1. House to vote Thursday on allowing lethal dose of drugs for terminal patients.

By Ovetta Wiggins, The Washington Post, March 7, 2019, Pg. B1

A bill that would allow terminally ill patients to legally obtain a lethal dose of medicine to end their lives advanced in the Maryland House of Delegates on Wednesday, setting the stage for what will likely be a dramatic vote on Thursday.

It is the first time — after three attempts in recent years — that the legislation will be debated on the floor of the General Assembly.

The bill moved forward without any discussion, even though it has both strong support and strong opposition in the Democratic-majority House to make Maryland the seventh state to allow patients to get help in ending their own lives.

The strongest opposition to the legislation has come from Catholic organizations. Maryland, which has deep Catholic roots, would be the southernmost state to adopt a right-to-die law.


2. Ala. judge lets man sue clinic on behalf of aborted fetus, Decision hinges on the state’s law recognizing rights of the unborn.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, The Washington Post, March 7, 2019, Pg. A3

An Alabama judge has recognized the legal rights of an aborted fetus, allowing a man whose girlfriend ended her pregnancy at six weeks to sue the manufacturer of the pill she used and the clinic that gave it to her. 

The decree, issued by Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger, explicitly states “Baby Roe” is a person and allows plaintiff Ryan Magers to name the fetus as a co-plaintiff in the suit for “wrongful death.” Magers said in court filings that when his thengirlfriend discovered she was pregnant in early 2017, he “repeatedly pleaded” with her to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth but she wanted to have an abortion. 

Legal experts say the case highlights the high stakes beyond abortion if a new conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down Roe v. Wade. University of San Diego law Professor Dov Fox said the high court has been clear that fetuses are not people, and a woman’s views on abortion trump her partner’s because she is the one to carry and deliver the baby. But if fetuses are recognized as having rights equal to the women carrying them, it would open up a legal and ethical minefield.


3. Private Schools Sue Over Rules.

By Leslie Brody, The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2019, Pg. A10A

New York’s private schools have filed a lawsuit to halt the state’s efforts to expand oversight of their academics, saying it overstepped its authority.

The New York State Association of Independent Schools filed suit Tuesday against the State Education Department on behalf of its 192 members.

Mark Lauria, executive director of the association, said the academic freedom of nearly 1,800 nonpublic schools was stake. “At the core of our independence is our ability to create our curriculum,” he said Wednesday. “This cuts to the core of what our schools do.”

Some yeshivas and Catholic schools have balked at the new guidelines, citing religious liberty. This week’s suit marks a new step by the association, which includes secular and religious schools, to fight the regulations.


4. Convicted Cardinal George Pell Sued Over Alleged Child Abuse, Civil action filed in Australian state court says the priest assaulted a boy in the 1970s.

By Robb M. Stewart, Wall Street Journal Online, March 7, 2019, 2:55 AM

An Australian man is suing Cardinal George Pell alleging abuse when he was a boy four decades ago, reviving allegations against the most senior Catholic priest to be convicted of child sex offenses.

The civil suit, filed late Wednesday in the Supreme Court of Victoria, seeks damages for alleged physical and sexual abuse suffered during the 1970s when the man was in the care of a Catholic boys home in Cardinal Pell’s hometown. Under Australian law, victims of sexual crimes can’t be identified by name.

Cardinal Pell, Pope Francis’ former finance chief, has denied accusations of abuse.


5. French Cardinal Found Guilty in Cover-Up of Child Sex Abuse, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is the first cardinal to stand trial for failing to act on abuse accusations that have plagued the Catholic Church.

By Noemie Bisserbe, Wall Street Journal Online, March 7, 2019, 6:01 AM

French judges handed a six-month suspended jail sentence to a cardinal on Thursday, marking the first conviction of such a high-ranking Catholic Church leader for covering up child sex abuse. 

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who was appointed archbishop in the French city of Lyon in 2002, was accused of covering up for an abusive priest and endangering minors, the first time a cardinal has stood trial for failing to act on abuse accusations. The abuse by Father Bernard Preynat, who was a priest in the Lyon diocese from 1971 to 2015, happened a decade before Cardinal Barbarin became archbishop but came to the cardinal’s attention in the late 2000s. 

Cardinal Barbarin failed to report a crime in March 2010 after questioning Father Preynat about rumors of sexual abuse, and in July 2014 when one of the priest’s victims contacted him, judges said in their ruling. The statute of limitations has run out for his first offense in 2010 but not for the second in July 2014, judges added.

Lawyers for Cardinal Barbarin said they would appeal the court’s decision.


6. Weaponizing children for political gain, How the left abuses children by using them as human shields.

By Monica Crowley, The Washington Times, March 7, 2019, Pg. B1, Opinion

As Scripture puts it, suffer not the little children. Unless, of course, they can be weaponized for political gain.

In the victimhood derby of our highly charged political environment, the Nickelodeon set has been the final frontier. Although the education system has long indoctrinated kids in progressivism, they are now being turned into guided missiles for hyper-ambitious leftists.

But kids are now pushed front and center, armed with scripted talking points and coached by adults to agitate for “change.” Their targets cannot forcefully defend themselves, because the activists are, after all, mere children (which is, of course, the tactical point.) Tragically, using kids as the tip of a political spear in this way is a distinct form of child abuse.

After another abbreviated video seemed to suggest that students from Covington Catholic High School attending the March for Life angrily confronted an elderly Native American activist, a massive political and media pile-on the boys ensued. Their critics assumed that because they were wearing Make America Great Again hats, they must luxuriate in bigotry and white privilege. They (and by extension, all Trump supporters) were pounded relentlessly for days, even after a longer video appeared to vindicate them. One of the boys has filed a $250 million lawsuit against The Washington Post for smearing his name, but the damage by the left has already been done.

Last fall, following the confirmation vote of Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a pitched battle over unsubstantiated allegations, a mother took up residence in a Senate office hallway with her two small children. When Sen. Bill Cassidy emerged, she confronted him over his yes vote: “Senator Cassidy, can you please apologize to my children for ruining their futures?” He replied directly to them: “Hey guess what? I know your parents are using you as tools. In the future, if someone makes an allegation against you and there’s no proof for it, you’ll be OK.” At least those kids had one responsible parental figure in that hallway that day.

The left appears to have no problem manipulating children’s lives (and even deaths) to march their agenda forward. Get ’em young, and keep the revolution going in perpetuity.

Monica Crowley is a columnist for The Washington Times.


7. A ‘political town with pastoral needs’ anticipates a new archbishop, Francis’ pick for DC’s chief shepherd may be the most pivotal of his papacy.

By John Gehring, National Catholic Reporter, March 7, 2019

Pope Francis is expected to appoint a new archbishop of Washington in the coming days, a high-profile pick that will be one of the most pivotal of his papacy given the nature of this unusual see and the fact that its two most recent leaders have been embroiled in the clergy sex abuse scandal.

If evaluated merely by geographical size and statistics, the Archdiocese of Washington doesn’t rank as one of the heavyweights of American Catholicism. New York and Los Angeles easily elbow out the nation’s capital in sheer numbers of Catholics. Boston has bragging rights as a cradle of the Irish-American success story, a city where towering archbishops once defined the Catholic braggadocio of an era when the Church loomed large as a potent cultural force.

It’s not only Catholic progressives who want to see the next archbishop in Washington tackle the abuse crisis head on. Ashley McGuire is a frequent media commentator, pro-life activist and author of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female.

The senior fellow at The Catholic Association, which focuses on religious liberty issues, says a new archbishop needs to show “courage and clarity,” two qualities she notes that are “sorely lacking in this city.” The 33-year-old attends St. Thomas Apostle Church in Woodley Park. “Clear and courageous leadership is needed right now within the church as it navigates a way out of the current abuse crisis and toward a new era of reform and transparency within the hierarchy,” she said.


8. Expert ‘preaches’ to Vatican on geoengineering to combat climate change.

By Inés San Martín, Crux, March 7, 2019

For some it might sound like science-fiction, and for others a way to counteract what they regard as fake science. Yet many countries in the world have come to see “geoengineering,” also known as “climate engineering,” as a solution to the impact climate change may have on their nations.

Catholic layman Gary Gardner is a senior consultant to Green Faith, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that looks at sustainability from a multi-faith perspective.

Climate engineering, he argued, “is an emerging global ethical issue that requires the world’s attention soon.”

Speaking with Crux in Rome last week after attending a study session ahead of October’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon region, Gardner said that geoengineering is a “complicated topic” not only technically but also ethically.


9. Pope opens Lent with call to avoid ‘clutches of consumerism’.

By The Associated Press, March 6, 2019

Pope Francis has urged Roman Catholic faithful to free themselves from the “clutches of consumerism and the snares of selfishness” as he marked the start of Lent, the period of prayer and fasting before Easter.

Francis led a procession and then celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at the basilica of Santa Sabina, one of Rome’s most beautiful.

In his homily, Francis said the 40-day period of Lent is a “wakeup call for the soul” to rediscover the direction of life.

He said: “We need to free ourselves from the clutches of consumerism and the snares of selfishness, from always wanting more, from never being satisfied, and from a heart closed to the needs of the poor.”


10. Slide into abortion fanaticism endangers one of Democrats’ core tenets.

By Grazie Pozo Christie, The Washington Examiner, March 6, 2019, 10:16 AM
Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie specializes in radiology in the Miami area and serves on the advisory board for The Catholic Association.

A new Marist poll shows a sharp jump in the percentage of Democrats that identify as pro-life, compared to just a month ago. The numbers are impressive: 34 percent of them now identify as pro-life, up from 20 percent, with a simultaneous drop in pro-choice identification from 75 to 61 percent.

Democrats who are ideologically committed to abortion rights as a defining value of their party, Democrats happy to have the party in lockstep with groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, are being told not to panic, that this is just a meaningless statistical blip. But is it?

No holds barred abortion advocates should panic. As New York and liberal copycat states rush to enshrine extreme abortion license into state statutes, their abortion wish list is being exposed like so much dirty laundry. And regular good-hearted Americans are wincing at the sight.

It was New York state that quickly codified the abortion free-for-all into a bill and passed it with unseemly celebration. When lawmakers in other states tried to follow suit, they faced follow up questions about just what making abortion legal through all 40 weeks of pregnancy looks like in action. Some of them answered honestly. Yes, it means that a woman carrying a fully developed baby can choose abortion for her child, defined now in New York as a “fundamental right,” up through her due date if her health is threatened or the child is non-viable. And yes, maternal “health” includes any factor, emotional, social, and psychological, that she thinks may limit her well-being. As for fetal viability, there is no legal standard for this. The determination of whether a baby is disabled and whether the disability is life-limiting is left up to the abortionist, who has been hired to eliminate the child, not to advocate for its acceptance into the human family.

The polling reflects the fact that Americans are listening to all this and putting two and two together. They increasingly reject the pro-choice label when the “choice” in question includes the legal and direct killing of an unborn child whose mother could just as easily deliver the baby and give him or her up for adoption.


11. ‘Cupich Plan’ for Investigating Bishops Accused of Sex Abuse Faces Rough Road, Critics say focus on metropolitan bishops is flawed, won’t restore public confidence.

By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, March 6, 2019

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago received a respectful hearing from Church leaders at the Vatican summit as he outlined his updated plan for deploying metropolitan bishops to investigate bishops accused of sexual abuse and negligence.

Back home, however, there are strong indications that his proposal faces a hard sell, as Church leaders and lay experts weigh reforms designed to restore the bishops’ credibility in the wake of the McCarrick scandal.

“There are still questions about ‘who knew what’ regarding McCarrick,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, told the Register.

“And now there is simply a lack of trust about a system involving metropolitans.”

Bishop Paprocki, a canon lawyer, expressed his preference for another proposal before the consideration of the U.S. bishops that was tabled until the completion of the summit: an independent national commission presented at the USCCB meeting in November. 

For his part, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a post-summit statement acknowledging the victims and indicating a path forward: “We owe survivors an unyielding vigilance that we may never fail them again. How, then, to bind the wounds? Intensify the Dallas Charter. Pope Francis, whom I want to thank for this assembly, called us to ‘concrete and effective measures.’ A range of presenters from cardinals to other bishops to religious sisters to laywomen spoke about a ‘Code of Conduct’ for bishops, the need to establish specific protocols for handling accusations against bishops, user-friendly reporting mechanisms, and the essential role transparency must play in the healing process.  

“Achieving these goals will require the active involvement and collaboration of the laity. The Church needs their prayers, expertise and ideas. As we have learned from diocesan review boards, a comprehensive range of skills is required to assess allegations and to ensure that local policies and procedures are regularly reviewed so that our healing response continues to be effective.”


12. First They Came for the Catholics, Then for the Christians, and Then for the High School Kids.

By Dov Fischer, The American Spectator, March 5, 2019, 5:30 PM

The War on Catholic Judicial Appointments began in 2017 when Dianne Feinstein used her seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee to go after Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit — who hopefully soon will be a selection for the United States Supreme Court. In Feinstein’s shockingly bigoted words barked at Judge Barrett: “The dogma lives loudly within you.” 

Next came Brett M. Kavanaugh, another devout Catholic with an impeccable life record of personal dignity and character. 

We are supposed to bar religious tests in this country. At this fascinating juncture in time, as it happens, six of the United States Supreme Court justices are Catholic, and it certainly seems that Sonia Sotomayor’s religion is very different from that of Justice Samuel Alito.

Then they came after Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee to fill the seat previously held on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by Justice Kavanaugh. That court deals with federal regulatory appeals, and Rao is perfectly suited for the position because she has been head of the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

Rao is neither Catholic nor Christian. Rather, the Yale and University of Chicago Law School grad’s ethnic heritage traces to her parents’ Parsi roots, stemming from the Zoroastrian Persian community who fled to India in the 7th century to avoid Muslim persecution.

It began with the Catholics. In time came the onslaught against Nick Sandmann and his classmates at Covington Catholic High School. And then they started coming after the teachers of Christian school children. Karen Pence, married to the Vice President, accepted a teaching job at Immanuel Christian school in Springfield,Virginia, and the attacks began.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, they now have disqualified Brendan Johnston from the state’s high-school wrestling championships. Johnston is a Christian teen boy who politely, as a matter of religious principle and personal conscience, refused to wrestle a girl.

First they went after the Catholics. Then after the Christians. Then after the Indo-Asian Zoroastrians. And then after the kids. Yet in G-d we trust.