1. Pope’s latest press conference a study in the dog that didn’t bark.

By John L. Allen Jr., Editor, Crux, June 4, 2019

Under the heading of “trade secrets” in Vaticanology, here’s something everyone who covers the place knows but doesn’t usually say out loud: A large part of the reason news organizations are willing to pay the exorbitant costs of traveling aboard the papal plane with Pope Francis has nothing to do with the trip itself – it’s about the press conference at the end.

Since that magical first trip in July 2013, when, on the way back from Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day, Francis gave us the immortal “Who am I to judge?” soundbite on gay clergy, reporters and editors have seen the possibility of another such thunderclap as worth it to be on the plane, even if the outing itself doesn’t necessarily have much sex appeal.

For the most part, Francis has delivered good return on that investment.

From quipping that Catholics aren’t obliged to “breed like rabbits” during a return flight from the Philippines in 2015, to – more or less – suggesting that then-candidate Donald Trump was “not a Christian” for his pledge to build a border wall with Mexico in 2016, the Argentine pontiff routinely has provided front-page material.

Of late, however, these in-flight news conferences have been considerably less spicy, often serving up little more than reiterations of things Francis already has said, or excuses to allow the pope to say things that he or his advisers want on the record for one reason or another.

Sunday’s brief encounter with the press coming back from a three-day swing in Romania was a good case in point.


2. Australian cardinal set to appeal child sex convictions.

By Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press, June 4, 2019, 5:14 AM

The most senior Catholic found guilty of child sex abuse will ask an Australian appeals court on Wednesday to reverse convictions on charges of molesting two choirboys in a cathedral more than 20 years ago as hundreds of worshippers streamed from Masses.

Prof. Jeremy Gans, who heads Melbourne Law School and is an expert on Victoria criminal law, said Pell had a strong chance of winning the appeal on the ground that the verdicts were “unreasonable.” Pell’s lawyers will argue that the jury could not have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Pell was guilty based on the word of the surviving victim against “unchallenged exculpatory evidence” of more than 20 prosecution witnesses.


3. Missouri subpoenas abortion clinic doctors amid legal battle.

By Summer Ballentine, The Associated Press, June 4, 2019, 3:53 AM

A St. Louis judge on Tuesday is set to weigh whether physicians from the state’s only abortion clinic can be forced to testify amid a legal fight over the facility’s license.

The state issued subpoenas to staffers, contractors and former medical residents who worked at Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis facility, according to court documents filed by Planned Parenthood.

The state health department had refused to renew Planned Parenthood’s license over concerns with “failed abortions,” compromised patient safety and legal violations at the clinic.


4. Texas sues San Antonio over decision to refuse Chick-fil-A airport location.

By James Varney, The Washington Times, June 4, 2019, Pg. A8

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused San Antonio of “religious bigotry” against Chick-fil-A, filing a lawsuit Monday demanding the city turn over documents about its decision to refuse to allow the popular fast-food restaurant a spot at the city-run airport.

Mr. Paxton and others contend city lawmakers discriminated against the chicken chain because of the religious beliefs of the owner, a devout Christian whose franchises are not open on Sundays and who has been public in his opposition to same-sex marriage.

“The city’s extreme position only highlights its fear about allowing any sunshine on the religious bigotry that animated its decision,” the attorney general said in announcing the lawsuit.


5. Appeal to run prophet ads on Metro rejected, Supreme Court: Transit agency not a public forum.

By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, June 4, 2019, Pg. A12

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a right-wing provocateur who had sought to post throughout Metro advertisements depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Metro rejected the ads, citing its 2015 policy banning all issue-oriented advertising.

The Supreme Court justices declined to hear the case without comment, but the issue isn’t going away soon.

The Archdiocese of Washington also has appealed to the high court, challenging Metro’s refusal to run an ad during the Christmas season on the religious meaning behind the holiday.

“Viewpoint discrimination is always a matter of grave concern, but viewpoint discrimination against religious speech isparticularly pernicious,” the archdiocese argued, according to court records.


6. Films shot in countries with strict pro-life laws.

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, June 4, 2019, Pg. A1

Disney CEO Bob Iger said it would be “very difficult” for the company to continue to film in Georgia if the state’s newly enacted abortion law goes into effect, though the entertainment giant had no similar reservations about shooting in Jordan.

Portions of the just-released blockbuster “Aladdin” were shot in Wadi Rum, Jordan, where women who undergo abortions except in medical emergencies face up to three years in prison — in short, a law significantly more restrictive than Georgia’s fetal heartbeat bill.

Why is Hollywood cheering Jordan and chiding Georgia? That’s the million-dollar question for conservatives, who blame reflexive political correctness and virtue signaling for the entertainment industry’s glaring double standard.


7. Female Physician Confirms: “Abortion Doesn’t Improve a Mother’s Health”.

By Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews.com, June 3, 2019, 6:32 PM

A pro-life female doctor refuted abortion activists’ fear mongering Monday about the pro-life laws being passed in states across America.

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a physician and senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association, said abortions are not health care, and they do not improve women’s lives, CNS News reports.

She criticized Leana Wen, also a physician and the president of Planned Parenthood, for telling MSNBC that pro-life laws threaten “women’s health.”

“The emergency is that @PPFA is in danger of losing hold of some of our hard earned tax money,” Christie responded Monday on Twitter. “They feel entitled to it, though they use it to eliminate our children. That’s what they call ‘healthcare’. [sic] ABORTION DOESN’T IMPROVE A MOTHERS [sic] HEALTH.”


8. One Year After McCarrick’s Fall: A Status Report on Bishop Accountability.

By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, June 3, 2019

The scandal has led to Theodore McCarrick’s laicization and Vatican norms designed to hold bishops accountable, but investigations into an alleged cover-up continue.

A year after the revelations left Catholics stunned and angry, Archbishop Wilton Gregory has succeeded Cardinal Wuerl as the archbishop of Washington, multiple seminaries are under investigation, and the Vatican has issued norms that punish bishops who engaged in sexual misconduct or abuse of power. The U.S. bishops are also poised to approve reforms that will make bishops more accountable.

But Catholics still have not received a formal accounting that explains how McCarrick was able to rise to the highest levels of the Church and communicates which Church officials knew about his harassment of seminarians but said nothing.

Summing up the response of many Catholics in the pews, Vickie Schmidt, a victim-survivor of sexual abuse by a priest and the co-author of Soul Light for the Dark Night, told the Register: “I want to know how many people knew about McCarrick in the U.S. hierarchy and in Rome.”


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