1. A Coach’s Prayer Is Constitutional, By The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2022, Pg. A18, Editorial Historians assessing the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts might need to write a whole book on its remarkable string of rulings defending religious liberty in the face of rising secularism. Another one came Monday in a 6-3 case upholding a high-school football coach’s right to pray privately on the field after games. The school in Washington state punished Coach Joseph Kennedy “for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance,” as Justice Neil Gorsuch writes for the majority in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. “The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.” Can we get an Amen?  One legal test, rooted in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), is whether a “reasonable observer” might see some religious conduct and think (however erroneously) that it had a government endorsement. The Court has eroded the so-called Lemon test over the years, and with this decision Justice Gorsuch now pulps it as “abstract” and “ahistorical,” while chiding lower judges for citing it. Mr. Kennedy’s prayer was private conduct. It took place after the game, when staff were free to check their phones or chat up spectators.  The deeper significance of this case and last week’s on state aid to private schools (Carson v. Makin) is that the Supreme Court is gradually restoring a proper constitutional understanding of the relationship between religion and the state. The Court in the 20th century began to use the Establishment Clause to let government restrict religious behavior and speech that is protected by the Free Exercise Clause. The Roberts Court’s religious liberty rulings don’t risk any state establishment of religion. But they do let Americans of faith express their views—as the Founders intended. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-football-coachs-prayer-is-constitutional-11656369951?__________________________________________________________ 2. The Justices Give Education a Prayer, They scrap the Lemon test just as Americans discover a need for religious schools., By Max Raskin, The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion In a pair of decisions in the past week, the Supreme Court took a major step forward in both education and religious liberty by ruling that states can’t discriminate against religion in education in the name of erecting a wall of separation between church and state. If you turn on cable news, you’d think the justices had mandated the force-feeding of communion wafers to schoolchildren. In reality, these decisions are the modest culmination of a line of cases undoing glaring judicial mistakes of the 1970s. They come at an opportune time, providing support to parents who are dissatisfied with the conventional education system, which failed their kids during the pandemic.  The undoing of those cases has been a slow and deliberate march—the opposite of Lemon, which came like a bolt of lightning. The Founders understood that religion was the cornerstone of a thriving republic. John Adams wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” That doesn’t mean the Constitution demands religious observance of all citizens, but it doesn’t allow for the discrimination against those who choose to participate in milliennia-old religious exercise of educating their children in accord with their sacred beliefs. In post-pandemic America, low-income students have lost an unconscionable amount of school time, states are canceling their proficiency exams and lowering standards, and public-school enrollment is declining. Parents want to experiment with other forms of education. Traditional religious instruction provides a tried-and-true method. As public-school enrollment declined by 3% between fall 2020 and fall 2021, Catholic schools saw almost a 4% increase. Why did it take half a century to scrap the Lemon test? Because conservative judges don’t enact Republican policies from the bench. They are deliberate and respectful of precedent. When activist judges see something they don’t like, they strike it down. That not only causes uncertainty but often imposes unworkable tests and rules that are neither logically nor historically defensible. Mr. Raskin is an adjunct professor of law at New York University School of Law and a fellow at the Institute of Judicial Administration. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-justices-give-education-a-prayer-supreme-court-pray-first-amendment-kennedy-v-bremerton-religion-11656362114?__________________________________________________________ 3. French bishop announces ‘pastoral visits’ amid ordination delay, Vatican probe, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, June 28, 2022 In a pastoral letter to his diocese, Bishop Dominque Rey of Toulon has identified several reasons, including the practice of the Traditional Latin Mass, for the Vatican inquiry that culminated with the postponement of this year’s priestly ordinations. Rey also outlined several action points he will be taking in the coming weeks and months to address other problems related to governance, including a closer monitoring of the communities and movements present in the diocese, greater efforts toward integrating groups with “different liturgical sensitivities,” as well as a cycle of “pastoral visits” throughout the diocese beginning with the next school year. When Rey announced earlier this month that the diocese’s priestly ordinations, scheduled for the June 29 Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, would be postponed indefinitely, it came as a shock to many, given that the diocese of Toulon is considered by many to be among the most flourishing in France. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2022/06/french-bishop-announces-pastoral-visits-amid-ordination-delay-vatican-probe__________________________________________________________ 4. Supreme Court Delivers a Victory for Religious Freedom to Coach Kennedy, The Supreme Court, in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, dealt a setback to government officials who have tried for decades to scrub all signs of faith from our nation’s public schools., By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, June 27, 2022, Opinion The Supreme Court Monday affirmed a public high school football coach’s right to pray after games. The court’s decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District is a setback for government officials who have tried for decades to scrub all signs of faith from our nation’s public schools.    Many public school administrators seem determined to muzzle religious beliefs and practices, while at the same time forcing their pupils to absorb quasi-religious progressive ideologies in the classroom. They won’t like today’s decision. That’s too bad, but they need to be reined in when they push their secularist agenda so aggressively that they violate both the letter and the spirit of the U.S. Constitution. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/supreme-court-delivers-a-victory-for-religious-freedom-to-coach-kennedy__________________________________________________________ 5. Historic Catholic church in West Virginia destroyed in suspected arson, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2022, 9:22 AMSt. Colman Catholic Church, a historic church located in Raleigh County, West Virginia, burned to the ground in an apparent arson attack Sunday, according to the local volunteer fire department. The small, white building was known as “The Little Catholic Church on Irish Mountain,” and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original structure dates to 1877-1888, according to the register. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251648/catholic-church-attack-west-virginia-destroyed-arson__________________________________________________________ 6. After canceling trip, Pope Francis sending Cardinal Parolin to visit Africa, By Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2022, 12:57 PM After reluctantly bowing out of his own scheduled trip to Africa in July, Pope Francis has decided to send the Vatican’s second-highest-ranking official in his place. “Following the postponement of his Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to South Sudan, His Holiness Pope Francis has decided to send the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Kinshasa and Juba in order to show his closeness to the beloved peoples of the Congo and South Sudan,” the Holy See’s press office announced Monday. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251651/cardinal-parolin-africa-trip-pope-francis__________________________________________________________ 7. Dobbs, Roe and the Myth of ‘Bodily Autonomy’, By Tish Harrison Warren, The New York Times, June 26, 2022, Opinion“Bodily autonomy” has become a chief argument against abortion restrictions. Referring to abortion restrictions as “forced birth” is common among abortion rights advocates. … The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs rightly rejects the idea that rights to bodily autonomy are expansive and absolute, and therefore make abortion rights necessary.  I want women to be full participants and empowered leaders in public life. I believe we, as human beings and image bearers of God, have a right to bodily integrity, protection and liberty. But these rights also carry obligations to others, perhaps especially to those vulnerable bodies that depend on us. This is the heart of the question about abortion: What are our obligations to one another? We have an obligation to unborn children. We have an obligation to seek women’s safety and flourishing. For too long these obligations have been pitted against each other, but they need not be and, to move forward, we must create a world where they never are. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/26/opinion/dobbs-roe-autonomy.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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