1. The Court Wrestles With Rights, By Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2023, Pg. A17, Opinion  Abortion, if nothing else, has the distinction of producing more household-name Supreme Court cases than any other area of national dispute. Griswold, Roe, Casey and now Dobbs define the trajectory of America’s battle over rights—what they should be and who is entitled to them. Dobbs may sit as the most famous because it displaced Roe, decided in 1973. In addition to left-wing media riots, the Dobbs decision put in motion a great state-based debate over what limits should be applied to abortion. The U.S. and its polarized cultural politics would be better off if we had more Dobbs-like debates about the meaning and limits of the many rights claims that emerged after the Roe case, increasingly for discrete classes of Americans. I think it’s possible to argue that the nation’s drift into irreconcilable cultural polarization began not with Donald Trump’s election in 2016, but on June 7, 1965, when the Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut established a right of privacy. That case released the rights monster.  The current battle over the high court—the attacks on Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh—is the political left’s attempt to create a court (or intimidate this one) that would return to the Roe standard of creating nationalized, one-size-fits-all legal rights for issues of their choosing, such as gender identity or race-based legal entitlements. In his opinion for the court in Dobbs, Justice Alito wrote: “We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey.” He was right. What happened with abortion in the states after Dobbs strongly suggests that Americans do not want to forfeit their opinions forever to a national authority on issues that are so deeply personal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-supreme-court-wrestles-the-rights-monster-debate-decision-views-battle-opinion-18750137?__________________________________________________________ 2. Judge considering blocking parts of North Carolina abortion law won’t halt broader 12-week ban, By Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press, June 29, 2023, 12:01 AM A federal judge said Wednesday that she won’t temporarily block most of a newly revised abortion law from taking effect this weekend in North Carolina, including a near-ban on the procedure after 12 weeks of pregnancy. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said at a court hearing that she won’t grant the request by lawyers for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and a physician to set aside most of the new restrictions before they are to come into force on Saturday, calling it overbroad. The 12-week ban, which was approved in the spring by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly and includes new exceptions for rape, incest and “life-limiting” fetal anomalies, would replace the current ban on most abortions after 20 weeks.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/06/28/north-carolina-abortion-ban-lawsuit-legislature/f1f629e6-15e8-11ee-9de3-ba1fa29e9bec_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. On communications, have Popes become too much Paul and not enough Peter?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, June 29, 2023, Opinion Today is the great Roman feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the patron saints of the Eternal City. The double feast is of ancient origin, but the link between the two saints has taken on even greater significance with the modern papacy. It was the late Pope John Paul II who once said that he considered himself not only the successor of Peter but, to some extent, of Paul too — meaning as the great communicator of the Church as well as a tireless missionary. Modern popes have become, in effect, the Evangelist-in-Chief of the Catholic Church, using the media of their day, just as Paul did in his, to spread their message. Like John Paul II before him, Pope Francis too has engaged the media with gusto. For one thing, he’s given more interviews to journalists than anyone can count, so much so that whole sections of libraries probably could be filled with the transcripts. And, yet. Yet the towering irony is that while John Paul II and Francis both became media sensations, demonstrating an instinctive genius for gestures and soundbites, that success hasn’t always been translated into the effectiveness of the Vatican’s own institutional communications. Indeed, in a recent interview with the Ukrainian news outlet Glavcom, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv, leader of the Greek Catholic Church, said something out loud that many observers have long mumbled sotto voce – to wit, the Vatican’s communication system is bad and getting worse, not better. Referring to Pope Francis’s efforts to reform the Vatican, Shevchuk said “we’re in a moment of transition in which the institution is undergoing changes, which, however, aren’t improving its efficiency.” The Greek Catholic prelate pointed to communications in particular as a problem area. Here’s what he said: “The biggest problem I see today in the machinery of the Vatican is communications, communication with the world, especially through the media. In reality, today the pope doesn’t have a spokesperson who can act as constant communicator with journalists when we don’t understand the pope or his statements aren’t entirely clear. Naturally, everyone wants to understand exactly what the pope said and what he meant by it. If it’s not understood, who can you go to for clarifications? It used to be the Vatican spokesperson who took care of it, but not today. I don’t know why, and I can’t understand it by myself. [It seems] the pope wants to be his own spokesperson.” Therein lies the heart of the problem: Francis may be a great communicator himself, but he has not, in the eyes of most observers, created a great communications system.  https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2023/06/on-communications-have-popes-become-too-much-paul-and-not-enough-peter __________________________________________________________ 4. Maltese lawmakers vote to legalize abortion, but only where the mother is at risk of death, By Kevin Schembri Orland, Associated Press, June 28, 2023, 1:48 PM Maltese lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to ease the strictest abortion laws in the European Union, but pro-choice campaigners had withdrawn their support, saying last-minute changes make the legislation “vague, unworkable and even dangerous.” The original bill allowing women access to abortion if a pregnant woman’s life or health is in danger was hailed as a step in the right direction for Malta, an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation. It was introduced last fall after an American tourist who miscarried had to be airlifted off the Mediterranean island nation to be treated. Under the amendments, however, a risk to health is not enough. A woman must be at risk of death to access an abortion, and then only after three specialists consent. The legislation approved Wednesday allows a doctor to terminate a pregnancy without further consultation only if the mother’s life is at immediate risk.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/06/28/malta-abortion-rights/92f406ca-15c0-11ee-9de3-ba1fa29e9bec_story.html?variant=bacbca59707f74b0__________________________________________________________

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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