TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 166 – Mary Hasson On The Dangers Of Pride & Ashley Mcguire Talks Banning Kids From Social Media As the pride flag has infiltrated almost every arena of public life, Mary Hasson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center joins with a look at how Catholics can combat this ideology that is hurting the most vulnerable–our children! And with the summer months upon us, TCA colleague and co-host Ashley McGuire talks the dangers of social media asking one question: why aren’t there any age restrictions–especially given the detrimental impact its having on youth of all ages. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. A Good Week for Religious Freedom, The Supreme Court reaffirms that states can’t disfavor schools on account of faith., By Richard W. Garnett, The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed that the state of Maine may not selectively discriminate against religious schools or the families who choose to send their children to them. Carson v. Makin is long overdue but still a welcome win for educational choice and pluralism.  In Trinity Lutheran v. Comer (2017), Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (2020) and now Carson, the justices made clear that the Constitution neither requires nor permits discrimination simply on the basis of religion in education funding. Cooperation between governments and religious schools doesn’t establish religion, and antireligious discrimination is inconsistent with the guarantee of free exercise.  More than 25 years ago, school-choice advocates first challenged, unsuccessfully, Maine’s exclusionary tuition program. Tuesday’s vindication was a long time coming, and the faithful and nonbelievers alike can appreciate the benefits for educational diversity. Mr. Garnett is a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and an associated scholar with the Religious Freedom Institute. 2. Court-packing remains boneheaded notion, Mike Lee details the left’s mission to undermine American democracy, By Maureen Ferguson, The Washington Times, June 24, 2022, Pg. B2, Book Review In 1983, then-Sen. Joe Biden called packing the Supreme Court a “bonehead idea.” But on the debate stage in 2020, candidate Biden refused to answer questions about court-packing, and as president, he has entertained calls from the liberal wing of his party for Supreme Court “expansion” or “reform” (as we are now expected to call it). How did such an idea go from “bonehead” to progressive priority? In a new book, “Saving Nine,” Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, both poses and answers this question. He provides a comprehensive chronology of court-packing efforts stretching back to the New Deal and demonstrates why court-packing remains a boneheaded notion. Mr. Lee — a constitutional expert who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and clerked at the Supreme Court for Justice Samuel Alito — ably sifts through historical practice and principle to make the case for “saving nine.”  With “Saving Nine,” Mr. Lee makes a timely contribution to our political discourse, drawing upon his deep experience working in and around the legislative and judicial branches. Let us hope our president and enough leaders in Congress will continue to see court-packing for what it still is: “boneheaded.” Maureen Ferguson is a senior fellow at the Catholic Association. 3. Fertility Doctors Move Embryos to Other States in Case of Roe v. Wade Impact, Patients, IVF companies are lobbying for state protections if abortion laws are changed, By Dominique Mosbergen and Natalie Andrews, The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, 5:30 AM Fertility companies and patients are moving embryos and making contingency plans in case Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion laws in some states extend to protect eggs fertilized in laboratories. More than 2% of 3.7 million babies born in the U.S. in 2019 were conceived through in vitro fertilization, the latest federal data show. Many embryos created through IVF aren’t viable, fertility specialists said, and those that aren’t ultimately transferred into a uterus may be discarded. Some fertility and legal experts said the loss or discarding of embryos could be criminalized by statutes that ban abortion from the moment of fertilization or that grant personhood rights to embryos. 4. Rubio moves to block presidents from expanding abortion, Democrats urge Biden to act before Supreme Court ruling, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, June 24, 2022, Pg. A4 Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill on Thursday that would prevent the White House from using federal emergency authority to expand access to abortion and target states that seek to enforce restrictions on the procedure. The Prohibiting Federal Emergencies for Abortion Act was drafted in response to reports that President Biden is considering issuing executive orders in response to the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on abortion, which could include declaring a public health emergency. “President Biden and Democrats are hell-bent on preserving the practice of murdering unborn Americans,” Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican, told The Washington Times. “We should be protecting the lives of innocent babies, not Planned Parenthood’s ability to kill them. I will do everything I can to protect life and block this gross abuse of presidential power.” 5. ‘Just rumors’: Cardinal Parolin dismisses chatter about pope’s plan to resign, By Claire Giangravé, The Washington Post, June 24, 2022, 6:00 AM Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the second-highest-ranking official at the Vatican, told reporters on June 23 that reports predicting Pope Francis will retire due to his ailing health “are just rumors.” “There is nothing to comment on,” Parolin said when asked about the possibility that Francis might follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, and abdicate the papal chair. Parolin’s statements echoed others who had spoken to the pope in recent weeks and uniformly dismissed the idea of Francis stepping down. 6. The Controversial Economics of Abortion Law, In dueling Supreme Court briefs, experts argue for and against the idea that abortion access brings broad social benefits., By Jon Hilsenrath and Amara Omeokwe, The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2022, 3:29 PM These studies are now playing a role in the Supreme Court’s deliberations in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which some expect, based on a draft decision leaked in early May, to lead to a decision overturning Roe v. Wade.  A group of 240 female researchers who oppose abortion have filed an amicus brief saying that abortion access sets women back. They argue that the legalization of abortion coincided with more women falling into poverty, women reporting lower levels of happiness in surveys and fewer women saying they were in satisfying, long-term relationships. An opposing group of 154 economists filed their own amicus brief in response, stating that “there is a substantial body of well-developed and credible research” contradicting the anti-abortion brief.  Catherine Pakaluk, an associate economics professor at Catholic University who signed the brief against upholding Roe, argues that this whole approach to the issue is incomplete, because it avoids considering the costs and benefits of abortion for one group she finds highly significant: those who are never born because of it. She says that the economists who cite other social or economic benefits should “say upfront that what we’re about to tell you depends upon neglecting the costs to the unborn child because we don’t think his or her costs count.” 7. Harris discusses abortion laws with state attorneys general, By Will Weissert, Associated Press, June 23, 2022, 3:35 PM Vice President Kamala Harris met with attorneys general from seven Democratic-led states on Thursday and suggested they might be able to lead legal challenges of any new state abortion restrictions that grow out of an upcoming Supreme Court ruling expected to weaken the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.  This time she was joined at the White House complex by Attorneys General Josh Kaul of Wisconsin, Aaron Ford of Nevada, Raoul Kwame of Illinois and Venus Johnson, California’s chief deputy attorney general. Participating virtually were Attorneys General Kathleen Jennings of Delaware, Tish James of New York and Bob Ferguson of Washington state. 8. Vatican releases pope’s Canada itinerary, a sign trip is on, By Nicole Winfield and Rob Gillies, Associated Press, June 23, 2022, 2:45 PM The Vatican on Thursday released the itinerary for Pope Francis’ July 24-30 visit to Canada, providing a sign he intends to go ahead with the trip despite knee problems that forced him to cancel a six-day visit to Africa also planned for next month. Francis is due to visit Canada to apologize to Indigenous peoples for abuses they suffered at Catholic-run residential schools. 9. Pope orders online release of WWII-era Pius XII Jewish files, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, June 23, 2022, 11:49 AM Pope Francis has ordered the online publication of 170 volumes of its Jewish files from the recently opened Pope Pius XII archives, the Vatican announced Thursday, amid renewed debate about the legacy of its World War II-era pope.  The online publication of the files comes amid renewed debate about Pius’ legacy following the 2020 opening to scholars of his archives, of which the “Jews” files are but a small part. The Vatican has long defended Pius against criticism from some Jewish groups that he remained silent in the face of the Holocaust, saying he used quiet diplomacy to save lives. 10. 1-year challenge: Knights of Columbus aims to raise $5M for pro-life clinics, maternity homes, By Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2022, 6:12 PM The Knights of Columbus announced Thursday a new goal to donate at least $5 million to pro-life pregnancy centers and maternity homes across the United States and Canada by June 30, 2023. “As Knights, we are called to courage and self-sacrifice,” Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly said in a press release. “Standing for life means making personal sacrifices for women and children in need — being willing to give of our time, skills and financial resources, and accepting the fact that the fruits of our labors are often hidden.” 11. Biden administration seeks school regulation change to ban LGBT discrimination, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2022, 5:45 PM The Biden administration proposed expanding the definition of “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a gender equality law that applies to thousands of schools across the U.S. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects Americans from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal funding. Today, its protections impact everything from women’s participation in sports to sexual harassment at schools.  Its text reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The Department of Education intends to expand discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination based on “sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” it announced Thursday. 12. Report: More than 800,000 lives saved by pro-life pregnancy centers since 2016, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2022, 5:00 PM Pro-life pregnancy centers have saved over 800,000 lives since 2016, according to an analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute. The analysis says that pro-life pregnancy centers “exist to provide support, education, classes, medical care and critical resources for women faced with difficult circumstances surrounding unexpected pregnancy.” CLI, the research arm of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, conducted the analysis with data from more than 1,100 Care Net pregnancy centers, according to a press release. Care Net is a Christian non-profit that offers a network of pro-life pregnancy centers and pro-life education. The data was then weighted by CLI to create national estimates. 13. We March and Fight Under the Banner of Jesus Christ, Flags matter. They symbolize our values. And Catholic institutions have a duty to transmit authentically Catholic values., By Father Roger Landry, National Catholic Register, June 22, 2022 In St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, the training manual of authentic Jesuit spirituality and the most influential retreat program in the history of the Church, the founder of the Society of Jesus has us meditate on “Two Standards” — two flags or military banners — under one of which we must choose to march and fight. One flag is Lucifer’s, the other Christ’s.  The purpose of the meditation is to help us to choose definitively whether we’re going to live by Christ’s principles or those of the world. It makes plain that worldly values and vices are popular, enticing and enslaving, and that the values and virtues of Christ are unpopular, intimidating and demanding. Yet those who seek to become disciples of the One who said, “Come, follow me,” are those who make the determined choice to stand and walk with Christ under his standard. St. Ignatius’ summary of the Christian life and the way of the world — and the choice we have to make between the two — with the image of contrasting flags is a helpful and fitting backdrop to understand the recent decree of Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, to prohibit Nativity School of Worcester from identifying itself as a “Catholic” school and from having institutional access to Mass, sacraments and sacramentals. Flags matter. They symbolize our values. And Catholic institutions have a duty to transmit authentically Catholic values. Bishop McManus’ decision came after Nativity School, despite an official warning and several interventions, refused to take down from its flagpole at the school’s entrance Gay Pride and Black Lives Matter flags that were flying under the Stars and Stripes. Bishop McManus stated that “these symbols embody specific agendas or ideologies [that] contradict Catholic social and moral teaching.” The Gay Pride flag, he said, “represents support of gay marriage and actively living a LGBTQ+ lifestyle,” and while “the Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred and … certainly stands unequivocally behind the phrase ‘black lives matter’ … the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement has co-opted the phrase and promotes a platform that directly contradicts Catholic social teaching on the importance and role of the nuclear family and seeks to disrupt the family structure in clear opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The flying of these flags in front of a Catholic school sends a mixed, confusing and scandalous message to the public about the Church’s stance on these important moral and social issues.”  Announcing that Nativity would defy the decree and appeal the decision to the Vatican, McKenney declared that “Nativity will continue to display the flags in question to give visible witness to the school’s solidarity with our students, families, and their communities,” stating that “Gospel values, Catholic Social Teaching, and our Jesuit heritage compels us to do so.” McKenney essentially admitted that he is aware that the Gay Pride and Black Lives Matter flags have become symbols of movements that go far beyond justice, inclusivity and the defense of those who face hatred and discrimination. They have indeed been co-opted by political groups, organizations and movements that — as both gay leaders and the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Foundation have attested — push notions of human anthropology, sexuality, race and social harmony diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching.  Saint Ignatius did not call his sons to stand under flags celebrating the sexual revolution and family disintegration, but with the Church under the standard of Christ. Bishop McManus has forthrightly made Nativity choose between waving the Pride and BLM flags or flying under the Catholic banner. Let’s pray, through the intercession of Our Lady and St. Ignatius, that Nativity’s leaders after further reflection will choose the latter and set an example that will lead students to, rather than away from, Christ and the way of the Gospel.

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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