1. Tyrants Like Putin Can’t Tolerate Truth, Both then and now, Soviet-style repression fails to silence sincerity., By George Weigel, The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion A friend once posed an intriguing hypothetical to Pope John Paul II. Suppose the entire Bible were destroyed. What one sentence or phrase would you want preserved for humanity’s future? He didn’t hesitate: “. . . the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). The same conviction about the liberating power of seeing things as they are—and describing them honestly—inspired Václav Havel and other human-rights activists to promote “living in the truth” as a powerful antidote to the communist culture of lies during the Cold War. It also animated the myriad samizdat publications produced at great risk in the old Soviet Union. One of the most extraordinary of those underground publishing efforts was the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, whose first issue was published 50 years ago, on March 19, 1972.  For 17 years, the KGB did everything in its power to stop the Chronicle. Mr. Plumpa was given a show trial in December 1974 and sentenced to eight years in a labor camp, as was an underground nun involved in publishing the Chronicle, Sister Nijolė Sadūnaitė, along with many others. But the colleagues of future Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who joined the KGB in 1975, never succeeded in breaking the Chronicle or its people. Tyrants cannot tolerate the truth. That is why Mr. Putin’s Russia floods the global information space with lies about his invasion of Ukraine. And that makes the 50th anniversary of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania an apt time to reflect on the liberating power of truth-telling, whatever the cost. Mr. Weigel is a distinguished senior fellow at Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center. https://www.wsj.com/articles/tyrants-cant-tolerate-truth-chronicle-catholic-church-lithuania-cardinal-soviet-stalin-11647546444___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Deplores the War in Ukraine but Not the Aggressor, Francis has raised his voice against “unacceptable armed aggression” without mentioning President Vladimir V. Putin or Russia. Some analysts say that he risks complicating his legacy, By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times, March 18, 2022, 9:25 AM The day after Russia invaded Ukraine, Pope Francis broke protocol and went directly to the Russian Embassy in the Holy See to appeal for peace. The next day he spoke to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, offering him spiritual support. As the war intensified, he raised his voice against “unacceptable armed aggression” and the “barbarism of the killing of children.” “In the name of God,” he declared Sunday, “I ask you: Stop this massacre!” Whom, though, was Francis asking? The Pope has studiously avoided naming President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, or even Russia itself, as the aggressor. And while he has said that whoever justifies violence with religious motivations “profanes the name” of God, he has avoided criticism of the war’s chief religious backer and apologist, Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Francis’ motivation stems from his walking a fine line between global conscience, real-world diplomatic player and religious leader responsible for his own flock’s safety. Nevertheless, some of his own bishops and other supporters within the Roman Catholic Church want him to name names, and historians say the pontiff risks slipping off his high moral ground and into a murky space occupied prominently by Pope Pius XII, the wartime pope who avoided speaking critically of Hitler and the Axis powers as Germany invaded Poland and eventually perpetrated the Holocaust. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/world/europe/pope-francis-ukraine-russia-war.html___________________________________________________________ 3. California lawmakers vote to make abortions cheaper, By Adam Beam, Associated Press, March 18, 2022, 6:33 PM California lawmakers on Thursday voted to make abortions much cheaper for people on private health insurance plans, bringing California closer to becoming the fourth state in the country to ban insurance fees for the procedure. Thursday’s vote is part of lawmakers’ strategy to make reproductive care more accessible in preparation for a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that banned states from outlawing abortions. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/california-lawmakers-vote-to-make-abortions-cheaper/2022/03/17/6532a9ea-a63f-11ec-8628-3da4fa8f8714_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. ACLU targets school board for working with ADF, By Susan Ferrechio, The Washington Times, March 18, 2022, Pg. A2 The Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the Hanover County Schools over a group that promotes religious freedom providing legal advice on the schools’ transgender policy. The ACLU-VA has adopted the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group designation for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is slated to review the Hanover School District’s policy. The ACLU-VA has filed an information request, seeking all communications between school officials, school board members and the ADF. “The organization’s disturbing and erroneous positions clearly should disqualify ADF from providing legal advice to the Hanover County School Board,” ACLU-VA officials said in a statement. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/mar/17/virginia-aclu-hate-group-label-group-probe-transge/___________________________________________________________ 5. British Parliament rejects amendment to allow assisted suicide, By Catholic News Service, March 18, 2022 The British Parliament threw out an attempt to legalize assisted suicide in England and Wales. Amendment 170 to the Health and Social Care Bill would have forced the British government to introduce assisted suicide legislation in the near future. But members of the House of Lords, Britain’s second political chamber, rejected the amendment, 179-145, following a March 16 debate. The defeat of the amendment represents the 12th time in 25 years that the British Parliament has dismissed an attempt to legalize assisted suicide, which is punishable under the 1961 Suicide Act by up to 14 years in jail. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-uk-and-ireland/2022/03/british-parliament-rejects-amendment-to-allow-assisted-suicide___________________________________________________________ 6. Washington state prohibits Texas-style abortion lawsuits, By Rachel La Corte, Associated Press, March 17, 2022 A Washington state measure that prohibits legal action against people seeking an abortion and those who aid them was signed into law Thursday by the governor, in a move designed to rebut recent actions by conservative states. “We know this bill is necessary because this is a perilous time for the ability of people to have the freedom of choice that they have enjoyed for decades,” said Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat. The bill signing comes just days after the Legislature in neighboring Idaho approved a bill that allows lawsuits by potential family members to enforce a ban on abortions performed after six weeks of pregnancy. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-lawsuits-legislature-washington-b63da7e85e9f95402cce5f3ac8ebe86f___________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican cardinal says donations went to charity, not brother, By Nicole Winfield, The New York Times, March 17, 2022, 11:45 AM A once-powerful cardinal testified Thursday that he donated 125,000 euros ($140,000) of Vatican money to a Sardinian diocese for purely charitable reasons, rejecting Vatican prosecutors’ claims that the money benefitted his brother who ran the charity. Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the first-ever cardinal to testify before the Vatican’s criminal tribunal, said he couldn’t deny that his brother Antonino Becciu was the legal representative of the Spes charity, which is the operational arm of the Diocese of Ozieri’s Caritas charity operation. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/vatican-cardinal-says-donations-went-to-charity-not-brother/2022/03/17/48075380-a602-11ec-8628-3da4fa8f8714_story.html___________________________________________________________ 8. Missouri lawmaker says controversial bill won’t outlaw ectopic pregnancy treatment, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, March 17, 2022, 5:21 PM A Missouri Republican lawmaker says he plans to amend a bill he recently introduced concerning ectopic pregnancies to allay concerns that it would prevent women from receiving treatment for the potentially deadly medical condition. House Bill 2810, proposed by State Rep. Brian Seitz, was criticized last week as appearing to outlaw medical treatment for ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when an embryo implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Once implanted, the embryo’s growth is likely to rupture the fallopian tube, which can cause the death of both mother and child. While there are treatments for ectopic pregnancies that do not constitute direct abortion, the embryo is highly unlikely to survive, whether treatment is done or not. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250715/missouri-ectopic-pregnancy-treatment-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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