees the work of most of the church’s 5,300 bishops, who run dioceses around the world. The dicastery’s members, who include cardinals, bishops and now women, meet periodically to evaluate proposed new bishops whose names are forwarded by Vatican ambassadors. The ambassadors usually come up with three candidates for each opening after consulting with local church members. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/vatican-names-3-women-to-office-that-vets-bishop-nominations/2022/07/13/33c5c2e6-029e-11ed-8beb-2b4e481b1500_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Justice Department officials announced a task force to prevent overreach from state and local governments on abortion bans, By David Nakamura and Rachel Roubein, The Washington Post, July 13, 2022, Pg. A1 The Justice Department is launching a “reproductive rights task force” to marshal federal legal resources aimed at preventing overreach from state and local governments seeking to impose new bans on abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, officials said Tuesday. Justice officials said the move should consolidate work that was underway in the months leading up to the high court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which struck down federal safeguards for abortion that had stood for five decades.  Antiabortion groups hit back against the Justice Department’s effort, arguing that the federal government shouldn’t attempt to block states’ efforts. “It can’t override federalism. It can’t override the constitution,” said Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel at Americans United for Life, an antiabortion law firm and advocacy group. “It’s basically make-work.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/07/12/justice-abortion-task-force-gupta/__________________________________________________________3. Church and State: How High a Wall?, American Jewish leaders debate whether a new Supreme Court ruling extends equal treatment to religious citizens or risks minority rights., By Nathan J. Diament, The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2022, Pg. A16, Letter to the Editor Regarding “Religious Liberty Divides American Jews” (Houses of Worship, July 8): Nathan Lewin rightly reports that we in the Orthodox Jewish community welcome the recent demise, in Kennedy v. Bremerton, of the Lemon test—a 1971 Supreme Court precedent that essentially mandated government hostility to religion. This ruling should be applauded by all who value, as Justice Neil Gorsuch put it, “a free and diverse Republic” in which there is “respect for religious expressions.”  Fortunately, this extreme view of “strict separationism” is held by a fringe minority. The inclusion of synagogues, churches and parochial schools in the federal-aid programs above has been broadly supported by both parties in Congress.  In its pair of religious-liberty rulings, the Supreme Court has ensured that religious Americans are treated equally in government programs. That is as it should be. Mr. Diament is executive director for public policy of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. https://www.wsj.com/articles/separation-church-state-jewish-ou-adl-supreme-court-religion-liberty-discrimination-11657580011?__________________________________________________________ 4. Detained Migrants Entitled to Abortion, By Michelle Hackman, The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2022, Pg. A2 Top immigration officials are planning to instruct detention centers around the country that women in custody are entitled to abortions and should be transferred to receive one if they are being detained in a state where abortion is now illegal. The directive is contained in an undated memorandum, seen by The Wall Street Journal, which cites the recent Supreme Court decision that ended the federal right to an abortion. The memo is from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Tae Johnson and is addressed to Corey Price, head of the agency’s enforcement division. https://www.wsj.com/articles/ice-says-immigrant-women-in-custody-still-entitled-to-abortion-services-11657639375?__________________________________________________________ 5. An Abortion Story Too Good to Confirm, By The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2022, Pg. A16, Editorial All kinds of fanciful tales travel far on social media these days, but you don’t expect them to get a hearing at the White House. That’s nonetheless what seems to have happened Friday as President Biden signed an executive order on abortion. With Vice President Kamala Harris and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra nearby, Mr. Biden repeated a tale making the rounds on social media in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade. He said a 10-year-old girl he didn’t identify by name was forced to travel from Ohio to Indiana to have an abortion because Ohio now prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is discovered. The girl had been raped, he said, and Ohio law now includes no abortion exceptions in cases of rape or incest. Mr. Biden grew agitated as he spoke: “Ten years old. Raped, six weeks pregnant. Already traumatized. Was forced to travel to another state. Imagine being that little girl. Just—I’m serious—just imagine being that little girl.” Imagine, indeed. The tale is a potent post-Roe tale of woe for those who want to make abortion a voting issue this fall. One problem: There’s no evidence the girl exists. PJ Media’s Megan Fox was first to point this out, and so far no one has been able to identify the girl or where she lives.  What we seem to have here is a presidential seal of approval on an unlikely story from a biased source that neatly fits the progressive narrative but can’t be confirmed. The abortion debate is intense and passions run high. But the American people deserve better from their President than an unproven story designed to aggravate those passions. https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-abortion-story-too-good-to-confirm-joe-biden-ten-year-old-girl-indiana-ohio-caitlin-bernard-11657648618?__________________________________________________________ 6. Pregnancy help centers shouldn’t be banned, They offer alternatives to abortionists who offer only one ‘choice’, By Jor-El Godsey, The Washington Times, July 13, 2022, Pg. B1, Opinion Sen. Elizabeth Warren is often an outspoken critic of economic goliaths like Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, but has most recently aimed her vitriol at those she perceives as competitors of the multibillion dollar industry that is “Big Abortion” — pregnancy help centers. With the ink hardly dry on the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe, Ms. Warren is racing to protect abortion profits and political power. Never mind that Ms. Warren’s state of Massachusetts remains firmly an abortion state. Her grave concern, apparently, is that women might be swayed from securing an abortion, even going so far as to falsely say pregnancy help centers seek to “harm” women. The harm she fears is women being “talked out” of an abortion.  Crisis pregnancy centers — as Ms. Warren prefers to call them — are universally local, grassroots efforts raised up by concerned citizens who believe that women need alternatives to abortion. Their funding is predominantly from private individuals, mostly from the faith community, who want to make sure that women have a chance to choose something besides abortion. Whether that is the opportunity to choose to parent, or perhaps choose the parents of a loving, welcoming home. Unlike abortion clinics, services are free of charge at pregnancy centers.  Love is what motivates pregnancy help centers. Love for the woman facing a difficult decision. Love for the life she carries. Love for the family being created. That’s why pregnancy centers deeply believe women can do amazing things and achieve amazing heights. They certainly believe in a woman’s intrinsic ability to make way for motherhood. Jor-El Godsey is president of Heartbeat International, the country’s largest network of pregnancy help centers https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jul/12/no-sen-warren-pregnancy-help-centers-shouldnt-be-b/__________________________________________________________ 7. Pope: I wouldn’t live in Vatican or Argentina if I retire, By Associated Press, July 12, 2022, 10:03 AM Pope Francis said he would not live in the Vatican or return to his native Argentina if and when he ever retires, but would instead like to find a church in Rome where he could continue hearing confessions. “I’m the bishop of Rome, in this case the emeritus bishop of Rome,” Francis said in an interview segment with Spanish-language broadcaster TelevisaUnivision that aired Tuesday. Francis, 85, denied he was planning to retire any time soon but repeated that “the door is open” after Pope Benedict XVI in 2013 became the first pope in 600 years to step down. While having a retired pope on hand has gone well, the Vatican needs to better regulate the figure of an emeritus pope, Francis said in the interview. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-i-wouldnt-live-in-vatican-or-argentina-if-i-retire/2022/07/12/61c1a0a6-01eb-11ed-8beb-2b4e481b1500_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Penalty cut for Oregon bakers who refused to serve couple, By Associated Press, July 12, 2022, 9:41 PM The state of Oregon has slashed the financial penalties it assigned a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple almost 10 years ago. In compliance with a state appeals court ruling earlier this year, State Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle said Tuesday that the Bureau of Labor and Industries is ordering Aaron Klein to pay $30,000 damages instead of a $135,000 fine issued in 2015, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.  The damages were scrapped in 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who had also been fined for refusing service to a same-sex couple on religious grounds. Justices there found Colorado’s penalty had shown bias against the baker’s religion. They ordered the Oregon Court of Appeals to take a fresh look at the Sweet Cakes case. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/penalty-cut-for-oregon-bakers-who-refused-to-serve-couple/2022/07/12/f8d87422-024c-11ed-8beb-2b4e481b1500_story.html__________________________________________________________ 9. What is happening at the Pontifical Academy for Life?, By The Pillar, July 12, 2022 The Pontifical Academy for Life has found itself at the center of a social media storm, with the institution’s official account drawing strong criticism over the publication of a new book. As the academy’s Twitter account was reposting positive reviews of “Theological Ethics of Life. Scripture, Tradition, Practical Challenges,” many users, including theologians and ethicists, started raising questions about the book. Soon the official account of the pontifical institution was decrying “insults and out-of-control criticism” and appearing to hint at a possible wholesale review of Church teaching on a range of moral issues, including contraception, IVF, and other life issues.  Writing for the Italian website Daily Compass, Luisella Scrosati said the new book challenged the Church’s condemnation of contraception, reaffirmed in the 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae.  She said that it “supports the thesis that ‘in conditions and practical circumstances that would make the choice to generate irresponsible,’ one could resort ‘with a wise choice’ to contraceptive techniques, ‘obviously excluding any that are abortogenic.’” “This ‘advancement of theological bioethics’ aims directly at the relativization of the negative precepts of the moral law, exactly as Amoris laetitia had already done: the absoluteness of the negative precepts is confined to theory, in order to relativize them – and thus deny them as absolute – in the concrete case,” she argued.  The pontifical academy’s Twitter account is hitting back at “insults and out-of-control criticism” sparked by the book, but appears to have gone a lot further than simply defending the publication of the book as a collection of contributions to a debate.  When the Twitter user suggested that “the correct response is to *unambiguously* defend Church teaching and condemn dissent on these settled matters,” the pontifical academy replied: “You mean to ‘condemn’ real people, concrete persons in difficulty in their private life and in their intimate relationships. I think that the right approach is mercy and dialogue. Luke 6,36-37 for instance…” It added: “Be careful: what is dissent today, can change. It is not relativism, it is the dynamics of the understanding of phenomena and science: the Sun does not rotate around the Earth. Otherwise there would be no progress and everything would stand still. Even in theology. Think about it.” “Life issues is not [sic] a matter of taking fundamentalist positions with ideology, but of opening the debate within the community of moral theologians,” the account said in a tweet paraphrasing a quotation in an article on the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.  This prompted several users, including moral theologians, to flag statements from Pope Francis on issues like abortion and ask the academy’s account to clarify the scope of debate and if the pope was using “fundamentalist” language. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/what-is-happening-at-the-pontifical__________________________________________________________ 10. Pope Francis considers it an ‘incoherence’ that President Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights, By Catholic News Agency, July 12, 2022, 1:00 PM Pope Francis has described it as an “incoherence” that President Joe Biden, a Catholic, is in favor of legal abortion. During an interview with Univisión and Televisa broadcast July 12, Pope Francis spoke about abortion and Biden’s position, after being asked about whether to admit politicians who promote legal abortion to Holy Communion. The Holy Father affirmed that there is scientific data that show that “a month after conception, the DNA of the fetus is already there and the organs are aligned. There is human life.” “Is it just to eliminate a human life?” he then asked. As for the defense of abortion by the U.S. president, Pope Francis stated that he leaves it to Biden’s “conscience.” “Let (Biden) talk to his pastor about that incoherence,” the pope said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251772/pope-francis-incoherence-biden-supports-abortion-rights__________________________________________________________

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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