1. Cardinal Is Named As Peace Envoy, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2023, Pg. A6 Pope Francis has assigned Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi to carry out a mission for peace in Ukraine. The Vatican said that the pope had entrusted the cardinal, who serves as the archbishop of Bologna, to carry out a mission “that may contribute to reduce tensions in the conflict in Ukraine, in the hope, never abandoned by the Holy Father, that this may open paths towards peace.” The timing and other details of the mission were still being studied, the Vatican said. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pope-francis-assigns-italian-cardinal-to-ukraine-peace-mission-907dade7__________________________________________________________ 2. The False Compassion of Assisted Suicide, By Grazie Pozo Christie, National Review, May 21, 2023, 6:30 AM, Opinion When someone you love is dying slow and hard of a disease like ALS, you find lots of things to be thankful for: the closeness of family and friends, the gentle respiratory technician who takes panicked phone calls at any hour of the night, all the devices that smart people have invented to make the life of a quadriplegic more bearable. In fact, during the last few months of my father’s life, my family became quite expert at counting our blessings. One of these blessings is that our home state of Florida is not an assisted-suicide state. “Thank God that kind of thing isn’t legal here,” my mother said on more than one occasion. “I would hate for your father to think he should end his life to save us from trouble and pain.” With this she put her finger on one of the great flaws in the argument to legalize assisted suicide. Its eager champions promote it as free choice, a way for dying patients to exercise self-determination. The truth, as we all came to realize in caring for my father, is quite the opposite. While he was extraordinarily brave when it came to confronting his own suffering, he agonized over the toll his care was taking on us, and especially my elderly mother. As his disease advanced, caring for him became more and more exhausting, more and more expensive, and more and more complex. This and the pain of watching the steady advance of his paralysis was fearfully hard on us. For patients like my father, the pressure to relieve family members of all this is overwhelming. They worry more about their loved ones than about themselves. In Oregon, where assisted suicide has been legal longest in the United States, the cases where patients reported feeling like a burden was tabulated to be as high as 45 percent in 2022.  Looking back, I continue to be thankful for his last years. In that time — in our family’s years of ALS — he gave us a tremendous example of courage and nobility in the face of overwhelming adversity. He brought out the very best in us. We all gave and gave of ourselves, finding reserves and abilities we didn’t know we had. Our hearts grew larger caring for him, and I don’t think they will shrink again. Yes, I’m grateful that my father was never offered the “choice” to do away with himself. And that he was spared the awful pressure to save us from a time that, as it turns out, we will cherish in our memories all our lives. https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/05/the-false-compassion-of-assisted-suicide/__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Francis on G7 Summit: Nuclear deterrence offers ‘only an illusion of peace’, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, May 21, 2023, 8:40 AM In a letter marking the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Pope Francis asserted that the mere possession of nuclear weapons creates “a climate of fear and suspicion” and offers “only an illusion of peace.” The Vatican released a letter on May 20 that the pope wrote to Bishop Alexis Mitsuru Shirahama of Hiroshima assuring his prayers as “the G7 Summit meets in Hiroshima to discuss urgent issues currently facing the global community.” “The choice of Hiroshima as the site of this meeting is particularly significant, in light of the continuing threat of recourse to nuclear weapons,” Pope Francis said.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254381/pope-francis-on-g7-summit-nuclear-deterrence-offers-only-an-illusion-of-peace__________________________________________________________ 4. Corporate Diversity Programs Get Religion, Companies sponsor chaplains, faith-based groups to promote inclusion, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2023, 9:00 AM U.S. companies are paying increasing attention to the religious affiliation of their employees, and a growing number are including religion in policies aimed at promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. The focus comes as the Supreme Court is poised to rule on the case of Gerald Groff, a postal carrier who alleged he was the victim of discrimination when required to work on Sunday. Religious discrimination is common in the workplace, according to a 2022 Rice University study, which found that about two-thirds of Muslims, around half of Jews and roughly a third of evangelical Christians reported experiencing faith-based discrimination at work.  Next week, the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, which describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonpolitical, multifaith nonprofit, will release its annual rating of major companies according to a variety of “faith-friendly” criteria. They include whether religion is part of companies’ diversity training and whether they have clear procedures in place for reporting religious discrimination. The report will be presented at the foundation’s fourth annual conference at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where speakers from companies including GoogleWalmart and American Airlines will highlight efforts to promote religious inclusion.https://www.wsj.com/articles/corporate-diversity-programs-get-religion-c969ec0e__________________________________________________________ 5. Burner phones, aliases, code words: How secret networks help women circumvent Honduras’ abortion ban, By MarÍa Verza and Ginnette Riquelme, Associated Press, May 20, 2023, 11:53 AM  In remote mountain villages, urban neighborhoods, along the Caribbean coast – despite the national ban against abortions under all circumstances and amid suffocating social and religious opposition, women are terminating pregnancies across Honduras with the help of clandestine networks seeking to make the procedure as safe as possible. Activists in the networks use code words, aliases, encrypted messages, burner phones. Most don’t know one another, or any specifics beyond their role in the chain that ultimately provides information and the abortion pills endorsed by the World Health Organization and used safely and legally in dozens of other countries around the globe.  Honduras doesn’t enforce its ban as strictly as its neighbors, but the possible punishment of up to six years in prison is a constant threat. Advocacy groups say they believe no Honduran women are currently imprisoned on abortion-related charges, but national data are incomplete.  The Associated Press traveled throughout Honduras, interviewed more than a dozen women who have given or received help through activist networks, and documented places where abortions take place amid the ban and societal shame: from rickety bathrooms in crowded houses and sites surrounded by violence and poverty, to comfortable homes and even the occasional hotel. All the women who had abortions or helped those who did spoke on condition of anonymity over fears they’d be reported or prosecuted. They also worry they’ll be stigmatized or shamed, sometimes by those closest to them, because of social pressures and the enormous influence of the Catholic and Protestant churches. Many of these women are vocal activists on other issues – the environment, land rights, social matters – but they feel most afraid of speaking out on abortion. The women also insisted that details of the locations they shared be withheld.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/05/20/honduras-abortion-total-ban/fb1e8162-f716-11ed-918d-012572d64930_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Chicago prelate reiterates backing for national assault weapons ban, By John Lavenburg, Crux, May 20, 2023 With the U.S. Supreme Court allowing an Illinois assault weapons ban to stay in place, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago has reiterated his own call, and that of the U.S. bishops, for the entire country to adopt legislation of the same kind. “We have a gun epidemic in America, and it is far past time for us to do something about it,” Cupich said in a May 17 statement. “Gun safety laws like the assault weapons ban signed by Governor JB Pritzker are one essential component in our fight against gun violence.” The Supreme Court denied an emergency request from challengers of the law to put it on hold while lower court challenges to it continue. The high court gave no explanation for its decision, and none of the justices publicly dissented the decision.  Cupich argued that part of the reason for gun violence in the U.S. is a culture that “seems to prioritize the right to bear arms over the right to life.”  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/05/chicago-prelate-reiterates-backing-for-national-assault-weapons-ban__________________________________________________________ 7. The Kermit Gosnell of Colorado, By John McCormack, National Review, May 19, 2023, 6:30 AM, Opinion Ten years ago this month, Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of murder for killing infants with a pair of scissors moments after they had been born. In addition to the murder convictions for what Gosnell described as “snippings” and his assistant more accurately called “beheadings,” Gosnell was also convicted on 21 counts of killing babies in utero later than 24 weeks of pregnancy, the legal abortion limit established under Pennsylvania’s 1982 Abortion Control Act. The state of Colorado, however, has no legal limit on abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and Dr. Warren Hern, the subject of a new profile in the Atlantic, has acted with impunity over the last 50 years as he killed, and still kills, infants in utero via lethal injection. Infants born as early as 21 weeks to 22 weeks of pregnancy have survived their stays in the neonatal intensive care unit and grow up to be healthy children. But Hern makes a living by killing preemies “who are 22, 25, even 30 weeks along,” according to the Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey. Most of the time, these babies and their mothers are physically healthy: “Abortions that come after devastating medical diagnoses can be easier for some people to understand. But Hern estimates that at least half, and sometimes more, of the women who come to the clinic do not have these diagnoses.” Godfrey reports that Hern “​​believes that the viability of a fetus is determined not by gestational age but by a woman’s willingness to carry it,” and he even admitted that he has killed a baby girl in the womb simply because she was a girl.  Despite its flaws, Godfrey’s profile of Hern is a very valuable piece of journalism for exposing the reality of late-term abortions in America. For years, the abortion lobby, the media, and congressional Democrats have falsely claimed abortions later than 20 weeks of pregnancy only occur when there is a severe, potentially fatal, health condition for the baby or the mother. “The only time you really see [late-term abortion] is when it’s a medical emergency,” Meet the Press host Chuck Todd said last fall.  That’s a significant revelation, but I still wish Hern would answer at least a few more questions, including the following: You’ve aborted a baby girl because of her gender; would you be willing to abort a biracial child because of her race? In your 50-year career, have you ever accidentally failed to kill a baby in utero and delivered a child alive later than 24 weeks’ gestation? If so, what happened to that infant or those infants? What’s the moral difference between stabbing a 30-week-old baby in the heart with a poison-filled syringe before birth and Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s “snipping” a 30-week-old baby’s neck moments after birth? That last question is the most important. It’s one that Nancy Pelosi and the former president of Planned Parenthood could not answer in 2013. Can anyone answer it now? https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/05/the-kermit-gosnell-of-colorado/__________________________________________________________ 8. Cardinal Ladaria: Truth about humanity and sexuality doesn’t change because of changes in ideology, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, May 19, 2023, 2:18 PM The truth about the human person and sexuality does not change even as prevailing ideology exalts “freedom without relation to truth,” the Vatican’s doctrine chief said at a conference on Friday. Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave the opening remarks at a May 19–20 congress on Humanae Vitae, the 1968 landmark encyclical from St. Paul VI. “The truth expressed in humanity does not change; even more precisely in the light of new scientific discoveries, its doctrine becomes more current,” Ladaria said. It prompts us to reflect on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) to rediscover the message of Paul VI’s encyclical, he said. “The encyclical Humanae Vitae addressed issues related to sexuality, love, and life, which are intimately interconnected,” the cardinal said. “These are issues that affect all human beings in every age. For this reason, his message remains relevant today. Pope Benedict XVI expressed it in these words: What was true yesterday remains true today.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254361/cardinal-ladaria-truth-about-humanity-and-sexuality__________________________________________________________

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.