1. Justice Department Asks Supreme Court to Block Texas Abortion Law, Government’s emergency appeal forces high court to confront Texas ban on most abortions for second time in a matter of weeks, By Brent Kendall, The Wall Street JournalOctober 19, 2021, Pg. A6

The Justice Department on Monday filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court that seeks to block Texas’ ban on most abortions, returning the issue to the justices after they previously declined to intervene against the new state law.

The department’s high-court filing said the Texas measure, which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, is in open defiance of Supreme Court rulings that have protected abortion rights for a half-century. “Texas has, in short, successfully nullified this court’s decisions within its borders,” the department wrote.


2. School Choice’s Antiracist History, By Phillip W. MagnessThe Wall Street JournalOctober 19, 2021, Pg. A15, Opinion

Is the school choice movement historically tainted by racism? American Federation of Teachers boss Randi Weingarten described vouchers in 2017 as “slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” Historian Nancy MacLean recently depicted vouchers as a product of an unholy alliance between economist Milton Friedman and segregationists after Brown v. Board of Education.

According to this narrative, vouchers came out of the “Massive Resistance” program of Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr., who sought to circumvent Brown by rerouting education funding to private schools in 1950s Virginia. Friedman, the story goes, opportunistically assisted the segregationists in creating a voucherlike tuition-grant system that allowed white parents to transfer children out of integrated schools and into private “segregation academies.”

These critics have their history backward. As early as 1955, economists such as Friedman began touting vouchers as a strategy to expedite integration. Virginia’s segregationist hard-liners recognized the likely outcomes and began attacking school choice as an existential threat to their white-supremacist order.

Mr. Magness is a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.


3. Senate committee proposes rollback of pro-life policies, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News AgencyOctober 18, 2021, 5:30 PM

A Senate committee introduced nine budget bills on Monday that would roll back several pro-life policies, allowing for domestic funding of abortions and funding of international pro-abortion groups.

As part of the appropriations process for the 2022 fiscal year, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday released nine bills allocating funding to various federal agencies and programs. The proposals exclude or permanently repeal several pro-life policies, including the Hyde amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortions in Medicaid.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), seen as a key swing vote in the chamber, stated on Monday that he would not support relevant appropriations bills unless the Hyde amendment was included.


4. David Amess Honored in House of Commons Tribute to Slain Lawmaker, Police in the U.K. continue to question a suspect and are seeking motives for why Mr. Amess was targeted, By Max Colchester and Isabel Coles, The Wall Street JournalOctober 18, 2021, 11:59 AM

Work in Britain’s House of Commons paused on Monday as lawmakers gathered to pray and pay tribute to their colleague David Amess who was killed in a suspected terrorist attack.

Mr. Amess, who was a devout Catholic, was known for his conservative views on marriage and abortion.


5. Pope shares survivor’s letter pleading for clergy to face truth of abuse, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News ServiceOctober 18, 2021

An adult survivor of abuse by a priest appealed to the world’s seminarians to become good priests and to make sure the “bitter truth” always prevails, not silence about scandals and their cover-up.

“Please, do not sweep things under the carpet, because then they start to stink, putrefy, and the rug itself will rot away. … Let us realize that if we hide these facts, when we keep our mouths shut, we hide the filth and we thus become a collaborator,” said the survivor in a letter sent to Pope Francis and addressed to all seminarians.

The letter, written in Italian, had been sent to Pope Francis, who then requested it be made public with the author’s identity withheld, according to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which republished the text of the letter on its website Oct. 18.

The commission’s president, U.S. Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, said, “During this time of renewal and pastoral conversion in which the church is facing the scandal and wounds of sexual abuse inflicted everywhere upon so many children of God, our Holy Father received from a survivor a courageous testimony offered to all seminarians.”

By sharing this testimony publicly, “Pope Francis wants to welcome the voices of all wounded people and to show all priests who proclaim the Gospel the path that leads to authentic service of God to the benefit of all vulnerable people,” the cardinal wrote in an introduction to the letter.


6. Catholic health care must always choose patients over profits, pope says, By Junno Arocho Esteves, October 18, 2021

A person’s wealth or lack thereof should not be the determining factor when it comes to receiving health care, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to members of Rome’s Biomedical University Foundation Oct. 18, the pope said that health care facilities, especially those run by the Catholic Church, “are called to bear witness to the fact that there are no lives that are unworthy or that should be discarded because they do not fit the criterion of usefulness or the demands of profit.”

“We are experiencing a true throwaway culture,” he said. “This is a bit of the atmosphere around us, and we must react against this throwaway culture.”


7. How the Chinese Communist Party sees organized religion, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, October 18, 2021, 3:01 PM

The Chinese Communist Party is targeting organized religion as a threat – even seeking to “change” or “transform” it into a loyal party apparatus, a panel of foreign policy experts said on Monday.

The party, which “historically managed religion” in China, is now taking a much harsher approach and “trying to change it or destroy it,” said Nury Turkel, vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, at a panel event of the Hudson Institute on Monday. Turkel, a Uyghur-American human rights advocate, was born in a re-education camp in China.

To the party, any organized religion “is perceived as a threat,” Turkel said, adding that the party is trying to “create a new type of religion.” Panel members noted that Chinese president Xi Jinping called for the “sinicization of religion” in a 2016 speech, warning that his party is actively seeking to change religious practice to promote its socialist interests.

The panel referenced developments such as the mass internment of mainly-Muslim Uyghurs in the country’s northwest province of Xinjiang, as well as allegations of forced organ harvesting of ethnic and religious minorities, including Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Muslims, and Christians.


8. ‘Pregnant People’ Terminology Prompts Backlash from Women, Some politicians and media have opposed the use of the word “woman” and have been employing new phrases related to women’s reproductive functions yet many women are speaking out against this ‘dehumanizing’ language., By Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, October 18, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) caused a stir in August when they released COVID-19 vaccine guidance for “pregnant and recently pregnant people” rather than for pregnant women. Phrases like “pregnant people” and “birthing individuals” have been increasingly employed by the Biden administration with Biden’s June budget proposal replacing “mothers” with “birthing people.” Phrases like these that are perceived as more acceptable to transgender groups have also gained traction in newsrooms like CNNThe New York Times, and The Washington Post. However, many women have been vocal in response to this language, arguing that it diminishes womanhood and hurts women.

Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association and the author of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female, told the Register that the push to change language was “very troubling” because “language reflects truth and reality and if you can bend language, you can bend how people perceive and understand the truth, but the scientific and biological reality that women and only women are the people who bear and give birth to children is fixed.”

McGuire said that the increased use of gender terminology may end up “bringing some of these culture war issues home in a more personal way to women who really cherish their roles as mothers and see things being eliminated from schools,” like Mother’s Day celebrations. She said as this push becomes more widespread, hopefully “this will wake people up to the reality that there’s a bigger cost here than just changing the language, that this strips men and women of what makes them unique, and what the overwhelming majority of men and women really value which is their roles as mothers and fathers.”

She noted that Pope Francis called gender ideology a “global war” on the family, and pointed out that “the whole concept of the family is rooted in the idea that a man and woman come together, that they bring different but equally important things to the table, and then they stay there for the children that they create. But if women are disposable, if we’re interchangeable, that chips away at a foundational concept of the family.”

McGuire said that what is happening is “part and parcel of something bigger,” which is a movement to “dismantle the traditional family.”


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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