TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 270 – Dr. Edward Sri On Eucharistic Congress & Jewish Students Take UCLA To Court!
As we’re just a month away from the National Eucharistic Congress, Dr. Edward Sri joins to discuss the ongoing pilgrimage and what this moment offers us all in light of his new book, What Do You Seek. Becket attorney Laura Wolk Slavis joins with a glimpse into a case revolving around campus encampments and 3 Jewish UCLA students that are finally getting their day in court after months of violence and discrimination. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 5pmET on EWTN radio!
1. On anniversary of Dobbs ruling, parents share stories of adoptions spurred by fall of Roe, The Dobbs generation: Parents celebrate two years of ‘babies whose lives have been saved’, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, June 21, 2024
There are children growing up today because of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson — one of them is a Florida boy named Jacob.
His birth mother was nearly six months pregnant when she sought an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic shortly after the court overturned Roe v. Wade. She was stopped by Florida’s 15-week abortion limit, which kicked in automatically after the Dobbs ruling.
Ashley and Dusty Steckman recounted what happened next.

The Steckmans, who sought to adopt after being unable to have children of their own, described Jacob as a boy who “loves Jesus, people, and anything trucks-related.”
“We are so grateful to the Lord and the impact that Jacob’s life has had on us, our extended family and our community,” said Mr. Steckman. “We are forever thankful to our birth mother for allowing him a chance at life.”
On the pro-choice side, the Women’s March has planned a weekend of nationwide “women’s strikes,” culminating in a demonstration Monday at the Supreme Court.
Vice President Kamala Harris met Thursday with model Chrissy Teigen for a discussion on “the continued fight for reproductive freedoms.” They were joined by “patients, providers, and advocates for reproductive rights from across the country,” according to the White House.
2. Archbishop Viganò’s Astonishing Transformation from Vatican Insider to Alleged Schismatic, Whatever the results of his canonical trial, the controversies Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has stirred up and the polemical climate that he epitomizes will persist for the foreseeable future as major challenges to Catholic unity., By Francis X. Rocca, National Catholic Register, June 21, 2024
Nine years ago, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was the Holy See’s envoy to the U.S., dealing with the White House and Congress to prepare for Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the country.
This week, Archbishop Viganò is being tried by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, accused of fomenting schism — a split in the Catholic Church — by denying the legitimacy of Pope Francis and rejecting the Second Vatican Council. He faces possible penalties that include excommunication and dismissal from the priesthood.
The archbishop’s astonishing transformation is an extreme example of the polarization that has beset the Church and wider society over the last decade. Whatever the results of his trial, the controversies that he has stirred up and the polemical climate that he epitomizes will persist for the foreseeable future as major challenges to Catholic unity.

It is hard to imagine that Archbishop Viganò’s followers number more than a small fraction of the 600,000 laypeople who the SSPX says attend its liturgies today. The former nuncio is a gadfly, not the founder of a movement. Yet his incendiary message has reached millions, owing in part to the power of social media and the volatile atmosphere of current public discourse.
Church history is replete with examples of polemic even more ferocious than Archbishop Viganò’s. But the speed and reach of communication media today is, of course, unprecedented. The Vatican will have to contend with this reality from now on, whoever the Pope is and whatever discontents he has to address.
3. Trump’s Allies Say They’ll Enforce the Comstock Act. Believe Them, By Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times, June 21, 2024, Opinion
Until the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, it was hard for feminists to get Americans to take the threat of losing the constitutional right to abortion seriously. Describing Hillary Clinton’s inability, in 2016, to shake pro-choice voters out of their complacency, The New York Times’s Lisa Lerer and Elizabeth Dias wrote, “Internal campaign polling and focus groups showed that the issue did not resonate strongly with key groups of voters, because they did not believe Roe was truly at risk.”
It is similarly difficult to get Americans to appreciate the threat that the 19th-century Comstock Act could be resurrected. Named colloquially for the fanatical postal inspector Anthony Comstock, the 1873 act — which is actually a set of anti-vice laws — bans the mailing of “obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy or vile” material, including devices and substances used “for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral purpose.” Though never repealed, it was, until recently, considered a dead letter, made moot by Supreme Court decisions on free speech, birth control and abortion.
But with Roe overturned, some in Donald Trump’s orbit see a chance to reanimate Comstock, using it to ban medication abortion — and maybe surgical abortion as well — without passing new federal legislation.

While the Stop Comstock Act may never reach Biden’s desk, there’s something he can do this moment to strike a public blow against the zombie law: pardon D.M. Bennett, a freethinking publisher and one of Comstock’s nemeses, who in 1879 was sentenced to 13 months of hard labor for mailing an anti-marriage tract called “Cupid’s Yokes.” Petitioning the Biden administration, Robert Corn-Revere, chief counsel to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, wrote, “By granting this pardon, the president would help right the injustice resulting from D.M. Bennett’s wrongful prosecution and conviction, and at the same time send the important message that Victorian-era laws should not be revived to undermine Americans’ individual rights.”
The message would in fact go further. It’s not just that laws from the 1800s shouldn’t be brought back to life, but that if Biden isn’t re-elected, they could be.
4. La.’s Ten Commandments law will test religion-friendly courts, experts say, The state’s Republican governor signed a measure requiring taxpayer-financed schools to prominently post a specific version of the commandments by Jan. 1., By Michelle Boorstein and Danielle Paquette, The Washington Post, June 20, 2024, 5:50 PM
Louisiana’s law requiring the Ten Commandments in every classroom will test the new legal climate created by the Supreme Court, which has tossed earlier standards that protected the separation of church and state, experts said Thursday.
The law signed by Gov. Jeff Landry (R) Wednesday is the first one of its kind in the country since 1980, when a more moderate Supreme Court ruled a similar Kentucky law unconstitutional. The new law gives schools until Jan. 1 to display the Ten Commandments on “a poster or framed document that is at least eleven inches by fourteen inches” in every classroom. The commandments have to be the display’s “central focus” and be “printed in a large, easily readable font,” the law says.
On Thursday, as legal experts debated how courts would see the Louisiana law, various religious leaders in the state voiced excitement and worry about what the Ten Commandments measure portends.
Lawyers from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and the ACLU said they planned to file a lawsuit next week against the new law.
5. Peace must be a priority, say Catholic leaders on anniversary of priests’ violent deaths in Mexico, Two years have passed since a leader of one of Mexico’s organized crime gangs stormed into a Catholic church in the remote Tarahumara mountains and fatally shot two Jesuit priests, By MarÍa Teresa HernÁndez, Associated Press, June 20, 2024, 10:20 PM
Two years have passed since a leader of one of Mexico’s organized crime gangs stormed into a Catholic church in the remote Tarahumara mountains and fatally shot two Jesuit priests.
Among many faith leaders nationwide, the pain unleashed on June 20, 2022 — when the Revs. Javier Campos Morales, 79, and Joaquín César Mora Salazar, 80, were murdered by a local gang leader — has not faded. Nor their quest for peace.
“The murders of Fathers Javier and Joaquín has allowed us to redefine the pain that lives in the hearts of many corners of the country,” the Catholic bishops conference of Mexico said in a news release Thursday. “To build a shared movement that has peace as its horizon and the victims of violence as its starting point.”
The bells at Jesuit churches and neighboring Catholic parishes tolled for the slain priests on Thursday afternoon. Later, dozens gathered at a church in Mexico City for a Mass in their honor. It was followed by the inauguration of a nearby mural depicting Campos and Mora called “Cerocahui Memory.”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, since he took office in 2018, has avoided direct confrontation with cartels and violent gangs controlling and terrorizing local communities. His “hugs, not bullets” policy has drawn extensive criticism from faith leaders, human rights organizations and journalists who have echoed victims’ fears and anger.

Both Sheinbaum and López Obrador have rejected any criticism of the government’s security strategies, claiming that homicide levels were reduced during the last administration. In contrast, church leaders have repeatedly said that Mexico suffers from a “deep crisis of violence and social decomposition.”

In its news release Thursday, the bishops’ conference announced the start of the “Local Peace Projects,” which will include various actions in schools, neighborhoods, companies and family environments.
The peace proposal from the Catholic Church addresses seven topics: reconstruction of the social fabric, security, justice, prisons, youth, governance and human rights.
6. Why the Southern Baptists Said No to IVF, A resolution affirms the moral goodness of new life, but not of all means to achieve it., By R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Andrew T. Walker, The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2024, 5:35 PM, Opinion
The Southern Baptist Convention—whose nearly 13 million members make it the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.—is often described as a “barometer” for evangelical sentiments nationwide. Yet last week the convention did something few Christian bodies have done: It adopted a resolution opposing the use of in vitro fertilization.
Public debates about IVF and advanced reproductive technology aren’t new. Yet when the practice emerged in the 1970s, religious institutions often viewed it as a medical marvel that would rarely be needed. Some, like the Catholic Church, developed teachings on the matter within years (in that case, that IVF is unacceptable). Others, like the Southern Baptists, needed to be prodded.
That catalyst finally came in February, when the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine that embryos—frozen in repositories or in utero—are legal persons under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. The logic struck many as obvious and unobjectionable: Christians acknowledge that life, which begins at conception, is sacred and must be protected. Frozen embryos are no exception.

The SBC resolution also acknowledges the pain of infertility and assures that those who experience it are heard by God, “who offers compassion and grace.” Such families may be called to parenthood through adoption, or to other life-giving ministries. The statement nevertheless encourages Southern Baptists “to reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage, and to only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation.”
The Southern Baptists’ position on in vitro fertilization will be derided as strange and retrograde. But the destruction and commodification of human life is sufficiently important to risk derision.
Mr. Mohler is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mr. Walker is an associate professor at the seminary and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
7. San Diego Catholic Charities Struggles With Security Risks After Accusation of ‘Smuggling’, For years, San Diego Catholic Charities has offered immigrant services in the Diocese of San Diego, By Daniel Payne, National Catholic Register, June 20, 2024
A California Catholic charity has been struggling for weeks to deal with ongoing security risks amid claims that the organization is illegally sheltering and trafficking migrants.
Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego CEO Vino Pajanor told CNA that the ongoing chaos, which includes protests and harassing messages, has been a shock even to workers who have served at the organization for decades.
“They have never seen something like this,” he said.
The difficulties began earlier this year after activist-journalist James O’Keefe reported on what he described as an “illegal immigrant compound” at a Ramada Suites in San Diego. In the video, O’Keefe suggests the facility is involved in the trafficking of illegal immigrants.

There is no truth, Pajanor said, to the suggestion that the charity is participating in a smuggling scheme.
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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