1. Expecting Roe’s Fall, States Race to Curb Abortion, By Kate Zernike, The New York Times, March 8, 2022, Pg. A17 Both sides of the abortion debate anticipate that come July, the Supreme Court will have overturned Roe v. Wade and with it the constitutional right to abortion, handing anti-abortion activists a victory they have sought for five decades. But from Florida to Idaho, Republican-led state legislatures are not waiting: They are operating as if Roe has already been struck down, advancing new restrictions that aim to make abortion illegal in as many circumstances as possible. Under Roe, states cannot prohibit abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb — around 23 weeks into pregnancy. But bills moving through legislatures are outlawing abortion entirely, or at six, 12 or 15 weeks of gestation. On Thursday, Florida passed a 15-week ban even as opponents warned it was unconstitutional so long as Roe stands. In Oklahoma, a Senate committee approved a bill that would prohibit abortion starting 30 days after the “probable” start of a woman’s last monthly period. Some states are trying to ban or limit pills that induce abortion, which supporters of abortion rights had hoped would provide a safe and legal workaround. Several states have advanced laws like the one the Supreme Court allowed to take effect in Texas that puts enforcement in the hands of private citizens. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/07/us/abortion-supreme-court-roe-v-wade.html___________________________________________________________ 2. Top official reiterates Vatican’s willingness to mediate Ukraine war, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, March 8, 2022 At nearly two weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, causing civilian deaths, mass displacement, and crippling damage to infrastructure, the Vatican’s top diplomat has doubled down on the Holy See’s willingness to help mediate the conflict. Speaking to TV2000, the official television station of the Italian bishops, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the Holy See’s intervention in the conflict is happening at several levels, the first of which is “the religious level, which is to invite an insistent prayer so that God grants peace to that martyred land and to involve believers in this choir of prayer.” There is also help being provided at the humanitarian level, mainly through Caritas and local dioceses, “which like many other organizations, are very committed to welcoming refugees from Ukraine.” Finally, Parolin said there is also the Vatican’s willingness to engage at the diplomatic level and noted that attempts in this regard “are being made throughout the world.” https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/03/top-official-reiterates-vaticans-willingness-to-mediate-ukraine-war___________________________________________________________ 3. What’s behind the push for abortion in Latin America?, The pro-choice side seems to be winning while the Catholic Church’s efforts to fight back seem weak, By Pablo Kay, Spectator World, March 7, 2022, 10:53 AM, Opinion While abortion has long been legal in much of the West, not so in Latin America, where the influence of Catholic moral teaching has long served as a reference point for legislators across the political spectrum. So why the push for abortion now in Latin America? The loosening of restrictions in these countries owes some credit to the so-called “Green Wave,” an activist movement named after the color of handkerchiefs brandished by women at pro-abortion demonstrations in Argentina, and later, countries like Mexico and Colombia. The green cloths now synonymous with abortion rights advocacy in South America were first introduced in 2015 by activists demanding an end to femicide in Argentina, which has seen a disturbing spike in fatal violence against women in recent years.  Since then, pro-abortion feminists have run an effective public opinion campaign casting legal abortion as a defense for women against the sexism and stark economic inequality deeply ingrained in Latin American countries.  While this new struggle has been going on, the most authoritative voice against abortion, the Catholic Church, has largely been missing in action. Throughout Latin America, the Catholic Church is hemorrhaging members to an ascendant secular culture and hard-proselytizing evangelical Protestantism. In the meantime, the Church bishops, especially in Colombia and Mexico, have been focused on other issues, among them efforts to welcome the masses of refugees pouring in from Venezuela and Central America, respectively, and standing with the victims of decades-long drug cartel-related violence and government corruption. Compared to the energy spent in other areas, the Church’s efforts to fight the abortion push seem weak and pro-forma, reduced to trying to compare abortion to other social justice concerns.  The scientific evidence about the harm of abortion, as Pope Francis has noted, is on the pro-life side. Saving the lives of unborn children and their mothers is an act of love, despite the efforts of certain foreign, well-funded groups to convince women otherwise. And that is a message worth spreading. https://spectatorworld.com/topic/push-abortion-latin-america-argentina/___________________________________________________________ 4. German church urges quick decision on divisive archbishop, By Associated Press, March 7, 2022, 11:12 AM The head of the German Bishops’ Conference on Monday pressed for a quick decision from Pope Francis on the future of a prominent archbishop who faces strong criticism for his handling of the church’s sexual abuse scandal. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the archbishop of Cologne, said that he had offered his resignation to the pontiff after returning from a months-long “spiritual timeout” last week. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/german-church-urges-quick-decision-on-divisive-archbishop/2022/03/07/608b090c-9e31-11ec-9438-255709b6cddc_story.html___________________________________________________________ 5. Abortion access still difficult after historic Mexico ruling, By Fabiola Sánchez, Associated Press, March 7, 2022, 9:44 AM Six months after Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that criminalizing abortion was unconstitutional, a hospital in the southern state of Guerrero refused to perform an abortion on a 9-year-old rape victim. The case is a recent example of what abortion advocates warned of after the high court’s ruling last year: until each state reforms its penal code there will continue being obstacles to safe and legal abortions in much of the country. It was only after the Guerrero girl’s case drew media attention and lawmakers and activists intervened that Guerrero’s health secretary cleared the way for her abortion last month. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/abortion-access-still-difficult-after-historic-mexico-ruling/2022/03/07/1a903fdc-9e25-11ec-9438-255709b6cddc_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Facing a ‘Defining Moment,’ Knights of Columbus is Committed to Helping Ukraine, Supreme Knight Vows, Kelly explained the two major components of the initiative that the Knights of Columbus have launched so far to assist during this war, serving both refugees fleeing to Poland, and those Ukrainians left behind., By Alejandro Bermudez, Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2022 Much like 9/11 was a defining moment for the United States, “the brutal invasion of Ukraine will be a defining moment for the world,” and “the Knights of Columbus will have to be here for the long haul,” Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly told CNA in an exclusive interview. Since Russian forces launched a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, members of the Knights of Columbus in Ukraine, Poland, and the United States have launched an unprecedented humanitarian effort to help the growing number of refugees displaced by the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II.  Kelly also expressed surprise and joy at the amount of support the Ukraine Solidarity Fund received from the Knights of Columbus in such a short time.   “The call has had an enormous success, like something that we have never seen. We have raised $2 million from our members, and our headquarters is putting another $1.5 million, so $3.5 million dollars are going 100% directly to humanitarian assistance,” he said. https://www.ncregister.com/cna/facing-a-defining-moment-knights-of-columbus-is-committed-to-helping-ukraine-supreme-knight-vows___________________________________________________________ 7. The Order of Malta’s reform is now firmly in Pope Francis’ hands, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2022, 9:35 AM The Order of Malta’s future is in Pope Francis’ hands. After a meeting with senior members on Feb. 26, the pope will take time to ponder the proposals for renewal and eventually decide on a path of reform. Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the papal delegate to the organization, reported on the meeting in a letter to confreres of the order. Tomasi stressed that “we explained to the Holy Father that the reform under study keeps and better frames the order as a lay religious order and at the same time consents to the continuation of its charitable, diplomatic and humanitarian action for ‘our lords the sick’ and at the service of the Church.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250592/the-order-of-malta-s-reform-is-now-firmly-in-pope-francis-hands___________________________________________________________ 8. Appeals court: Foster parents can share religious views with children, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2022, 3:07 PM The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit recently ruled in favor of a Christian couple in New Jersey seeking legal protection to welcome foster children into their home without hiding their religious beliefs on marriage and sexuality. Michael and Jennifer Lasche say that a state agency — New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency — removed their foster child and suspended their foster license in 2018 because of their religious beliefs. The husband and wife, who have served as foster parents for more than 10 years, sued state officials for infringing on their constitutional right to religious freedom. They turned to the appeals court after the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey dismissed the case. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250597/appeals-court-foster-parents-can-share-religious-views-with-children___________________________________________________________

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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