1. Alabama Abortion Law Stalls In Court.

By Jennifer Calfas, The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2019, Pg. A3

A federal judge temporarily blocked the most restrictive abortion law passed in the U.S. this year from taking effect in Alabama, the latest in a string of rulings shutting down enforcement of abortion prohibitions approved by many conservative states.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday, halting the near-total block on abortion in the state from going into force in November.

“The State’s objective is to advance our case to the U.S. Supreme Court where we intend to submit evidence that supports our argument that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided and that the Constitution does not prohibit states from protecting unborn children from abortion,” Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement, referring to two landmark rulings in support of abortion rights.


2. House Votes To Recognize Armenia Genocide.

By Lindsay Wise, The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2019, Pg. A8

The House voted overwhelmingly to commemorate the 1915 Armenian genocide in a rebuke to North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally Turkey, which has strongly opposed any such move for decades.

Most historians recognize what happened to the Armenians and other ethnic and religious minorities at the hands of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 as genocide.

However, Turkey has waged a lobbying and diplomatic battle for years urging the U.S. not to use that word to describe the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million people.


3. Federal judge halts Alabama law banning nearly all abortions, Lawmaker suggests state will try to appeal ruling.

By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, October 30, 2019, Pg. A5

A federal judge blocked Alabama’s law criminalizing nearly all abortions in the state on Tuesday, ruling a ban on abortion during the early stages of pregnancy likely would infringe on women’s rights.

“The U.S. Constitution forbids the prohibition of abortion prior to fetal viability,” wrote Judge Myron Herbert Thompson, a Carter appointee, in his 17-page order, issuing an injunction halting the law.

Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act passed by a party-line vote. Amendments allowing exceptions for rape and incest were rejected. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law the day after it was passed.


4. Pope Francis using synods to ‘build consensus’ in Church, participant says.

By Christopher White, Crux, October 30, 2019

While synods may be Pope Francis’s major tool for the reform of the Church, according to Sister Nathalie Becquart, he is also using them to gradually build consensus and preserve its unity.

Becquart was an auditor for last October’s Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment, and last May, the pope named her, along with three other women, as consultors to the Synod’s General Secretariat – marking a historic first for the Church.

While in Rome for the final days of the Synod on the Amazon, Becquart told Crux that she sees a strong link between the two synods, linked by the topic of inculturation.

“During the synod on the youth, the main topic was a question of…the inculturation of the Gospel in the culture of the youth.  And that was also the main topic for the Amazon people,” she said.

Further, she said, inculturation necessitates another major aspect of synodality, which is vesting local churches with more decision-making power.

“When you speak about inculturation, you speak about decentralization and that’s the main thing also for the reform of the Church nowadays,” she added.


5. Vatican Number Two Says Will Shed Light on ‘Opaque’ London Property Buy.

Reuters, October 29, 2019

The Vatican’s number two acknowledged on Tuesday that the Holy See’s deal to buy a luxury building in London was not transparent and promised to shed light on it.

The comments from Cardinal Pietro Parolin were the first by a top Vatican official on a saga that began a month ago when Vatican police raided the Secretariat of the State, the department he heads, and those of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF).

L’Espresso reported that at least some of the money used to buy the London property as an investment came from Peter’s Pence, the yearly collection taken up around the world and destined for the pope’s charities.

In his comments on Tuesday, Parolin suggested the purchase of the building was a one-off episode and said he believed the fund was “well managed.”


6. U.S. Pitted Against Britain, France, South Africa, Others at U.N. Over Abortion.

Reuters, October 29, 2019

While the United States joined its 14 council counterparts to unanimously adopt a resolution on women, peace and security, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said Washington was unhappy that the text mentioned previous resolutions that promote sexual and reproductive health.

“We cannot accept references to ‘sexual and reproductive health,’ nor any references to ‘safe termination of pregnancy’ or language that would promote abortion or suggest a right to abortion,” she said after the vote.

The statement by Craft was the latest in a string of moves by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration against the promotion of sexual and reproductive health services by the United Nations.

The Trump administration cut funding in 2017 for the U.N. Population Fund because it said it “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” The U.N. said that was an inaccurate perception.

In 2018, Washington unsuccessfully tried to remove language on sexual and reproductive health from several General Assembly resolutions, then failed in a similar campaign in March during the annual U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting.


7. Joe Biden reportedly denied Communion at a South Carolina church because of his stance on abortion.

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post Online, October 29, 2019, 10:16 AM

Former vice president Joe Biden was reportedly denied Communion on Sunday morning at a church in Florence, S.C., where he was making a campaign stop.

The Rev. Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church told a local newspaper that Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, attended his church’s 9 a.m. Mass. Morey said he denied Biden Communion because of the candidate’s political stance on abortion.

“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that,” Morey said in a statement to the Morning News. “Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”

The Catholic Church opposes abortion, but local priests and bishops in the United States have varying policies regarding whether to give Communion to someone who supports an issue such as abortion rights.


8. Vatican cardinals linked to missing millions and financial scandal.

By Ed Condon, Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2019, 2:03 PM

An Italian dermatology hospital and two senior cardinals are at the center of a burgeoning financial scandal involving a Vatican bank, the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, and millions of euros from misallocated government grants.

The events concern the financial collapse of the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), an Italian hospital.

According to media reports and new sources, Cardinal Angelo Becciu and Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi have been key players in a complicated series of transactions that financed the Vatican Secretariat of State’s 2015 acquisition of the hospital, which had collapsed under large-scale acts of theft and money laundering that led to the imprisonment of its president.

Multiple sources in the United States and in Rome have confirmed to CNA that then-Archbishop Becciu was responsible for organizing a concerted effort by other Vatican officials and American cardinals – including then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – to pressure the board of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation to approve a grant of $25 million in 2017.


9. “Pachamama” has become the new Catholic insider “Who am I to judge?”

By John L. Allen Jr., Editor, Crux, October 29, 2019

In the wake of the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, in fact, I would submit this proposition: “Pachamama” has become the new insider Catholic version of “Who am I to judge?” meaning a single word or phrase which, immediately upon utterance in front of another Catholic, whatever comes across their face will tell you everything you need to know about where he or she stands.

Avid consumers of Catholic news hardly need me to explain what the Pachamama is, but in case someone has been out of touch for the last month, let me explain.

The Pachamama is a female fertility figure, representing Mother Earth, venerated by peoples in the Andes and portions of the Amazon. In the context of the synod, it’s become the shorthand way of talking about several small figurines of a naked pregnant woman that made their initial appearance at an Oct. 4 indigenous prayer service in the Vatican gardens attended by Pope Francis, and that popped up several other times before going on display in Rome’s Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina near the Vatican.

From the beginning, they aroused intense controversy among traditionalist and conservative Catholics, who saw their presence at the Vatican – at the far end of opinion – as quasi-demonic symbols of pagan idolatry, or – somewhere closer to the middle – as expressions of an uncritical embrace of all things indigenous, without the “purification” which Pope emeritus Benedict XVI insists is the heart of Christianity’s interaction with cultures.

Whatever else the Synod on the Amazon may produce, therefore, it’s already bequeathed to history a second Francis shibboleth. That ought to save us all on word counts – and in the time of Twitter, which is where these fires tend to burn hottest, that’s undoubtedly something.


10. Despite Obstacles, Daleiden Trial Shows Gruesome Side of the Abortion Industry.

By Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, October 28, 2019

Pro-life activist David Daleiden is in the middle of a federal civil jury trial facing charges brought by the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, over his undercover videos, initially released in 2015, which allegedly show the organization trafficking in unborn baby body parts.

The civil trial almost immediately followed a nine-day preliminary hearing in the criminal case last month over 15 felony charges of invasion of privacy brought by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Over the course of the civil trial this month, gruesome details about the harvesting and sale of unborn baby body parts have been highlighted, despite attempts by the judge to avoid discussion of the content of the undercover videos.

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit alleges that Daleiden and his associates at the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Troy Newman, Albin Rhomberg and Gerardo Adrian Lopez, violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act), engaged in wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording and trespassing. Planned Parenthood is seeking nearly $600,000 in damages resulting from increased security costs that its representatives argued are necessary because of an increase in violence against abortion providers following the undercover videos.

The defendants are being represented by various pro-life attorneys and legal groups, including the Thomas More Society and the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

Daleiden’s attorneys with the Thomas More Society argue that he was acting as an undercover journalist attempting to expose trafficking in unborn baby body parts by Planned Parenthood. California law allows the recording of confidential conversations without consent if it is done to obtain evidence of a violent felony.

Daleiden’s legal team is also arguing that Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress should not have to pay for security upgrades on the part of Planned Parenthood, as they did not cause the problems that necessitated security upgrades.


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