1. Europe’s Abortion Lesson, By The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2022, Pg. A18, Editorial American progressives, and some on the right, have convinced themselves that legal abortion will disappear the moment the Supreme Court reverses its Roe v. Wade precedent. Since the Court is contemplating this, readers might appreciate examples from democracies that have grappled with this difficult issue without nine Justices to tell them what to do. We mean Europe, where abortion is legal in most countries, usually with limits that are more strict than America’s and generally as a result of democratic choice. The notable feature of abortion in Europe is that each country has tailored its laws to local mores after political debate.  If the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization as last week’s leak suggests, this new abortion politics will be an adjustment for partisans—on both sides—accustomed to haranguing 100 Senators over Supreme Court nominations rather than persuading millions of voters. But what a relief if America can look forward one day to the relative political peace Europe enjoys on this contentious moral question. https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-abortion-law-roe-v-wade-supreme-court-european-union-leak-alito-dobbs-pro-life-choice-civil-womens-rights-11651757568?___________________________________________________________ 2. A Post-Roe Agenda for the G.O.P., By Patrick T. Brown, The New York Times,  May 9, 2022, Pg. A25, Opinion The leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization allows social conservatives a glimpse into a post-Roe future. If his draft ends up the majority opinion, those who marched and prayed and rallied and voted for half a century to recognize in law the value of every human life will soon be celebrating — and rightly so. In the wake of such a victory, the movement that describes itself as pro-life and pro-family must encompass a broader vision of policy than just prohibiting access to abortion.  The first area of focus needs to be the immediate needs of women facing unexpected pregnancies.   Some women who choose abortion do so reluctantly or feel forced into it by economic circumstances. Helping women, including low-income and working-class women, gain access to more resources during pregnancy and after childbirth will reduce the demand for abortion while state legislatures pass bills restricting the supply.  This policy agenda will require Republicans to restrain their usual impulse to reach for tax cuts as a cure-all. But if it is put into practice, they can showcase how parents’ lives can be made easier by applying traditional conservative principles about work, incentives and regulation to contemporary problems, without necessitating Build Back Better-style federal intervention.  The end of Roe will require a new type of politics. A G.O.P. that styles itself as more populist has the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to pregnant women and families writ large. If they fail to do so, they will not only put their political victories at risk but also leave unprotected the very people the movement to end Roe has sought to help: pregnant women and their unborn children. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/07/opinion/republican-policy-after-roe.html___________________________________________________________ 3. Give Pro-Life Union Members a Choice, By Michael Saltsman, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion Instead of organizing for better working conditions, labor unions last week organized for abortion rights.  Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) has proposed a fix. His Employee Rights Act of 2022, introduced this spring with support from 27 of his Senate colleagues, would require union leaders to seek members’ opt-in permission for any spending not directly related to collective bargaining. This would include donations to Planned Parenthood. A March 2022 survey of 1,000 Americans, conducted by Engine Insights, found that 76% of all households—and an identical percentage of union households—supported this. Mr. Scott’s proposal shouldn’t be controversial. Whether you support abortion, oppose it, or come down somewhere in the middle, you can find common ground on this point: Your money shouldn’t be used to fund the other side of the debate. Mr. Saltsman is managing director at the Employment Policies Institute. https://www.wsj.com/articles/give-pro-life-union-member-abortion-leaders-dobbs-pro-choice-jackson-supreme-court-leak-workers-advocacy-11652026018___________________________________________________________ 4. How Roe Warped the Republic, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, May 8, 2022, Pg. SR9, Opinion I share some of the anxieties that inform the liberal master narrative these days — about a country too deeply polarized to function, a populist right that’s steeped in paranoia, a decay of the norms that allow republican government to function. But if I set out to write a story about how exactly we got here, I would place the original Roe decision near the center of the narrative — as an inflection point where the choices of elite liberalism actively pushed the Republic toward our current divisions, our age of chronic strife.  It’s likely that the debate would have been nationalized and polarized eventually no matter what. But the Supreme Court decision nationalized abortion politics in a very specific way, removing most abortion regulation from the realm of legislative debate and linking it to the court itself and the office of the presidency. Thereafter, instead of being fought over in the institutions that are designed to channel mass opinion and activist mobilization into stable settlements — whether state legislatures or the Congress — abortion would be bound to the all-or-nothing outcomes of presidential elections and Supreme Court nomination fights. The predictable result was an increasingly Manichaean politics: You were either for the original ruling or against it, no compromises could be negotiated or local policy experiments conducted, and the issue was distilled every few years to a referendum on presidential candidates and high court nominees, the friend-enemy distinction in its purest form.  Nothing in the story I’ve just told means that overturning Roe now will necessarily improve either liberalism or conservatism, reinvigorate democracy or depolarize our politics. You begin from where you are, and where we’ve ended up does not inspire confidence in whatever may come next. But if Roe does fall, it makes sense that a decision that did so much to divide our parties and delegitimize our institutions would ultimately be undone by the very forces it unleashed: In its beginning was its end. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/07/opinion/how-roe-warped-the-republic.html___________________________________________________________ 5. America Is Not Ready for the End of Roe v. Wade, By The New York Times, May 8, 2022, Pg. SR8, Editorial Imagine that every state were free to choose whether to allow Black people and white people to marry. Some states would permit such marriages; others probably wouldn’t. The laws would be a mishmash, and interracial couples would suffer, legally consigned to second-class status depending on where they lived. It seems an unthinkable scenario in 2022. That’s because in 1967 the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that barring interracial marriage, as 16 states still did, violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. “Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the state,” the court stated in Loving v. Virginia. Many who oppose Roe v. Wade today, and even some who support it, argue that the 1973 ruling short-circuited a running debate over abortion, a debate that should have been allowed to play out in the states, many of which had long banned abortion. This is one of the main justifications in the leaked draft opinion in which a majority of Supreme Court justices appear ready to overturn Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that preserved Roe’s central holding with certain restrictions. The problem with this reasoning is that, as in Loving, leaving the matter to individual states and the political process means that millions of Americans will be denied their fundamental rights — in this case, the right of women to decide what happens inside their own bodies.  What all this shows is that the right to an abortion cannot be left at the mercy of individual states — something that few people on either side of this issue genuinely seem to want. This is why a national standard is necessary. That national standard, at least for a few more weeks, is Roe v. Wade as modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey. These two rulings are not perfect, but for all their flaws, they have managed to strike a delicate balance that reflects the public’s complex position on a morally fraught issue. The majority of Americans do not want these cases overturned, and an overwhelming majority say that abortion should not be banned outright. If you thought Roe v. Wade itself led to discord and division, just wait until it’s gone. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/06/opinion/roe-v-wade-constitution.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Who’s a Threat to Democracy?, The pro-choice left is attacking the legitimacy of the Supreme Court., By The Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2022, Pg. A12, Editorial The latest theme on the political left is that the Supreme Court Justices who might overturn Roe v. Wade are at war with democracy. It’s a strange argument, since overturning Roe would merely return abortion policy to the states for political debate in elections and legislatures. That’s the definition of democracy. But since they brought it up, by all means let’s talk about who is really threatening democracy. An independent judiciary is crucial to democratic self-government, and after the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion, the left is targeting the Justices who might vote to end Roe. An outfit known as Ruth Sent Us is inviting people to harass six “extremist justices.” The group, named after the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this week published the locations of their homes in a map on its website (though it vanished without explanation on Friday). The group is calling for protests at Catholic churches this Sunday and at the Justices’ homes next week. Why Catholic? Presumably because the church teaches that abortion is wrong and four of the five Justices said to be joining Justice Alito’s opinion are Catholic. The anti-religious animus at work here isn’t subtle.  The Supreme Court’s job is to say what the law is, not to be a body of philosopher kings to impose progressive outcomes. Overturning Roe won’t usurp democracy. It will put the abortion debate back where it belongs in a democracy—for voters to decide.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/whos-a-threat-to-democracy-supreme-court-abortion-roe-v-wade-ruth-sent-us-11651875512?___________________________________________________________ 7. Pope, hobbled by knee problem, looks forward to S Sudan trip, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, May 7, 2022, 7:21 AM Pope Francis, whose mobility has been limited of late by a nagging knee problem, is looking forward to visiting South Sudan in July, according to a joint message by the pontiff, the archbishop of Canterbury and a Scottish church official. The Vatican on Saturday released the text of the message, which refers to previously announced plans by Francis to make a July 5-7 pilgrimage to South Sudan. The Holy See two months ago announced that the pontiff would make the latest African pilgrimage of his nine-year-old papacy, beginning with a pastoral visit in Congo on July 2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pope-hobbled-by-knee-problem-looks-forward-to-s-sudan-trip/2022/05/07/c81c2042-cdf7-11ec-b7ee-74f09d827ca6_story.html___________________________________________________________ 8. Likely Roe overturn raises ‘Eucharistic coherence’ questions, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, May 7, 2022, 9:54 AM U.S. Catholic bishops spent most of 2021 in protracted debate about “Eucharistic coherence” – their euphemism for appropriate reception of Holy Communion, and especially the controversial question of whether “pro-choice” Catholic politicians should be admitted to the Eucharist. But with Roe v. Wade likely to be overturned and a Democratic political push to preserve legal protection for abortion, the differing approaches of two U.S. bishops may soon both come to the test — raising the question of whether one prominent bishop might change his approach on the question, and whether another might put his rhetoric on the subject into action. While bishops debated “Eucharistic coherence,” the perspective of Cardinal Wilton Gregory was watched closely, because Gregory is diocesan bishop in the nation’s capital, and thus has pastoral authority over sacramental discipline at parishes regularly attended by President Joe Biden and by Catholic lawmakers when they are in the Archdiocese of Washington. In 2020, Gregory told journalists that he had no plans to prohibit Catholic President Joe Biden from receiving the Eucharist.  But since news broke that the Supreme Court might be on the precipice of overturning Roe v. Wade, Biden has called strenuously for Congress to protect abortion’s legality with federal legislation. The president, who pledged last year a “whole-of-government” plan to protect access to abortion in Texas, where is it significantly restricted by law, has reportedly set his administration to consider all possible mechanisms to facilitate access to abortion, including the prospect of Medicaid funding for women to travel across state lines for abortions.   While Biden lives in Washington, Gregory is his chief pastor. And as he watches a public Catholic who once had reservation about Roe commit himself vigorously to an active role in abortion protection, the cardinal may well find himself wondering if the dialogue strategy is working — and, if not, what else he should do.  The advocacy of Catholic pro-choice politicians also puts a certain kind of pressure on the bishops who argued last year that such lawmakers should face a prohibition on receiving Holy Communion. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was among the leaders of that group. During USCCB debates, in interviews and statements, and in a Washington Post op-ed, Cordileone argued for sterner sacramental discipline, invoking the memory of Archbishop Joseph Rummel, who in 1962 excommunicated Catholics opposing the racial integration of Catholic schools.  While Cordileone has been outspoken on abortion’s immorality in recent days, he has apparently not taken steps to enact the kind of sacramental discipline he championed – in principle – last year. Perhaps it may be coming. But the archbishop may well be holding back on action he’s defended – in principle – perhaps out of concern that he won’t be supported by fellow bishops or by the Vatican, or perhaps out of concern about the possibility of serious local blowback. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/likely-roe-overturn-raises-eucharistic?___________________________________________________________ 9. Pope decries divisions caused by old-school liturgy fans, By Associated Press, Associated Press, May 7, 2022 Pope Francis on Saturday blasted Catholics who, hewing to old-school versions of liturgy like the Latin Mass, have made an ideological battleground of the issue, decrying what he described as devil-inspired divisiveness in the church. Francis pressed his papacy’s battle against traditionalists, whose prominent members include some ultra-conservative cardinals. They have resisted restrictions, imposed last year by the Vatican, on celebrations of the old Mass in Latin in St. Peter’s Basilica and, more generally, for years have disparaged the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Speaking at the Vatican to instructors and students of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Francis said it’s not possible to worship God while using the liturgy as a “battleground” for nonessential questions that divide the church. https://apnews.com/article/pope-francis-religion-6159c7d4da9ad08ffa807f444f3a0cf1___________________________________________________________ 10. Pell questions ‘incomplete’ evidence from Becciu to Vatican court, By The Pillar, May 6, 2022 Cardinal George Pell, the former head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, issued a statement Friday that questioned the “incomplete” evidence given by Cardinal Angelo Becciu to a Vatican court on Thursday. Pell’s intervention marked an escalation in a long-simmering set of tensions between the Australian cardinal and Becciu, the cardinal facing a Vatican criminal trial on charges of  embezzlement and abusing his office. Addressing Becciu’s account of several payments sent to an Australian tech security firm during Pell’s trial, Cardinal Pell said that his fellow cardinal’s narrative raised more questions about the affair. In a statement from Pell released May 6, a copy of which was obtained by The Pillar, the cardinal said that Becciu, who served as sostituto at the Secretariat of State until 2018, gave Vatican judges “a spirited defense of his blameless subordinate role in the Vatican finances” during the court hearing on Thursday. “However,” Pell said, “his account was somewhat incomplete.” Cardinal Pell challenged Becciu’s evidence to the court on a range of issues, including on questions related to payments amounting to several million dollars sent to an Australian tech company by Becciu during Pell’s prosecution and trial there. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/pell-questions-incomplete-evidence?___________________________________________________________

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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