1. Faith-based charities fear Biden plan threatens liberty, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, March 23, 2023, Pg. A1 The Biden administration is hailing proposed rules aimed at protecting the religious liberty of clients of faith-based charities, but critics say the changes would obliterate protections for the thousands of religious charities that receive federal funds. The Department of Health and Human Services this year announced the proposed changes, which include requiring religious charities that receive federal funds to provide clients with written notice of their nondiscrimination policies and with referrals to alternative services if clients object to the charities’ programs. The health agency says the proposals would expand access to federally funded programs and services and would apply to HHS and the departments of Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, and Veterans Affairs, and the Agency for International Development.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/mar/22/faith-based-charities-lose-free-exercise-protectio/__________________________________________________________ 2. Nicaragua’s campaign against Catholic Church draws rebuke, Smith hopes hearing prods new U.S. action against Ortega regime, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, March 22, 2023 A leading congressional voice on human rights said he hopes a hearing highlighting abuses by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega‘s regime will push the Biden administration and Congress to take even tougher measures against the leader. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican, said in an interview that Wednesday’s joint session of two House Foreign Affairs subcommittees was meant to focus new attention on what he said were the regime’s growing list of human rights abuses and its crackdown on domestic political and religious critics of Mr. Ortega‘s rule. Long an outspoken advocate of human rights, Mr. Smith told The Washington Times in an interview ahead of the hearing that the regime’s recent actions — including the expulsion of 222 dissidents who were stripped of their citizenship and the jailing of a prominent Catholic bishop who criticized the government — suggest even more extreme behavior than Mr. Ortega has exhibited previously. Mr. Ortega‘s “complete commitment to dictatorship” is behind escalating attacks on political opponents and Catholic Church officials in recent years, Mr. Smith said. ….  https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/mar/22/key-house-voice-human-rights-prods-administration-/__________________________________________________________ 3. Americans must be diligent in defending religious freedoms or risk persecution, By Billy Hallowell, The Washington Times, March 22, 2023, Opinion The stonings, torture and other murderous actions that people around the globe face at the hands of extremists and madmen might seem entirely foreign or implausible to most Americans. Yet that’s the reality for Christians living in various regions, as persecution rages at alarming rates, claiming the homes, families, loved ones — and lives — of its victims. Watchdog Open Doors recently released its annual World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 nations where it’s most difficult to be a Christian. The group warned of the “horrifying growth” of persecution, exposing the dire realities in nations such as Afghanistan, North Korea and Nigeria. ….  “There is no parallel between the unrivaled religious freedom we enjoy in the United States of America and all of these other places and circumstances,” he said. “It’s the first clause of the first sentence of our First Amendment, and, under most circumstances, when it gets squeezed, it works its way up in our system, and it’s protected.” This is true and valid and something for which we must be grateful. Still, we must also be diligent and operate with wisdom as we confront the reality that many people — from bakers to web designers to football coaches — are finding themselves in the grips of that squeeze. Our collective futures depend on defending their freedoms to ensure we don’t one day end up seeing those rights evaporate. Billy Hallowell is a digital TV host and interviewer for Faithwire and CBN News and the co-host of CBN’s “Quick Start Podcast.” Hallowell is the author of four books, including “Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts,” and “The Armageddon Code: One Journalist’s Quest for End-Times Answers.” https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/mar/22/americans-must-be-diligent-defending-religious-fre/__________________________________________________________ 4. Massachusetts governor: Pharmacies must stock abortion pills, By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press, March 22, 2023 The governor of Massachusetts reminded pharmacies Wednesday that they are required to stock a key abortion pill, despite a nationwide effort by anti-abortion activists to ban the medication. The action comes as a federal judge in Texas is considering a lawsuit that would overturn decades-old federal approval of the drug. Democratic Gov. Maura Healey issued a written statement citing guidance from the state board overseeing pharmacies that says they must maintain “a continuous, sufficient supply of all family planning medications, including mifepristone, misoprostol, emergency contraception, and contraceptive prescriptions.”  https://apnews.com/article/abortion-pill-massachusetts-maura-healey-3235ab85af6fe4967237390d87c1b8bb__________________________________________________________ 5. Kansas lawmakers near approval of ‘born alive’ abortion bill, By John Hanna, Associated Press, March 22, 2023, 9:52 PM A Kansas proposal based on the claim that providers leave infants to die after they’re born during certain types of abortions is nearing legislative approval, as Republicans pursue limited anti-abortion measures following a decisive statewide vote last year protecting abortion rights. The Kansas House voted 88-34 on Wednesday to approve a bill declaring that when there’s a live birth during an abortion procedure, medical personnel must take the same steps to preserve the newborn’s life as “a reasonably diligent and conscientious” provider would with other live births. The law would apply to any “complete expulsion or extraction” of a fetus from the mother, including labor and delivery abortions during which a doctor induces labor. The measure is similar to a proposed Montana law that voters there rejected in November and laws in 18 states, including Arizona, Florida, Ohio and Texas.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/22/born-alive-abortion-bill-kansas-legislature/5e29a6e6-c86f-11ed-9cc5-a58a4f6d84cd_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Judge halts Wyoming abortion ban days after it took effect, By Mead Gruver, Associated Press, March 22, 2023, 9:01 PM Abortion will again be legal in Wyoming — at least for now — after a judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a ban that took effect a few days earlier. Teton County District Court Judge Melissa Owens’ decision halts the ban amid a challenge in her court to a law that took effect Sunday. The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the law despite earlier rulings by Owens that had blocked a previous ban since shortly after it took effect last summer. Owens put the new ban on hold after a hearing Wednesday in which abortion-rights supporters said the law harms pregnant women and their doctors and violates the state constitution. Owens suspended the ban for at least two weeks. The ban prohibits abortion at all stages of pregnancy except in cases of rape or incest that’s reported to police, or to save a woman’s life.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/03/22/abortion-ban-wyoming/e1695952-c86f-11ed-9cc5-a58a4f6d84cd_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Biden DOJ sued for allegedly hiding info on attacks of churches, pro-life groups, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, March 22, 2023, 2:47 PM A coalition of conservative organizations is taking legal action to obtain documents from the Department of Justice related to the surge in pro-abortion attacks on churches and pro-life pregnancy centers and a lack of prosecution from the agency. Based on data compiled by CNA, there have been more than 100 attacks on churches and pro-life pregnancy centers since the May 2022 leak of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which overturned the abortion protections guaranteed in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The DOJ has failed to prosecute the perpetrators in nearly all of the attacks.  lawsuit led by the Heritage Foundation and Advancing American Freedom accuses the DOJ of failing to provide them with documents requested through the Freedom of Information Act. The documents requested include all records and internal DOJ communication related to crimes against pro-life pregnancy centers and churches. The requests also include all communications between the DOJ and the Domestic Policy Council or the Executive Office of the President related to investigations of these crimes.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253915/heritage-sues-doj-for-info-on-attacks-of-churches-pro-life-groups__________________________________________________________ 8. Notre Dame ‘abortion doula’ talk was unworthy of Catholic university, local bishop laments, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, March 22, 2023, 8:06 AM The University of Notre Dame’s local bishop has strongly criticized the Catholic university for hosting a “reproductive justice” talk featuring abortion doula Ash Williams, who described abortion as “a type of birth.” According to a National Public Radio profile, Williams’ role as an abortion doula is to provide “physical, emotional, or financial help to people seeking to end a pregnancy.” In remarks during the event on March 20, Williams, who identifies as a trans man, explicitly rejected the idea that the number of abortions should be reduced. “Not surprisingly, inviting an abortion doula to provide an unrebutted case for abortion has prompted a great deal of concern and criticism around the country and in our diocese,” Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend said in his March 21 column for the diocesan newspaper Today’s Catholic. “I share these concerns and consider the decision to feature such a speaker on campus to be both intellectually unserious and unworthy of a great Catholic research university.” Rhoades objected that the event sponsors provided an abortion facilitator “a platform for unanswered pro-abortion activism.” The lecture series, he said, “appears to be an explicit act of dissent from Notre Dame’s admirable institutional commitment to promoting a culture of life that embraces and affirms the intrinsic equal dignity of the unborn, pregnant mothers, and families.” The series, titled “Reproductive Justice: Scholarship for Solidarity and Social Change,” is sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s gender studies program and the university’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. Several other bodies within the university and several external groups also provide support.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253912/notre-dame-abortion-doula-talk-is-squarely-contrary-to-catholic-principles-bishop-rhoades-laments__________________________________________________________

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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