1. Trump suggests he’d support a national ban on abortions around 15 weeks of pregnancy, By Michelle L. Price, Associated Press, March 20, 2024, 8:07 AM Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that he’d support a national ban on abortions around 15 weeks of pregnancy, voicing for the first time support for a specific limit on the procedure. The Republican former president has taken credit for striking down a federally guaranteed right to abortion by appointing three U.S. Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. As he seeks the White House a third time, Trump has refrained from embracing any specific limit on the procedure, warning it could backfire politically and instead suggesting he would “negotiate” a policy on abortion that would include exceptions for cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/03/19/trump-abortion-ban-15-weeks/1418cf60-e663-11ee-9eba-1558f848ec25_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Religious charities, schools in Virginia can require employees to align with their beliefs: ADF, Religious groups also can decline providing ‘gender-affirming’ care, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, March 20, 2024 The state of Virginia will allow religious organizations to hire only workers who adhere to the groups’ beliefs as part of a settlement of a 2020 lawsuit, according to a Christian legal advocacy group. Alliance Defending Freedom said religious groups in Virginia also are exempt from paying for or facilitating gender transition treatments that violate their teachings. ADF represented two churches, three Christian schools and a network of pregnancy centers that sued the commonwealth and then-Attorney General Mark Herring in September 2020 after the Virginia Values Act was enacted.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2024/mar/19/religious-charities-schools-in-virginia-can-requir/__________________________________________________________ 3. African cardinal: Fiducia Supplicans seen as ‘cultural colonization, Western imperialism’, By Jude Atemanke, Catholic News Agency, March 20, 2024, 9:00 AM Fiducia Supplicans, the declaration by the Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith (DDF) permitting the blessing of same-sex couples and couples in other “irregular situations,” was perceived as “cultural colonization” in Africa, the president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) said. In a March 17 interview with the French-language Catholic television channel KTO, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo deplored the lack of “synodality” in the release of the DDF document that has evoked mixed reactions and deep division among Catholic bishops across the world since its publication on Dec. 18, 2023. “In this declaration, there was a whole cultural problem, because the African continent perceived Fiducia Supplicans as cultural colonization,” said Ambongo, the archbishop of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  What Fiducia Supplicans proposes is “a kind of Western imperialism, but on a cultural level,” he said, adding that “practices that are considered normal in the West were imposed on other peoples.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257139/fiducia-supplicans-perceived-as-cultural-colonization-western-imperialism-says-african-cardinal__________________________________________________________ 4. Following the Jewish Jesus, In an age where antisemitism comes in many forms, Lent is a good time to reflect on the indisputable fact that Jesus of Nazareth was a son of the Jewish people., By George Weigel, National Catholic Register, March 20, 2024, Opinion Twenty-four years ago this week, I was in Jerusalem to cover Pope John Paul II’s epic pilgrimage to the Holy Land for NBC. After going to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to pray at the 11th and 12th stations, I went to dinner with a graduate school classmate, Father Michael McGarry, then the director of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. We drove through East Jerusalem to “Philadelphia,” a Palestinian restaurant Father McGarry recommended, where we had a fine meal of local specialties, prepared and served by friendly people who were evidently grateful for our trade (much of East Jerusalem being as dead as a doornail that night). The one discordant note was struck when, on the way out of the restaurant, I noticed a large color poster featuring a photo-shopped picture of John Paul II and PLO leader Yasser Arafat under the headline, “Welcome to the Palestinian Holy Land,” a variant on the “Palestinian Jesus” theme Arafat had been retailing. Insofar as there was any religious content in this crude, not-altogether-subtle attempt to de-Judaize the one whom Christians recognize as the Messiah — the Messiah promised to the Jewish people and born of a Jewish woman — it harked back to the ancient heresy of the Marcionites: a second-century sect that rejected the Old Testament in its entirety. Marcion and his followers claimed that the Creator God of Genesis and the God of the Jewish people’s Exodus was not the “Father” God to whom Jesus prayed; in fact, the Marcionites claimed that Jesus’ mission, as he understood it, was to overthrow and displace this “God of the Law” with the “God of Love.” Marcion rejected three of the four canonical Gospels, accepting only an edited version of the Gospel of Luke. And therein lay this heretic’s one positive contribution to Christianity: He forced the Church to clarify its own canon of Scripture, which of course includes the Gospels Marcion rejected. Over the past 1,800 years, other deviant Christian thinkers have tried to “take the Jewish out of Jesus,” so to speak. And lest we think that such perversions today are limited to politicians, consider that, in recent months, some politicized Christian leaders have repeated the canard that Jesus was a “Palestinian” or “Palestinian Jew.” Which, I suggest, makes as much sense as referring to Jesus as a Latvian Jew or a Luxembourgish Jew, since “Palestine” as conceived today did not exist at the time of Jesus, any more than did Latvia or Luxembourg. Lent — even more so now as we approach Holy Week — is a good time to reflect on the indisputable fact that Jesus of Nazareth, whom we believe to be the incarnate Son of God, was a son of the Jewish people. He was circumcised on the eighth day (Luke 2:21) and presented to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses in the Temple (Luke 2:22ff.) He was raised within the temporal rhythms and rituals of Judaism and learned its sacred writings (Luke 2:41-52). He lived as a faithful Jew and taught as a faithful Jew (“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill” [Matthew 5:17]). He was mocked by the Romans who crucified him as “the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37 and parallels). And he died as a faithful Jew, invoking Psalm 22 and its confession of the ultimate reign of the God of Israel (“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. For dominion belongs to the Lord…”)  Antisemitism comes in many forms these days. If those who invoke the “Palestinian Jesus” don’t grasp that, they might think again. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/following-the-jewish-jesus__________________________________________________________ 5. Nevada judge blocks state from limiting Medicaid coverage for abortions, By Rio Yamat, Associated Press, March 19, 2024, 8:21 AM A Nevada judge has struck down the state’s limits on Medicaid coverage for abortion services, saying the restrictions violate equal rights protections. Clark County District Judge Erika Ballou said Tuesday from the bench that she planned to issue a written order at a later date directing the state Department of Health and Human Services to grant Medicaid coverage for all abortions. Currently, Nevada’s Medicaid program only covers abortions for pregnancies that are life-threatening or result from rape or incest.  Seventeen states currently allow Medicaid to pay for abortions, including Nevada’s neighbors California and Oregon, according to KFF.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/03/19/nevada-abortions-medicaid-coverage/c8cfc026-e64f-11ee-9eba-1558f848ec25_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Supreme Court declines to hear Catholic couple’s lawsuit over transgender child custody, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, March 19, 2024, 3:00 PM The Supreme Court rejected without comment this week an Indiana Catholic husband and wife’s petition over a dispute involving custody of their transgender-identifying son.  Mary and Jeremy Cox refused to accept their son’s self-declared female identity in 2019 and instead sought therapy to address what they saw as underlying mental health concerns. The government subsequently removed their son from their home, placing him in another home that “affirmed” his transgender beliefs.  The state government eventually dropped its abuse allegations against the couple, though it ultimately refused to return him to their custody, claiming that the child had developed an eating disorder due to the dispute. Multiple court decisions upheld the state’s order.  The couple, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, subsequently petitioned the Supreme Court last month. On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, turning down the Coxes’ petition without comment.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257137/supreme-court-declines-to-hear-catholic-couple-s-lawsuit-over-transgender-child-custody__________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.