1. Mexican diocese to deny communion to Catholic politicians who voted to legalize abortion, By Catholic News Agency, March 14, 2022, 1:47 AM After the legislature of the Mexican state of Sinaloa voted to legalize abortion up to 13 weeks, the Diocese of Culiacán announced that Catholic politicians who voted in favor of the law will not be able to receive the Eucharist or be godparents. In  a statement, Father Miguel Ángel Soto Gaxiola, director of the Culiacán Commission for Life, Family, Youth and Laity, officially announced that Catholic lawmakers who voted in favor of abortion that the decision to deny them Communion is “the recognition of the objectively unworthy state of a person to receive the Body of Christ.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250656/mexican-diocese-to-deny-communion-to-catholic-politicians-who-voted-to-legalize-abortion___________________________________________________________ 2. Cardinal Marx celebrates Mass marking ‘20 years of queer worship and pastoral care’, By Catholic News Agency, March 14, 2022, 5:00 AM Cardinal Reinhard Marx celebrated a Mass marking “20 years of queer worship and pastoral care” in Munich, southern Germany, on Sunday. The archbishop of Munich and Freising offered the Mass on March 13 at St. Paul parish church, near Munich’s Theresienwiese, where the annual Oktoberfest is celebrated, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner. Speaking at the Mass, the cardinal said: “I desire an inclusive Church. A Church that includes all who want to walk the way of Jesus.” He added that a synodal Church means being open, learning, and always breaking out anew in faith, in the search for the “possibilities of God,” as well as “in the question of what we have to say about sexuality and what we have to say about people’s relationships.” The 68-year-old prelate, who is a member of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinal Advisers, also said: “The kingdom of God is to discover that God is Love — in all its dimensions.” This included the sexual dimension but was not limited to it, he added.  German bishops who have so far publicly voiced support for blessing same-sex unions include Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, and Bishop Heinrich Timmerervers of Dresden-Meißen. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250657/cardinal-marx-celebrates-mass-marking-20-years-of-queer-worship-and-pastoral-care___________________________________________________________ 3. States Want to Ban Abortions Beyond Their Borders. Here’s What Pro-Choice States Can Do., By David S. Cohen, Greer Donley and Rachel Rebouché, The New York Times, March 13, 2022, 6:00 AM, Opinion recently introduced Missouri provision would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident get an abortion in another state.  Given that the federal government has so far failed to act decisively on this issue, it will be up to abortion-supportive states to determine the future of abortion law and access. Some such states have protected the right to abortion in their statutes or constitutions, and more have announced their intention to do so. But as the Missouri bill shows, abortion-supportive states must go further than keeping abortion legal within their state lines.  suite of bills introduced in California has begun to chart a path to protect abortion providers and patients. But consider these additional steps that states can take. States can pass laws and regulations that protect abortion providers who offer services to out-of-state patients. All states have statutes that require their civil and criminal courts to assist in another state’s depositions, subpoenas and legal processes. Abortion-supportive states could amend these laws; such states could prohibit their courts from cooperating with out-of-state civil and criminal cases that stem from abortions that took place legally within their borders.  States can also take stock of their existing abortion laws and remove any that unnecessarily impede access. For instance, many liberal states require minors to involve their parents in their abortion decision, and a few permit only doctors to provide abortions (even though it is safe for physicians assistants or nurse practitioners to offer such care). Also, most abortion-supportive states have needless reporting requirements that could be removed and gestational limits that could be extended — or at least waived for exceptions, like maternal health or severe fetal anomaly.  State legislators who support reproductive rights and justice need to take steps to ensure that abortion access is not dependent on ZIP code and financial status and that abortion providers are protected. Without these concerted actions from supportive legislators, the post-Roe reality will be much worse than it has to be. David S. Cohen is a professor of law at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law and a co-author of “Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America.” Greer Donley is an assistant professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, where her scholarship focuses on reproductive justice, bioethics and F.D.A. law. Rachel Rebouché is a professor of law and the interim dean of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where her scholarship focuses on reproductive health, family law and public health. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/13/opinion/missouri-abortion-roe-v-wade.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Pope Francis on Ukraine War: ‘In the Name of God, I Ask You: Stop This Massacre!’, ‘Listen to the cry of those who suffer, and put an end to the bombings and the attacks!’ the Holy Father implored on March 13., By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, March 13, 2022 Pope Francis on Sunday called for an end to the “harrowing war” in Ukraine, condemning in particular the “barbarism” of Russia’s reported attacks last week on civilians, including pregnant women and children, in the eastern city of Mariupol. “With an aching heart I add my voice to that of the common people, who implore the end of the war,” the Pope said March 13, addressing the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Rome following the Angelus, a Marian prayer. “In the name of God, listen to the cry of those who suffer, and put an end to the bombings and the attacks! Let there be real and decisive focus on the negotiations, and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe. In the name of God, I ask you: Stop this massacre!” https://www.ncregister.com/cna/pope-francis-on-ukraine-war-in-the-name-of-god-i-ask-you-stop-this-massacre___________________________________________________________ 5. How Pope Francis could lead a ‘soft power’ push on Ukraine, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, March 13, 2022, Opinion If we’re ever to arrive at a point where wars of aggression such as Ukraine are a thing of the past, it will really have to be the entire world that mobilizes swiftly to punish the aggressor, meaning that important global players such as China, the Gulf States and at least parts of Africa will have to be brought into the fold. Happen to know anybody with cachet in precisely those three places? This week, a well-known actress and fashion model who’s also a Ukrainian émigrée in Italy, Anna Safroncik, went on one of Italy’s most popular evening variety shows to appeal to Pope Francis to go immediately to Kyiv.  It may be slightly naïve to think that simply by showing up, Pope Francis could accomplish something that a combination of remarkably stiff resistance from Ukrainians and crippling international economic sanctions haven’t. Nevertheless, Safroncik may be onto something, in the sense that Pope Francis arguably is the lone global leader right now with a real capacity to help make the wall of opposition to Putin truly global.  Popes don’t possess any magic wands in these situations. Paul VI tried to work behind the scenes to end the Vietnam War; John Paul II pulled out all the stops to try to persuade the Bush administration not to invade Iraq, and both failed. Nonetheless, history at least remembers the effort, and it will also do so right now depending on how Francis plays his cards. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/03/how-pope-francis-could-lead-a-soft-power-push-on-ukraine___________________________________________________________ 6. As the Church’s Power Wanes, St. Brigid Captivates Ireland, By Ed O’Loughlin, The New York Times, March 12, 2022, Pg. A4 Around the year 480, as legend has it, a freed slave named Brigid founded a convent under an oak in the east of Ireland. To feed her followers, she asked the King of Leinster, who ruled the area, for a grant of land. When the pagan king refused, she asked him to give her as much land as her cloak would cover. Thinking she was joking, he agreed. But when Brigid threw her cloak on the ground, it spread across 5,000 acres — creating the Curragh plains, which still stretch beside the religious settlement she founded at Kildare (from the Irish Cill Dara, “church of the oak”). A millennium and a half later, a renewed cult of Saint Brigid is thriving in Kildare, even at a time when the Roman Catholic church is in retreat in Ireland, weakened by clerical sex abuse scandals, growing secularism and — Catholic feminists say — by its refusal, despite a collapse in the numbers of its all-male priesthood, to give equal status to women. Much of the revitalized interest is the result of the Brigidines’ emphasis on nature, ecology and healing, and their shift away from the patriarchal faith of traditional Irish Catholicism. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/11/world/europe/ireland-church-female-saint-brigid.html___________________________________________________________ 7. Biden gave his blessing to radical abortion law. Both the president and the bill failed, The Senate vote and President Biden’s remarks are part of a campaign to frighten Americans about the prospect of Roe v. Wade being overturned., By Maureen Ferguson, USA Today, March 12, 2022, 5:00 AM, Opinion The images from Ukraine cut us to the core. Mothers terrified, clinging to their babies. Homes destroyed. Playgrounds bombed. Pictures like these do not require explanation – just action.  Yet, astonishingly, the first vote the U.S. Senate took after Vladimir Putin launched his war proposed neither economic sanctions against Russia nor humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Rather, the Senate’s first order of business was a vote on the most radical abortion legislation ever introduced in Congress.    The Women’s Health Protection Act would have enshrined in federal law, for the first time, an absolute right to abortion – for any reason or no reason – up to the moment of birth.  It would invalidate every law in the country that protects unborn children, even popular measures like parental consent and conscience protections for doctors and nurses who do not wish to be involved in abortion procedures. Perhaps worst of all, it would remove limits on late-term abortion, and require all states to allow abortion even after the point at which unborn children can feel pain. Thankfully, this bill was defeated on a procedural vote. And yet, President Joe Biden not only endorsed this legislation, he also set aside time in his State of the Union address – a speech that began with a passionate condemnation of Putin’s killing of the innocent – to defend abortion on demand. The news media rarely admit it, but Roe is more extreme than all but a handful of abortion laws in the world. Roe allows abortions even in the third trimester for broadly defined “health” reasons, including emotional and familial health.  No nationwide majority would ever support such extremism. In a post-Roe America, however, states would be free to adopt more restrictive or permissive laws, reflecting their constituencies. And hopefully, in that future, states will reform policies to better support mothers, fathers and children from conception to birth and from birth onward. Texas is already leading in this regard, appropriating $100 million over two years in its Alternatives to Abortion program.    Violence against the innocent is wrong, everywhere at every time, whether inflicted by aggressive dictators or abortion doctors. The same human dignity that makes abortion so heartbreaking also endows us, as citizens in a democracy, the right to decide for ourselves how abortion will be regulated in our laws. Overturning Roe will give us back our voices to speak up for the voiceless, and the space to build a culture of life for mothers and children in need.  Maureen Ferguson is a senior fellow for The Catholic Association. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/columnist/2022/03/12/biden-endorsed-radical-abortion-law/9366011002/___________________________________________________________ 8. Vatican in ‘pain’ at Nicaragua expulsion of papal nuncio, By Associated Press, March 12, 2022, 1:10 PM The Vatican on Saturday expressed “surprise and pain” at Nicaragua’s expulsion of the papal nuncio, which comes at a time of growing pressure on opposition figures in the Central American nation. The church said in a statement that Nicaragua’s action against Polish Msgr. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag was “grave and unjustified.” It said the action was “incomprehensible” because Sommertag “has worked tirelessly for the good of the church and of the Nicaraguan people,” while “always seeking to promote good relations” between the Vatican and Nicaraguan authorities. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/vatican-in-pain-at-nicaragua-expulsion-of-papal-nuncio/2022/03/12/18dd0540-a21b-11ec-9438-255709b6cddc_story.html___________________________________________________________ 9. Texas clinics’ lawsuit over abortion ban ‘effectively over’, By Paul J. Weber and Jamie Stengle, Associated Press, March 11, 2022, 8:03 PM The Texas Supreme Court on Friday dealt essentially a final blow to abortion clinics’ best hopes of stopping a restrictive law that has sharply curtailed the number of abortions in the state since September and will now fully stay in place for the foreseeable future. The ruling by the all-Republican court was not unexpected, but it slammed the door on what little path forward the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed Texas clinics after having twice declined to stop a ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. It spells the coming end to a federal lawsuit that abortion clinics filed even before the restrictions took effect in September — and were then rejected at nearly every turn, and in nearly every court, for six months. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-clinics-lose-again-in-court-over-strict-abortion-law/2022/03/11/a05535e6-a159-11ec-9438-255709b6cddc_story.html___________________________________________________________ 10. Maryland House passes abortion rights constitution amendment, By Brian Witte, Associated Press, March 11, 2022, 4:52 PM The Maryland House voted Friday to enshrine the right to abortion in the state’s constitution and for a separate measure to broaden access to providers, as supporters cited the possibility that a conservative U.S. Supreme Court could overturn or weaken abortion-rights protections. The House voted 93-42 for the constitutional amendment. If approved by the Senate, voters would have the final say in November. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/maryland-house-passes-abortion-rights-constitution-amendment/2022/03/11/9842e2f0-a185-11ec-9438-255709b6cddc_story.html___________________________________________________________ 11. Why Public Universities Shouldn’t Force Religious Clubs to Have Non-Religious Leaders, By Caleb Dalton, National Review, March 11, 2022, 6:30 AM, Opinion Imagine if National Review’s editor-in-chief were Rachel Maddow. Your immediate thought (after perhaps picking yourself up off the floor) is the obvious: The content would communicate a vastly different message. This is because “personnel is policy.” This is no less true at America’s public universities, which these days often attempt to dictate personnel decisions, especially the people that student organizations must elect as their leaders. Most recently, the University of Houston–Clear Lake refused to recognize a Christian apologetics group, Ratio Christi, because, although membership is open to anyone, the group requires its leadership to demonstrate commitment to the Christian faith.  After Alliance Defending Freedom represented Ratio Christi in a federal lawsuit, the university agreed to change its policy so that all student groups may have leadership requirements. Such a commonsense policy shouldn’t require a lawsuit. For the same reason that National Review’s message would be different if Rachel Maddow were at the helm, student organizations’ messages are fundamentally altered when the government dictates who their leaders must be. The First Amendment protects the right to associate around shared beliefs. If universities refuse to respect that right, then courts will have to step up and reaffirm that universities do not have unilateral power to dictate how student organizations select their leaders. Whether Christian, Muslim, conservative, or liberal, student groups are, and should be, free to require their leaders to adhere to their beliefs. https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/03/why-public-universities-shouldnt-force-religious-clubs-to-have-non-religious-leaders/___________________________________________________________ 12. Spain’s bishops welcome government commission to investigate sex abuse, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, March 11, 2022, 4:36 PM The Spanish parliament has overwhelmingly approved the creation of an independent commission to investigate alleged sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, assigning the country’s ombudsman to lead the investigation. Bishop Luis Argüello, secretary and spokesman for the bishops’ conference, said March 11 that the choice to create an ombudsman was “the most respectful for the victims.” “All initiatives that allow for revelations (of abuse) and help to put an end to the scourge of abuse in the Church and in society will always have our support.” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a comment on Twitter, characterized the move as “a first step to try to repair the pain of the victims, who had not been heard until now.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250647/spains-bishops-welcome-government-commission-to-investigate-sex-abuse___________________________________________________________ 13. Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Two to the State Board of Education, By Florida Office of the Governor, March 11, 2022, News Release Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Esther Byrd and Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie to the State Board of Education.  Dr. Christie, of Key Biscayne, is a Radiologist in the Miami Area. She is currently the Senior Policy Advisor for The Catholic Association and the Treasurer of the Catholic Association Foundation. Dr. Pozo Christie earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Miami. https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/11/governor-ron-desantis-appoints-two-to-the-state-board-of-education/___________________________________________________________

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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