1. Abortion Distortion at the Supreme Court, By The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2021, Pg. A18, Editorial

One bad law often begets another, and so it has gone with the Supreme Court and abortion since Roe v. Wade. Now a bad Texas law banning abortions after six weeks may induce the Court to distort the constitutional doctrine on legal standing, with long-term damage to the judiciary and the separation of powers.

On Monday the Court heard arguments in separate lawsuits by abortion providers and the Justice Department seeking to block the Texas law. Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett seemed troubled by how the law is designed to frustrate federal court pre-enforcement review.

There’s no doubt the law is an unconstitutional violation of the Court’s abortion precedents. But the proper place to vindicate the existing right to abortion is when there is a tangible injury as the law is enforced. Under the Constitution, courts get involved only when there is a case or controversy.

This is the core constitutional restraint on judicial power.

If Justices make an abortion exception, there’s no limiting principle to the kind of suits that federal courts will be asked to entertain. Conservative Justices shouldn’t muck up the Court’s standing principles merely because a state passed a rotten abortion law.


2. Bishops walk Communion tightrope, Draft of Eucharist paper doesn’t address leaders who favor abortion rights, By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, November 3, 2021, Pg. A26

Since the inauguration of Joe Biden, the country’s first pro-abortion-rights Catholic president, U.S. Catholic bishops have been working on a document about the meaning of Communion. Many bishops and other Catholics hoped the document would explicitly condemn Catholic politicians like Biden as unworthy of the sacrament, while many others were angered at the idea of singling out anyone and of demanding public officials enforce religious doctrine on the public.

At the moment it appears the document may make neither faction happy.

A draft published Tuesday by the Catholic newsletter the Pillar showed a 26-page document that focuses on emphasizing the theological power of Communion as a necessary, unique and literal connection with God. It cites previous documents by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about the Eucharist, the core rite of Catholic worship, including one in 2006 saying Catholics who “knowingly or obstinately” reject definitive church teachings are “not to be admitted” to Communion and should abstain from presenting themselves.

It does not, however, mention Biden, abortion or politicians who are balancing roles of constitutional officers and Catholics. Nor does it go further in defining the question of who is worthy, a decision that canon law has left in the hands of people’s local priests and bishops.


3. Australian archbishop pushes back on bid to limit religious freedom, By The Pillar, November 3, 2021

The Archbishop of Melbourne has warned that proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws are a threat to religious freedom and the identity of Catholic schools and institutions in the Australian state of Victoria.

Archbishop Peter Comensoli said that the Victorian government’s proposed changes to the state’s Equality Opportunity Act of 2010 will undercut the ability of religious organizations to manage their operations according to the dictates of their faith and conscience.

The changes, announced by the government last week, aim to curtail existing exemptions to anti-discrimination law granted to religious groups.

“This law currently allows religious bodies and schools to discriminate against people based on sex, sexual orientation, lawful sexual activity, marital status, parental status and gender identity,” the government website claims.


4. USCCB Eucharist draft document focuses on real presence, not Communion denial, By The Pillar, November 2, 2021

The draft text of a prospective U.S. bishops’ conference document on the Eucharist is focused on a call to “enter more deeply by faith and love into this great Mystery of Mysteries.”

A draft text of the document, which was finalized in September and circulated to the bishops last month, addresses the subject of “Eucharistic worthiness,”  —  the states of grace and sin which the Church teaches affect a Catholic’s suitability to receive the sacrament. But as drafters predicted in June, the draft includes no specific mention of high-profile Catholic politicians in favor of abortion.

It does not include any recommendations for the denial of Communion, despite some media predictions it would do so.

The 26 pages of a draft text obtained by The Pillar focus mostly on the Eucharist as a gift, as the real presence of Christ, and as a sign and cause of of communion with Christ and his Church.


5. Supreme Court’s Baffling Maine Decision, Given the court’s previous track record in defending religious freedom, we can at least hope that its Oct. 29 ruling isn’t the end of the story., By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, November 2, 2021, Opinion

The U.S. Supreme Court — normally sympathetic to people of faith — has uncharacteristically fallen short of its obligation to protect religious freedom. On Friday evening, a surprising six-justice majority declined a request to block a Maine rule that requires certain health-care employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 without any provision for religious exemptions. 

Health-care workers with religious objections to existing vaccines should never have to face the untenable choice of either submitting to be vaccinated against their sincerely held religious beliefs or losing their jobs. That this Supreme Court has allowed a draconian vaccine mandate to take effect is a baffling development. Since this was not a ruling on the merits, the court did not tie its hands. Given the high court’s previous track record in defending religious freedom, we can at least hope that Friday’s ruling isn’t the end of the story.

Andrea Picciotti-Bayer Andrea Picciotti-Bayer is a legal analyst for EWTN News.


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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