1. Pro-life pregnancy center files FACE Act lawsuit against abortion rights activists, New York-based CompassCare hit with protests, vandalism, firebombing after fall of Roe v. Wade, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, October 12, 2023 A New York crisis pregnancy organization has sued two pro-choice activists under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, sending a message to the Biden administration over its lopsided record on abortion-related prosecutions. The lawsuit accuses two women from Buffalo, New York — Hannah E. Kamke and Jennifer L. Page — of separately violating the FACE Act while targeting CompassCare, a pro-life pregnancy service with offices in Albany, Rochester, and the Buffalo suburb of Amherst. Ms. Kamke pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last month in Erie County for vandalizing a sign in front of CompassCare’s Amherst center, while Ms. Page has organized protests that impeded access to the facility’s parking lot, deterring staff and patients from entering, according to the complaint. CompassCare CEO James Harden said Monday he decided to take legal action out of frustration with the lack of a federal response to the protests and vandalism, which include the June 2022 firebombing that forced the center to close for nearly three months and did $550,000 in damage. “It is ridiculous that as pro-life citizens we are forced to do the job of both the FBI and DOJ,” Mr. Harden said in a statement to The Washington Times. “The FBI refused to investigate so we hired private investigators. The DOJ refuses to indict, so we brought FACE charges.”  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/oct/9/pro-life-pregnancy-center-files-face-act-lawsuit-a/__________________________________________________________ 2.  Pope Francis calls for the release of Hamas hostages, By Antonia Mortensen, CNN, October 11, 2023, 8:04 AM Pope Francis on Wednesday called on Hamas to release all hostages it captured during its unprecedented attacks on Israel. “I pray for those families who have seen a day of celebration turned into a day of mourning and ask for the immediate release of the hostages,” the Pope said during Wednesday’s general audience in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis went on to acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense, saying, “It is the right of those who are attacked to defend themselves.” He also expressed concern for the “total siege facing the Palestinians in Gaza, where there have also been many innocent victims.”  https://www.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/israel-hamas-war-gaza-10-11-23/h_78bae1351023e748a06da4aa45bd4609__________________________________________________________ 3. The Pope’s Journey to Climate Outrage, By David Wallace-Wells, New York Times, October 11, 2023, Opinion In 2015, Pope Francis came out as an environmentalist, with his landmark encyclical Laudato Si, later called by Bill McKibben “the most important document yet of this millennium” and by Pankaj Mishra “arguably the most important piece of intellectual criticism in our time.” Last week, with a follow-up apostolic exhortation called Laudate Deum, the pope came even further out — as a climate alarmist, a techno-skeptic and a degrowther, sympathetic to activists and, most improbably, a reader of the feminist futurist Donna Haraway, the author of “A Cyborg Manifesto.” He also emphatically endorsed the “abandonment” of fossil fuels — outing himself as a “keep it in the ground” guy as well. He is also much angrier than he was eight years ago. Since Laudato Si, the pope writes, “I have realized that our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.” In his new exhortation, he invokes the immediate urgency of faster action, takes pains to offer point-by-point rebuttals of climate denial and climate complacency, including corporate complicity and widespread greenwashing, attacks the “technocratic” worldview he sees behind planetary exploitation, defends climate protesters by describing them as filling a vacuum of global leadership, and calls out “the ethical decadence of real power.” He describes unignorable episodes of extreme weather as the “cries of protest on the part of the earth that are only a few palpable expressions of a silent disease that affects everyone.” And he returns to a two-part mantra he says he reiterates often: “Everything is connected” and “No one is saved alone.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/11/opinion/the-popes-journey-to-climate-outrage.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Religious Freedom, Both International and Domestic, on Biden’s Chopping Block, Effective action to stop religious persecution and discrimination requires active leadership from the United States., By Andrea M. Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, October 11, 2023, Opinion The bloody, religiously motivated attack by Hamas against the people of Israel in the early hours of Saturday, shocks the conscience. Prayers for an end to this terror that avoids more bloodshed must also be accompanied by a renewed commitment to religious freedom across the globe, especially in regions of seemingly unresolvable religious conflict.  Americans have a built-in reminder this month as we mark the anniversary of two federal laws — the International Religious Freedom Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — that reflect our nation’s commitment to religious freedom here at home and abroad. Disappointingly, the Biden administration has been busy trying to sweep this commitment under the rug. All the more reason for Americans to remember these anniversaries.   Since IFRA’s passage, U.S. advocacy in advancing the cause of international religious freedom has shone a spotlight on bad state actors, alerting the world community and galvanizing lawmakers. Religious-freedom experts, however, are warning us that the Biden administration is trying to undermine this statute in much the same way as RFRA, ignoring our responsibility to uphold religious freedom while elevating progressive policy priorities.   As we see the grievous harm of religiously motivated terror in Israel, the administration’s wavering commitment to religious freedom, both at home and abroad, is unbelievable. But at least it reminds us of our own obligation as Catholics: to oppose religious intolerance wherever it occurs, whether in regions far away or in our nation’s capital. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/religious-freedom-both-international-and-domestic-on-biden-s-chopping-block__________________________________________________________ 5. Synod on Synodality’s New Methodology Could Skew Reports on Controversial Issues, Only select members are taking part in small-group discussions on hot-button topics like LGBTQ inclusion and women deacons., By Jonathan Liedl, National Catholic Register, October 11, 2023 This week and next, the Synod on Synodality is focusing on issues like LGBTQ inclusion and the possibility of opening the diaconate to women — some of the most contentious matters on the gathering’s monthlong agenda. But contrary to what some may have assumed, not all of the synod’s 364 delegates will have a chance to weigh in on these topics equally. In fact, synod organizers have assigned only some of the members to the small groups discussing these hot-button issues, after members indicated ahead of time what topics they’d prefer to focus on. It’s a dynamic that could skew the table reports issued on a given topic and, in turn, affect the text summarizing the views of the assembly that will be finalized at the end of the process.  Concerns that the arrangement of small groups may allow for skewed results are likely exacerbated by the fact that several participants have indicated their intent to push for changes on hot-button issues at the synod. For instance, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany, said that the Synod on Synodality must take up the proposals advanced by the controversial German Synodal Way, “from the role of women to the question of sexuality and the question of people who love each other.” In March, the Synodal Way passed resolutions to bless same-sex unions and push for women’s ordination in Rome.  https://www.ncregister.com/news/synod-on-synodality-s-new-methodology-could-skew-reports-on-controversial-issues__________________________________________________________

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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