TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 160 – Father Ben Kiely on Ukraine Crisis & Kathryn Lopez Remembers Vicki Thorn As Father Ben Kiely just returned home from Ukraine, he joins Dr. Grazie Christie to discuss the religious aspects of the ongoing crisis, breaking down the role Patriarch Kirill is playing, and the faith and resiliency of our dear Catholic brothers and sisters in the war-torn country. Our good friend Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review also joins as we remember the life and legacy of some pro-life warriors that have passed away recently including Vicki Thorn of Project Rachel, as we contemplate the future of the pro-life movement. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily ahead of 10 saints that will be canonized over the weekend. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. America’s abortion debate has non-debatable parameters, By George F. Will, The Washington Post, May 13, 2022, 7:00 AM, Opinion Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, recently told a rally supporting Roe v. Wade that when she got her abortion, “I walked proudly into Planned Parenthood.” How did we descend to the point where an abortion is, for some, what? An achievement? A statement? Somehow an occasion for pride?  The abortion debate that the Supreme Court’s calendar has ignited is compelling Americans to consider what abortion policy ought to be but first to recognize what the United States’ policy is: an extreme outlier. In 39 of the 42 European nations that permit elective abortions, the basic limit is at 15 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. In 32 of the 39, the limit is at 12 weeks or earlier. Worldwide, fewer than a dozen countries allow abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on any grounds. In 1975, two years after Roe was decided, Archibald Cox, Harvard law professor and former U.S. solicitor general under President John F. Kennedy, said in a lecture at Oxford University: “The [Roe v. Wade] opinion fails even to consider what I would suppose to be the most important compelling interest of the State in prohibiting abortion: the interest in maintaining that respect for the paramount sanctity of human life which has always been at the centre of Western civilization.” That interest, although perhaps unintelligible to the likes of James, is important to the broad American majority. This majority might soon have the dignified task of instructing their elected representatives to codify, state by state, community standards about the onset of personhood. 2. New York Promises Your Employees Freedom, By Kathy Hochul, The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2022, Pg. A14, Opinion As New York’s first female governor, I won’t let us go backward. My team and I are working to ensure access to quality, affordable healthcare—including abortion services. We mandated that health-insurance plans cover abortion services without cost-sharing, ensured providers can offer abortion telehealth services without barriers, and convened an Abortion Access Working Group to meet regularly with patients, providers, and advocates.  My message to CEOs who want to stand up and be counted in support of equal rights for all is simple: Join the other companies already flourishing here, and come to New York. Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, is governor of New York. 3. Pope to visit Canada, part of apology aims for church abuse, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, May 13, 2022, 9:01 AM, Opinion Pope Francis, struggling with a bad knee, is going ahead with plans to visit Canada this summer so he can apologize in person for abuse suffered by Indigenous peoples at the hands of the Catholic church. The Vatican on Friday announced that Francis will head to Canada on July 24 and return to Rome on July 30. While in Canada he will visit Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit, a small town where about half the population are Inuit. Last month, Francis made a historic apology for abuses in Canada’s church-run residential schools. He said he wanted to go to Canada to deliver the apology personally to survivors of misguided Catholic missionary zeal. 4. Zen arrest suggests China just doesn’t get the Catholic Church, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, May 13, 2022, Opinion The lesson here is that hard power is often the enemy of soft power, sometimes transforming your enemy into a martyr and yourself into the bad guy. Beijing finds itself facing the implications of that lesson today, albeit in a lesser way, following the arrest on Wednesday of 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen for alleged violations of Hong Kong’s security act, specifically “collusion with foreign forces.”Had China been paying attention, it would have realized that over the last few years, Zen had become increasingly marginalized in the Francis papacy because of his strident criticism of the Vatican’s deal with Beijing over the appointment of bishops and also his growing ties to other well-known Francis critics, most prominently Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.  Zen, however, couldn’t even get a meeting with the pope, indicating that he was effectively being frozen out.  It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that had China done nothing, Zen likely would have remained inconsequential in shaping papal policy and enjoyed a cachet only in deeply conservative circles with axes to grind with this papacy on multiple fronts. In other words, Beijing wouldn’t have had much to worry about, at least as far as Rome goes.  To begin with, the net effect almost certainly would be to invest Zen with greater moral authority, and a bigger voice in the global Catholic conversation. For sure, were Zen to travel to Rome today, it’s impossible to imagine that the pope wouldn’t find space for him on his calendar. More broadly, the Zen affair, especially if Beijing compounds its initial miscalculation by actually finding him guilty of something, also will dial up the pressure on the Vatican to rethink its entire China policy, especially the deal on bishops. If putting a cardinal in jail is how China shows its bilateral consideration for the Vatican, the reasoning would go, what exactly has been gained by this deal which justifies giving away a significant measure of control over the appointment of the country’s Catholic leadership? It’s often said by critics, including Zen himself, that the Vatican just doesn’t understand China. The cardinal’s arrest, however, would appear to demonstrate that there’s an equal-and-opposite tendency for China not to understand the Vatican, or, for that matter, the Catholic Church writ large. 5. Pope Francis: Low birth rate is a ‘social emergency’, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, May 12, 2022, 5:35 AM Pope Francis decried the low birth rate in Western countries on Thursday, describing it as an urgent social emergency and a “new poverty.” “It is not immediately perceptible, like other problems that occupy the news, but it is very urgent: fewer and fewer children are being born, and this means impoverishing everyone’s future; Italy, Europe, and the West are impoverishing their futures,” Pope Francis said in a message to a May 12 event on the birth rate in Italy. The pope’s message was read during the second edition of the meeting “The General State of the Birth Rate,” held in Rome on May 12-13. Pope Francis spoke at the meeting in 2021. 6. Why Won’t the Left Talk About Racial Disparities in Abortion?, Scholarly studies show that black women are far likelier to terminate their pregnancies than whites., By Jason L. Riley, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion In the three decades since, the U.S. abortion rate has in fact declined—in recent years it’s fallen to about half of what it was in the early 1980s—yet significant racial disparities persist. In other contexts, group differences in outcome set off alarms on the political left. The racial gap in test scores has brought calls to eliminate the SAT and other admissions tests. The racial gap in arrest and incarceration rates has brought calls to legalize drugs and reduce resources for law enforcement. Racial differences in wealth and income fuel progressive demands for slavery reparations and a larger welfare state. And so on. When it comes to abortion, however, left-wing concern seems to stop at making the procedure safe and legal, even while black-white disparities have not only persisted but widened. A 2020 paper by public-health scholar James Studnicki and two co-authors cites data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to note that the black abortion rate is nearly four times higher than the white rate: “Between 2007-2016, the Black rate declined 29% and the White rate declined 33%—meaning that the racial disparity actually increased rather than decreased.” Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurrence in a 2019 abortion case observed that “there are areas of New York City in which black children are more likely to be aborted than they are to be born alive—and are up to eight times more likely to be aborted than white children in the same area.”

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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