TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 185 – David Naglieri On No Greater Love & Nicole Caruso Talks Worthy Of Wearing! With the success of the new documentary about the life and legacy of St. Teresa of Calcutta, we revisit with producer David Naglieri as he shares more facts about this incredible saint–and the extraordinary work that continues with the Missionaries of Charity. Nicole Caruso also discusses her new book: Worthy of Wearing: How Personal Style Expresses Our Feminine GeniusFather Roger Landry offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Pope blasts ‘childlike’ wars at Bahrain interfaith summit, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, November 4, 2022, 4:38 AM With Russia’s war in Ukraine raging, Pope Francis joined Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders Friday in calling for the world’s great religions work together for peace, telling an interfaith summit that religion must never be used to justify violence and that faith leaders must counter the “childlike” whims of the powerful to make war. On his second day in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, Francis closed out a conference on East-West dialogue sponsored by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. It was his second such conference in as many months, following one in Kazakhstan, evidence of Francis’ core belief that moments of encounter among people of different faiths can help heal today’s conflicts and promote a more just and sustainable world. 2. The Dobbs Decision Revealed How Weak the Pro-Life Movement Really Is, By Matthew Walther, The New York Times, November 4, 2022, 5:00 AM, Opinion For most of my adult life, I have hesitated when asked whether I identify as a member of the “pro-life” movement, despite my unconditional opposition to abortion.  But the main reason for my ambivalence about the label “pro-life” is my longstanding concern about the cohesion and commitment of the anti-abortion movement. For too long, too many members were more focused on overturning Roe v. Wade than on persuading the American people about the nature of personhood. This equivocation about means and ends, which subsumed a clear moral question into the murk of judicial theory and political strategy, has always given me pause. In the aftermath of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case that overturned Roe, I am sad to report that my misgivings have been vindicated. The court’s decision may have been a great victory for proponents of states’ rights and a necessary prelude to ending abortion, but the pro-life movement appears less powerful now than it has in years. Certainly, the blithe assumption that the movement included an overwhelming majority of Republican politicians and voters was spectacularly mistaken.  If Dobbs has shown us anything, it is the limited usefulness of constitutional theory to the pro-life movement. The future of the cause will require sustained engagement with the questions of biology and metaphysics upon which the anti-abortion position has always depended, questions that lie outside politics in the conventional sense of the word. Legal thinking is by nature unsuited for such efforts — and perhaps even corrosive to them. The anti-abortion movement’s legal gambit reminds us of the danger for any cause of eliding first-order moral questions into second-order questions about tactics. The ends may not always justify the means, but in making these calculations it is helpful if one begins with the recognition that they are not identical. Mr. Walther is the editor of The Lamp, a Catholic literary journal, and a contributing Opinion writer. 3. Pope in Bahrain advocates for religious freedom, action on extremism, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, November 4, 2022 On his first full day in Bahrain, Pope Francis told attendees of a high-profile interfaith summit aimed at reinforcing dialogue with Islam that full religious freedom is a prerequisite to peace, and mere tolerance is not enough. He also advocated for the rights of women and urged members of all faiths to actively condemn and ostracize those who use religion to justify violence. 4. Kamala Harris Seeks to Rally Voters on Abortion as Polls Show Interest Waning, Some recent surveys indicate issue is losing potency as economic concerns take priority, By Tarini Parti, The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2022, 6:43 PM, Opinion Vice President Kamala Harris will spend the final days of the midterms campaign seeking to rally Democrats around the issue of abortion access, as some polls show the issue losing potency in energizing voters and economic anxiety giving Republicans momentum ahead of Tuesday’s vote. Ms. Harris’s efforts come as Democrats grow concerned that rising inflation and gas prices are overshadowing abortion as a priority for many voters. A Wall Street Journal poll conducted about two weeks before Election Day suggests that abortion rights are less important in voting decisions than voters indicated in the summer, after the Supreme Court’s decision in June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the constitutional right to an abortion and returned the issue to states to decide. The same poll found Republicans now hold a slight edge over Democrats, 46% to 44%, when voters were asked which party they would support in their congressional district if the election were held today. 5. Pope urges end to death penalty as he arrives in Bahrain, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, November 3, 2022, 2:23 PM Pope Francis urged Bahrain authorities on Thursday to renounce the death penalty and ensure basic human rights are guaranteed for all citizens as he arrived in the Sunni-led kingdom that has been accused by rights groups of systematic discrimination against its Shiite majority. With King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa by his side, Francis also urged the Arab Gulf nation to ensure “safe and dignified” working conditions for its immigrant laborers, who have long faced abuse and exploitation in the island’s construction, oil extraction and domestic service industries. While diplomatic, Francis didn’t shy from some of the contentious social issues in Bahrain at the start of his four-day visit to participate in a government-sponsored interfaith conference on East-West dialogue and minister to the country’s small Catholic community. 6. Five Reasons Abortion May Not Deliver for Democrats, By Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg, November 3, 2022, 3:46 PM, Opinion There are new restrictions on abortion in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Texas. Three of those states have been competitive in recent presidential elections, and the fourth, Texas, has shown signs of shifting toward the Democrats. Yet in all four states, the Republican governors who signed those laws are cruising to re-election. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, strategists in both parties said it would harm Republicans in the midterm elections. A pro-choice backlash would rescue Democrats from what had been shaping up to be a punishing set of defeats. Democrats are devoting more of their ads to abortion than to any other subject.  Yet so far, “Roevember” doesn’t seem to be shaping up quite the way Democrats hoped.  The upshot is that accepting a ban on abortion late in pregnancy, even with exceptions for severe medical complications, would mean a partial retreat from the expansive abortion right of the past. The activist groups most committed to abortion access are not willing to do that, in part because they fear it would be a slippery slope to bans on abortion earlier in pregnancy. (Which, of course, opponents of abortion hope it would be.) Democratic politicians have been unwilling to cross those groups. And that’s given Republicans an opportunity to deny the Democrats the center ground they would like to claim. The political and economic fundamentals are very hard to overcome. The president’s party usually loses in midterm elections. That’s especially true when two related conditions obtain: the president is faring poorly in the polls, and people are unhappy about the state of the economy. Last summer, Democrats thought abortion would help them defy these trends. Now it looks like they have underestimated the strength of the trends themselves while overestimating the power of the abortion issue. We won’t know for certain until the results are in, of course. Voter turnout is hard to predict, especially with an electorate that has changed as quickly as this one. Yet as it now stands, in the first national elections of the post-Roe era, the party of Roe is losing. 7. NPR airs recording of woman’s abortion: ‘What hell sounds like’, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, November 3, 2022, 4:30 PM NPR listeners heard the sounds of a women’s abortion aired on radio Thursday. “You’re going to hear this machine turn on now, okay, it makes a loud noise,” someone tells the unidentified Michigan woman who is 11 weeks pregnant. The loud whir of the vacuum aspirator machine that will suck the unborn baby out begins — followed by the woman’s moaning.  The segment aired during NPR’s “Morning Edition” in anticipation of Michigan’s upcoming vote on abortion during the midterm elections. For the program, Kate Wells of Michigan Radio spent more than a week with Northland Family Planning just outside Detroit to talk to patients — and witness an abortion. At the beginning of the story, NPR issued a warning that some listeners would be disturbed by the story’s details. Wells, for her part, compared the abortion to giving birth. “Most patients are partially awake during the procedures,” she describes. “They get IV medication for pain and anxiety. The lights are dimmed, there’s soothing music, it actually feels a lot like a childbirth, a medical gown, your bare legs in stirrups, and a person next to you saying, ‘You can do this.’”  Wells described the vacuum aspirator, which was used on the unidentified Michigan woman, as a “machine [that] uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy tissue from the patient’s uterus through a thin tube.” She reported that the woman, after her abortion, said, “I hope I didn’t do too bad.” Wells added: “Brandee leaned close to her, their faces only inches apart. ‘Don’t you ever tell yourself what you can’t do again,’ she said, smiling.” 8. Ms. Smith Goes to Washington to Protect Her Religious Freedom, When the Supreme Court takes up 303 Creative v. Elenis on Dec. 5, we will find out if people who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman will be shielded from reprisal, By Andrea M. Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, November 3, 2022, Opinion On Dec. 5, the Supreme Court will hold oral argument in 303 Creative v. Elenis, a case brought by Lorie Smith, a Christian website designer in Colorado who wants to expand her business to create custom wedding websites. Smith is an experienced marketing and design professional. After working for several years in the industry, she decided to go out on her own and start 303 Creative, named after the area code for Denver, where her company is based. Smith creates web designs for anyone, but she doesn’t create all messages.   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been joined by several other faith communities in an amicus brief in support of Smith. They highlight prior decisions of the Court involving the Free Speech Clause and the compelled-speech doctrine that pushed back against the excesses of the present moment, “to correct government when it intrudes on individual liberties.” A robust compelled-speech doctrine, they suggest, “could be a powerful tonic in the present cultural moment, where social media, cable news shows, and politics have become especially polarizing.”   Becket Law, the religious-freedom legal powerhouse, has filed an amicus brief in support of Smith. Becket suggests that history and tradition demands religious speech receive particular protection.   “At the Founding, the Framers elected to follow a broad view of freedom of speech,” stated Becket’s brief, “rooted in the experience of over 600 years of conflict over (and growing protection of) religious speech, as well as in expanding theories of natural rights rooted in religious tradition.” Such protection “extends to the right not to foster ideological concepts that run contrary to one’s conscience.”  This summer the Supreme Court vindicated the First Amendment right of Joseph Kennedy, a public-high-school football coach in Washington state, to pray in thanksgiving after games. Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the Court’s majority, observed that “respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse republic.” Such an understanding bodes well for Lorie Smith, who dreams to expand 303 Creative’s services without having to abandon her beliefs.

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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