1. Pregnancy care centers protect babies and their mothers, By Grazie Pozo Christie, The Washington Examiner, May 25, 2022, 12:00 AM, Opinion Thanks to advancements in medicine and technology, we know far more about the development of the fetus than we did when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. We are also vastly more aware of the lively humanity of the unborn. These changes are vivid to me in my work as a radiologist in which some of my patients are expectant mothers and their children. For that reason, I joined two other female physicians in submitting a friend of the court brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case that could soon overturn Roe’s unrestricted right to abortion. Something else has changed over the last half-century, something that I see in my volunteer work. The pro-life community has built, through hard work and sacrifice, a national, thriving network of pregnancy care centers dedicated to helping at-risk mothers and their babies. These pregnancy care centers exist to provide real alternatives for women who too often think their only choice is abortion. Volunteers and supporters understand that it would be wrong to defend the lives of vulnerable unborn children from elective abortion while ignoring the real challenges faced by their mothers and fathers. Pregnancy care centers are a refutation of the baseless charge levied at pro-lifers — that they care only that those babies are not destroyed, that they don’t care at all about the babies or their families once the child is born.  The good news is that many states have been quietly stepping up funding for these facilities. Their legislatures are responding to the wishes of constituents who want to provide compassionate alternatives for mothers at risk. My fellow Floridians, along with our friends in Texas and Pennsylvania and elsewhere, don’t want women to be driven to abort. We reject the worldview of Planned Parenthood and others who talk about “choice” but have only one option on their menu. Does choice really exist when other alternatives are nonexistent or impossible to achieve? Ever since the Supreme Court handed down Roe in 1973, abortion advocates have attacked the pro-life community for failing to meet the needs of expectant mothers and their babies. It’s an unfair criticism given the explosion of pregnancy resource centers over the past five decades. But here’s what makes the baseless political charge more maddening: They continue to attack the quiet and beautiful work of pro-life America at the very time it may be more needed if, God willing, the Supreme Court overturns Roe and returns abortion policy to the states. Grazie Christie is a radiologist and senior fellow at the Catholic Association. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/community-family/pregnancy-care-centers-protect-babies-and-their-mothers___________________________________________________________ 2. Hong Kong Catholic church cancels Tiananmen memorial Mass, By Theodora Yu, The Washington Post, May 25, 2022, Pg. A10 For the first time in three decades, there will be no organized memorial to the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Hong Kong, the last place on Chinese territory where any kind of commemoration was possible. On Tuesday, the Hong Kong Catholic diocese announced that it would no longer hold memorial Mass to pray for the victims of the June 4, 1989, massacre in Beijing, reflecting how the churches, along with the rest of civil society, have been pushed into censoring themselves. A Beijing-written national security law has crushed dissent in the once semiautonomous city. The church’s move comes after the candlelight vigil that once featured thousands marking the anniversary at an outdoor park was banned in 2020 and 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said at the time. The Catholic Church’s memorial Masses, which persisted until this year, were the last form of organized commemoration in the city. In a response to The Washington Post, the diocese said that it does not “mean to disapprove of the memorial Mass” and that there are different meaningful ways to commemorate the deceased according to the Catholic faith, such as “praying for the deceased in private or in small groups.” “However, our front-line colleagues … are concerned that such activity, if held this year, might violate the national security law now in force,” the response read. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/24/hong-kong-catholic-church-tiananmen/___________________________________________________________ 3. Pope greets Russian patriarch, criticized for ‘naïve’ policy, By Nicole Winfield and Monika Scislowska, Associated Press, May 25, 2022, 8:07 AM Pope Francis has sent a protocol greeting to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, assuring him of prayers on his patron’s feast day and stressing the value of human life and wisdom, as the Vatican insists on maintaining cordial relations amid the war in Ukraine.  The moderate tone was evidence of the Vatican’s attempt to maintain relations with Kirill, a policy that has come under increasing criticism from the head of the Polish bishops’ conference. Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki returned from a visit to Ukraine this week and called for the Vatican to change its “naïve and utopian” policy, saying it won’t work in the long run. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pope-greets-russian-patriarch-amid-criticism-of-naivte/2022/05/25/b6c27828-dc20-11ec-bc35-a91d0a94923b_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Archbishop says U.S. has ‘made guns as idols’ after Texas school shooting, By John Lavenburg, Crux, May 25, 2022 About to leave to visit the hospital where many of the victims of an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, were brought on May 24, Archbishop of San Antonio Gustavo García-Siller’s voice shook with disbelief as he vowed that the archdiocese “is going to be there with [the victims’ families], for them,” and do “whatever it takes” to support them. An 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School, killing at least 19 children and two adults, officials said. The gunman died at the scene.  Speaking to Crux, Siller spoke out against U.S. gun culture, and our elected leaders “that in general don’t have the courage to control guns in the country.” “We the people are on the edge,” Siller said. “We don’t know much about the person who committed these killings, but whatever the case is, arms are available and people are dying and we have made guns as idols, in our faith we would call idolatry, but they are sacred to the point that we don’t take measures to help avoid these situations. It’s horrible.” “This is just outrageous. So many people are killed daily all over the country because of the use of guns and we protect them. We need to protect people,” he continued. “We are all praying and all of that is a tremendous help morally, spiritually, even humanely, to be close with the people, but it’s a systemic problem.” The archbishop challenged the U.S. Catholic Church to be more vocal on the topic. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/05/archbishop-says-u-s-has-made-guns-as-idols-after-texas-school-shooting___________________________________________________________ 5. Texas school shooting: US Catholic bishops lament ‘epidemic of evil and violence’, By Catholic News Agency, May 25, 2022, 2:45 AM The U.S. Catholic bishops said on Tuesday that the country was facing an “epidemic of evil and violence” after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Texas. In a statement issued on May 24, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urged citizens to “implore our elected officials to help us take action.” The USCCB issued the statement after a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, southwest Texas, killing 21 people. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251356/texas-school-shooting-us-catholic-bishops-lament-epidemic-of-evil-and-violence___________________________________________________________ 6. Abortion Questions for Justice Alito and His Supreme Court Allies, By Linda Greenhouse, The New York Times, May 24, 2022, Opinion Would the right to abortion have been on firmer footing had it been based on the Constitution’s explicit guarantee of equal protection, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously argued, rather than the implicit right to privacy? Who cares? After all, as Maureen Dowd reminds us, the doctrine to which the justices in the court’s conservative majority, all of whom were raised Catholic, is responsive may not be the framers’ but the bishops’.  Whether out of habit or simple nostalgia for a time when the Constitution mattered to the court, I will end this essay with a constitutional proposition, one fit for a future in which women experience reproductive freedom in roughly half of these United States. Since nothing else seems to be working, I’ll swing for the fences. The 13th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, prohibits both slavery and “involuntary servitude.” What is forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term if not involuntary servitude?  Anyone who offers a serious 13th Amendment argument risks being dismissed as a chaser of “fool’s gold,” as Professor Jamal Greene of Columbia Law School put it in a 2012 journal article, “Thirteenth Amendment Optimism.” So, yes, it’s a fantasy. But maybe the moment has come for fantasy, the reality of a modern nation without legal abortion having failed to move the current majority. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/24/opinion/abortion-oklahoma-supreme-court.html___________________________________________________________ 7. Courts stymie abortion bans in Iowa, other GOP-led states, By Thomas Beaumont and David Pitt, Associated Press, May 24, 2022, 7:19 PM With a staunch anti-abortion Republican governor and large GOP legislative majorities, Iowa would seem poised to ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. There’s just one catch: a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that established the right to abortion under the state constitution.  Supreme courts in a handful of states, including others controlled by Republicans, have recognized the right to abortion. But in no state is the issue more immediate than Iowa, where Republicans are calling for a state high court with new, conservative justices to reverse a decision made just four years ago.  Supreme courts in Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Montana and Minnesota have ruled that their constitutions protect the right to abortion. Among them, Republicans hold legislative majorities and the governorships in Florida and Montana. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts-stymie-abortion-bans-in-iowa-other-gop-led-states/2022/05/24/4c467374-db70-11ec-bc35-a91d0a94923b_story.html___________________________________________________________ 8. New Italian church head faces demands for abuse inquiry, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 24, 2022, 10:57 AM Pope Francis on Tuesday named a bishop in his own image, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, as the new head of the Italian bishops conference, as the Italian Catholic Church comes under mounting pressure to confront its legacy of clerical sexual abuse with an independent inquiry. Francis’ widely expected choice was announced during the second day of the spring meeting of the conference. Zuppi, 66, is currently the archbishop of Bologna and has long been affiliated with the Sant’Egidio Community, a Catholic charity particularly close to Francis. The Italian Catholic Church is one of the few in western Europe that has not opened its archives to independent researchers to establish the scope of abuse and cover-up in recent decades.  Zuppi generally receives positive marks from the progressive wing of the church, in particular from the LGBTQ community. He wrote the preface to the Italian edition of the book “Building Bridges,” by the American Jesuit, the Rev. James Martin, about the need for the church to reach out more to gay Catholics. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/new-italian-church-head-faces-demands-for-abuse-inquiry/2022/05/24/c6dc6af6-db5e-11ec-bc35-a91d0a94923b_story.html?___________________________________________________________ 9. Pelosi pushes back on archbishop who denies her Communion, By Associated Press, May 24, 2022, 5:00 PM House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed back Tuesday on the decision by San Francisco’s conservative Catholic archbishop to deny her Communion over her support of abortion rights, saying she respects that people have opposing views but not when they impose them on others. The California Democrat says she comes from a large family with many members who oppose abortion. “I respect people’s views about that. But I don’t respect us foisting it onto others.” Pelosi added, “Our archbishop has been vehemently against LGBTQ rights. In fact he led the way in an initiative on the ballot in California.”  Pelosi said women and families need to know this is about more than abortion. “These same people are against contraception, family planning, in vitro fertilization. It’s a blanket thing and they use abortion as the front man for it.”  No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois, who has been denied Communion for years by his Springfield, Illinois, diocese due to his abortion-rights views, voiced support Tuesday for Pelosi. “I still believe that the authorities in the church believe that we have issues that can only be decided by our own conscience and not by some bishop’s conference,” Durbin told reporters. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pelosi-pushes-back-on-archbishop-who-denies-her-communion/2022/05/24/35e04086-db6d-11ec-bc35-a91d0a94923b_story.html___________________________________________________________ 10. Roe Mythology in the Washington Post, By Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, May 24, 2022, 5:28 PM, Opinion I have not been able to keep up with all of the misleading coverage of abortion in the press, but I wanted to flag this especially egregious passage from the Washington Post. In an op-ed, Democratic strategist Lis Smith writes, [“]There is not a single Democratic member of the House or Senate, nor a single Democratic governor in the country, who supports the right to an abortion without limitations. Even the failed Senate measure upheld the basic framework of Roe, which prohibits late-term abortions except under the most limited of circumstances.[”] Roe does not prohibit late-term abortions. It does not prohibit them in any circumstances. It purports to allow legislatures to prohibit abortion after viability, but only so long as the legislatures make an exception for abortions that are needed for the mother’s health — which Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, says includes “all factors–physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age–relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.” Bans on abortion late in pregnancy are thus effectively unenforceable even where they remain on the books.  For years Democrats have tied themselves to a position that is substantively extreme but can easily be disguised. (Most people favor Roe v. Wade; most people oppose elective abortion after the first trimester.) Smith’s article is an attempt to offer political advice to Democrats on winning the abortion debate. Some of her explicit advice strikes me as sound. But her best advice is implicit: Democrats should keep misrepresenting the abortion policies they support. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/roe-mythology-in-the-washington-post/___________________________________________________________ 11. German bishops’ leader expresses disappointment in Pope Francis, By Catholic News Agency, May 24, 2022, 6:45 AM The chairman of Germany’s bishops’ conference on Sunday expressed his disappointment with Pope Francis, insisting that “the teaching of the Catholic Church” must be “changed,” especially concerning homosexuality and the role of women. In a May 22 interview, Bishop Georg Bätzing expressed his “disappointment” in the pope, adding: “But in the sense of a deception,” reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner. Bätzing used the close-sounding German words Enttäuschung (“disappointment”) and Täuschung (“deception”). Explaining what he meant by this, the bishop said: “The pope, even in the Catholic Church, even with all the powers vested in him, is not someone who could turn the Church from its head onto its feet, which is what we would like.” Bätzing added: “He is doing what he can. Namely, he is initiating a process where all these questions are put on the table. For the 2023 world synod and for questions, so to speak, like ‘Are groups allowed to participate, are LGBTQ allowed to participate?’ he always says: everyone.”  The former priest Andreas Sturm, who was vicar general of the Diocese of Speyer, had also called for a change of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Announcing his departure from the Church, Sturm cited frustration over a lack of changes to Church teaching in a number of areas, especially sexuality and the ordination of women. Asked whether he would contemplate a similar step, Bätzing replied that he would also consider turning his back on the Church altogether if he “got the impression that nothing would ever change.” “However, I have the impression that a lot is changing at the moment,” the 61-year-old bishop said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251345/german-catholic-bishops-leader-expresses-disappointment-in-pope-francis___________________________________________________________ 12. Polish bishops’ leader: Vatican’s approach to Russia ‘naive and utopian’, By Luke Coppen, Catholic News Agency, May 24, 2022, 9:27 AM The president of Poland’s Catholic bishops’ conference has said that the Vatican’s approach to Russia is “naive and utopian.” Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki made the remark in an interview with the Polish Catholic news agency KAI published on May 23, following a May 17-20 visit to Ukraine. The 72-year-old archbishop was asked about his meeting with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The interviewer noted that Pope Francis had received a “special memorandum” on the Vatican’s “current Eastern policy.” It is understood that Gądecki presented the document to the pope during a March 28 private audience. Gądecki told KAI: “In my opinion, the Vatican’s approach to Russia should change to a more mature one, since the past and present approach seems very naive and utopian.”  “Vatican diplomacy — being aware that Christians often fight on both sides — does not point to one aggressor but tries to do everything possible to reach a peaceful conclusion through diplomatic efforts,” he said. “But today, in the situation of war, [the Ukrainian Greek Catholic leader] Major Archbishop Shevchuk stresses, the most important thing is that the Holy See supports Ukraine at all levels and does not follow utopian ideas taken from liberation theology.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251347/polish-catholic-bishops-leader-vatican-s-approach-to-russia-naive-and-utopian___________________________________________________________ 13. Central American bishops support Nicaraguan clergy in face of persecution, By Diego Lopez Marina, Catholic News Agency, May 24, 2022, 3:03 PM The bishops’ conferences of Costa Rica and Panama expressed their solidarity with the people and Catholic clergy of Nicaragua, who have been suffering persecution from the government of President Daniel Ortega. On May 20, the state-owned Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Mail eliminated the television channel of the Nicaraguan Bishops’ Conference from its programming. In addition, Bishop Rolando Álvarez Lagos of Matagalpa and Father Harvy Padilla, pastor of the Saint John the Baptist church in Masaya, have been followed and harassed by the government’s police. Álvarez, who is in charge of communications for the bishops’ conference and the Catholic channel, said that what the government wants “is a mute Church, that doesn’t announce the hope of the people” and doesn’t denounce “personal sin and structures of injustice.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251352/central-american-bishops-support-nicaraguan-clergy-in-face-of-persecution___________________________________________________________ 14. Some bishops call San Francisco prelate ‘courageous’ for Pelosi statement, By Julie Asher, Catholic News Service, May 24, 2022 A number of U.S. Catholic bishops praised San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone for his “courageous” action in declaring May 20 that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is not “to be admitted” to Communion because of her stand on legalized abortion. “I applaud Archbishop Cordileone’s patient and persevering efforts to enlighten Speaker Pelosi about the moral gravity of her extreme efforts to promote, to advocate and to initiate legislation to enshrine legalized abortion into federal law,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.  Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila called Archbishop Cordileone’s action a “courageous, compassionate and necessary decision.”  Among others who supported Archbishop Cordileone in statements or tweets were Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and Bishops Robert F. Vasa of Santa Rosa, California; Michael C. Barber of Oakland, California; Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas; David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin; Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois; Donald J. Hying of Madison; James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska; Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon; and Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, Washington. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/05/some-bishops-call-san-francisco-prelate-courageous-for-pelosi-statement___________________________________________________________

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.