1. Nicaragua’s cruel war against Catholicism, Ortega regime has jailed clergy members, cut ties with the Vatican, By Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, The Washington Times, October 31, 2023, Pg. B1, Opinion Last year, in the dead of night under a dark August sky, police agents, with orders from Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega, raided the home of Bishop Rolando Jose Alvarez Lagos. Bishop Alvarez and nine other men, some of whom were Catholic priests, had spent two weeks rationing food and water as Mr. Ortega’s agents tried to starve them out. Moments before he was detained, Bishop Alvarez posted a desperate plea to his countrymen on social media: “#SOS #Urgent. At this time the National Police have entered the Episcopal rectory of our Matagalpa diocese.” Six months later, 222 political prisoners languishing in Mr. Ortega’s detention centers were removed from their cells and deported to Washington after a negotiation with the U.S. Some were clergy members, but Bishop Alvarez, who is deeply committed to his countrymen, refused to leave, and he is now serving a 26-year prison sentence. There is a petition underway for the pope to name him a cardinal.  Mr. Ortega’s crackdown on Catholicism is backfiring and his power is deteriorating. He may hold the keys to Nicaragua’s presidential palace, but the communist dictator may soon find himself imprisoned in his own jails. While his regime has command of 45,000 active troops, they are no match for a united front of Catholics who make up nearly half of the nation’s population of 7 million. Mr. Ortega is fated to learn that, in the end, fear, intimidation and guns are no match for the will of the people — or the inspirational power of the cross. Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is a former Washington prosecutor who served as a senior adviser and director of the U.S. Office of Cuba Broadcasting from 2017 to 2021. He now serves on The Washington Times’ editorial board and focuses on human rights. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/oct/30/nicaraguas-war-against-catholicism/__________________________________________________________ 2. Doctors could revive bid to block Arizona ban on abortions performed due to genetic abnormality, By Jacques Billeaud, Associated Press, October 30, 2023, 8:24 PM A federal appeals court has agreed to give abortion rights advocates a chance to revive their bid to block an Arizona law that makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions on patients seeking the procedure solely because of a fetal genetic abnormality, such as Down syndrome. In an order issued Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to a lower court to consider the doctors’ request for a court order blocking the law. The appeals court didn’t rule on the merits of the challenge but concluded nonetheless that the doctors had legal standing to make the request. The three-judge panel said the doctors believe they would be targeted for prosecution, given that at least one of the state’s 15 county prosecutors intends to enforce the law, and that the doctors had shown they suffered economic losses by complying with the law.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/10/30/arizona-abortion-ban-genetic-abnormalities/6d6845e8-775d-11ee-97dd-7a173b1bd730_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Kansas can’t enforce new law on abortion pills or make patients wait 24 hours, judge rules, By John Hanna, Associated Press, Associated Press, October 30, 2023, 5:46 PM A Kansas judge on Monday put a new state law on medication abortions on hold and blocked older restrictions that for years have spelled out what providers must tell patients and forced patients to wait 24 hours to end their pregnancies. The ruling was another big victory for abortion rights advocates in Kansas, where a statewide vote in August 2022 decisively confirmed protections for abortion access under the state constitution. District Judge K. Christopher Jayaram’s order suspends some restrictions that have been in effect for years. The waiting period had been in place since 1997. “The Court has great respect for the deeply held beliefs on either side of this contentious issue,” Jayaram wrote in his 92-page order. “Nevertheless, the State’s capacity to legislate pursuant to its own moral scruples is necessarily curbed by the Kansas Constitution and its Bill of Rights.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/10/30/abortion-medications-restrictions-kansas/8a119548-7760-11ee-97dd-7a173b1bd730_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Catholic pro-abortion group funds ‘billboard blitz’ ahead of Ohio Issue 1 vote, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, October 30, 2023, 4:54 PM As Ohio’s Nov. 7 abortion referendum vote nears, a pro-abortion organization called Catholics for Choice has set up billboards throughout Ohio encouraging Catholics to support the abortion referendum, in opposition to Church leaders and magisterial teaching. Catholics for Choice announced a “billboard blitz” this week, which set up 30 billboards across the state, including the seven largest metropolitan areas. This is the same organization that projected pro-abortion messages onto the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during the 2022 March for Life in Washington, D.C. The organization predicts that the billboards will make nearly 9 million impressions by Election Day. “Pro-choice Catholics: you are not alone,” one of the billboards reads. “Vote Yes on Issue 1.”  Logan Church, the political director of CatholicVote, a Catholic advocacy organization based in Carmel, Indiana, told CNA that the group is misrepresenting Catholic teaching. “This group has done nothing more than try to grossly redefine and misrepresent the teachings of the Catholic Church on abortion,” Church said. “According to the long-standing teachings of the Church, this is not a matter of personal interpretation. This is nothing more than an out-of-state funded publicity stunt to try and confuse Catholic voters on their moral obligation to vote no. This is no different than Planned Parenthood attempting to force their crooked values on Ohio families.”  In 2000, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the organization is not “an authentic Catholic voice” but rather “an arm of the abortion lobby” whose activity is “directed to rejection and distortion of Catholic teaching about the respect and protection due to defenseless unborn human life.” Much of its support comes from non-Catholic donors, including about $50 million since 2000 from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which is associated with billionaire business magnate and philanthropist Warren Buffett, a self-described agnostic. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255870/catholic-pro-abortion-group-funds-billboard-blitz-ahead-of-ohio-issue-1-vote__________________________________________________________ 5. Cardinal Eijk: ‘I don’t give up’, By Edgar Beltrán, The Pillar, October 30, 2023, 11:07 AM, Interview The Netherlands is one of the most secularized countries in Europe. It wasn’t always that way, of course. Between 1860 and 1960, the Church in the Netherlands flourished – in fact, by some estimates, one in 10 missionaries in the world was Dutch. But soon after that period, the Church’s life in the Netherlands began to implode. In the 1980s, 37% of Dutch children were baptized in the Catholic Church – today, fewer than 3% are. Catholics were 40% of the population in the 70s; today around 20% of the population identifies as Catholic. News of church closures and parish consolidation are common today, as the Netherlands dioceses address low church attendance. In the Netherlands, it is not unusual to enter a daycare, a store, or a restaurant only to quickly realize that the place used to be a church. The Netherlands is also well-known for being one of the most progressive societies in the world, being the first country to legalize gay marriage, and also being at the forefront of abortion, euthanasia, legalization of prostitution and drugs, among other issues. But from those difficulties, some Catholics say they see signs of hope for the future. One of those Catholics is Cardinal Wim Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht. Cardinal Eijk spoke last week with The Pillar in Utrecht – about his vision of the future for the Church in the Netherlands, the synod on synodality, and evangelization.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/cardinal-eijk-i-dont-give-up__________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.