1. Florida GOP Bill Set to Curb Abortion Further, By Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2023, Pg. A6 Florida Republicans on Tuesday introduced a bill that seeks to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, a measure that appears to have strong support from prominent state GOP leaders and would further reshape the U.S. abortion landscape.  Florida GOP officials including Mr. DeSantis appear to be coalescing around the new bill, which is among the strictest gestational limits legislators could have proposed, short of banning abortion altogether. The legislation includes exceptions for rape and incest and if the mother’s life or health is endangered.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/florida-republicans-propose-abortion-ban-after-six-weeks-of-pregnancy-b42ef51__________________________________________________________ 2. Diocese of Wilmington insists that confessional secrecy is ‘non-negotiable’, By John Lavenburg, Crux, March 8, 2023 After a Delaware state representative introduced a bill to abrogate the privilege between priest and penitent relating to suspected child abuse or neglect, the Diocese of Wilmington has pushed back that the confidentiality of the sacrament is a “non-negotiable.” “The Sacrament of Confession and its seal of confession is a fundamental aspect of the Church’s sacramental theology and practice,” the diocese said in a March 7 statement. “It is non-negotiable.” “No Catholic priest or bishop would ever break the seal of confession under any circumstances,” it added. “To do so would incur an automatic excommunication that could only be pardoned by the pope himself.” The proposed bill, HB 74, was proposed by state Democratic Representative Eric Morrison on March 2. If eventually passed, it would amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code relating to mandatory reporting of child abuse.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/03/diocese-of-wilmington-insists-that-confessional-secrecy-is-non-negotiable__________________________________________________________ 3. On eve of Women’s Day, top Vatican diplomat backs equal access to education, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, March 8, 2023 On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Vatican’s top diplomat condemned banning girls from receiving an education for what he called “ideological” reasons, saying education is a fundamental right that ought to be respected. Speaking to a panel of women diplomats March 7, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin noted that, “due to various recent crisis and sometimes also as the result of certain ideological decisions, many children have not had the education they deserve.”  https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2023/03/on-eve-of-womens-day-top-vatican-diplomat-backs-equal-access-to-education__________________________________________________________ 4. Pope renews cabinet of cardinal advisers, adds new members, By Associated Press, March 7, 2023, 8:59 AM Pope Francis has renewed his cabinet of cardinal advisers from around the world, naming a handful of new members Tuesday and reconfirming others to help him run the Catholic Church. Francis instituted the Council of Cardinals one month into his papacy, on April 13, 2013, with a primary goal of advising him on the reform of the Vatican bureaucracy. After nearly a decade of consultation, Francis issued a new blueprint for the Vatican bureaucracy last year. Two are important Holy See officials: the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin; and the head of the Vatican City State, Cardinal Fernando Vergez. Other members who were renewed are Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, the archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, India and Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston. New members include Cardinal Juan José Omella Omella, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain; Cardinal Gérald C. Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec; Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg and Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha, archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/07/vatican-pope-cardinals/403ca726-bcf0-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. New Mexico Legislature votes to block local abortion bans, By Morgan Lee, Associated Press, March 7, 2023, 6:53 PM An initiative that would shore up abortion access in New Mexico amid a flurry of local anti-abortion ordinances cleared a last major hurdle on Tuesday with state Senate approval. New Mexico has one of the country’s most liberal abortion access laws, but two counties and three cities in eastern New Mexico have recently adopted abortion restrictions that reflect deep-seated opposition to offering the procedure. Democratic state Sen. Katy Duhigg, of Albuquerque, urged colleagues to support a bill that would prohibit local governments from blocking access to reproductive health care, including abortion, birth control, and prevention of or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/07/abortion-rights-bill-gender-affirming/38eb9c50-bd38-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Rupnik concelebrated Mass in a basilica in Rome despite restrictions, By Courtney Mares, Almudena Martínez-Bordiú, Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2023, 11:12 AM The next battleground on abortion lies at the post office — over a 150-year-old anti-vice Father Marko Rupnik concelebrated Mass at a basilica in Rome on Sunday despite restrictions prohibiting “any public ministerial and sacramental activity.” The Jesuit priest and artist who has been accused of sexually and psychologically abusing consecrated women stood at the altar of the Basilica of Santa Prassede, a historic church popular with pilgrims located near the Basilica of St. Mary Major, at the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass on March 5, according to the Italian newspaper Domani. When asked about the Mass, Rupnik’s superior, Jesuit Father Johan Verscheuren, said that Rupnik is only allowed “to concelebrate Masses in the context of the Aletti Center, which is his inner circle, his community.”  Members of the Aletti Center were present at the Sunday Mass in the Roman basilica this week, which was also open to the public, according to ACI Prensa.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253807/rupnik-concelebrated-mass-in-a-basilica-in-rome-despite-restrictions__________________________________________________________ 7. UN calls on Nicaragua to free Bishop Álvarez and other political prisoners, By Walter Sanchez Silva, Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2023, 1:15 PM The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called on the Nicaraguan dictatorship to release Bishop Rolando Álvarez and other political prisoners. The Daniel Ortega dictatorship in Nicaragua sentenced the bishop of Matagalpa to 26 years and four months in prison on Feb. 10 on several charges that included being a “traitor to the homeland.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253808/un-calls-on-nicaragua-to-free-bishop-alvarez-and-other-political-prisoners__________________________________________________________ 8. China’s new ‘Smart Religion’ app requires faithful to register to attend worship services, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2023, 3:15 PM A human rights group active in China is reporting that religious believers in a populous Chinese province are now required to register on a government app in order to attend worship services. ChinaAid, a U.S.-based Christian charity, reported March 6 that the religious department of the provincial government of Henan is rolling out a system whereby all believers must make online reservations before they can attend services in churches, mosques, or Buddhist temples. The reservations are to be made through an app called “Smart Religion” developed by the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission of Henan Province. According to ChinaAid, applicants must fill in personal information, including their name, phone number, government ID number, permanent residence, occupation, and date of birth before they can make a reservation. Those who are allowed into a place of worship must also have their temperature taken — suggesting the app may be related in some way to COVID-19 restrictions — and show a reservation code.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253810/chinese-province-rolls-out-reservation-app-for-religious-believers__________________________________________________________ 9. UK Parliament makes it illegal to pray near abortion facilities, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2023, 4:30 PM Britain’s House of Commons approved legislation Tuesday to create “buffer zones” around abortion facilities that would prohibit a wide range of behavior, including silent prayer. An amendment to exempt prayer and consensual conversation was voted down by lawmakers, who added the buffer zones to the Public Order Bill. The final vote came the day after a pro-life woman was arrested in Birmingham for the second time for praying silently in an alleged violation of a local buffer zone law.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253814/uk-parliament-bans-pro-life-outreach-and-prayer-near-abortion-facilities__________________________________________________________

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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