1. Between the Bishops and Joe Biden, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, June 23, 2021, Pg. A18, Opinion
Is there is any evidence that the Catholic politicians of the left, the next generations of Joe Bidens, will stand firmly against any of these looming, more-than-just-abortion trends? I think the answer is no: There is just too little daylight now between secular utilitarianism and liberal Catholicism in its political and partisan form. Left-leaning Catholic intellectuals may write regretfully or critically about the commodification of human life or the spread of suicide, but on the evidence of the past few decades, Catholic Democratic politicians are likely to go along with whatever secular progress or individualism is supposed to require.
Thus the dilemma for the American Catholic bishops in the year 2021. There are many good reasons to avoid a political confrontation over communion and abortion right now, many reasons to expect that any effort will backfire or just fail.
But if, over the next few generations, we move into a world where the liberalism of Catholic politicians requires them to support not just abortion rights but a brave new world of human life manufactured, commodified, vivisected and casually snuffed out — well, then the bishops of tomorrow may look back on today and wish they’d found a way to say “enough.”
2. Polish Catholic archbishop urges European Parliament to reject abortion report, By Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2021, 3:30 AM
A Polish Catholic archbishop urged members of the European Parliament on Tuesday to reject a report describing abortion as “essential healthcare” and redefining conscientious objection as a “denial of medical care.”
Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the president of the Polish bishops’ conference, made the appeal on June 22 as the European Union’s law-making body prepared to vote on the report calling on all EU member states to allow access to abortion.
3. Pope Francis warns against preachers who sow division online, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2021, 6:35 AM
At his general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis warned against preachers who sow division and mistrust online.
“There is no shortage of preachers who, especially through the new means of communication, can disturb communities. They present themselves not primarily to announce the Gospel of God who loves man in Jesus, Crucified and Risen, but to insist, as true ‘keepers of the truth,’ … what is the best way to be Christians,” the pope said June 23.

Pope Francis said that these “new preachers” can be recognized by their “rigidity,” which contrasts with “preaching the Gospel that makes us free, makes us joyful.”
4. Texas governor signs ‘trigger’ abortion ban, By Catholic News Agency, June 22, 2021, 10:01 AM
The governor of Texas signed two bills last week, to prevent the future closure of churches during disasters and to ban abortions if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the bills among a series of other measures last week.
He signed the Human Life Protection Act of 2021, House Bill 1280, on June 16. The bill makes it illegal for anyone to “knowingly perform, induce, or attempt an abortion,” with exceptions for situations where the life of the mother would be at risk in continuing the pregnancy.
Women who have abortions would not be held liable or penalized under the law. Abortionists could be fined $100,000 for illegal abortions.
The bill would only go into effect, however, 30 days after the Supreme court issued a judgment “overruling, wholly or partly, Roe v. Wade, as modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
5. After Outcry, Vatican Eases Restrictions on Individual Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica, By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, June 22, 2021, 4:35 AM
The archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica has made concessions to widen opportunities for priests to celebrate individual daily morning Masses in the basilica, but also has stressed that concelebrated Masses must nevertheless remain the norm there.
In a three-page note issued on Tuesday (see English translation here), Cardinal Mauro Gambetti acknowledged that exceptions need to be made for a priest to celebrate individual Masses “in which the benefit to the faithful does not require, or advise, otherwise.”
He wrote that groups with “special and legitimate needs will be granted as far as possible” and that “requests for individual celebrations can also be discerned on a case-by-case basis, without prejudice to the principle that everything should take place in an atmosphere of recollection and decorum.”

6. High Court Favors Plaintiffs in Fulton … But Fails to Affirm Religious Freedom for All Americans, By Thomas Farr, Religious Freedom Institute, June 22, 2021, Opinion
The Religious Freedom Institute applauds the 9-0 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. Thanks to the Court, Catholic Social Services (CSS) may now resume, at least for the time being, its vital work of placing foster children in loving homes.
Protecting the First Amendment right of religious free exercise for all (free exercise equality) is important for our nation. It not only guarantees an inalienable right, given by God to each of us. It also places crucial limits on power at all levels of government and ensures the presence of religious ideas in our public debates over law and public policy. Equally important, the right of free exercise ensures the contributions of America’s religious communities to the public good, such as caring for foster children.
Unfortunately, while the Supreme Court in Fulton vindicated for now the rights of CSS and the foster families it serves, the decision was based on a technicality, which could easily be overcome should the city decide to pursue its anti-free exercise ideology.

Today, a majority of justices appear to agree that the Smith rule has harmed free exercise in America. But in Fulton, a majority also agreed not to overturn it. The final ruling simply declared that Smith did not apply. Why? Because the Philadelphia law had allowed for exemptions, which meant it technically was not a law of general applicability.

The High Court rightly vindicated for now the rights of CSS and the foster parents who trust CSS as a partner in their desire to care for needy children in Philadelphia. It should also have put America’s First Freedom back where it belongs – at the center of American life.
 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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