1. Catholic, Orthodox Coptic popes offer joint Vatican blessing, By Associated Press, May 10, 2023, 6:36 AM Pope Francis and the Orthodox Coptic pope, Tawadros II, delivered a joint blessing Wednesday from St. Peter’s Square in a significant ecumenical gesture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic meeting of their predecessors. Tawadros, the Orthodox Coptic patriarch of Alexandria, in Egypt, joined Francis on the stage for the entirety of Francis’ weekly general audience. He delivered a lengthy speech at the start in Arabic and then joined Francis in blessing the crowd at the end on a rainy Wednesday morning. In welcoming Tawadros to the Vatican, Francis recalled that Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the meeting of St. Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III, a first between a Catholic and Orthodox Coptic pope. During that May 10, 1973, encounter, the two popes signed a joint statement on their shared faith in Christ and their rejection of proselytism, while also voicing concern for the plight of the Palestinian people and calling for peace in the Middle East.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/05/10/vatican-pope-orthodox-coptic-egypt/829379aa-ef1e-11ed-b67d-a219ec5dfd30_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. ‘Targets of Assassination’: Alito, Abortion, and the Rule of Law, The Dobbs leak has come to symbolize the ultimate disregard for justice and the rule of law at the heart of the abortion lobby’s modus operandi, which has proven quite willing to stop at … well, nothing., By Ashley McGuire and Leigh Snead, National Catholic Register, May 9, 2023, Opinion “We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey.” So wrote Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in his majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. If he could only have imagined. No doubt Alito thought up a lot of possible post-Dobbs outcomes but having his draft leaked months before the opinion was due for release likely wasn’t among them. The courage it took to write those words couldn’t be clearer, one year later.  “This made us targets of assassination,” Justice Alito recently told The Wall Street Journal in a feature-length interview, which describes the justice being forced to deliver a law school speech through Zoom for security reasons in the wake of the ruling. “Still, there were so many protesters and they were so loud that you could hear them,” he said.  Perhaps Alito’s greatest act of courage was the clarity of his words. He could have crouched behind the kind flowering language that characterized the opinions of justices like Anthony Kennedy or legally confusing jargon that left lower courts scrambling to unpack. Instead he was crystal clear: “Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.” It’s really the clarity of his words that has him and his colleagues paying a heavy price. But ultimately their cost is our gain. Because the nation has lost 50 years of navigating the most difficult moral question of our time to legal confusion and consequently the slow decay of the rule of law. All the while, the science on unborn life has rapidly accelerated and social norms surrounding pregnancy and stigma have been completely overhauled. The American people were ready to reclaim their rightful democratic role on the issue of abortion. They just needed a man with the courage and clarity of Justice Samuel Alito to bear the cost of restoring it to them. Ashley McGuire is a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association.Leigh Fitzpatrick Snead is a Fellow with The Catholic Association. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/targets-of-assassination-alito-abortion-and-the-rule-of-law__________________________________________________________ 3. Top Spanish court considers far-right challenge to LGBT law, By Jennifer O’Mahony, Associated Press, May 9, 2023, 8:52 AM Spain’s Constitutional Court said Tuesday it would consider a legal challenge lodged by the far-right Vox party against a new law extending rights for transgender teenagers and encouraging tolerance for sexual diversity in schools.  The wide-ranging LGBT rights law passed in February allows any Spanish citizen over 16 years to change their legally registered gender without medical supervision. Minors aged 12-13 still need a judge’s authorization, while those between 14 and 16 must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians. Previously, transgender people needed a diagnosis by several doctors of gender dysphoria. The Constitutional Court issued a statement confirming it had considered a legal brief lodged by Vox lawmakers and would analyze alleged violations of parental rights, the right to religious expression, freedom of speech and equality of all citizens before the law.  The far-right movement argued that a parent’s right to oversee the religious education of their children, which is guaranteed in the Spanish constitution, was violated by the introduction of material in schools aimed at teaching children to respect and tolerate sexual diversity. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/05/09/spain-gender-law/65cefe04-ee68-11ed-b67d-a219ec5dfd30_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. South Carolina Republicans advance new abortion restrictions, By James Pollard, Associated Press, May 9, 2023, 9:59 PM South Carolina Republicans are pushing new abortion restrictions in a late attempt to curtail access after a near-total ban failed last month. Senate bill that would ban abortion except in the earliest weeks of pregnancy is moving quickly through the South Carolina House in the first sign that Republican leaders may be close to restoring limits passed in 2021 but overturned by the state Supreme Court. The effort cleared two hurdles Tuesday. Lawmakers advanced the proposal through a morning subcommittee meeting with one hour of public comment and a full committee meeting lasting over three hours. The measure would ban abortion when an ultrasound detects cardiac activity, around six weeks and before most people know they are pregnant. It includes exceptions for fatal fetal anomaly, rape, incest, and the patient’s life and health up to 12 weeks. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/05/09/south-carolina-abortion-ban-legislature/10ad0768-eed6-11ed-b67d-a219ec5dfd30_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Pope Francis says traditional Latin Mass was being used in an ideological way, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, May 9, 2023, 12:20 PM Pope Francis said he implemented one of the changes of Traditionis custodes, the 2021 motu proprio restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, because the allowances granted by his predecessors were “being used in an ideological way.” The pope spoke about the Latin Mass in a private conversation with Jesuits on the second day of his April 28–30 trip to Budapest, Hungary. The text of the April 29 meeting with Jesuits was published by the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica on May 9. During the question and answer session, Pope Francis said he was concerned about a “reaction against the modern,” or what he calls in Italian “indietrismo,” which translates in English to “backwardness.” “It is a nostalgic disease,” he said, explaining that this is the reason why he made it necessary for priests ordained after July 16, 2021, to seek authorization from their bishop and the Holy See to offer Mass according to the 1962, pre-Vatican II liturgical books, what is commonly referred to as the Latin Mass.  “After all the necessary consultations, I decided this because I saw that the good pastoral measures put in place by John Paul II and Benedict XVI were being used in an ideological way, to go backward. It was necessary to stop this ‘indietrismo,’ which was not in the pastoral vision of my predecessors,” the pope told the group of 32 Jesuits in Hungary.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254268/pope-francis-says-traditional-latin-mass-was-being-used-in-an-ideological-way__________________________________________________________ 6. Father Martin’s ‘Outreach’ Ministry to ‘LGBT’ Catholics Wants to Burn the Bridge to Authentic Salvation, The ministry’s dismissal of biblical verses that condemn homosexual acts, in keeping with the ‘radical inclusiveness’ of Jesus, ignores another fundamental element of Christ’s Gospel message to all sinners: the need for repentance., By Larry Chapp, National Catholic Register, May 9, 2023 Jesuit Father James Martin has started a new online resource for “LGBTQ” Catholics called “Outreach” that is an enterprise associated with America Media, whose magazine America is the flagship publication of American Jesuits. Outreach has recently put forward a new series of articles by various theologians, Scripture scholars, and those involved in “LGBTQ” ministry, on how to interpret the Bible’s verses on homosexuality, which some of the contributors describe as “clobber verses” that are used to marginalize and persecute those in the “LGBTQ” community. The authors are Protestant, Catholic and Jewish, and they present varying arguments with different emphases, all of which are designed to make sure that the biblical verses in question are effectively gutted of their normativity, which opens the door for “LGBTQ” people to take their rightful place in the center of the Church rather than on its margins. These Outreach essays on the Bible raise several themes, most of which are deeply problematic as presented, that have repercussions that go beyond the topic of homosexuality and gender.   First, without further nuance, the argument as presented in these essays, and in Father Martin’s follow-up post, proves too much. Because as it stands the simplistic assertion that we can ignore biblical views on sexuality because the Bible is wrong on a bunch of other stuff opens up the possibility that anyone, anywhere, and for any trendy reason, can simply dismiss the biblical vision in its various particulars on the grounds that this is, after all, just an “Iron Age text that reflects Iron Age intellectual prejudices.” The Bible itself, therefore, now becomes less normative as a regulative text for the Church’s faith than are the insights and values of modernity, which is viewed as more enlightened and scientifically grounded than the biblical authors. This latter point is highlighted in the fact that Father Martin, in his follow-up post, says that with regard to the issue of transgenderism, “Before the church teaches it needs to listen — to psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, social scientists, biologists and, especially, transgender people themselves.” Notably absent from this list is that the Church needs to listen to and follow the Scriptures, as well as her interpretive Tradition on those Scriptures. Absent as well is Christ, the biblical anthropology of creation as “man and woman,” and the sacramental nature of our bodies precisely as sexually gendered bodies, as developed by Pope St. John Paul II in his theology of the body.  Jesus did indeed ask us to seek out the outcast, symbolized in his time by the leper, and to never shun anyone as outside of the regime of grace and regeneration. But the lepers who came to Jesus sought healing. And he gave it to them. We should do likewise and not act as if the answer to the spiritual homelessness of homosexuals is to make us all equally spiritually homeless by burning down the biblical and moral theological bridge and replacing it with a modern, secular one. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/father-martin-s-outreach-ministry__________________________________________________________

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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