1. What Will Happen When Roe v. Wade Is Overturned?, by Clarke Forsythe, National Review Online, November 23, 2016, 4:00 AM, Opinion.

There are three huge political hurdles to the Supreme Court’s doing the right thing and returning the abortion issue to the democratic process in the States.

But once those hurdles are overcome and Roe is overturned, there are three essential conditions that will maintain the status quo for at least the short term and ease the transition back to the states.

First, overturning Roe does not mean that the Court makes abortion illegal.

Second, if Roe were overturned today, abortion would be legal in 40 to 45 states tomorrow, up to 20 weeks and possibly to fetal viability, for the simple reason that there are no enforceable prohibitions on the books in those states before that time.

Third, women won’t be penalized.

What would the states actually do? Based on the data in Americans United for Life’s annual publication, Defending Life, and AUL’s Life List, showing how the states have legislated (or not) on the life issue for the past 40 years, a fair prediction might be that — in the short term — a dozen states would maintain abortion on demand, a dozen states would try to enact and enforce broad prohibitions, and about 25 states in the middle might try different limits.

It would be wise to leave the abortion issue to the states — where Americans can make their voices heard and where it was addressed since colonial days — unless 37 states act through constitutional amendment to enact a national rule.


2. On our Need for the Real Thomas More, By George Weigel, First Things, November 23, 2016.

Next month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the film A Man for All Seasons. And if it’s impossible to imagine such a picture on such a theme winning Oscars today, then let’s be grateful that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got it right by giving Fred Zinnemann’s splendid movie six of its awards in 1967—when, reputedly, Audrey Hepburn lifted her eyes to heaven before announcing with obvious pleasure that this cinematic celebration of the witness and martyrdom of Sir Thomas More had beaten The Sand Pebbles, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Alfie, and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming for Best Picture.

Intriguingly, though, A Man for All Seasons is a magnificent religious film—perhaps the best ever—despite its author’s stated intentions.

Robert Bolt’s introduction to his play, which led to the movie, makes it rather clear that author Bolt saw More less as a Catholic martyr than as an existential hero, an approach befitting the hot philosophical movement of the day (which was, of course, the Sixties).

Yet this portrait of Thomas-More-as-Tudor-era-existentialist doesn’t quite convince, because Bolt, perhaps in spite of himself, gave us a different More in his drama and later in his screenplay—a More who “grasps” his death, not as an existential stalwart, a courageously autonomous “Self,” but as a Catholic willing to die for the truth, which has grasped him as the love of God in Christ. Thus, when More’s intellectually gifted daughter Margaret, having failed to argue him out of his refusal to countenance Henry VIII’s divorce and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, plays her final card and cries, “But in reason! Haven’t you done as much as God can reasonably want?,” More replies, haltingly, “Well … finally… it isn’t a matter of reason; finally it’s a matter of love.”

And not love of self, but love of God and love of the truth. For the God who is truth all the way through is also, St. John the Evangelist teaches us, love itself. And to be transformed by that love is to live in the truth—the truth that sets us free in the deepest and noblest meaning of human liberation.


3. Victorious but Wary, Pro-Life Movement Views the Post-Election Landscape, By Peter Jesserer Smith, National Catholic Register, November 22, 2016.

A hard-fought election cycle has brought many in the pro-life movement to new heights of optimism, firmly convinced that, under President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Congress, they will finally be able to roll back legal abortion.

But other leaders in the pro-life grassroots warn that the movement needs to expand heavily at the cultural level, in order to end abortion — and not simply take it off the books — in the United States.

Election Day saw pro-life bipartisan majorities hold in both houses of Congress. House Republicans, who overwhelmingly identify as “pro-life,” lost a handful of seats, but easily kept a 239-192 majority control of the lower chamber.

In the Senate, the Republicans held on and kept 51-48 control of the chamber over their Democratic rivals. However, the Senate only kept a pro-life majority due to its three pro-life Democrats: Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania. They offset the last two Senate Republicans who identify as “pro-choice”: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Louisiana is set to have a run-off Dec. 10 for its Senate seat between Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell, both of whom are running as pro-life candidates, but with different approaches. Kennedy seeks to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, while Campbell has run on advancing paid family leave, which dovetails with Trump’s call for paid leave for working mothers.

Currently, Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million in federal funding, more than a third of the abortion provider’s annual revenue of $1.3 billion.


4. Pope: Death is not to be feared if we’re faithful to God, Vatican Radio, November 22, 2016 1:25 PM.

Pope Francis said death is not to be feared if we are faithful to the Lord but warned against being trapped into basing our lives around superficial things that are not transcendent as though we never had to die. He was speaking at his Mass celebrated on Tuesday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.

Taking his cue from the day’s reading from the book of Revelation, the Pope’s homily focused on the reality of how all of us will face Jesus on the day of judgement. He said a call from the Lord to think about the end of our lives, the end for each of us because all of us will die, comes as the Church heads into the final week of the Liturgical Year.

“We’d do well to think: ‘But what will the day be like when I will be in front of Jesus? When He asks me about the talents that he gave me, what use I made of them, when He will ask me: how was my heart when the seed was dropped, like a path or like thorns: that Parable of the Kingdom of God. How did I receive His Word? With an open heart?  Did I make it germinate for the good of all or in secret?”

Pope Francis concluded his homily by urging his listeners to think about their day of judgement and how they will fare but not to fear that moment because quoting once again from the day’s reading, the Lord tells us, “remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.”