1. Mosaics by an artist accused of abusing women will stay on the Lourdes shrine, for now, A French bishop has put off any decision on whether to remove mosaics by an ex-Jesuit artist accused of abusing women, saying that they will stay for now on the Lourdes shrine but that eventually they should be removed, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 3, 2024, 7:51 AM
A French bishop has put off any decision on whether to remove mosaics by an ex-Jesuit artist accused of abusing women, saying that they’ll stay for now on the Lourdes shrine but that eventually they should be removed.
The mosaics will no longer be lit up each night during the evening prayer, Lourdes Bishop Jean-Marc Micas said in a statement Tuesday. But he told the French Catholic daily La Croix that he had decided not to remove them now because he didn’t want to “tear the church apart.”
“My deep, formed, intimate conviction is that they will one day need to be removed: they prevent Lourdes from reaching all the people for whom the sanctuary’s message is intended,” Micas was quoted as saying. “But I have decided not to remove them immediately, given the passions and violence the subject incites.”

2. Abortion-rights advocates set to turn in around 800,000 signatures for Arizona ballot measure, Abortion-rights advocates are set to deliver about 800,000 petition signatures in hopes of getting an Arizona issue on the November general election ballot, By Walter Berry and Anita Snow, Associated Press, July 3, 2024, 7:23 AM
Abortion-rights advocates are set to deliver petition signatures Wednesday in hopes of getting the abortion rights issue on Arizona’s November general election ballot.
Organizers collected about 800,000 signatures and need 383,923 of them to be deemed valid. If that happens, Arizona voters will be asked whether to enshrine in the state constitution the right to an abortion.
Activists in two other states — Nebraska and Arkansas — also are planning to submit signatures this week for ballot measures about abortion. If successful, those states and Arizona will join five others where the issue is set to go before voters this year: Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Nevada and South Dakota.

3. Paul Vaughn sentenced to supervised release for breaking federal law on blocking clinic access, Pro-life activist avoids prison time for anti-abortion protest, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, July 3, 2024
Pro-life activist Paul Vaughn received supervised release for participating in a protest outside an abortion facility in Tennessee, avoiding the prison sentence sought by federal prosecutors for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger sentenced Vaughn to three years’ supervised release — and no fine — at Tuesday’s court hearing in Nashville after his conviction on charges stemming from a 2021 demonstration outside an abortion clinic in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
After a jury found him guilty of a misdemeanor count of violating the FACE Act and a felony count of “conspiracy against rights,” federal prosecutors sought a one-year prison sentence for Vaughn.
But it could have been — and for some pro-lifers has been — far worse than even that recommendation. The letter of the law allows for 10 1/2 years in prison and a fine of up to $260,000 on the charges.
“We are pleased the judge has shown leniency to Paul at today’s sentencing hearing, and I know Paul is incredibly thankful to be able to celebrate Independence Day with his family,” said Steve Crampton, senior counsel at the Thomas More Society, which represents Mr. Vaughn.
“But it remains the case that his conviction is a deep injustice,” he added.

About 25 people joined the protest outside the door of the Carafem Health Center, where they prayed, sang hymns, and urged pregnant women entering the clinic not to undergo abortions.

4. Only One Name, By George Weigel, First Things, July 3, 2024, Opinion
Rome is chaotic at its calmest, but three weeks working there in May suggested that the chaos has intensified to what may be unprecedented levels. Public transport is regularly stymied by strikes. Graffiti is everywhere. As always, traffic is a nightmare, but the usual insanities of Roman driving (which include daredevil motorini drivers careening in and out of lanes) have been magnified by the rush to complete Line C of the local subway, which involves digging up large chunks of the city, often in already-congested places like Piazza Venezia. (Years ago, local wags of a theological temper said that the opening of Line C was an eschatological concept, i.e., something that would happen the day after Christ returns in glory. We shall see.)
So, a word to the wise: If you’re planning a visit to the Eternal City in the next few months, don’t count on tranquility.
The all-court press to finish Metropolitana Linea C reflects the city administration’s determination to be prepared for the tens of millions of pilgrims expected in Rome for the Jubilee of 2025, which was formally announced by Pope Francis in the “bull of indiction” issued on May 9, the Solemnity of the Ascension. Prior to that, however, Vatican and local diocesan agencies were issuing preparatory materials for the jubilee year. Some of them warrant comment.
First, the jubilee logo.
It’s often said, and rightly, that in a world confused about truth and goodness, beauty, the third “transcendental,” can be an invitation to reconsider modern skepticism and moral relativism. If we see (or hear) something beautiful, we know it’s beautiful in itself—it’s not a matter of “my beauty” or “your beauty.” And we instinctively grasp that this beauty is good—not just “good for me.” Hans Urs von Balthasar built an entire theological edifice on the foundation of an extended reflection on God’s beauty: “the glory of the Lord.” Bishop Robert Barron’s Catholicism series is such a powerful tool of evangelization because it’s visually beautiful—and thus opens viewers up to Catholic ideas of the true and the good.
Why, then, did the Vatican come up with such a tacky jubilee logo? Can’t the Catholicism that inspired Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Henry Ossawa Tanner produce a beautiful logo, rather than kitsch that looks like a sixth-grade art project? This aesthetic self-degradation began with the logo for the Great Jubilee of 2000 and has continued ever since. Basta! If, in this world of marketing, we must have logos, let’s have beautiful ones. For as Benedict XVI insisted, beauty is one of the “proofs” of the truth of Christian faith.
Then there are some of the preparatory materials currently being circulated by dioceses. One of them is a video entitled “Towards the Jubilee 2025.” The narration fails to use the words “Jesus Christ.” Yet, as the pope noted in his bull of indiction, 2025 is the 1,700th anniversary of the first ecumenical council, Nicaea I, which proclaimed in its Creed the divinity of Christ, “consubstantial with the Father,” against the Arian heretics who insisted that “there was a time when the Son was not.” As forms of Arianism are widespread today in the world and the Church—Jesus is a human exemplar, a spiritual guru, an avatar of a generic, divine will-to-save—Nicaea I’s confession of “one Lord, Jesus Christ: God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God” is an urgent reminder of the bedrock truth of Christian faith. Thus the absence of the words “Jesus Christ” from that Jubilee 2025 promotional video is, to put it gently, striking.
Then there is the Hymn for the 2025 Jubilee. As contemporary Catholic music goes, it’s acceptable melodically and the text is tolerable. But the official Jubilee 2025 hymn has none of the robust, unapologetic Christocentrism of the hymn for the Great Jubilee of 2000, “Gloria a Te, Cristo Gesu” (Glory to You, Christ Jesus): at its most stirring when performed by Andrea Bocelli and the Chorus of Rome’s National Academy of St. Cecilia. “Gloria a Te, Cristo Gesu” is entirely and intensely Christological, as befits a hymn composed for the celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of the Incarnation. So why the Christological reticence of the hymn for Jubilee 2025, which will mark the anniversary of the Church’s dogmatic definition of the divinity of the Lord Jesus? What has happened to the Church over the past twenty-five years?
Now, as ever, the lesson of Acts 3:1–7 is pertinent. Like Peter speaking to the lame man in the Temple, the Church has nothing to offer but what is most important: “Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”
5. Has Joe Read Roe?, The president’s bad debate night can’t excuse the misleading statements he made about U.S. abortion law., By Michael Warsaw, National Catholic Register, July 3, 2024, Opinion
President Joe Biden’s disastrous June 27 debate performance was alarming on many fronts. But there was one element that was particularly troubling for pro-life Americans: his garbled articulation of Roe v. Wade.
Biden reveres Roe. Never mind that he disagreed with its reasoning as a freshman senator when it came out 51 years ago. Today, it’s his fifth gospel, the lynchpin of his abortion-focused presidency and now-faltering reelection campaign.
You might recall the exchange Biden had two years ago on the South Lawn of the White House with EWTN White House Correspondent Owen Jensen. Just before the president flew away aboard Marine One, Jensen managed to ask him if he thought there should be any restrictions on abortion.
“Yes, there should be,” Biden responded. 
When Jensen asked what those restrictions should be, Biden yelled back, “It’s Roe v. Wade. Read it, man. You’ll get educated,” before hurrying off to the helicopter.
The question is: Has Joe read Roe?
You have to wonder, especially after what he said during his debate with former president Donald Trump.
Biden accused Trump of “lying” when he said that Roe allowed abortion up to the moment of birth.
“That is simply not true,” Biden retorted. “Roe v. Wade does not provide for that. That’s not the circumstance. Only when the woman’s life is in danger, if she’s going to die — that’s the only circumstance in which that can happen.”
But what Biden said simply isn’t true. Roe, which concocted a constitutional basis for a woman’s “right” to kill her unborn child, allowed states to ban abortion in the final trimester of pregnancy unless it was deemed necessary to protect the life or health of the mother.
Many Americans — and it would be shocking if the president of the United States were among them — wrongly assume that by “health” the Supreme Court majority in Roe referred only to situations where a woman faced a dire medical emergency. 
But the same majority that decided Roe issued a companion ruling in a second 1973 abortion case, Doe v. Bolton, that broadly defined “health” to include “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient.”
Roe and Doe, then, are opposite sides of the same coin. Taken together, they effectively made it legal to abort a child at any time and for any reason. That changed two years ago when the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned Roe — and by extension, Doe, as well, since the latter ruling affirmed Roe.
Late-term abortions are rare, less than 1% of the total, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that doesn’t mean they don’t happen, as pro-abortion advocates would like you to believe.
Biden and other abortion proponents like to pretend that Doe didn’t exist. During the debate, the president said, “We are not for late-term abortion. Period, period, period.”
Period, period, period? Yet Biden and his party want to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would make completely unfettered abortion the new law of the land. 

It was a dispiriting night for those of us in the pro-life movement, to be sure, but we must remain vigilant and hold our government leaders accountable for upholding America’s founding principles, which are grounded in the inviolability of human dignity. That includes the Republican Party, which should resist efforts to water down its long-standing commitment to the pro-life cause when it approves its platform later this summer.
Please continue to pray for our country, our leaders and the unborn.
6. In wake of Supreme Court ruling, Biden administration tells doctors to provide emergency abortions, The Biden administration is telling emergency room doctors they must perform emergency abortions when necessary to save a pregnant woman’s health, By Amanda Seitz and Christine Fernando, Associated Press, July 2, 2024, 4:55 PM
The Biden administration told emergency room doctors they must perform emergency abortions when necessary to save a pregnant woman’s health, following last week’s Supreme Court ruling that failed to settle a legal dispute over whether state abortion bans override a federal law requiring hospitals to provide stabilizing treatment.
In a letter being sent Tuesday to doctor and hospital associations, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Chiquita Brooks-LaSure reminded hospitals of their legal duty to offer stabilizing treatment, which could include abortions. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.
“No pregnant woman or her family should have to even begin to worry that she could be denied the treatment she needs to stabilize her emergency medical condition in the emergency room,” the letter said.
It continued, “And yet, we have heard story after story describing the experiences of pregnant women presenting to hospital emergency departments with emergency medical conditions and being turned away because medical providers were uncertain about what treatment they were permitted to provide.”
CMS will also resume investigations into complaints against emergency rooms in Idaho, after the Supreme Court ruled last week that hospitals there must be allowed to perform emergency abortions for now, despite the state’s abortion ban.
But enforcement in Texas, the country’s most populous state with a strict six-week abortion ban, will still be on hold because of a lower court ruling.

7. Wisconsin Supreme Court to consider whether 175-year-old law bans abortion, The Wisconsin Supreme Court will consider two challenges to a 175-year-old law that conservatives have interpreted as an abortion ban, By Todd Richmond, Associated Press, July 2, 2024, 5:25 PM
The Wisconsin Supreme Court decided Tuesday to consider two challenges to a 175-year-old law that conservatives maintain bans abortion without letting the cases wind through lower courts.
Abortion advocates stand an excellent chance of prevailing in both cases given the high court’s liberal tilt and remarks a liberal justice made on the campaign trail about how she supports abortion rights.
Wisconsin lawmakers enacted statutes in 1849 that had been widely interpreted as outlawing abortion in all cases except to save the mother’s life. The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion nullified the statutes, but legislators never repealed them. The high court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade reactivated them.
Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit challenging the statutes in 2022, arguing they were too old to enforce and a 1985 law that permits abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb supersedes them. A Dane County judge ruled last year that the statutes outlaw attacking a woman in an attempt to kill her unborn baby but doesn’t ban abortions. The decision emboldened Planned Parenthood to resume offering abortions in Wisconsin after halting procedures when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

8. Who’s Afraid of Oklahoma’s Catholic Charter School?, A wrongheaded ruling is an invitation for review by the U.S. Supreme Court., By Jason L. Riley, The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2024, 5:19 PM, Opinion

The good news is that school-reform advocates have made significant gains in recent years even though the current administration has been more hostile than its Democratic predecessors to educational choice. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama supported charters, as do large majorities of low-income minorities, but Joe Biden has disparaged school choice and has made it more difficult for charter operators to secure federal funding.
At the state level, however, progress has continued. In 2023 Arkansas, Florida, Iowa and Ohio created or expanded programs that give underprivileged families more education options. Earlier this year, Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, signed the Choose Act, which creates education savings accounts that can be used for public schools, private schools, online schools or home schooling. And in Texas, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott overcame opposition from the teachers unions (and some antichoice Republicans) to secure a legislative majority in November that will allow the state to pass an ESA bill that failed last year.
Nevertheless, school-choice evangelists suffered a defeat last week in Oklahoma, where the state Supreme Court blocked plans to establish the country’s first religious charter school. Last year, an Oklahoma school board voted to approve a Catholic Archdiocese application to create the taxpayer-funded St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School. State Attorney General Gentner Drummond, a Republican, sued to stop the school from opening, alleging that a contract between the state and a religious institution violated state and federal law.

In a 6-2 ruling, the court said Oklahoma’s constitution requires public schools, including charter schools, to be nonsectarian. The court also said that the contract violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the state from using public money to support a religious institution. A lawyer for St. Isidore told the Journal that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is in the works, and let’s hope so.
As Justice Dana Kuehn wrote in her powerful dissent, allowing St. Isidore to operate a charter school “would not be establishing, aiding, or favoring any particular religious organization.” But “excluding private entities from contracting for functions, based solely on religious affiliation, would violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,” which protects religious people from unequal treatment.
There’s reason to believe, based on recent rulings, that a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court would find Justice Kuehn’s argument persuasive. In Espinoza v. Montana (2020), the court endorsed a state tax-credit program that paid for students to attend religious schools. In Carson v. Makin (2022), the court sided with families who had challenged a state tuition-assistance program that excluded private religious schools. In both cases, the majority concluded that barring religious schools from receiving public benefits because they’re religious schools violates the Free Exercise Clause.
The hostility to religion exhibited by the Oklahoma Supreme Court deserves no less of a rebuke than the school-choice hypocrisy identified by Ms. Rice. The U.S. Supreme Court shouldn’t waste an opportunity to make that clear.
9. Judge’s ruling protects migrant shelter on US-Mexico border and accuses Texas of harassment, By Valerie Gonzalez, Associated Press, July 2, 2024, 4:17 PM
A judge blasted efforts by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to shutter one of the oldest and largest migrant shelters on the U.S.-Mexico border in a scathing ruling Tuesday, accusing the Republican of “outrageous” conduct over his claims that the shelter encourages migrants to enter the country illegally.
Judge Francisco X. Dominguez ruled that Paxton’s attempts to enforce a subpoena for records of migrants who have been served at Annunciation House in the last few years violated the El Paso shelter’s constitutional rights. His ruling prevents Paxton from seeking the records and protects the shelter from what Dominguez called “harassment and overreaching” by Paxton’s office.
Paxton’s office did not respond to requests for comment, but the state is expected to appeal.
Annunciation House is one of several nonprofit groups that help migrants from which Paxton’s office has sought information in recent months. Team Brownsville, which assists migrants who are dropped off by federal agents in the border city of Brownsville, received a letter demanding documents in May. Paxton is also suing Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley seeking testimony.

10. UK cultural grandees urge Vatican to keep TLM in new ‘Agatha Christie’ letter, By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, July 2, 2024, 7:32 PM
Prominent U.K. figures in the arts, business, journalism, and politics have appealed to the Vatican not to impose new restrictions on the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass.
In a letter to the Times of London, published July 3, more than 40 signatories, Catholic and non-Catholic  — including “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, human rights activist Bianca Jagger, and opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa — lamented “worrying reports from Rome that the Latin Mass is to be banished from nearly every Catholic church.”
“We implore the Holy See to reconsider any further restriction of access to this magnificent spiritual and cultural heritage,” said the letter, also signed by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, historian Tom Holland, and Princess Michael of Kent, a member of Britain’s royal family.
The letter explicitly echoed an appeal by artists and writers published by the Times of London in July 1971. The signatories of the earlier letter, including mystery writer Agatha Christie, novelist Graham Greene, and violinist Yehudi Menuhin, expressed alarm at reports of “a plan to obliterate” the pre-Vatican Council II Mass.
That appeal reached Pope Paul VI, who is said to have exclaimed “Ah, Agatha Christie!” as he read the list of signatories. The pope signed a document allowing the bishops of England and Wales to grant permission for Traditional Latin Masses to be offered on special occasions, known today as the “Agatha Christie indult.

The new letter cited the 1971 appeal’s argument that the Traditional Latin Mass belonged to “universal culture,” because it had “inspired a host of priceless achievements in the arts — not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs.”

In a companion op-ed to the letter, also published in The Times, signatory James MacMillan described restrictions on the Extraordinary Form introduced in 2021 as “a shattering blow to Generation Z Catholics who have found their spiritual home in the old liturgy.”
The Scottish Catholic composer wrote: “The fact that there are Vatican functionaries indulging in this petty, philistine authoritarianism against their own co-religionists is shocking for a non-Catholic audience.”
“Fortunately, creative artists and other public figures are once more coming forward in defence of religious freedom via a letter to The Times.”
Other signatories to the letter included the cellists Steven Isserlis and Julian Lloyd Webber, the conductor Jane Glover, the sopranos Sophie Bevan and Felicity Lott, and the pianists Imogen Cooper, Stephen Hough, András Schiff, and Mitsuko Uchida.
The letter was also signed by members of the House of Lords, the upper house of Britain’s Parliament, including the human rights campaigner David Alton and composer Michael Berkeley.
The interior designer Nina Campbell and fashion designer Paul Smith were also among the signatories, as were the actor Susan Hampshire, and the authors Antonia Fraser and A.N. Wilson.
The letter was also signed by Fraser Nelson, editor of the U.K.’s Spectator magazine, and Charles Moore, a former editor of The Telegraph newspaper.
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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