1. Idaho governor signs abortion ban modeled on Texas law, By Keith Ridler, Associated Press, March 24, 2022, 6:07 PM Idaho on Wednesday became the first state to enact a law modeled after a Texas statute banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and allowing it to be enforced through lawsuits to avoid constitutional court challenges. Republican Gov. Brad Little signed into law the measure that allows people who would have been family members to sue a doctor who performs an abortion after cardiac activity is detected in an embryo. Still he said he had concerns about whether the law was constitutional. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/idaho-governor-signs-abortion-ban-modeled-on-texas-law/2022/03/23/e163c392-aadf-11ec-8a8e-9c6e9fc7a0de_story.html___________________________________________________________ 2. Study finds Catholic Church losing Black members, Despite trends, faith leaders see path forward for improvement, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, March 24, 2022, Pg. A8 A new study of Black members of the Roman Catholic Church — a cohort estimated at 3 million people — reveals some concerning trends as well as hopeful signs, informed observers said. The Pew Research Center found that Black people born into the Roman Catholic faith are less likely to remain as adults: 46% of those responding said they no longer identify as Catholics, a higher percentage than reported by White or Hispanic Catholics surveyed. The church is apparently losing its younger Black members as well: 17% of respondents who identify as Black Catholics are between the ages of 18 and 29, versus 35% aged 30-49, and 47% age 50 or older. Yet amid these concerning trends, leaders of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington are finding hope. A “majority- minority” diocese, the church region is led by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the first Black American prelate elevated to the College of Cardinals. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/mar/22/black-catholics-face-faith-challenges-defections-e/___________________________________________________________ 3. California governor signs law that makes abortions cheaper, By Adam Beam, Associated Press, March 23, 2022, 10:09 AM California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law on Tuesday to make abortions cheaper for people on private insurance plans, the first of more than a dozen bills the state’s Democratic leaders plan to pass this year to prepare for a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could overturn Roe v. Wade.  California already requires health insurance companies to cover abortions. But insurers often charge things like co-pays and deductibles that can add an average of $543 to the cost of a medication abortion and $887 to the cost of a procedural abortion, according to an analysis by the California Health Benefits Review Program. The law Newsom signed on Tuesday eliminates those fees. While the law will make abortions cheaper, it will also slightly increase monthly premiums for patients and their employers. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/california-governor-signs-law-that-makes-abortions-cheaper/2022/03/23/d60ca93c-aab2-11ec-8a8e-9c6e9fc7a0de_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. ‘When does life begin?’: Senators press Ketanji Brown Jackson on abortion, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, March 23, 2022, 2:26 PM Senators are continuing to press Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on the abortion issue during her confirmation hearings with questions such as, “When does life begin, in your opinion?” Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana asked Jackson — the federal judge nominated by President Joe Biden to replace retiring Justice Stephen G. Breyer — that particular question on Tuesday. “Senator, I don’t know,” Jackson responded, before laughing. Kennedy prompted, “Ma’am?” “I don’t know,” Jackson repeated, later adding, “I have personal, religious, and otherwise beliefs that have nothing to do with the law in terms of when life begins.” “I have a religious view,” she added, “that I set aside when I am ruling on cases.” Kennedy then asked when the law begins to protect a human person, or “when does equal protection of the laws attach to a human being?” Jackson, again, said she did not know. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250771/when-does-life-begin-ketanji-brown-jackson-abortion___________________________________________________________ 5. Why young people are turning to Jordan Peterson, By Grazie Pozo Christie, Angelus, March 23, 2022 One of the most worrying features of modern times is the falling away of young people from the ways of faith. The sad fact is that we Catholics seem to be struggling to fill young hearts with the joy of the Gospel — with the certainty that each has an indispensable role in salvation history. Our secular world insists that anything transcendent is an illusion. As a result, we’ve gotten used to the dark ways life becomes disordered and weary when meaning and purpose are absent from our lives. It’s a surprise, then, that the person who seems to have a key to the great puzzle of how to reach young people on a spiritual level isn’t very religious. Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has arguably become the West’s most prominent cultural and intellectual influencer of late. His videos and best-selling books have attracted millions of young followers.  At the heart of Peterson’s ideas is this: First, life is difficult and filled with suffering. There are afflictions we can’t control, like illness, the loss of loved ones, war, and natural disaster. Even worse is what he calls “malevolence”: the dark parts of our nature that hurt others, and the malevolence of those around us that wounds us.  The good news, according to Peterson, is that we can still prevail. We can “take up arms against the sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them.” Or if we cannot end them, we can courageously confront them. We are not victims but protagonists, and able ones, at that. Second, Peterson proposes that the first step toward a life of meaning is the adoption of responsibility, starting with our own actions and moving out to our families and then to the community. In cultivating this sense of responsibility, our lives acquire meaning and purpose, shaping us into the kind of men and women that shine like lights in a dark world that others rely on.  In listening to Peterson, I was reminded that for too long, we’ve taught our religion as a comforting, healthy way to pursue happiness and grow our self-esteem. We’ve forgotten, at times, the meaning that comes from taking on responsibility — for our relationship with God, for the beautiful practices of our faith, for our brothers and sisters. If Peterson starts with “make your bed,” perhaps we can start with “go to Mass on Sunday,” because it is in the fulfillment of duty that the heart is engaged and enkindled, and that dysfunction becomes peace. Jesus Christ modeled and proposed a life of valorous responsibility: The words “Take up your cross and follow me” call us to something different, to face crushing situations with hope. Jesus goes a huge step forward, of course: His shouldering of the responsibility of mankind’s sins is the cure for the malevolence that plagues us. What can be more important than speaking to the emptiness that so many young people experience? We know, after all, that our faith is in one who promises “the words of eternal life.” https://angelusnews.com/voices/why-young-people-are-turning-to-jordan-peterson/___________________________________________________________

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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