TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 161 – Sebastian Lai on Cardinal Zen’s Arrest & Tim Scott’s Response To Yellen With the news of Cardinal Zen’s arrest last week, Jimmy Lai’s son Sebastian joins with the latest on his own father’s incarceration and what might be in store for the 90-year old archbishop who will appear in court next week. Jimmy Lai’s closest confidante Mark Simon also joins on the fate of free speech in Hong Kong with the CCP’s ongoing suppression. With Senator Tim Scott’s poignant response to Treasury secretary Janet Yellen’s callous words saying abortion is good for the economy, the TCA team joins with their reaction. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Abortion-Rights Activists Push for Biden to Be More Outspoken, White House has been hesitant to lay out its strategy until the Supreme Court officially decides whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, By Catherine Lucey and Tarini Parti, The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2022, 7:00 AM Two weeks after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating that it might overturn Roe v. Wade, President Biden is facing calls from increasingly frustrated advocates to be more vocal in his support for abortion rights. While Mr. Biden has expressed his support for Roe, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion, he hasn’t given a speech on abortion, met at the White House with abortion providers or participated in a recent day of protest rallies around the nation. The White House has said it won’t detail its next steps on protecting abortion rights until a final ruling, and the president has directed the Gender Policy Council and the White House Counsel’s Office to work on plans for how to respond if Roe is overturned. Meanwhile, aides are preparing their messaging and engagement strategies, according to a person familiar with the discussions. They view the current period of uncertainty as a time to remind allies of the stakes regarding the overturning of Roe while making clear that the decision is still the law. They also acknowledge that there are limited policy actions the White House can take right now. But some advocates don’t want the administration to wait for the court to act. “This is an emergency. It’s not just a belief or a feeling. It’s a human-rights issue,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion provider. 2. Federal judge again extends ban on Kentucky abortion law, By Bruce Schreiner and Dylan Lovan, Associated Press, May 19, 2022, 6:32 PM A federal judge on Thursday extended an order blocking key portions of a new Kentucky abortion law that had forced the state’s two clinics to temporarily halt abortions. The ruling said that the law’s 15-week ban on abortions would remain blocked until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a related abortion case in Mississippi. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings’ ruling means that Kentucky officials cannot enforce other disputed provisions until the state adopts and funds regulations under which abortion providers would have to comply. 3. Oklahoma passes strictest abortion ban; services to stop, By Sean Murphy, Associated Press, May 19, 2022, 7:42 PM Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill prohibiting all abortions with few exceptions, and providers said they would stop performing the procedure as soon as the governor signs it in the latest example of the GOP’s national push to restrict access to what has been a constitutional right for nearly a half century. Oklahoma lawmakers this year already passed a half-dozen anti-abortion measures, and while abortion providers across the country have been bracing for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court’s new conservative majority might further restrict the practice, that has especially been the case in Oklahoma and Texas. 4. Bono cheers papal program for “inclusivity,” educating girls, By Associated Press, May 19, 2022, 3:26 PM U2 frontman Bono hailed Pope Francis for promoting “inclusivity” on Thursday as he met with the pontiff in Rome alongside students attending an educational program launched by the pope. Francis has promoted the Scholas Occurrentes (Schools of Meeting) program since he was archbishop in Buenos Aires and recently upgraded its status in the church to make it a private association of the faithful. Bono, whose real name is Paul David Hewson, praised the pope for creating the program and its emphasis on the education of girls. 5. Relics and militants: Vatican fraud trial sprawls the globe, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 19, 2022, 3:15 PM The Vatican’s financial trial took a series of surreal turns Thursday when a former suspect-turned-star witness was thrown out of the tribunal and a defendant asserted in court documents that she escorted two emissaries of Russian President Vladimir Putin into the Holy See to negotiate the return of holy relics to the Russian Orthodox Church. The developments turned an otherwise mundane cross-examination of a onetime Vatican power broker about the Vatican’s investment strategies into an unexpected drama. It underscored the peculiarity of the trial and the remarkable situation the Holy See found itself in after entrusting delicate diplomatic, financial and intelligence work to outsiders who who got in the door by impressing a cardinal. 6. Becciu blames Pope Francis, staff, bad memory in Vatican trial, By The Pillar, May 19, 2022 Cardinal Angelo Becciu appeared again before the Vatican City court on Wednesday, responding to questions from judges and prosecutors for more than eight hours. Confronted with a litany of messages he sent and official documents bearing his signature, Becciu sought to answer questions about decisions he made during his tenure as sostituto, frequently blaming his departmental staff, citing lapses in his own memory, or passing responsibility to Pope Francis. 7. George Weigel on what the Vatican can learn from JPII’s diplomacy with Russia, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, May 19, 2022, 6:23 AM George Weigel, author of the bestselling biography “Witness to Hope,” spoke in Rome on May 18, the 102nd anniversary of St. John Paul II’s birth. John Paul II had a “determination to speak the truth no matter what … to describe situations accurately, and to call tyrannical regimes to conversion,” Weigel told CNA. “I think that the antiphon ‘Be not afraid’ was embodied in this determination to speak truth to power, as he did at the United Nations in 1979 [and] to call communist regimes to honor the commitments they had made to human rights, especially religious freedom.”  At a time when Pope Francis has faced criticism in some quarters for not condemning President Vladimir Putin by name and for not publicly addressing human rights violations in China, Weigel said that the Vatican ought to realize that “appeasement of communist regimes never works.” Weigel argued that the Vatican’s pursuit of Ostpolitik, a diplomatic strategy championed by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli in the 1970s that avoided public condemnation of communism’s human rights breaches for the sake of reaching diplomatic agreements, failed to achieve its goal of guaranteeing “the Church’s freedom to live its sacramental life by its own standards.” “This unwillingness to grasp the lessons of the failures of the 1970s continues today. And it has seriously diminished the moral authority of the Vatican and the Catholic Church in world arenas,” he commented.

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.