1. Trump victory could imperil Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, By The Associated Press, November 15, 2016, 3:19 AM.

Trump, who will have at least one Supreme Court vacancy to fill, has pledged to appoint “pro-life” justices who potentially would be open to weakening or reversing Roe. With one seat vacant, the high court now has a 5-3 majority supporting abortion rights, and thus one of those five would need to vacate his or her seat to give the court an anti-abortion majority.

Anti-abortion leader Clark Forsythe, acting president and senior counsel for Americans United For Life, predicted that the states would break into three basic categories if Roe were overturned: Perhaps a dozen states would continue to make abortion widely accessible, another dozen or so would ban virtually all abortions unless the mother’s life were at stake, and roughly two-dozen more states would thrash out their response with debate among the public and in the legislatures. Forsythe suggested that some of those states might allow abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy, while restricting or banning later abortions.

Anti-abortion leader Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List also predicted that a “chipping away” of Roe might be more likely than its total reversal. She said Congress was likely to pass a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and states would feel more emboldened in passing tough anti-abortion laws.

“Roe is already in shambles,” she said.


2. Wisconsin University students sue school over anti-religion policy, By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, November 15, 2016, Pg. A9.

Two students at the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire are suing the school over a policy that does not allow students to count religious activities toward a mandatory community service requirement.

Travis Barham, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the students, said the university’s policy unconstitutionally singles out religious belief for exclusion.

The lawsuit says Alexandra Liebl attempted to count 30 credit hours stemming from her volunteer efforts with a second-grade religious education class at a Roman Catholic church.

University officials denied her request, citing the school’s Service Learning Policy, which states that “this public university will not award credit for time spent directly involved in promoting religious doctrine, proselytizing, or worship.”


3. Catholic bishops ask Trump for humane immigration policies, By Rachel Zoll, The Associated Press, November 14, 2016, 4:22 PM.

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on Monday urged President-elect Donald Trump to adopt humane policies toward immigrants and refugees, as church leaders begin navigating what will likely be a complex relationship with the new administration.

“We stand ready to work with a new administration to continue to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans. A duty to welcome and protect newcomers, particularly refugees, is an integral part of our mission to help our neighbors in need,” the bishops said.

In a speech at the Baltimore assembly, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the bishops’ conference, underscored that protecting refugees would remain a priority. He also highlighted an area where the bishops may find more common ground with Trump. Kurtz noted the importance of conscience rights for people who do not want to recognize same-sex marriage or comply with other laws they consider immoral. Trump has pledged to appoint anti-abortion justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and protect religious liberty.

“Don’t allow government to define what integrity of faith means,” Kurtz said. Dozens of dioceses and Catholic charities sued President Barack Obama over the Affordable Care Act requirement that employers provide coverage for birth control.


4. Four Cardinals Formally Ask Pope for Clarity on ‘Amoris Laetitia’, By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, November 14, 2016.

Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four cardinals have taken the very rare step of publicizing five questions they have sent Pope Francis in a bid to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” surrounding his summary document on the synod on the family, Amoris Lactitia (The Joy of Love).

The cardinals said the aim was to clarify “contrasting interpretations” of Paragraphs 300-305 in Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, which are its most controversial passages relating to admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments, and the Church’s moral teaching.

In a Nov. 14 statement entitled “Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in Amoris Laetitia,” they say, for “many — bishops, priests, faithful — these paragraphs allude to or even explicitly teach a change in the discipline of the Church with respect to the divorced who are living in a new union.”

As the Pope decided not to respond to the dubia, the four signatories said they read “his sovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection and the discussion, calmly and with respect,” and therefore have decided to inform “the entire people of God about our initiative and offering all of the documentation.”


5. The ten men who could lead the US Catholic Church, By Inés San Martín, Crux, November 14, 2016.

As they do every three years, the American bishops will be electing their leadership, including their president and vice president.

Beyond electing new leaders, during their Nov. 14-16 fall general assembly, taking place in Baltimore, the American bishops also will discuss ways to promote peace in U.S. communities torn apart by violence, and will vote on an action plan to support the priorities they approved last year.

The list of ten nominees to replace Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky and Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston in their respective roles as president and vice-president was released late October. The bishops will elect the president first from this set of ten names, and then will select a number two from whoever’s left.

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, of Philadelphia
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami
Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe