TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 137 – Supreme Court and a Post-Roe World: Erika Bachiochi and Dr. Deborah Savage As oral arguments are heard this week at the Supreme Court on one of the most consequential abortion cases of this generation, Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson devote the entire hour to the Mississippi abortion ban delving into delicate details behind the case with legal scholar and author Erika Bachiochi of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Professor Deborah Savage of Franciscan University also joins with a philosophical look on ways in which our minds and culture must change in order for us to heal the wounds that have ravaged our land as we look to a Post-Roe world. Father Roger Landry also calls us to pray at this pivotal moment for a conversion of heart. Catch the show Saturdays at 7amET/5pm ET on EWTN radio! 1. What Pro-Lifers Want, By William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2021, Pg. A19, Opinion The real issue in Dobbs isn’t abortion bans. It’s whether the court will allow a democratic politics of abortion or continue to force one side of the abortion argument—the pro-life side—to play by rules stacked against it and the Constitution. This is the status quo, the result of what the Supreme Court wrought in both Roe and its progeny, Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).  “The Court,” Scalia wrote, “has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better.” This is what’s at stake Wednesday. And on the highly polarized issue of abortion, even those who come down on the pro-choice side ought to cheer for a decision that would, for the first time in 49 years, give us back honest victories and fair defeats. 2. Covid trauma seems not to have shaken American Christians’ faith, By Michael Gerson, The Washington Post, November 30, 2021, Pg. A23, Opinion You might think that the global covid-19 crisis — with 5 million dead and counting — would provoke intensified reflection on the enigma of misery. In a new study by the Pew Research Center, the authors probe how many Americans have had their faith shaken or blamed God during the pandemic and other recent calamities. The results are notable for being unexceptional. Recent trauma has created very little theological drama in the minds of Americans. The study reaffirms that this remains an overwhelmingly religious country. Despite declining association with religious institutions, fully 91 percent of Americans affirm the existence of God or a higher power. Of this group, only 3 percent say they are often angry with God for allowing suffering in the world, and only 14 percent say they are sometimes angry. About 80 percent think that most suffering is caused by the actions of people instead. 3. Did the conservative legal movement succeed?, By Edwin Meese III, The Washington Post, November 30, 2021, Pg. A25, Opinion On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case that asks the justices to return the issue of abortion where it belongs, to the people. But it is not simply the future of abortion that is at stake in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. The court’s answer will also determine whether the dominant conservative legal project of the past 40 years, to restore neutral principles to constitutional interpretation, has been a success.  Roe has stood for years as the prime example of disrespect to our Constitution’s allocation of power and the proper judicial role. It has been the focus of criticism from judges and legal scholars including Robert H. Bork, Alexander Bickel, William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia. And for good reason. To them and the legal movement they inspired, Roe’s judicial supremacy misconceived the Constitution, ignored the lessons of history and encouraged unaccountable government.  Reversing Roe and Casey will not ban abortion. States and the people will be free, as they are in many other areas, to decide such matters of personal morality. But failing to reverse Roe and Casey in a case squarely presenting the question would suggest that the Founders’ views cannot compete with the preferred positions of some special interests. For the sake of a republic of laws and not of men, I hope the court will ratify the promise of the Founders’ Constitution. Edwin Meese III served as U.S. attorney general from 1985 to 1988. 4. Is Roe about to fall?, It’s time not only to revisit Roe, but to overturn it and give states the right to protect families, By Father Frank Pavone, The Washington Times, November 30, 2021, Pg. B3, Opinion The briefs submitted on behalf of the state of Mississippi in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health – more pro-life briefs than for any other abortion case the Supreme Court has heard – are masterpieces that summarize the arguments the pro-life movement has been making against Roe v. Wade for 50 years.  Taken together, all the briefs – including one submitted by Priests for Life that focuses on the way abortion harms women – make a compelling argument to the Supreme Court that it’s time not only to revisit Roe, but to overturn it and give states back the right to protect their own families. Father Frank Pavone is national director of Priests for Life and the national pas-toral director of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The books he has authored include Abolishing Abortion and Proclaim-ing the Message of Life. 5. Migrant crisis front and center in pope’s Greece-Cyprus trip, By Derek Gatopoulos and Theodora Tongas, The Washington Post, November 30, 2021, 3:04 AM When Pope Francis visited the Greek island of Lesbos in 2016, he was so moved by the stories he heard from families fleeing war in Iraq and Syria that he wept and brought a dozen refugees home with him.  Francis is returning to Lesbos this week for the first time since that defining day of his papacy, making a repeat visit to the island where hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have passed through on their journey to Europe. 6. Amid protests against Italy’s vaccine rules, Cardinal Parolin says Church’s message is clear, By Catholic News Agency, November 30, 2021, 4:00 AM Commenting on protests against Italy’s vaccine rules, the Vatican’s Secretary of State said that the Church’s message is clear that vaccination is an “act of love.” In an interview with Vatican News published on Nov. 28, Cardinal Pietro Parolin was asked about “No Vax” and “No Pass” demonstrations in cities across Italy. “No Vax” refers to demonstrators who object to COVID-19 vaccines, while “No Pass” protesters focus on the Italian government’s decision in October to require all workers to possess a Green Pass proving that the holder has been vaccinated, tested negative every 48 hours, or recently recovered from COVID-19. 7. Catholic priests survey finds lower morale, ‘conservative shift’ among U.S. clergy, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, November 29, 2021, 1:00 PM A new survey released this month suggests a more “pessimistic” view of the Catholic Church among U.S. priests today as compared to 2002, as well as an increasing perception of “more theologically conservative or orthodox” young priests as compared to their older counterparts. A Nov. 1 report summarized findings from the 2021 Survey of American Catholic Priests (SACP), which comprised 54 questions posed to 1,036 Catholic priests in the United States.  When asked about politics, the priests surveyed were significantly more likely to describe themselves as “conservative” as compared to respondents in 2002, the researchers say. In addition, the percentage of priest respondents overall who view younger priests as “much more conservative” than older priests increased from 29% in 2002 to 44% in the new survey.  While priests today are slightly less likely to leave the priesthood than they were in 2002, “life satisfaction” for priests is lower overall, the researchers write, down from 72.1% of priests in 2002 saying they were “very satisfied” with their life as a priest, to 62% saying the same in 2021.  The researchers’ measure of “orthodoxy” was a theological question: whether the priests surveyed believe faith in Jesus Christ to be the “sole path to salvation.”  Priests in 2021 were, overall, slightly more likely to affirm belief that faith in Jesus Christ is the “sole path to salvation” than priests in 2002, but stark differences emerged among the different political persuasions. Among priests who self-identified as “very liberal,” nearly 40% “disagreed strongly” with the assertion that the sole path to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. On the other end of the spectrum, among “very conservative” priests, 82% said they “agreed strongly.” 8. Supreme Court to hear most important abortion case in decades, By John Lavenburg, Crux, November 30, 2021 When the Supreme Court hears arguments this week in a Mississippi abortion case, the state’s Catholic bishops will watch closely in anticipation of what could be a major victory for the pro-life cause. “We really need to win this battle and we are definitely bringing it to prayer in a big way as a diocese and I’m hoping the whole country will pray for the Supreme Court justices to make a decision that is built on the right to life,” Bishop Louis Kihneman of Biloxi told Crux.

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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