1. Catholic groups step up to help most vulnerable during coronavirus pandemic.

By Jack Lyons, Crux, March 24, 2020

As the spread of the coronavirus forces restrictions on almost every sector of the economy, Catholic organizations are adapting amidst challenges to how they aid the most vulnerable.

In an effort to limit gatherings and prevent contagion, numerous political leaders have enacted bans on dining at restaurants and other establishments that serve food, prompting creative responses from organizations who offer meals to the food-insecure.

In Portland, Oregon, one organization opted to pass out to-go meals instead of hosting visitors inside. Volunteers and residents at Blanchet House of Hospitality worked together to provide packaged meals and coffee three times per day. The organization served 307 to-go meals on one morning last week, a spokesperson told Crux.

In Vermont, health officials asked one homeless shelter, ANEW Place of Burlington, to relocate some of its residents who were at high risk of contracting COVID-19. While the shelter found hotel rooms to house the residents, the move separated them from the regular meals they received when living in community.

That’s when Jordan Easley, a staff member at the nearby St. Francis Xavier Parish, stepped in; he formed an email chain with other parishioners to provide meals for the residents in need.

In addition to organizations seeking material support, some are asking volunteers to pitch in through advocacy work.


2. Texas moves to ban most abortions due to virus outbreak.

By David Crary, Jim Vertuno and Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, March 23, 2020, 8:17 PM

The governor and attorney general of Texas are moving to ban most abortions in the state during the coronavirus outbreak, declaring they don’t qualify as essential surgeries.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday that the order issued over the weekend by Gov. Greg Abbott barred “any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

The issue also has flared in Ohio, where abortion clinics received letters Friday from Republican Attorney General Dave Yost ordering them to cease all “non-essential” surgical abortions. Yost wrote that the procedures violate a March 17 order issued by the state health director.


3. Former USCCB president and Archbishop of Cincinnati dies age 85.

By Catholic News Agency, March 23, 2020, 10:30 AM

The former head of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference and archbishop emeritus of Cincinnati, Daniel E. Pilarczyk, died on Sunday at the age of 85.


4. Lt. governor and aspiring Jesuit has long record on ‘abortion rights’

By Ed Condon, Catholic News Agency, March 23, 2020, 6:10 PM

While Washington’s governor has praised the decision of his state’s lieutenant governor to enter the Society of Jesus after his term of office ends, the political record of Lt. Gov Cyrus Habib is unusual for an aspirant to Catholic religious life.

Habib’s eight years in public life included support for abortion rights and contraception funding in the state of Washington.

He enjoys an 75% and “B” rating from NARAL, the national abortion rights group, and listed the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington during his 2016 campaign for lieutenant governor on his website, CyrusHabib.com. The politician was endorsed by NARAL during his 2014 campaign for legislature as well.

In 2015, he was co-sponsor of the Washington Reproductive Health Act, which mandated insurance cover abortions, sterilization and contraception. This bill did not pass.

Also in 2015, he co-sponsored the Washington Employee Reproductive Choice Act, which would have declared that failing to provide contraceptive coverage in employer-provided health insurance would amount to discrimination. The bill would have established that access to birth control in Washington State is a human right. That bill, also, did not pass.


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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