1. Xavier Becerra’s Culture War, His record shows he’ll use health care as a polarizing weapon., By The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2021, 6:32 PM, Editorial
The Senate Finance Committee split 14-14 last week on Xavier Becerra’s nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer must now force it to the floor for a confirmation vote, and this is one Cabinet choice who deserves a ticket back to California.
Mr. Becerra’s problem is his record as a culture warrior as California attorney general—in particular, a disregard, even disdain, for First Amendment protections of speech and religious liberty. During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Becerra was grilled about his actions involving the Little Sisters of the Poor. He tried to force the sisters, a Catholic religious order, to violate their religious beliefs with a lawsuit against the federal government that would have stripped them of a religious exemption to an ObamaCare mandate on contraceptives and abortifacients. The Supreme Court shot this down.

Mr. Becerra also sued to keep the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division from getting the tools it needed to enforce religious liberty protections the same way HHS enforces other protections against race, sex and disability discrimination.

As for speech, the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division also dinged Mr. Becerra for trying to enforce a law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to post notices about how to get abortions.

Has Mr. Becerra learned anything from these legal defeats? At his hearing he dodged a question about whether he’d even keep the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.

If Mr. Becerra had some significant experience in health care, there might be a case for confirming him in a pandemic. But he’s a lawyer with essentially no such experience. He is a politician who behaves as if his main mission is imposing today’s progressive mores on reluctant citizens. This has nothing to do with improving health care.
If Mr. Biden were serious about unifying the country, he never would have nominated Mr. Becerra. If he’s confirmed, Democrats will be signing up for four years of divisive cultural brawls.
2. Vatican officials waiting for pope’s lead on German synod, By The Pillar, March 10, 2021
Vatican departments are waiting for directions from Pope Francis to respond to documents and proposals of the Synodal Way underway in Germany, officials at several Vatican congregations have told The Pillar.
Curial officials warned that time is running out for the Vatican to act, adding that some controversial departures from Church teaching and discipline are already underway in Germany.
Speaking to The Pillar, a senior official at the Congregation for Bishops said that “many of the problematic ideas we see proposed by the German synodal process are practically already occurring at the parish level,” including the blessings of same-sex unions and intercommunion with Protestants.
3. US bishops to vote on plan for Eucharist and pro-choice Catholic politicians, By The Pillar, March 10, 2021
The U.S. bishops’ conference could be given a vote this June on whether to draft and publish a document addressing the question of administering the Eucharist to pro-choice Catholic politicians. The document could be finalized and approved as early as November, sources tell The Pillar.
The USCCB’s administrative committee discussed on Tuesday a path forward for a proposed document on “Eucharistic coherence,” several sources within the bishops’ conference told The Pillar. A plan to develop the statement had the approval of a majority of the committee’s members, sources confirmed.
According to sources present at the meeting, the document would address the Code of Canon Law’s canon 915, which prohibits those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin” from admittance to Holy Communion. The canon’s relevance to Catholics politicians supportive of legal protection or public funding for abortion has been a matter of disagreement among U.S. bishops.
4. China’s treatment of Uyghurs meets definition of genocide, By Catholic News Agency, March 10, 2021, 10:00 AM
China’s abuses of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang violate every article in the United Nations’ definition of genocide, a new policy report published on Monday claims.
The 55-page report from The Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, a foreign policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., is one of the first independent reports into the actions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Xinjiang province.
The report, titled “The Uyghur Genocide: An Examination of China’s Breaches of the 1948 Genocide Convention,” confirms that the Chinese authorities created a massive network of internment camps in Xinjiang purportedly for “re-education” and “terrorism prevention.” The Uyghurs are an ethnic minority and are mostly Muslim, and live alongside other ethnic and religious minorities in the region.
5. Mass. Supreme Court calls into question religious exemption for Christian colleges, By Catholic News Agency, March 10, 2021, 1:45 PM
A social work professor at a Christian college in Massachusetts is not a “ministerial employee” and the college cannot claim a religious freedom exemption in its defense against allegations she was wrongly denied tenure for her LGBT advocacy and criticizing its policies she considers to be “anti-LGBTQ,” activities she said are protected in law, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday.
The case concerns Gordon College, a non-denominational liberal arts school in Wenham, Mass. founded by a Baptist pastor.
The court on May 5 said that the college is a religious institution but that associate professor Margaret DeWeese-Boyd is “not a ministerial employee” as understood by U.S. law.
6. Vatican diplomat criticizes ‘divisive’ UN Human Rights Council report on Islamophobia, By Catholic News Agency, March 10, 2021, 2:00 PM
A United Nations Human Rights Council report on Islamophobia risks “polarizing the international community,” according to a Vatican diplomat.
Addressing the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, March 4, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič said that the report could prove to be “divisive” because it focused on one religious group to the exclusion of others.
The report, entitled “Countering Islamophobia/Anti-Muslim Hatred to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief,” was presented to the council by Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

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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