TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 132 – Archbishop Naumann Talks Praying For Dobbs & Jeanne Mancini On Equality Begins In The Womb!

Dr. Grazie Christie sits down with two pro-life warriors this week! Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities calls all Catholics to pray this Fall as the Supreme Court considers the Mississippi abortion ban. He also discusses his namesake in this year of St. Joseph, and how the ‘terror of demons’ can be our guide especially as we stand for the sanctity of life. With the theme of this year’s March for Life revealed this week, Jeanne Mancini joins with a firsthand look asking the important question: “Why don’t we talk about unborn babies when we debate about equality since they can’t speak for themselves?…” Father Roger Landry also offers a very inspiring homily on Sunday’s Gospel as we look to All Saints’ Day! Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio!

1. The Obsolete Science Behind Roe v. Wade, By Grazie Pozo Christie, The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2021, Pg. A15, Opinion

The Supreme Court will soon reconsider the decision in Roe v. Wade (1973), which made abortion legal in America through all nine months of pregnancy. At that “point in the development of man’s knowledge,” as Justice Harry Blackmun put it in Roe, there was simply no consensus about when life begins. In other words, the fetus could not be said with any certainty to be alive and therefore wasn’t worthy of legal protection.

As a diagnostic radiologist—whose youngest patients are fetuses, who are very much alive—I submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization urging the justices to rethink Roe, a case premised on a claim about science. I was joined by two other female physicians, a neonatologist and an obstetrician, who also value their youngest patients, believing that whether inside their mothers or born, premature or full-term, they are worthy of respect and protection.

Ultrasound technology was in its infancy in the 1970s, when there was much more uncertainty about life before birth. The first ultrasound machines, introduced in 1958, were enormous, and the images were rudimentary. It was only in the later 1970s that fetal ultrasound became widely available, with increasingly detailed images of recognizably human babies. Black-and-white ultrasound images are now found on refrigerators of expectant parents across America. New three-dimensional images have put a human face on the person once dehumanized as a mere clump of cells.

Perfectly apparent now, to the justices sitting on today’s court as well as the public, are the liveliness and humanity of babies at 15 weeks of gestation—the age at which Mississippi proposes to protect them from elective termination.

Yes, our understanding was different in 1973. But in Roe’s own terms, we have arrived at a much different “point in the development of man’s knowledge” about life in utero. The Supreme Court’s judgement should reflect that advancement and put an end to the casual cruelty of unfettered abortion.

Dr. Christie is a diagnostic radiologist and a policy adviser for the Catholic Association.

2. Biden, Pope Francis Meet Amid Controversy Over Abortion, Fourth meeting between the U.S. president and the pontiff is expected to highlight climate change, By Francis X. Rocca and Catherine Lucey, The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2021, 6:21 AM

President Biden, the second Catholic president in American history, traveled to the Vatican on Friday for a meeting with Pope Francis that is expected to focus on climate change but has been overshadowed by controversy among church leaders over the president’s support for abortion rights.

The pope and president broadly agree on a number of important policy areas, including migration and the environment. The president will attend the United Nations climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday and Tuesday, following a Group of 20 meeting in Rome over the weekend.

3. An absurd ‘crime’, By The Washington PostOctober 29, 2021, Pg. A22, Editorial

During a speech last week, President Vladimir Putin returned to one of his favorite claims, which is that Russians are guided by a moral and spiritual conservatism that rejects the social experiments and cultural upheaval he sees in the “monstrous” Western concerns about race and gender. “Each of us is a human being,” Mr. Putin said. “This is what matters.”

A far different reality — and a more sickening one — was evident four days later in the courtroom of Judge Alexei Semin in the Trusovsky District Court of Astrakhan in southern Russia. Judge Semin sentenced three men, Rustam DiarovSergei Klikunov and Yevgeny Ivanov, to eight years in prison, and Yevgeny’s wife, Olga Ivanova, to 3½ years, on charges of organizing and participating in “extremist activities.” What they did was discuss the Bible and worship as Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination that is nonviolent, eschews subservience to the state, refuses military service, does not vote and views God as the only true leader. The Russian courts banned Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2017 as “extremist,” and Mr. Putin’s security services have mercilessly persecuted them ever since. This was the longest prison sentence yet in a saga of senseless punishment, although one other believer also got eight years in June.

Mr. Putin’s declaration of values was cynical fiction. The reality is that he leads a police state that brutally represses the Jehovah’s Witnesses with the entirely false charge of extremism. Mr. Putin’s lodestar is not the moral or spiritual conservatism he professes, but rather a kleptocratic authoritarianism that rewards itself and grinds innocent people into oblivion when they dare lift voices in prayer. “Monstrous,” indeed.

4. As a Democrat and a Catholic, I know the pope is not on Biden’s team, By Daniel Lipinski, The Washington Post, October 29, 2021, Pg. A21, Opinion

In the run-up to Friday’s meeting between President Biden and Pope Francis, much of the media conversation has focused on how these two very famous Catholics — who share many of the same concerns for the world — are on the same political team. It’s a manifestation of Americans’ troubling tendency to consign every public figure, and every issue, into one of two opposing camps. But this narrative is patently false, and it’s time to abandon it.

It’s not surprising that Biden, who describes himself as a devout Catholic and frequently speaks about his faith, would be eager to associate himself with the pontiff. The same is true of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also mentions the pope often and visited him at the Vatican this month. After all, Francis enjoys a favorability rating of 82 percent among the country’s 70 million Catholics, and 63 percent among Americans overall.

And, at first glance, it would seem the pope and the president have a lot of common political ground. Francis has repeatedly demonstrated his deep concerns about addressing climate change, caring for the poor and welcoming immigrants. Most Americans would associate these issues more with Democrats than Republicans.

But the tenets of Catholicism are not fully embraced by either party — as I observed while serving as a Democratic member of Congress. I would never claim to be a perfect Catholic, but my support for workers’ rights, care for the poor and immigrants, and environmental protection comported with both Catholic social teaching and my party’s platform.

When my positions were in line with the church’s teaching on social issues, however — most notably abortion — they were increasingly intolerable to party elites. In 2018, my primary opponent used my pro-life position to warn Democratic voters that I was not on the team — I was a political heretic. I eked out a victory that year, but when the same “othering” occurred in the 2020 campaign, I was narrowly defeated.

The challenging reality for Democrats who would seek to claim Pope Francis for their “side” is that there is direct conflict between many of the party’s policies and the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially those regarding the preeminent issues of life and human dignity.

Daniel Lipinski, a Democrat, represented Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2005 to 2021.

5. Pope to UN conference: Don’t waste chance to save the planet, By Associated Press, October 29, 2021, 3:46 AM

Pope Francis issued an urgent appeal Friday to world leaders ahead of the U.N. climate conference to take “radical decisions” to protect the environment and prioritize the common good rather than nationalistic interests.

Francis delivered the “Thought for the Day” on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s morning radio program ahead of the Oct. 31-Nov. 13 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

In the message, Francis urged political leaders not to waste the opportunity created by the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic to change course and chart a future based on a sense of shared responsibility for a common destiny.

6. Moon tells pope a visit to North would help peace in Koreas, By Nicole Winfield and Tong-Hyung Kim, Associated PressOctober 29, 2021, 7:53 AM

South Korean President Moon Jae-in gave Pope Francis a statue of a cross made with barbed wire from the demilitarized zone separating the Koreas and told him Friday that a papal visit to the North would help create “momentum for peace” on the peninsula, officials said.

Moon, a Catholic, called on Francis before the start of the Group of 20 summit in Rome.

The Vatican, which didn’t allow independent media in the audience, said the talks touched on the role of the Catholic Church in promoting dialogue and said “hopes were shared that joint effort and good will may favor peace and development in the Korean Peninsula, supported by solidarity and by fraternity.”

7. Nearly half of all churches and other faith institutions help people get enough to eat, By Brad R. Fulton, Religious News Service, October 29, 2021, 8:44 AM

Almost half of U.S. congregations participate in some kind of food distribution program. While the government’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program was helping nearly 42 million Americans purchase groceries in mid-2021, those benefits often don’t cover the full food costs of people facing economic hardship. And not everyone who needs food is eligible for those benefits.

Food banks, food pantries, meal programs and similar initiatives run by churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based institutions are among the charitable organizations seeking to fill this gap.

As a social scientist who studies the economic impact of community-based organizations, I have seen even small efforts by local congregations make an outsized difference for people who are experiencing food insecurity – meaning they can’t get enough nutritious food to eat.

This data indicates that in 2018, 48% of U.S. congregations either had their own food-distribution program or supported efforts run by another organization, such as a food bank or food pantry. That’s over 150,000 congregations.

8. Cardinal Burke: Bishops have ‘sacred duty’ to apply canon law to pro-abortion Catholic politicians, By Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2021, 4:25 AM

On the eve of President Joe Biden’s meeting with Pope Francis, a U.S. cardinal said that Catholic bishops have a “sacred duty” to apply canon law by advising pro-abortion politicians not to receive Holy Communion.

In a 2,800-word statement issued on Oct. 28, Cardinal Raymond Burke recalled his efforts to persuade Catholic politicians to defend the lives of unborn children while serving as the bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and later of St. Louis, Missouri.

He said that the experience had convinced him that the “common refrain” that more dialogue was necessary to achieve a breakthrough was “at best, naïve.”

The 73-year-old cardinal made the intervention ahead of the U.S. bishops’ plenary assembly in Baltimore, Maryland.

9. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, what happens to the March for life?, By Kurt Jensen, America Magazine, October 28, 2021

It’s a question Jeanne Mancini has already been asked so many times, she has an answer ready to go.

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an appeal by Mississippi to remove a lower court’s injunction on its law banning most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Should the court rule in favor of the state law in a decision to be handed down next year, overturning Roe v. Wade and sending the abortion issue back to the states, will there still be a need for the annual rally and march in Washington?

Or will March for Life, a fixture since January 1974, instead become a decentralized arrangement of statewide marches?

“We will make an announcement if and when that happens,” Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, told Catholic News Service.

State marches that began a few years ago, she said, were not planned in anticipation of any Supreme Court decision, but rather as a way “to strengthen the grassroots” and provide opportunities for activism for those who don’t make the long trip to Washington.

Carrie Severino, president of Judicial Crisis Network, identified the challenge should the court uphold the Mississippi law. “It really just puts the ball back in (the states’) court. There should be 50 Marches for Life,” she said during the Oct. 27 announcement of next year’s theme, “Equality Begins in the Womb.”

“We want to expand this rigorous debate about inequality” to the unborn, Mancini said at the Heritage Foundation, where the theme was announced.

Calling the theme a cry for “inherent human dignity because of who we are in our essence,” she added, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere, including in the womb.”

10. Hoping for miracle at the Vatican: On abortion, Biden should return to his Catholic roots, I hope that Francis can find the words on abortion that Biden, America’s second Catholic president, can truly hear., By Katrina Trinko, USA Today, October 28, 2021, 4:16 PM, Opinion

When it comes to Friday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Pope Francis, I want a miracle.

I hope that Francis, who has ardently defended the lives of unborn children, can find the words on abortion that Biden, America’s second Catholic president, can truly hear. And I hope that Biden can find the courage, if his heart is moved, to change his abortion position, no matter what it costs him politically.

You see why I chose the word “miracle.”

The pope and the president, who have met three times before, are expected to discuss income inequality, climate and migration, according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan. While it’s certainly probable that Francis and Biden will find areas of agreement on those topics, it’s not enough.

Biden has the opportunity to make America a place where unborn lives are protected and cherished, where the women facing unexpected pregnancies are supported, where the dads of these unborn children are required to take responsibility.

Hopefully, his meeting with Francis gives him the insight and the courage to start making that America happen.

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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