1. Congress Can’t ‘Codify Roe v. Wade’, By Thomas J. Molony, The Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion President Biden last week urged the U.S. Senate to abolish the filibuster so that Congress can “codify Roe v. Wade.” But the filibuster’s 60-vote requirement isn’t the most serious impediment to the Women’s Health Protection Act, a Democratic bill that passed the House, or for that matter to Republican Sen. Susan Collins’s more modest Reproductive Choice Act. The most serious impediment is the Constitution. The Constitution is silent on abortion, as the Supreme Court held last month in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. But it speaks clearly about the limits on congressional power. The most recent version of the Women’s Health Protection Act doesn’t cite any source of congressional authority, but earlier versions pointed to Section 5 of the 14th Amendment and Article I’s Commerce Clause. Both are dead ends. Section 5 gives Congress the power to enforce the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. But in City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), the court emphasized that Section 5 wouldn’t permit Congress to alter the 14th Amendment’s substance. The court found that Section 5 wouldn’t permit Congress to impose on states the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s rigorous test for regulations infringing on religious exercise. The same rationale precludes Congress from using Section 5 to breathe life back into Roe.  The Commerce Clause likewise is of no avail. To be sure, the court has interpreted Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce broadly. The justices have upheld, among other things, federal regulation of the price of milk produced and sold exclusively within a single state and restrictions on the production of wheat for a farmer’s own use. But the Commerce Clause has limits. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012), five justices determined that Congress can’t use its commerce power to compel individuals to engage in commerce. Congress similarly can’t force a state to allow a healthcare provider to offer abortion services on congressional terms.  As the court reminded President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. U.S. (1935), federal officials “are not at liberty to transcend imposed limits because they believe that more or different power is necessary.” The Constitution doesn’t empower Congress to force states to allow abortion against their wishes. What Mr. Biden said about the Covid pandemic applies to legislating abortion rights: “There is no federal solution.” Mr. Molony is a law professor at Elon University. https://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-cant-codify-roe-v-wade-abortion-dobbs-14th-amendment-constitution-religious-exercise-justices-filibuster-11656953182?__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis says he hopes Vatican-China deal will be renewed, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, July 5, 2022, 4:49 AM Pope Francis said he hopes the Vatican’s provisional agreement with China on the appointment of Catholic bishops will be renewed for the second time in October. In comments to Reuters published Tuesday, the pope said “the agreement is moving well and I hope that in October it can be renewed.” The Vatican-China agreement was first signed in September 2018 and then renewed for another two years in October 2020. The terms of the agreement have not been made public. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251716/pope-francis-says-he-hopes-vatican-china-deal-will-be-renewed__________________________________________________________ 3. In a Post-Roe World, We Can Avoid Pitting Mothers Against Babies, By Leah Libresco Sargeant, The New York Times, July 4, 2022 Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, states face a new reality about where to draw the line in pregnancy for when abortion is permitted. In these debates, ectopic pregnancy is a key issue. In an ectopic pregnancy, the baby implants somewhere other than the uterus — usually in a fallopian tube. The situation is fatal for the baby. It’s also dangerous for the mother. The fallopian tube can rupture, and the bleeding can be so fast and so sudden that it puts the mother’s life at risk. Pro-life doctors and pro-life ethicists agree it is morally licit to save a mother’s life, even at her baby’s expense — but they draw a distinction between the treatment for ectopic pregnancy and an abortion. From a pro-life perspective, delivering a baby who is ectopic is closer to delivering a baby very prematurely because the mother has life-threatening eclampsia. A baby delivered at 22 weeks may or may not survive. A baby delivered in the first trimester because of an ectopic pregnancy definitely won’t survive. But in both cases, a pro-life doctor sees herself as delivering a child, who is as much a patient as the mother. A pro-life approach to ectopic pregnancy may countenance similar procedures but still sees it as different from an approach that equates it to abortion. When a mother’s life is threatened by the course of her pregnancy, there is a wide gulf between a culture that assumes she and her baby are pitted against each other and one in which both are valued.  Doctors can’t value women more by dismissing our babies as worth less. Even women who support abortion access may find it jarring to have their child’s life dismissed when they hoped they would hold this baby. It’s better to be honest about tragedy and loss than to pretend that only one person is on the table. Mrs. Sargeant has written books about religion and community building and runs an online community that focuses on the dignity of dependence. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/04/opinion/ectopic-pregnancy-roe-abortion.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Cardinal Hummes, close friend of Pope Francis, dies at 87, By Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press, July 4, 2022, 1:47 PM Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Brazilian Catholic cardinal who inspired Pope Francis to pick his name after the 2013 conclave, died on Monday at the age of 87. He was one of the country’s main religious leaders and a strong advocate for the poor. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/cardinal-hummes-close-friend-of-pope-francis-dies-at-87/2022/07/04/a069beb0-fbb5-11ec-b39d-71309168014b_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Pope denies resignation rumors, hopes to visit Kyiv, Moscow, By Associated Press, July 4, 2022, 10:35 AM Pope Francis has dismissed rumors he plans to resign anytime soon, and says that he hopes to visit Moscow and Kyiv after traveling to Canada later this month. Francis also told Reuters in an interview published Monday that the idea “never entered my mind” to announce a planned retirement at the end of the summer, though he repeated he might step down some day as Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI did in 2013. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pope-denies-resignation-rumors-hopes-to-visit-kyiv-moscow/2022/07/04/3d64c7a8-fb95-11ec-b39d-71309168014b_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. The Death Penalty Is in Sharp Decline, By Maurice Chammah, The New York Times, July 3, 2022, Pg. SR3, Opinion The public seems to have returned to the same ambivalence about the death penalty that preceded the Furman decision. Public opinion polls conducted by Gallup show support for capital punishment hovers just above 50 percent — its lowest point since the early 1970s. Death sentences and executions are both falling, thanks in large part to aggressive efforts by defense lawyers. Last year, just 18 people were sentenced to death in the United States, down from 315 in 1996, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Twenty-seven states retain capital punishment, but just 14 have carried out an execution in the past five years. About a third of the country’s 2,500 death row prisoners are in California and other states with official moratoriums on executions.  Last year, I discovered in my reporting that in at least half the states with an active death penalty, Republican lawmakers had recently sponsored or written bills to ban or constrain the punishment. The Republican-led legislature in Ohio, for instance, voted to prohibit the death penalty for defendants who had severe mental illness at the time of the offense. The Republican governor signed the bill. And some Ohio Republicans, along with fellow Republicans in Georgia, Utah and a few other states, are talking about abolishing the death penalty. “For a long time it gnawed at me, being pro-life, that I was willing to let somebody be killed,” Jean Schmidt, a Republican and member of the Ohio House of Representatives, told Vox. When capital punishment finally disappears — and it is on its way out, even if that will be a very slow process — it will be because opponents succeeded in making their case, not to nine justices, but to millions of voters and jurors. Mr. Chammah is a staff writer at the Marshall Project and the author of “Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-urges-congo-south-sudan-to-work-for-peace-prosperity/2022/07/02/13eb9820-f9f6-11ec-81db-ac07a394a86b_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Pope urges Congo, South Sudan to work for peace, prosperity, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 2, 2022, 8:15 AM Pope Francis urged the people and leaders of Congo and South Sudan on Saturday to “turn a page” and forge new paths of reconciliation, peace and development. Francis issued a video message on the day he had planned to begin a weeklong pilgrimage to the two African countries. He canceled the scheduled trip last month because of knee pain that makes walking and standing difficult. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-urges-congo-south-sudan-to-work-for-peace-prosperity/2022/07/02/13eb9820-f9f6-11ec-81db-ac07a394a86b_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. The 14th Amendment Should Protect Fetal Life, By Erika Bachiochi, The New York Times, July 2, 2022, Pg. A23 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has returned the issue of abortion to legislatures. There, pro-lifers will work to ensure that unborn children in every jurisdiction are protected by law. Though individual states can (and already have) sought to protect the most vulnerable human beings through ordinary legislation, constitutional protection of unborn children as equal “persons” under the law remains the movement’s ultimate — if elusive — goal. Making this constitutional case will require rejecting the concept that a rights-bearing person is fundamentally self-owning and autonomous. Indeed, it is precisely the unborn child’s state of existential dependence upon its mother, not its autonomy, that makes it especially entitled to care, nurture and legal protection too. To exclude some human beings from the law’s protection because of their size, location and state of dependency (and post Roe, whichever jurisdiction their mother happens to be in) seems to pro-lifers an egregious human rights violation, just the kind we believe the 14th Amendment was meant to prevent.  Without robust societal support of pregnant women and child-rearing families, too many women will be left to regard their unborn children as trespassers on their already taxed lives rather than unbidden gifts that open new horizons to them. These women need society’s utmost assistance — not abortion, or scorn. Ms. Bachiochi is a conservative legal scholar who wrote that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. She is the author of “The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision.” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/01/opinion/fetal-personhood-constitution.html__________________________________________________________ 9. Pope Francis: ‘I believe it is time to rethink the concept of a just war’, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, July 1, 2022, 10:26 AM In an interview published Friday, Pope Francis said that he believes it is time to rethink the concept of “just war.” “I believe it is time to rethink the concept of a ‘just war.’ A war may be just, there is the right to defend oneself. But we need to rethink the way that the concept is used nowadays,” Pope Francis said. “I have said that the use and possession of nuclear weapons are immoral. Resolving conflicts through war is saying no to verbal reasoning, to being constructive. … War is essentially a lack of dialogue.”  “A person who knew about statistics told me, I don’t remember the numbers well, that if weapons were not manufactured for a year, there would be no hunger in the world,” he said. Pope Francis described how he cried during visits to war cemeteries in Europe, including the Redipuglia World War I memorial and Anzio World War II cemetery in Italy. “And when the anniversary of the landing in Normandy was commemorated, I thought of the 30,000 boys who were left dead on the beach. They opened the boats and said, ‘get off, get off,’ they were ordered while the Nazis waited for them. Is that justified? Visiting military cemeteries in Europe helps one realize this,” he said. The pope also said that the situation in Europe today shows that the United Nations “has no power” to stop a war. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251691/pope-francis-i-believe-it-is-time-to-rethink-the-concept-of-a-just-war__________________________________________________________ 10. Maryland law expanding who can perform abortion takes effect, By Brian Witte, Associated Press, July 1, 2022 A Maryland law taking effect Friday will enable nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants who receive special training to perform abortions, as some states seek to expand access to the procedure after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.  Fourteen states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington — now allow non-physicians to provide abortions, said Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute in New York, a think tank that supports abortion rights.  To enact the law, Democrats who control the Maryland General Assembly overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Hogan, in his veto letter to lawmakers, wrote that the measure “risks lowering the high standard of reproductive health care services received by women in Maryland.” “Unlike nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants, and licensed certified midwives, physicians are uniquely qualified to perform these procedures and resolve any medical complications should they arise,” Hogan wrote. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-delaware-planned-parenthood-government-and-politics-ab30f2f9f9fbc635c9d554606463a307__________________________________________________________ 11. It’s Been a Week Since Roe Was Overturned. Listen in on a Conversation: What Now?, By Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, July 1, 2022, 3:59 PM, Video You can watch my conversation with Maureen Ferguson, Ashley McGuire, and Leigh Snead about what needs to happen now at your convenience. Our conversation was co-sponsored by the National Review Institute and the Catholic Association. It’s the first in a Fridays for Life series NRI will be presenting virtually. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/its-been-a-week-since-roe-was-overturned-listen-in-on-a-conversation-what-now/__________________________________________________________ 12. NY AG asks Google to remove pregnancy centers from ‘abortion’ search results, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, July 1, 2022, 12:58 PM New York’s attorney general office sent Google a letter Tuesday requesting that the company remove pro-life pregnancy centers from search results for abortion services. “A search through Google Maps seeking ‘abortion’ and a location will provide a local listing of both those health care providers who offer abortion services and organizations that do not provide abortion care,” wrote Darsana Srinivasan, chief of the health care bureau in the attorney general’s office. Nearly 3,000 U.S. pregnancy centers provide “​​essential medical, education and support services” to millions every year at little to no cost, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the research arm of SBA Pro-Life America. Thousands of licensed medical workers serve these centers, according to CLI. But in her letter, Srinivasan maintained that crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are not health care providers and will not help women with abortion. “CPCs exist solely to intercept and dissuade pregnant people from making fully informed decisions about their healthcare such as the choice to obtain an abortion,” she claimed. “Including these organizations in a list for an individual seeking abortion services is dangerous and misleading.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251695/ny-ag-asks-google-to-remove-pregnancy-centers-from-abortion-search-results__________________________________________________________ 13. NC AG doesn’t commit to lift 20-week abortion ban injunction, By Hannah Schoenbaum, Associated Press, July 1, 2022 Facing an ultimatum from Republicans following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning abortion protections, North Carolina’s Democratic attorney general on Friday declined to immediately seek enforcement of a 20-week abortion ban previously thrown out by courts. Attorney General Josh Stein, in a letter to legislative leaders, said his department’s attorneys are “conducting a thorough legal review” and speaking with clients involved in litigation that led federal courts to strike down the 20-week ban. Stein reaffirmed his commitment to protect reproductive rights under state law in what he called “an increasingly hostile environment toward women’s freedoms.” https://apnews.com/article/abortion-us-supreme-court-health-north-carolina-reproductive-rights-ca334b14d82f475f5ea39215d7f96f73__________________________________________________________ 14. Vatican closes London property sale at a loss after scandal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 1, 2022, 9:13 AM The Vatican said Friday it had finalized the sale of a London property that is the focus of a criminal trial in the Vatican courts, offloading the former Harrods warehouse for 186 million pounds (215 million euros, US$223 million). The Vatican secretariat of state had poured some 350 million euros into the building and related fees and commissions paid to brokers — losses that are at the heart of the accusations of fraud, embezzlement and extortion against 10 people on trial. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/vatican-closes-london-property-sale-at-a-loss-after-scandal/2022/07/01/99d45876-f93f-11ec-81db-ac07a394a86b_story.html__________________________________________________________ 15. Pope appoints first cardinal from Amazon rainforest, By Fabiano Maisonnave and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 1, 2022, 8:06 AM When the Archbishop of the Brazilian city of Manaus Leonardo Steiner kneels before Pope Francis on August 27, the Brazilian clergyman will make history as the first cardinal to come from the Amazon region.  Steiner attributed his selection to four priorities of the pope: the desire to do more missionary work in the Amazon and to be attentive to the poor; to care for the Amazon “as our common home” and to be a Church that “knows how to contribute to the autonomy of Indigenous people.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-appoints-first-cardinal-from-amazon-rainforest/2022/07/01/355868aa-f936-11ec-81db-ac07a394a86b_story.html__________________________________________________________

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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