1. Youngkin bets 15-week abortion limit is winner in Virginia and beyond, Democrats call the governor’s plan a ‘ban’ and are eager to test it in next month’s legislative elections, By Gregory S. Schneider and Michael Scherer, The Washington Post, October 25, 2023, 6:00 AM Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has tied Virginia Republicans’ hopes for winning legislative elections next month in part to the controversial strategy of embracing new limits on abortion access after 15 weeks, transforming his divided state into a national litmus test that is likely to shape the 2024 elections. If successful, Youngkin’s reputation inside the party will probably rise, offering a model for the party’s presidential and Senate candidates who have been scrambling for a winning message on abortion after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure last year. If he fails, festering strategic divisions among antiabortion activists and Republican political strategists are set to worsen.  Youngkin’s effort is providing “a road map for how to tackle abortion, not only at the state level, but the federal level as well,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/10/25/youngkin-abortion-15-week-elections/__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis Renews Call for Release of Hostages, Aid to Gaza, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2023 Pope Francis reiterated his call for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas militants and for continued humanitarian aid to Gaza, as Israel prepares to invade the besieged enclave. “I think always about the grave situation in Palestine and Israel,” the pope said Wednesday at the end of his weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. “I continue to pray for those who suffer and to hope for paths to peace in the Middle East, in martyred Ukraine and in other regions wounded by war.”  https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/israel-hamas-war-palestinians-news/card/pope-francis-renews-call-for-release-of-hostages-aid-to-gaza-cx466BDFWiAR50GANU4d__________________________________________________________ 3.  Parents like private school vouchers so much that demand is exceeding budgets in some states, By Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press, October 25, 2023, 12:15 PM In some states, higher-income families can now use taxpayer money to cover private school tuition — and more people than projected are taking the offer, which might force scrambles to shore up state budgets. It’s especially an issue in states like Arizona and Iowa, where at least some families whose children were already in private school can now take advantage of public funding.  Voucher supporters say demand exceeding expectations is not a problem. “It’s exciting,” said Ryan Cantrell, director of government affairs at American Federation for Children, which pushes for the programs. “I think that shows that parents want this option, that lawmakers are responding to something that families want.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/10/25/school-vouchers-scholarships-budget-cost-enrollment/33d43798-72ed-11ee-936d-7a16ee667359_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Texas counties trying to prevent people from using roads to get an abortion grows, By Associated Press, October 24, 2023, 8:57 PM A Texas county near New Mexico — where abortion is legal — has banned helping people traveling to get an abortion in one of the newest ways conservatives are trying to restrict abortion access since the fall of Roe v. Wade. Lubbock County is the largest of four Texas counties that have now adopted a version of the measure, which would be enforced through lawsuits filed by private citizens against people who help women obtain abortions. It is the same legal mechanism Texas used to enact a strict abortion law in 2021 before the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the state last year to ban nearly all abortions entirely. Commissioners in the west Texas county adopted the measure 3-0 at a meeting Monday, rejecting some requests to postpone the vote.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/10/24/abortion-travel-ban-roads-west-texas/4f8b9d3e-7296-11ee-936d-7a16ee667359_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Georgia Supreme Court sends abortion law challenge back to lower court, leaving access unchanged, By Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press, October 24, 2023, 7:18 PM The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a lower court ruling that the state’s restrictive abortion law was invalid, leaving limited access to abortions unchanged for now. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said last November that the ban was “unequivocally unconstitutional” because it was enacted in 2019, when Roe v. Wade allowed abortions well past six weeks. Georgia’s law bans most abortions after roughly six weeks. The Georgia Supreme Court in a 6-1 decision said McBurney was wrong. “When the United States Supreme Court overrules its own precedent interpreting the United States Constitution, we are then obligated to apply the Court’s new interpretation of the Constitution’s meaning on matters of federal constitutional law,” Justice Verda Colvin wrote for the majority.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/10/24/abortion-ban-georgia-six-weeks/78c3d324-726e-11ee-936d-7a16ee667359_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Vatican statistics: Africa had biggest increase in Catholics, while numbers fell in Europe, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, October 24, 2023, 10:18 AM New data from the Vatican show that Africa added the greatest number of Catholics in 2021 out of all the continents and that all the world’s continents registered at least a modest increase in the number of Catholics in 2021 — except for Europe, which continued a yearslong decline.  The annual report, released Oct. 22 by the Vatican’s Fides news agency on the occasion of World Mission Sunday, covers the one-year time period of Dec. 31, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021. World Mission Sunday was established by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and is usually observed on the third Sunday of October.  Catholics in the world numbered 1,375,852,000 people at the end of 2021, with an overall increase of 16.2 million compared with the previous year, the report states.  The African continent gained 40 million people in the time frame studied, 8.3 million of whom are Catholic. Pope Francis has shown particular pastoral attention to Africa this year, making a visit to the heavily Catholic Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan early in 2023.  The world’s percentage of Catholics decreased very slightly compared with the previous year, standing at 17.67% in 2021 as opposed to 17.7% the previous year, the report says. The total number of persons per priest in the world increased, to an average of 15,556, which is about 3,373 Catholics per priest. Worldwide, the total number of priests dropped by 2,347 to approximately 408,000. Europe suffered the largest drop, with 3,632 fewer priests from the previous year. Balancing out that loss, however, was a net gain of more than 1,500 priests in Africa and about half that many in Asia. The Americas lost nearly a thousand priests, and Oceania recorded a small gain of less than a dozen.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255788/vatican-statistics-africa-had-biggest-increase-in-catholics-while-numbers-fell-in-europe__________________________________________________________ 7. 20 Martyrs of Persecution During Spanish Civil War to Be Beatified, The martyrs to be beatified in the Seville cathedral on Nov. 18 include 10 priests, one seminarian and nine laypeople. All of them were killed out of hatred for the faith in 1936., By Nicolás de Cárdenas, Catholic News Agency, October 24, 2023 On Nov. 18, the Archdiocese of Seville will celebrate the beatification of 20 martyrs of the systematic religious persecution carried out during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. The 20 martyrs to be beatified in the Seville cathedral by the prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, include 10 priests, one seminarian, and nine laypeople. All of them were killed out of hatred for the faith in 1936. The priests are Fathers Manuel González-Serna, Francisco de Asís Arias, Miguel Borrero, Mariano Caballero, Pedro Carballo, Juan María Coca, Antonio Jesús Díaz, Rafael Machuca, Salvador Lobato Pérez and José Vigil. Enrique Palacios is the seminarian. The laypeople are María Dolores Sobrino, Agustín Alcalá, Mariano López-Cepero, Gabriel López-Cepero, Cristóbal Pérez, Manuel Palacios, José María Rojas, Manuel Luque and Rafael Lobato.  https://www.ncregister.com/cna/20-martyrs-of-persecution-during-spanish-civil-war-to-be-beatified__________________________________________________________

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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