1. Biden Pick Confirmed To Join Appeals Court, By Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2023, Pg. A2 The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed abortion-rights lawyer Julie Rikelman to a U.S. appeals court, resolving a high-profile nomination by President Biden that had been pending nearly a year. Rikelman, 51 years old, will join the Boston-based First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over four northeastern states, plus Puerto Rico. She has worked as an advocate for abortion rights for more than a decade, most recently leading U.S. litigation for the Center for Reproductive Rights.  Representing a Mississippi abortion clinic at the Supreme Court, she was on the losing end of last year’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overruled Roe v. Wade and ended nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for women seeking the procedure.    https://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-confirms-abortion-rights-lawyer-to-u-s-appeals-court-e594a528 __________________________________________________________ 2. Abortion Views Are Risky Turf On G.O.P. Trail, By Katie Glueck, The New York Times, June 21, 2023, Pg. A1 In the year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, one of the country’s most emotionally charged issues has come to be defined by two seemingly contradictory political realities. In competitive general elections, abortion rights emerged as among the greatest electoral strengths for Democrats and, often, a clear liability for Republicans: Americans say at record levels that they support at least some access to the procedure, and the issue has fueled Democratic victories across the nation. At the same time, Republican-dominated state legislatures have moved rapidly to sharply limit or ban access to abortion. Activists are demanding that G.O.P. presidential candidates make firm commitments about federal restrictions, and are urging ever-further-reaching legislation in the states.  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/20/us/politics/republicans-abortion.html __________________________________________________________ 3. Democrat AGs chide Target for dropping Pride Month products, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, June 21, 2023, Pg. A8 Democrat prosecutors aren’t happy with Target Corp. for removing Pride Month merchandise created by a designer whose work includes satanic themes. A coalition of 15 Democrat attorneys general told Target CEO Brian Cornell that pulling Pride products over safety concerns represents a setback for the “march for social progress” and encouraged him to reach out to their offices for help with any anti-LGBTQ threats or harassment. “While we understand the basis for this action, we are also concerned it sends a message that those who engage in hateful and disruptive conduct can cause even large corporations to succumb to their bullying, and that they have the power to determine when LGBTQIA+ consumers will feel comfortable in Target stores — or anywhere in society,” the group wrote in a letter Tuesday.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/jun/20/target-slapped-democrat-attorneys-general-dropping/ __________________________________________________________ 4. The Largest and Fastest Religious Shift in America Is Well Underway,By Jessica Grose, The New York Times, June 21, 2023, 8:00 AM, Opinion In previous newsletters about Americans falling away from religion, I’ve talked about why so many Americans’ religious identities now fall in the category known as “nones” when, just a half-century ago, nearly all Americans had some kind of affiliation.  But it’s not just how Americans identify that has greatly shifted. In their new book, “The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back?,” Jim Davis and Michael Graham with Ryan Burge argue that the most dramatic change may be in regular attendance at houses of worship. “We are currently in the middle of the largest and fastest religious shift in the history of our country,” they postulate, because “about 15 percent of American adults living today (around 40 million people) have effectively stopped going to church, and most of this dechurching has happened in the past 25 years.” While the authors find that there is some variation in the rates at which different demographic groups are dechurching (Hispanic Americans are dechurching at the lowest rate, for example), every group is trending away from traditional worship. As Davis, Graham and Burge put it: “No theological tradition, age group, ethnicity, political affiliation, education level, geographic location or income bracket escaped the dechurching in America.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/21/opinion/religion-dechurching.html __________________________________________________________ 5. Organizers of Pope’s synod insist they have ‘no agenda’ beyond listening, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, June 21, 2023 Organizers of Pope Francis’s upcoming Synod of Bishops on Synodality have hit back against insinuations that the working document for the gathering is skewed in favor of liberal-minded Catholics, arguing that there is no conspiracy or pre-set agenda for the discussion. Speaking to journalists at a June 20 presentation of the synod’s working document, called the Instrumentum Laboris, Jesuit Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxemburg said, “We have no agenda.”  A more than 27,000-word text, the Instrumentum Laboris stresses unity in diversity and the need to lead the Catholic Church “beyond fragmentation and polarization,” prioritizing a genuine dialogue when there is a difference of opinion, rather than alienating those who disagree. However, the list of issues up for discussion generally reflect the priorities and concerns of more progressively-minded Catholics, whereas concerns associated more with conservative-minded Catholics are absent. Much space in the document is given to listening to voices that feel marginalized and excluded, including divorced and remarried Catholics, members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as those seeking the ordination of women deacons and the married priesthood. Issues of greater concern to conservatives, such as abortion, euthanasia, and the Latin Mass, are not mentioned, and the topic of marriage and family generally is not addressed.  https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2023/06/organizers-of-popes-synod-insist-they-have-no-agenda-beyond-listening __________________________________________________________ 6. Abortion rights groups drop suit challenging Kentucky’s ban but continue legal fight, By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press, June 20, 2023, 8:23 PM Abortion-rights groups filed a court motion Tuesday to dismiss their lawsuit challenging Kentucky’s near-total abortion ban but signaled that the legal fight is far from over. The groups’ strategy will focus on the next legal challenge expected to come from pregnant women who were denied abortion services in Kentucky. “We will be back in court when we have a patient plaintiff,” Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky state director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, said in a statement.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/06/20/abortion-ban-kentucky-lawsuit/f34245a8-0fb9-11ee-8d22-5f65b2e2f6ad_story.html __________________________________________________________ 7. Four German bishops block funding for permanent synodal council, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, June 20, 2023, 7:00 AM Four German bishops voted Tuesday against providing funding for the synod committee that is preparing to introduce a permanent German synodal council to oversee the Church in Germany.  The four bishops are Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne and three bishops from Bavaria: Gregor Maria Hanke, OSB, of Eichstätt; Stefan Oster of Passau; and Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg. The German Bishops’ Conference issued a statement June 20 saying: “For a large majority of the diocesan bishops, it is important that the 15 decisions of the synodal assembly be implemented as soon as possible.” However, the statement continued, since a unanimous decision of the bishops is needed to provide financial and human resources, “and four bishops have declared that they will not agree to further financing of the Synodal Way,” it is now necessary to find other ways of financing, according to a report by CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language partner news agency.   On Tuesday, the four bishops who voted against the funding of the synodal committee at a gathering of the 27 diocesan bishops in Berlin said in a joint press release that “the plan to organize a synodal committee in Germany now, which will then establish a synodal council, is against the clear instruction of the pope.”   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254611/four-german-bishops-block-funding-for-permanent-synodal-council__________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.