1. Pope Francis Blames NATO, By The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2022, Pg. A18, Editorial Shortly after America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pope Francis quoted former German Chancellor Angela Merkel while criticizing the 20-year war: “It is necessary to put an end to the irresponsible policy of intervening from outside and building democracy in other countries, ignoring the traditions of the peoples.” The problem is that the Pope was quoting Vladimir Putin, not Mrs. Merkel. That gaffe came to mind when an Italian newspaper published an interview with the Pope Tuesday. Francis suggested that perhaps “NATO barking at Russia’s gate” had caused Mr. Putin to invade his neighbor, which doesn’t belong to the alliance. “I have no way of telling whether his rage has been provoked,” he continued. “but I suspect it was maybe facilitated by the West’s attitude.” Asked whether it was right to send weapons so Ukraine can defend itself, the Pope said, “I don’t know,” before criticizing the global arms trade. Since the invasion, Francis has called for an end to the war and criticized the violence, but he hasn’t directly called out Russia for starting the conflict. Now that he finally speaks, he blames NATO for accepting members that want to avoid being invaded by Russia. What a terrible moral signal to send to dictators.  The Pope is the spiritual leader of more than one billion Catholics, but the moral authority behind the papacy—damaged as it is—can still transcend religion from time to time. This makes Francis’s equivocating on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine all the more frustrating for those who recall how powerful a force for good a Pope can be. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pope-francis-blames-nato-russia-ukraine-11651598988?___________________________________________________________ 2. The Supreme Court Leak, By The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2022, Pg. A18, Editorial The leak of a draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade is an unprecedented breach of trust, and one that must be assumed was done with malice aforethought. The Court’s response should be to go about its business as usual and not be intimidated. The question to ask in a leak case is always, cui bono? Who benefits? The Court confirmed Tuesday that the leaked draft by Justice Samuel Alito is real, so we doubt the leak came from the five Justices or their clerks in the apparent majority. What would they have to gain?  Our guess is that the leak is likely to backfire at the Court. A Justice who switched his or her vote now would be open to ridicule for wilting under pressure. It would also invite more leaks in the future by showing they get results. A pattern of pre-emptive leaks of draft opinions would destroy the Court.  As we wrote last week, overturning Roe will not be the end of abortion in America. It would merely return the matter to the states, where abortion law was liberalizing in 1973 before the Court usurped that political and moral debate. If it is overturned, some states will restrict or ban abortion rights while others may make it easier. But this profound moral question will be debated and settled the way it should be in a democracy—by the people. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-supreme-court-leak-on-roe-v-wade-samuel-alito-john-roberts-abortion-draft-opinion-11651605792?___________________________________________________________ 3. A terrifying new era, The draft abortion ruling would be devastating to liberty — and to the high court itself., By The Washington Post, May 4, 2022, Pg. A20, Editorial On Monday, Politico published a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling declaring that the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to end their pregnancies. The court later confirmed that the document, written in February, is genuine, but emphasized that it is not the court’s final word. We hope not. If the justices embrace the sweeping document, they will deal a grievous blow to freedom in the United States — and to the legitimacy of the court itself.  “The republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith,” Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes said as the cornerstone was laid for the Supreme Court Building in 1932. The court’s conservative majority appears to be on the verge of abandoning justices’ sacred charge to stand firm for individual rights. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/03/supreme-court-might-never-recover-overturning-roe-v-wade/___________________________________________________________ 4. European Parliament backs persecution report criticized by Catholic Church, By Catholic News Agency, May 4, 2022, 5:56 AM The European Parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of a report on the persecution of religious minorities that was strongly criticized by the Catholic Church. Members of the European Union’s law-making body formally adopted the report, “Persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion,” at a plenary session in Strasbourg, France on May 3. The Christian legal group ADF International said that the original draft highlighted the extent of anti-Christian persecution around the world, but the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs made substantial changes to the text. “The persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa was omitted and all but one reference to Christians was deleted,” ADF International said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251137/european-parliament-backs-persecution-report-criticized-by-catholic-church___________________________________________________________ 5. Abortion rights have been complicated for Biden. Now, he leads the fight, The president long has described tension between his faith, politics, By Matt Viser, The Washington Post, May 4, 2022, Pg. A9 Joe Biden became a senator in 1973, just 17 days before the Supreme Court decided the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade. Soon after, the young senator, a practicing Catholic, told an interviewer that he disagreed with the decision and that he had views on such matters that made him “about as liberal as your grandmother.” “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far,” he concluded in 1974. “I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” Nearly a half-century later, with Biden evolving along with his party on the issue of abortion rights, he again declared the court was moving too far — this time, he argued, in the opposite direction.  Throughout his career, Biden’s views on abortion — at least as a political matter — have steadily shifted in a way that has in recent years placed him in line with his party but at uncomfortable odds with his church. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/03/biden-abortion-rights/___________________________________________________________ 6. Abortion rate at lowest point since pivotal 1973 ruling, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, May 4, 2022, Pg. A1 Liberal alarm in the U.S. over the future of Roe v. Wade may have never been higher, thanks to the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion this week, but the nation’s abortion rate since the 1973 case was decided has never been lower. After peaking in 1980 at 29.3 procedures per 1,000 women, the U.S. abortion rate has steadily declined. In 2019, it fell to a historic low of 11.4, below the 13.5 per 1,000 women in 1973, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a November report. From 2010 through 2019, the number of reported abortions fell by 18% from 762,755 to 629,898, while the population increased by about 20 million. The abortion rate dropped by 21% among women ages 15 to 44. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/may/3/roe-v-wade-outcry-comes-us-abortion-rate-historic-/___________________________________________________________ 7. Justice Alito’s draft opinion on abortion is a courageous gift to American children, The fight over abortion has raged precisely because the court, both in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, hijacked the issue from the American voters, By Ashley McGuire, USA Today, May 3, 2022, 4:38 PM, Opinion Are we really shocked that the draft opinion in the most significant Supreme Court case in 50 years was leaked? We certainly should be, as the leak is, to quote legal scholar Carter Snead, a “shocking act of betrayal and a breathtaking breach of ethics.”    To those who don’t follow Supreme Court politicking closely, the leak matters because it is an act of corruption of the highest order, one that appears to have been done to exert political pressure on the justices to change their opinions. The justices represent the one branch of government that was designed to be independent of political pressure. The leaker strikes at the heart of the American system of government and its design.  Yet, the leak feels more like the death rattle of a movement that has fought to keep decisions about how to regulate abortion out of the American people’s hands for generations. The leak also is a misfire. If anything, the leak has given the American people a preview of the kind of constitutionalism that voters crave and a glimpse of the legal courage we have yearned for.     The draft opinion’s greatest gift is its clarity. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” writes Justice Samuel Alito. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”  If the leakers think that a man who writes like this and the justices who stand boldly behind his words will be kowtowed by the wails of the elite, by the theatrics of red capes and by angry hashtags, then they betray their own blind desperation. Nonetheless, the leak has given Americans the gift of seeing the truth come tearing out of the halls of justice. It’s truth we are ready for. And it’s truth we desperately need if we are to begin the work of building up a culture where women can truly flourish without curtailing the civil rights of an entire class of people.     Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/columnist/2022/05/03/alito-supreme-court-draft-overturn-roe-v-wade-abortion/9630931002/___________________________________________________________ 8. Pope offers to meet Putin, still waiting to hear back, By Associated Press, May 3, 2022, 2:05 PM Pope Francis told an Italian newspaper he had offered to travel to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin to try to end Russia’s war in Ukraine and suggested the invasion might have been provoked by NATO’s eastward expansion. Francis said he made the offer about three weeks into Russia’s invasion, via the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, but has yet to hear back. Francis’ lengthy interview with Corriere della Sera newspaper underscored the Vatican’s complicated policy on Ukraine, where it is caught between denouncing the atrocities while not alienating Russia and its Orthodox Church. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pope-offers-to-meet-putin-still-waiting-to-hear-back/2022/05/03/a7784efe-cae3-11ec-b7ee-74f09d827ca6_story.html___________________________________________________________ 9. Defending Roe, Biden claims religions don’t say when life begins, despite Catholic teaching, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, May 3, 2022, 12:18 PM President Joe Biden asserted Tuesday that no “mainstream” religion claims to know when human life begins, contradicting his Catholic faith. Biden made the statement while addressing a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion signaling that justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.  “Roe says what all basic mainstream religions have historically concluded, that the existence of a human life and being is a question,” Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. “Is it at the moment of conception? Is it six months? Is it six weeks? Is it quickening, like Aquinas argued?” According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Catholic Church’s pro-life position has remained consistent from the beginning. St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century drew from Aristotle, including his theory that the rational human soul is not present at the start of pregnancy, the USCCB says. But, at the same time, the saint rejected abortion as gravely wrong at every stage, calling it a sin “against nature” to reject God’s gift of life. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251129/roe-wade-biden-when-life-begins-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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