1. Time to repeal hate crime laws and FACE Act used against pro-life, pro-family advocates, By Brian Burch, The Washington Times, March 13, 2024, Opinion On the facade of the U.S. Supreme Court is carved a simple but profound phrase: Equal Justice Under Law. The phrase and its placement state something we all know instinctively. The essence of justice implies that everyone has equal justice under the law and that nobody is above the law. Recent experience, however, has convinced me that our nation’s hate crime laws, together with the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act, promote neither equal justice nor impartiality. These laws have since been used by the radical left to punish dissenters and protect their allies and, therefore, must be repealed. How can any New Yorker or, for that matter, any American fail to be disgusted by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s hypocrisy concerning the application of New York’s hate crimes law? The recent desecration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is infamous. Video evidence shows transgender activists tricked administrators at St. Patrick’s so they could use that sacred space “stage” to honor an atheist, transgender prostitute by engaging in blasphemous actions that mock Catholic beliefs and the “very essence of a funeral Mass.” Ms. Hochul, a Catholic, has said nothing and done nothing.  It gets worse. Consider the one-sided use of the FACE Act under the Biden administration. Since May 2020, Catholic churches have suffered more than 400 violent attacks involving arson that damaged and destroyed historic churches, spray-painting and graffiti of satanic messages, rocks and bricks thrown through windows, and statues destroyed, often with heads cut off.  The terrible lesson here is that these laws are not used to promote equal justice under the law. Instead, these laws are the radical left’s tools of choice when it comes to persecuting brave Americans who dare to stand up to its anti-life, anti-marriage, anti-family and anti-religion agenda. Americans must learn this lesson and repeal these laws now before it is too late. All Americans are entitled to equal justice under the law. Brian Burch is president of CatholicVote. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2024/mar/12/time-to-repeal-hate-crime-laws-and-face-act/__________________________________________________________ 2. Virgin of Charity unites all Cubans — Catholics, Santeria followers, exiled and back on the island, By Luis Andres Henao and Giovanna Dell’Orto, Associated Press, March 13, 2024, 8:55 AM Ramon Nieblas fixed his tearful eyes on the small golden statue, a beloved icon of Cuba’s patron saint. Whispering, he asked the Virgin of Charity of Cobre for a miracle: Please save his sick son. “I came to pray for his health,” said Nieblas, a Cuban living in Brazil who traveled thousands of miles to the basilica in eastern Cuba, a pilgrimage site nestled in the shadow of the Sierra Maestra mountains. He sat in Mass, wrapping his arm around 26-year-old Hernando Nieblas, a physician undergoing treatment for leukemia. They were among the thousands who visit the shrine each year, seeking intercession from the Virgin Mary for their most desperate concerns and giving thanks for their blessings. The Virgin of Charity has been crucial to Catholicism in Cuba, which repressed religious practice after becoming an atheist state following the 1959 revolution. It turned into a secular state in the early 1990s and has become more tolerant of religion over the past quarter century. But the Vatican-recognized Virgin, venerated by Catholics and followers of Afro-Cuban Santeria traditions, is more than a religious icon. She is at the heart of Cuban identity, uniting compatriots from the Communist-run Caribbean island to those who were exiled or emigrated to the U.S. “The Virgin is deeply entrenched in our culture,” said the Rev. Rogelio Puerta, the basilica’s parish priest who also has celebrated Mass at the sister shrine in Miami. “You can’t talk about Cuba without talking about the Virgin of Charity.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2024/03/13/cuba-catholics-patron-saint-virgin-mary-exiles/7537812e-e131-11ee-95aa-7384336086f3_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Republicans’ New Abortion Strategy: Talk About It More, Not Less, Guidance from House GOP’s campaign arm says Republicans should stress empathy for women and discuss ‘common sense’ solutions, By Natalie Andrews, The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2024, 5:00 AM Republicans leading the party’s effort to defend the House in this fall’s elections are pushing GOP colleagues to openly discuss their positions on abortion, rather than try to sidestep the issue like many did in the previous campaign, arguing that doing so will be critical to winning competitive races. A memo prepared by House Republicans’ campaign arm and viewed by The Wall Street Journal says Republicans have a “brand problem, not a policy problem,” as their reluctance to discuss the issue left it to Democrats to define where the GOP stood. Many voters view the party’s hopefuls as opposing abortion under any circumstances, when there are actually a variety of positions held by candidates, particularly in swing districts, the memo states. The guidance tells candidates they must “confidently articulate” their stance and that “being unwilling to stake out a clear position with voters is the worst possible solution.”  https://www.wsj.com/politics/policy/republicans-new-abortion-strategy-talk-about-it-more-not-less-d68d80ef__________________________________________________________ 4. Top Vatican aide backs pope, warns of nuclear escalation in Ukraine, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, March 13, 2024 In an interview with Italian media, Vatican Secretary of State Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin defended Pope Francis’s recent controversial remarks suggesting that Ukraine step back and open to negotiations in its ongoing war with Russia. Speaking to Italian journalist Gian Guido Vecchi in an interview published in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Italy’s paper of record, Parolin said the pope’s appeal for Ukraine is that “conditions be created for a diplomatic solution in the pursuit of a just and lasting peace.” “It is obvious that responsibility for the creation of such conditions does not fall solely on one of the parties but on both, and the first condition seems to me to be precisely putting an end to the aggression,” Parolin said when asked whether it was counterproductive to focus solely on the aggrieved party. He stressed the importance of putting the pope’s response into context, noting that the pontiff was answering a question posed to him, and in his response, the pope “spoke of negotiation and, in particular, the courage to negotiate, which is never a surrender.”  https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2024/03/top-vatican-aide-backs-pope-warns-of-nuclear-escalation-in-ukraine__________________________________________________________ 5. More human embryos destroyed through IVF than abortion every year, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, March 13, 2024, 7:00 AM An Alabama Supreme Court ruling that recognized the personhood of embryonic life sparked a nationwide debate about in vitro fertilization (IVF) over the last three weeks — but some people might be unaware that the industry’s death toll for preborn life is likely higher than that of abortion. IVF is a fertility treatment in which doctors extract eggs from the woman and fertilize the eggs with sperm to create human embryos in a laboratory without a sexual act. IVF can cost the couple between $20,000 and $30,000 for a single treatment. Because IVF treatments have a low success rate — about 50% for women under the age of 35 but significantly lower as women get older — clinics create far more human embryos than they intend to bring to term. Although this is meant to maximize the chance of the woman bearing one healthy child, it has also resulted in killing or indefinitely freezing millions of excess embryos. IVF clinics do not report the exact number of embryos that are killed in their care, but clinics normally extract between 10 and 15 eggs for one treatment. According to the IVF clinic chain Illume Fertility, if the clinic extracts 12 eggs, about 80% — nine or 10 eggs — will be viable and about 80% of viable eggs will successfully fertilize to create embryos — making about seven or eight embryos per patient.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257066/more-human-embryos-destroyed-through-ivf-than-abortion-every-year__________________________________________________________ 6. England’s National Health Service ends puberty blockers for kids, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, March 12, 2024, 6:25 PM Doctors in England can no longer prescribe puberty blockers to children to facilitate a gender transition, according to an announcement from the country’s public health care system, the National Health Service (NHS). “Puberty blockers … are not available to children and young people for gender incongruence or gender dysphoria because there is not enough evidence of safety and clinical effectiveness,” the NHS England website’s section on “treatment” for gender dysphoria reads after the update. The drugs block a child’s natural developments during puberty by preventing the production of hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. For example, they prevent height growth, a girl’s breast development, and a boy’s facial hair growth, among other things. “Children, young people, and their families are strongly discouraged from getting puberty blockers or gender-affirming hormones from unregulated sources or online providers that are not regulated by U.K. regulatory bodies,” the website’s text reads.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257070/breaking-englands-national-health-service-ends-puberty-blockers-for-kids__________________________________________________________ 7. State attorneys general threaten lawsuit over Maine abortion, transgender bill, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, March 12, 2024, 5:30 PM Over a dozen state attorneys general are threatening a possible lawsuit over a bill in the Maine Legislature that extends legal protections to out-of-state residents seeking transgender-related medical procedures. The March 11 letter, signed by 16 attorneys general, argues that Maine’s LD 227 would “contravene the lawful policy choices of our states’ citizens” by “imposing on the rest of the country Maine’s views on hotly debated issues such as gender transition surgeries for children.” The proposed measure, if passed, would offer legal protection to out-of-state individuals who seek transgender procedures in Maine. The measure would also extend legal protections to ”reproductive health care services.”  State legislatures around the country have in recent months moved to limit or prohibit both abortion and transgender-related medical services.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257067/state-attorneys-general-threaten-lawsuit-over-maine-abortion-transgender-bill__________________________________________________________

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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