1. Free Speech Prevails in Finland — at a High Cost, By Paul Coleman, National Review, November 15, 2023, 6:30 AM, Opinion In 2019, Finnish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen tweeted a Bible verse. On Tuesday, she received a full and unanimous acquittal for the criminal charges she has battled over the past four years under Finland’s “hate speech” laws for her tweet. With the state having expended enormous resources to prosecute and punish Räsänen, along with Lutheran bishop Juhana Pohjola, free speech in Finland has won the day, but at a very high cost. The tweet was simple — Räsänen questioned her church leadership for participating in a Helsinki pride event, posting a Scripture passage from the Book of Romans to underscore her point. Following this, she was subjected to invasive police interrogations, which delved into the core of her personal faith as a Christian — and then to criminal charges. It’s hard to fathom that Finland’s former minister of the interior — an elected official for nearly 30 years — could be deemed a criminal for the mere act of voicing her deeply held beliefs in the public square.  Across the world, censorship at the hands of the state is a clearly visible mounting trend. On Thursday of this week, Adam Smith-Connor will face trial in England for praying silently near an abortion facility. In Mexico, both former congressman Rodrigo Iván Cortés and sitting congressman Gabriel Quadri have been tried and punished under the law for expressions on social media regarding gender identity. And as for Finland, the prosecutor has until mid January to appeal the Court of Appeal’s ruling to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, a key victory for free speech was won, but the battle against censorship continues.  https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/11/free-speech-prevails-in-finland-at-a-high-cost/__________________________________________________________ 2. Catholic Priest Taps His Private-Markets Roots to Advance Missionary Work, Alvaro Ramos, who co-leads an organization that helps poor children in Honduras, has attracted donors such as retired Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Hamilton ‘Tony’ James, By Luis Garcia, The Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2023, 6:00 AM Former asset manager-turned-Catholic priest Alvaro Ramos touts a “private-equity approach to poverty” in his quest to attract attention—and donations—to his charitable youth organization in Honduras. But Ramos’ own life example proved to be an equally, if not more, powerful draw at least to one private-equity donor. “I think what resonated with people is just the saintliness of giving up everything to help those poor children in Honduras,” said Hamilton “Tony” James, who retired from his position as executive vice chairman of Blackstone early last year after a nearly two-decade career at the asset-management giant. Earlier this year, James organized a fundraising event for Asociación Colaboración y Esfuerzo, or Acoes, a nonprofit that Ramos co-leads. Acoes, based in Honduras’ capital Tegucigalpa, runs schools and tutoring and distance-learning programs that serve roughly 11,700 students across the country, from kindergarten through university, Ramos said. He added that students and other volunteers do most of the work, including manual chores, logistics, accounting and managing entire projects, often in squalid neighborhoods ridden with gang violence.  His experience in asset management led him to relate his missionary work to private equity as a mix of a marketing tool and management approach, he said. He measures the cost of supporting students for 10 to 15 years against the income they earn after graduating from college and then calculates the internal rate of return—a common performance metric used by the industry—of the “investment.”  https://www.wsj.com/articles/catholic-priest-taps-his-private-markets-roots-to-advance-missionary-work-e1d97770__________________________________________________________ 3. American Medical Association retains opposition to assisted suicide, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, November 14, 2023, 6:00 PM The House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) has rebuffed an effort to change the organization’s current stance in opposition to physician-assisted suicide, a development that drew praise from members of the Catholic Medical Association, which advocated against the change.  According to the CMA, a resolution supporting physician-assisted suicide was proposed at an AMA House of Delegates meeting that took place Nov. 10–14 in National Harbor, Maryland. The resolution would have changed the organization’s stance on the practice from opposed to neutral. Ultimately, delegates voted down the proposal, CMA said.  The AMA’s current code of ethics states that permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide — which it defines as a physician providing the means or information for a patient to engage in a life-ending act — would “ultimately cause more harm than good.” “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life,” the AMA’s current code reads.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256012/american-medical-association-retains-opposition-to-assisted-suicide-amid-catholic-doctors-advocacy__________________________________________________________ 4. In the red corner: Has Cardinal Pierre isolated himself from the US bishops?, By Ed. Condon and JD Flynn, The Pillar, November 14, 2023, 4:36 PM, Opinion When Archbishop Timothy Broglio began on Tuesday morning his USCCB presidential address on the state of the Church in the U.S., he quoted from scripture, urging that “whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” To most of those with ears to hear, it seems clear that Broglio was talking to U.S. apostolic nuncio Cardinal Christophe Pierre — offering a pointed rebuke of Pierre’s recent comments on American Catholics and their leaders, given in an interview with America magazine Broglio’s speech, accompanied by frequent and vigorous nods from the assembly of bishops, appeared to be intended as both apologia for the Church in the United States and a kind of episcopal catharsis, for a body stung by criticism from Pierre, compounded by episcopal unease over the manner by which Bishop Joseph Strickland was recently removed from office. Broglio’s thinly veiled rebuke seems to show Pierre has isolated himself from the American bishops to whom he’s supposed to serve as the pope’s emissary. It is well-known in the Vatican and in U.S. Church circles that Pierre is regularly at odds with U.S. Cardinals Blase Cupich and Robert McElroy, especially as he aims to normalize the channels of information and decision-making between Rome and the U.S. Church — channels which would typically flow through his office, but which are frequently sidestepped by Cupich. Bishops outside of the Cupich camp have tended to be sympathetic to Pierre, and to support his leadership, even if he is not always in theological lockstep with them. His defenders are often those who say he takes the time to listen to them, to visit their dioceses, and to concern himself with their problems. But his America magazine interview was offensive to many of those same bishops, leaving Pierre with a diminishing number of supporters among the American bishops. Worse, the cardinal’s comments have created an impression among many American bishops that they and the dioceses they lead are neither understood or much liked by Rome’s man in Washington. For Pierre, that could ironically leave him less effective as a nuncio, and more isolated in his role, just as he should be celebrating his newly minted status as a cardinal.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/in-the-red-corner-has-cardinal-pierre__________________________________________________________ 5. A terminally ill baby at the center of a legal battle in Britain and Italy has died, By Associated Press, November 13, 2023, 6:50 PM  A terminally ill baby at the center of a legal battle involving her parents, British health officials and the Italian government has died, a group supporting her family said Monday. Christian Concern said Indi Gregory died in a hospice on Monday morning after her life support was withdrawn on Sunday. The 8-month-old baby had suffered brain damage as the result of a rare condition known as mitochondrial disease. Her doctors said her life support should be removed to allow her to die at a hospital or hospice. Her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, fought to continue life support in hopes that experimental treatments might prolong her life. The Italian government had sought permission for her to be treated at Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome and even granted the baby Italian citizenship.  The case is the latest in a series of legal wrangles in the U.K. between parents and doctors over the treatment of terminally ill children. British judges have repeatedly sided with doctors in cases where the best interests of the child take precedence, even if parents object to a proposed course of treatment.  https://apnews.com/article/britain-baby-indi-gregory-legal-battle-dies-ccf29a8a02ce764b498bbc139e004517__________________________________________________________ 6. Peru Congress passes law reinforcing unborn’s constitutional right to life, By Diego Lopez Marina, Catholic News Agency, November 13, 2023, 6:00 PM By a vote of 72-26 with six abstentions, Peru’s Congress passed a bill on Nov. 9 that expressly recognizes the rights granted in its constitution to unborn children. Congressman Alejandro Muñante, one of the spokespersons for the Life and Family caucus in Peru, on Nov. 12 told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, that the fundamental purpose of the law was “to consolidate the right to life from conception, which is already established in our constitution and in the Civil Code and the Children and Adolescents Code.” The lawmaker explained that for the drafting of this law, “the need was seen to be able to develop and detail a list of rights that our constitution precisely seeks to protect from conception.” According to Article 2 of the country’s Magna Carta, in Peru “the conceived child is a subject of law in everything that favors him or her.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255999/peru-congress-passes-law-reinforcing-unborn-s-constitutional-right-to-life__________________________________________________________

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.