1. Abortion is not the way to help single Black mothers, By Tim Scott, The Washington Post, May 18, 2022, Pg. A21, Opinion My mom raised my brother and me on her own, struggling to make ends meet. She worked 16 hours a day three days a week, and eight hours a day two days a week, just to keep food on the table and the lights on. She was a nurse’s aide, changing bedpans and rolling patients. She did this work because she wanted to teach my brother and me a lesson that there is dignity in all work and dignity in all life. I thought of my mother — of all Black mothers like her — during an appearance last week by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, when Yellen was asked how a ban on abortion might affect the American economy. “I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy,” Yellen said. She went on to say how abortion affects “particularly low-income and often Black” mothers and how a lack of access to abortion “deprives them of the ability often to continue their education to later participate in the workforce.” To me, this was stunning. I thought I had misheard her. Was Yellen making the case for how abortion is good for America’s labor force? But when questioned, Yellen doubled down on what I believe is a callous, inhumane reason for ending innocent life. In that moment, I felt compelled to speak up and speak out on behalf of people like my mom. There are voices today who would tell you that our lives were hopeless. That a life like the one we had as a family was not a life worth living, and that the United States would be better off if people like us didn’t exist at all. We live in a world where words are too often disconnected from the lived experiences of many Americans. Yellen’s cold and robotic reference to the issue of life is just the latest example of that.  If we want to have hard conversations about what will improve outcomes for our nation’s poorest communities, I welcome those conversations because I believe that America is the solution — not the problem. When it comes to our economic challenges, abortion is not the answer. And I will debate anyone, anywhere, at any time about solutions that actually work. Tim Scott, a Republican, represents South Carolina in the U.S. Senate. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/17/tim-scott-abortion-single-black-mothers-economic-problems/___________________________________________________________ 2. Why it’s so difficult to figure out what the Vatican thinks about Ukraine, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, May 18, 2022 Next Tuesday will mark three months of war in Ukraine. Many things remain unclear about the conflict, perhaps chief among them what Russian President Vladimir Putin’s endgame may be. In Catholic terms, however, the great unknown at the three-month mark is what, exactly, Pope Francis and his Vatican team make of the situation.  So why is it so difficult for the Vatican to give a straight answer? Three explanations suggest themselves. First of all, it’s among the defining features of the Francis era that he’s the first non-European pontiff in centuries, and therefore not beholden to the Western powers. At the beginning, it almost seemed that he had more in common with Putin than with any Western leader, including opposition to any wider conflict in Syria.  Second, there’s the ecumenical dimension. Since the Second Vatican Council, modern papacies have committed themselves to the quest for Christian unity, and no front has loomed larger in that effort than dialogue with the Orthodox. The split between the East and West was, after all, the primordial Christian schism, and it’s understandable that papacies from St. John XXIII on have prioritized outreach to the Orthodox.  Third, there’s the politics of the present situation. The truth is that while Francis personally may be wary of the conflict in Ukraine, he doesn’t necessarily want to be seen as bolstering those political forces who are leading the opposition.  None of this may justify a Vatican line on Ukraine that seems wobbly. But it may help explain why Francis appears so hard to pin down, at a time when so many other international actors are lining up on one side or the other. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/05/why-its-so-difficult-to-figure-out-what-the-vatican-thinks-about-ukraine___________________________________________________________ 3. Judge suspends Michigan’s dormant 1931 abortion ban, By Ed White, Associated Press, May 17, 2022, 6:13 PM A judge on Tuesday suspended Michigan’s dormant, decades-old ban on abortion, which means the procedure would not be illegal in the state even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its historic Roe v. Wade decision. The Michigan law, which makes it a crime to assist in an abortion, has been on the books since 1931. But it has had no practical effect since 1973 when the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide. The court, however, could throw out that landmark ruling before July, leaving abortion issues for each state to decide. Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher granted a preliminary injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Michigan, saying the abortion ban likely violates the Michigan Constitution.  The attorney general’s office typically defends against challenges to Michigan laws. But Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said she would not defend or enforce the abortion ban. She, too, believes it is unconstitutional and welcomed the injunction.  Gleicher, who also serves as chief judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals, informed the parties in April that she makes annual contributions to Planned Parenthood and, as a lawyer, represented the organization in a 1997 abortion case. She said she didn’t feel it should disqualify her. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-suspends-michigans-dormant-1931-abortion-ban/2022/05/17/2548a678-d60e-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. $121.5M settlement in New Mexico clergy sex abuse scandal, By Associated Press, May 17, 2022, 10:58 PM One of the oldest Catholic dioceses in the United States announced a settlement agreement Tuesday to resolve a bankruptcy case in New Mexico that resulted from a clergy sex abuse scandal. The tentative deal totals $121.5 million and would involve about 375 claimants. The proposed settlement comes as the Catholic Church continues to wrestles with a sex abuse and cover-up scandal that has spanned the globe. Some of the allegations in New Mexico date back decades. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/1215m-settlement-in-new-mexico-clergy-sex-abuse-scandal/2022/05/17/3841903c-d64f-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html?___________________________________________________________ 5. Senior German priest leaves Catholic Church, By Catholic News Agency, May 17, 2022, 8:10 AM A senior German priest has announced that he is no longer Catholic, citing his disappointment over a lack of “reforms” in the Church and admitting to having broken his promise of celibacy. Andreas Sturm, the former vicar general of the Diocese of Speyer in southwestern Germany, made the announcement on May 13, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner. Sturm, who is joining Germany’s Old Catholic community, said that he had “lost hope and confidence over the years that the Roman Catholic Church can truly transform itself.” “At the same time, I experience how much hope is placed in ongoing processes such as the Synodal Way. But I’m no longer in a position to also proclaim and honestly and sincerely share that hope, because I simply don’t have it anymore.” The former vicar general described the ordination of women to the priesthood, as well as “the abolition of compulsory celibacy, dealing with queer people, co-determination of the laity, blessing ceremonies for homosexuals and overall sexual morality in the Church,” as the most important topics that he believed were not being addressed. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251262/senior-german-priest-quits-catholic-church___________________________________________________________ 6. NJ bishops express ‘outrage’ over plan to mandate insurance coverage for abortion, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, May 17, 2022, 2:55 PM New Jersey’s Catholic bishops on Thursday expressed their disappointment with a proposal by Governor Phil Murphy to expand abortion access in the state, which already recognizes abortion as a constitutional right. “The Catholic Bishops of New Jersey join to express our disappointment and outrage over Governor Murphy’s announcement regarding proposed legislation to expand access to abortion in New Jersey, an act that by its very nature terminates human life,” the bishops’ May 12 statement says.  “This proposed legislation is a direct attack on the dignity and sanctity of life and is further evidence that we have failed as a society when a mother feels her only option is to end the life of her child,” the statement says. The proposed legislation, announced in a May 11 press conference by Murphy, a Democrat, would mandate that health insurance plans fully cover abortion; codify regulations allowing non-physicians to perform abortions; and dedicating more taxpayer funds to abortion. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251272/nj-bishops-express-outrage-over-plan-to-mandate-insurance-coverage-for-abortion___________________________________________________________

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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