1. Sex-Abuse Victims Accept Pope’s Apology, Now Urge Him to Act, Pope Francis met with three Chilean victims to ask forgiveness for dismissing their claims as slander. 

By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2018, Pg. A8

Pope Francis met privately with three Chilean sex-abuse victims over the weekend—three months after his dismissive remarks about their claims stirred international outrage—in what the Vatican described as an effort to listen and ask forgiveness.

On Wednesday, the three men recounted their meetings with the pope, saying they were impressed by his apparent sincerity but insisting that the value of his apology would be revealed only in concrete actions against clerical sex abuse and bishops who cover it up.

“I have never, never seen someone be so contrite,” Juan Carlos Cruz told a news conference in Rome of his encounter with Pope Francis. “He said, ‘I was part of the problem. I caused this and I apologize.’”

Pope Francis has summoned all the bishops of Chile to the Vatican later this month to discuss his response to sex abuse there.


2. Planned Parenthood sues Trump administration over federal funding. 

By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, May 3, 2018, Pg. A2

Three Planned Parenthood affiliates sued Wednesday to demand taxpayer money keep flowing to the country’s largest abortion network, saying a new Trump administration policy appears designed to cut them out of family planning money.

Affiliates in Wisconsin, Ohio and Utah said changes announced by Health and Human Services would boost clinics that focus on abstinence rather than providing contraceptives.

They said HHS didn’t follow the law last year when it issued the new funding priorities for doling out money under Title X, which is the government’s main family planning fund.


3. High church meets high fashion: How Catholic style took over the Met. 

By Shira Telushkin, The Washington Post, May 3, 2018, 6:18 AM

Vatican officials lingered over images of Balenciaga evening coats, Madame Grès capes and the Schiaparelli gown embroidered with the keys of St. Peter, pieces that clearly referenced the familiar silhouettes of their ecclesiastical and monastic garments, but flipped past the more risqué looks.

Ultimately, they agreed to loan 41 items from the Sistine Chapel sacristy to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met would have been grateful for even six.

The items on loan, which include papal robes and accessories never viewed outside the Vatican, debut May 10 as a part of Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Organized by Andrew Bolton, head curator of the Costume Institute (the beneficiary of the famously fashion-forward annual Met Gala), the exhibit has drawn attention for its seemingly provocative juxtaposition of religion and fashion.

Church leaders have enthusiastically supported the celebration of Catholic art and fashion.

The influence of Catholicism throughout the show extends beyond the use of iconography and monastic silhouettes to an entire way of thinking about beauty.

“The Met exhibits often tackle themes that deal with religion, so the notion of having objects that speak in a deep way to religious themes is not unusual” said Mann, the head curator of the medieval collection. “I think what is unusual is asking people to think about this commutation of contemporary design and modern design with religion. And this is the mission of Andrew and his colleagues, to ask people to think of clothing as an art form.”

And for this exhibit, Andrew Bolton is also asking people to think of clothing as a theological argument about the world.


4. When the state condemns a disabled child to death. 

By Marc A. Thiessen, The Washington Post, May 2, 2018, 8:01 AM

Imagine your own beloved child was lying in a hospital with a mysterious brain disease. Should you, as the parent, be allowed to decide whether to continue treatment for your son or daughter? Or should the state have the power to overrule you and cut off life support over your objections?

The vast majority of Americans say the final decision should be left with parents. That’s because, under our system, the purpose of the state is to protect our inalienable rights to life and liberty. But in Britain, it seems, the state has the power to trample life and liberty and condemn a disabled child to death.

That is precisely what the British High Court of Justice did in the case of Alfie Evans, a little boy who suffered from a rapidly progressive terminal brain disease.

This is, quite simply, tyrannical. It is one thing for a judge to decide that British taxpayers should not have to bear the cost of what doctors in its national health service have concluded is futile treatment. Under a single-payer system, resources are limited and care is rationed (which is why we don’t want socialized medicine here in America). But where does a British court get the right to deny the child life-extending treatment abroad when someone else is willing to pay for it? Who gave the British state the right to determine what kind of life is worth living and for how long?

Diabolically, High Court Justice Anthony Hayden actually cited the pope in justifying his decision to end Alfie’s life, quoting out-of-context a speech Francis gave in which he warned against “the temptation to insist on treatments that have powerful effects on the body, yet at times do not serve the integral good of the person.” 

London survived the Blitz to stop the advance of a regime bent on the eugenic killing of, among others, the handicapped. Now Britain has such a regime anyway, by self-imposed judicial fiat.

Unless Americans are vigilant, it is only a matter of time before it happens here.


5. Pope to Chile abuse victims: “I was part of the problem”. 

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 2, 2018, 12:59 PM

The three whistleblowers in Chile’s sex abuse scandal urged Pope Francis on Wednesday to transform his apology for having discredited them into concrete action to end what they called the “epidemic” of sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church.

Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo spoke to reporters Wednesday after spending five days with the pope at his Vatican hotel. Their press conference was broadcast live in Chile, a sign of the unprecedented nature of their hours of meetings with the pope.

Cruz said that during his private encounter with Francis, the pope acknowledged: “I was part of the problem. I caused this, and I apologize to you.”

“I believe that he was sincere,” Cruz said.

Cruz said he believed that Francis was simply misinformed about the case of Bishop Juan Barros, whom the three men have long accused of having witnessed and ignored their abuse.


6. Trump administration sued over family-planning program shift. 

By Nate Raymond, Reuters, May 2, 2018, 12:28 PM

Two organizations that support birth control filed lawsuits on Wednesdayseeking to block the Trump administration from shifting a federal family-planning grant program toward prioritizing groups that are faith-based and counsel abstinence.

The lawsuits were filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. by Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association and target guidelines the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued in February.

Those guidelines set forth new criteria for how the department under Republican President Donald Trump would assess applications for grants under the Title X family planning program. The grants are expected to total $260 million.