1. Mo. legislator seeks to prohibit residents from getting out-of-state abortions, By Caroline Kitchener, The Washington Post, March 9, 2022, Pg. A3 The pattern emerges whenever a Republican-led state imposes new restrictions on abortion: People seeking the procedure cross state lines to find treatment in places with less-restrictive laws. Now, a prominent antiabortion legislator in Missouri, from where thousands of residents have traveled to next-door Illinois to receive abortions since Missouri passed one of the country’s strictest abortion laws in 2019, believes she has found a solution. An unusual new provision, introduced by state Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R), would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident obtain an abortion out of state, using the novel legal strategy behind the restrictive law in Texas that since September has banned abortions in that state after six weeks of pregnancy. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/08/missouri-abortion-ban-texas-supreme-court/___________________________________________________________ 2. Virginia Senate Democrats block bill on religious freedom, By Mica Soellner, The Washington Times, March 9, 2022, Pg. A10 State Senate Democrats have blocked a bill that would protect houses of worship from excess government intervention such as COVID-19 mandates and shutdown orders. The Republican-sponsored bill, which was derailed in a Senate committee Monday, would have curbed government authority over churches, synagogues and mosques. The bill had passed narrowly in the Republican-led House of Delegates. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/mar/8/virginia-dems-block-bill-protect-houses-worship-go/___________________________________________________________ 3. Colorado legislature introduces extreme abortion bill, If Roe is overturned, all 50 states will need to confront their laws, By Jeff Hunt, The Washington Times, March 9, 2022, Pg. B3, Opinion Last week, the Colorado House of Representatives will begin hearings to pass a radical pro-abortion bill that removes any restrictions on abortion from Colorado, including parental notification, and specifically bans preborn children from having “rights under the laws of this state.”  Some states will ban nearly all abortions. Some will seek to provide some access to abortion. This bill happily seeks to make Colorado a travel destination for the killing of preborn children with no restrictions whatsoever. Young women will travel to the state to get an abortion without their parents’ knowledge. Localities will be unable to keep abortion facilities out of their communities. And the state specifically is writing into law that the preborn child has no rights within its territory. Coloradans should encourage their state representative and senator to reject this extreme effort to ban rights for vulnerable people and threaten the health of Colorado women. Jeff Hunt is the director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/mar/8/colorado-legislature-introduces-extreme-abortion-b/___________________________________________________________ 4. Catholic bishop in Puerto Rico says his removal by Pope Francis is ‘totally unjust’, By Catholic News Agency, March 9, 2022, 6:05 AM A Catholic bishop in Puerto Rico described his removal from office by Pope Francis on Wednesday as “totally unjust.” Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres, who has led the Diocese of Arecibo since 2010, said he had been asked to resign because he “had not been obedient to the pope nor had I been in sufficient communion with my brother bishops of Puerto Rico.” The Holy See press office announced on March 9 that the pope had relieved the 57-year-old bishop of the pastoral care of his diocese. The Vatican did not give a reason for the pope’s decision. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250617/catholic-bishop-in-puerto-rico-says-his-removal-by-pope-francis-is-totally-unjust___________________________________________________________ 5. Alice von Hildebrand, Conservative Catholic Philosopher, Dies at 98, By Clay Risen, The New York Times, March 8, 2022, Pg. B14 Dr. von Hildebrand went on to a storied career as a philosophy professor and an interpreter of the work of her husband, Dietrich von Hildebrand, himself a renowned Catholic philosopher at Fordham University; later still, she became something of a celebrity within conservative Catholic circles for her critiques of feminism. She died on Jan. 14 at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y. Her death was confirmed by John Henry Crosby, the founder and president of the Hildebrand Project. The project, based at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Dr. von Hildebrand and her husband. Dr. von Hildebrand taught philosophy for 37 years at Hunter College, in Manhattan, where, after marrying Dietrich in 1959, she continued to use her maiden name, Jourdain. She developed an avid following among students — and, she said, a dedicated enmity among many of her colleagues — for teaching unfashionable ideas about truth and beauty. Though she rarely discussed faith explicitly in class, she was so quietly charismatic that dozens of students said they either converted to Roman Catholicism or returned to it after taking her class.  She also began to write about womanhood and feminism in a way that won her legions of fans and not a few critics. In books like ”By Love Refined: Letters to a Young Bride” (1989) and ”The Privilege of Being a Woman” (2002), she argued that women were not merely vessels for God’s work but also active participants in it, more so even than men, and that they should advance the world by embracing feminine virtues like receptivity, generosity and maternity. Men, she explained, had fallen victim to the traps of materialism and utilitarianism, but women were not yet lost, and had a chance to extricate humanity from the clutches of modernity. In that framework, she saw feminism as her great opponent, a secularist, materialist attempt to eradicate everything that made women different and virtuous. ”What is it that is so incredibly important about women today?” she said in a 2015 commencement address at Christendom College, in Front Royal, Va. ”The answer is very simple: the vicious attacks made by feminists on the beauty and dignity of being a woman, and the incredible mission that women have in this world today.”  Dr. von Hildebrand gained even broader attention as a regular face on the Eternal World Television Network, which carries exclusively Catholic-themed programming around the country. She made some 80 appearances, often as a guest of the wildly popular Mother Mary Angelica, who founded the network and hosted a talk show.  Dr. von Hildebrand applied for jobs at Catholic colleges, but none would hire a woman to teach philosophy. She finally found a temporary position at Hunter, which, after rave reviews from students, became permanent, though she said that antagonism from her colleagues kept her from getting tenure for 14 years. It was a searing experience, she said, and one that set the tone for her later writing and speaking. Though she often singled out feminism for her attacks, she saw it mostly as an outgrowth of something worse, moral relativism. ”If you want to know what is the pulse of the country, go to the university and find out if they teach the students truth,” she said in a 2018 interview with WCAT Radio. ”Believe me, relativism is a poison that basically leads a country to its destruction.” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/05/us/alice-von-hildebrand-dead.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Biden promotes abortion policies on International Women’s Day, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, March 8, 2022, 5:21 PM Abortion figured prominently in President Joe Biden’s statement Tuesday in observance of International Women’s Day, again underscoring how his policies toward the unborn conflict with Catholic teaching on the right to life. “Every person deserves the chance to live up to their full God-given potential, without regard for gender or other factors,” Biden, a Catholic, said in his March 8 statement. “Ensuring that every woman and girl has that chance isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a strategic imperative that advances the prosperity, stability, and security of our nation and the world.” Biden went on to detail his administration’s efforts intended to improve the status of women, including the launch of “a whole-of-government effort to protect reproductive rights.” He concluded with a call to “renew our efforts to advance dignity, equality, and limitless possibilities for all.” While the Catholic Church strongly advocates for human dignity and equality, it differs sharply with Biden’s stance on abortion. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250613/biden-promotes-abortion-policies-on-international-womens-day___________________________________________________________ 7. Cardinal Parolin urges end to attacks in call with Russia’s foreign minister, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, March 8, 2022, 8:00 AM Cardinal Pietro Parolin urged an end to armed attacks in Ukraine during a phone call with Russia’s foreign minister on Tuesday, the Vatican confirmed. The Vatican’s secretary of state “conveyed Pope Francis’ deep concern about the ongoing war in Ukraine” during a call with Sergey Lavrov on the morning of March 8. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Parolin reaffirmed Pope Francis’ message from this past Sunday, in which he condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressed his solidarity with the country. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250605/cardinal-parolin-urges-end-to-attacks-in-call-with-russia-s-foreign-minister___________________________________________________________ 8. Bishop Zanchetta and pastoral myopia, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, March 7, 2022, Opinion When Pope Francis met with Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta in 2015, it was to discuss allegations that the bishop had pornography on his phone: sexually explicit images of young men, and of himself. Zanchetta told the pope that the pictures were fake; his phone had been hacked, apparently by people who wanted to damage the reputation of the pope. Francis believed him, and sent Zanchetta back home to Oran, his diocese in Argentina. In 2016, priest officials of Oran reported that Zanchetta mismanaged funds and sexually harassed seminarians — apparently sitting in the beds of seminarians while they were sleeping, giving them lingering hugs and unwanted massages during the day, plying them with alcohol, and requiring that first-year students meet for introductory classes in the bishop’s house. The bishop was again summoned to Rome, and in 2017 resigned from his diocesan position, citing “health reasons.” A few months later, having sent him to Spain for psychiatric evaluation, Pope Francis gave Zanchetta a sinecure in the Vatican, an assessor position at the Vatican sovereign wealth manager, APSA. Zanchetta was working there when media outlets in Argentina began to report sexual assault allegations against him. In early 2019, the Vatican said it had received abuse allegations against Zanchetta a few months earlier, and the CDF had started a canonical investigation. That announcement came after Argentine newspapers reported that Zanchetta harassed and abused seminarians. Zanchetta, with full priestly faculties, went on a leave of absence from his job, though he attended a Vatican staff retreat that year. He returned to his job in a matter of months, despite criminal charges in Argentina. He lived in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the hotel where Pope Francis resides. There has been no clarity about the canonical investigation, or an alleged canonical penal process to which Pope Francis has alluded but never formally announced. And then last week, Zanchetta was convicted in an Argentine court of aggravated sexual assualt, and sentenced to more than four years of prison. Many Catholics have questions. The most prominent question is “Why?” When the bishop had porn and nude selfies on his phone, why did Pope Francis believe that story about hackers? Why would Francis believe Zanchetta’s claim that the whole situation was really about antipapal agendas? Why did the pope give Zanchetta a Vatican job after allegations of grave misbehavior with seminarians? Why did Zanchetta keep his faculties even after the Vatican started investigating him? Why did he get to go back to work? Why don’t we know what the CDF discovered, or what they concluded? Why is the Vatican’s official position, still, that it never received abuse allegations against Zanchetta until 2018? Why, most often, did Pope Francis protect and promote a bishop accused of serious sexual misconduct?  In the wake of Zanchetta’s conviction, it seems near certain that relationship was marked by a vexing problem for the reform of clerical sexual misconduct in the life of the Church: pastoral myopia. Diocesan bishops are urged by the Second Vatican Council to “embrace priests with a special love, since the latter to the best of their ability assume the bishops’ anxieties and carry them on day-by-day so zealously. They should regard the priests as sons and friends and be ready to listen to them.” The bishop should “pursue priests who are involved in any danger or who have failed in certain respects” with “active mercy,” Christus dominus recommends.  Compounding pastoral myopia is a common tendency, or a temptation at least, to medicalize sin, and even crime, when it can no longer be ignored or explained away. The therapeutic approach emphasizes that an offender is sick rather than vicious, and reinforces the perception that authority figures are responsible for rehabilitation, not discipline. When it becomes a cultural norm in a community of people in healing ministries – clerics – the approach can powerfully influence the actions of bishops.  There is also the matter of Zanchetta’s former clergy – the priests he led –  who for years complained about their bishop’s actions, and saw their warnings dismissed. Fr. Juan Jose Manzano, for example, says he first complained to Rome in 2015, but to date the Vatican insists it did not hear abuse accusations against Zanchetta until 2018. If that claim is technically true, it is only because patterns of obviously inappropriate behavior did not trigger an investigation into whether abuse, properly speaking, actually occurred. Clerics will no doubt wonder to whom do priests like Manzano should turn for some acknowledgment, if not apology, for their efforts. And Catholics discouraged by the Zanchetta affair will likely wonder whether the phenomena of pastoral myopia — perhaps a symptom of hierarchical institutions, but not an incurable one — will be addressed. If it won’t, the path to lasting reform might appear rather blurry. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/zanchetta-and-the-problem-of-pastoral?___________________________________________________________

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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