1. Texas Moves To Restrict Abortion Pills, New law makes it a felony to provide the drugs through mail or other delivery, By Elizabeth Findell, The Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2021, Pg. A3

Texas is aiming to stop the use of abortion drugs prescribed remotely and delivered by mail, a practice that ticked up during the pandemic and has surged since the state passed a restrictive new abortion law.

Such medication, which is FDA-approved for in-person physician distribution, accounts for at least half of all early-term abortions in the U.S.

A new bill that takes effect in December will make it a felony punishable by jail in Texas to provide abortion pills through mail or other delivery. It is one of several recent measures to limit abortion access in the state.


2. Conservatives, Often Wary of Foreign Law, Look Abroad in Abortion Case, When the Supreme Court hears arguments this fall in a big abortion case from Mississippi, it will consider dueling accounts of international practices., By Adam Liptak, The New York Times, October 4, 2021, 5:00 AM

Not so long ago, conservatives found it maddening when U.S. judges cited foreign law in their decisions interpreting the Constitution.

Lawmakers in Mississippi appeared to take a different view in 2018, when they enacted a law banning most abortions after 15 weeks.

In the first legislative finding justifying the law, its drafters looked abroad for support. “The United States is one of only seven nations in the world that permits nontherapeutic or elective abortion-on-demand after the 20th week of gestation,” the finding said. “In fact, fully 75 percent of all nations do not permit abortion after 12 weeks’ gestation, except (in most instances) to save the life and to preserve the physical health of the mother.”

The lawmakers’ statements about foreign practices appear to be generally correct. A fact-checking column in The Washington Post in 2017 largely confirmed the first one: “This statistic seemed dubious at first, because it seemed extreme for just seven countries out of 198 to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” it said. “But upon further digging, the data back up the claim.”


3. Pope, faith leaders sign joint climate appeal before summit, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 4, 2021, 8:39 AM

Pope Francis and dozens of religious leaders on Monday signed a joint appeal to governments to commit to ambitious targets at the upcoming U.N. climate conference, while promising to do their own part to lead their faithful into more sustainable behavior.

“We have inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert to our children,” said the appeal, which was signed at a formal ceremony in the Apostolic Palace before being handed over to the head of the COP26 conference, Alok Sharma.

They were joined Monday by leaders of other major faith groups representing Sunni and Shiite Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism and more.

Conspicuously absent was the Dalai Lama. The Vatican has excluded the Tibetan spiritual leader from interfaith events for years to not antagonize China, and an appeal seeking to be heard by a top polluter like Beijing is no exception.


4. At Vatican trial, defense questions the legal system itself, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 4, 2021, 2:24 AM

Defense lawyers are questioning the legitimacy of the Vatican tribunal where 10 people are on trial on finance-related charges, arguing their clients can’t get a fair trial in an absolute monarchy where the pope has already intervened in the case and where prosecutors have failed to turn over key evidence.

In defense motions ahead of the trial’s resumption on Tuesday, lawyers have alleged numerous procedural violations by prosecutors that they say should nullify the indictment. They have questioned what redress they have, since the Holy See has never signed any international convention guaranteeing fair trials or providing recourse to the European Court of Human Rights.


5. German ‘Synodal Way’ extended to 2023 as assembly ends abruptly after votes on sexual morality, priesthood, By Catholic News Agency, October 4, 2021, 5:15 AM

The German Catholic Church’s “Synodal Way” will be extended to 2023 after its plenary session ended abruptly on Saturday following votes in favor of a text endorsing same-sex blessings and a discussion of whether the priesthood is necessary.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, chairman of the German bishops’ conference, and Thomas Sternberg, president of the lay Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), announced the extension on Oct. 2, at the end of the second synodal assembly in Frankfurt, southwestern Germany, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.

The synodal assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the Synodal Way, a multi-year process bringing together bishops and lay people to discuss four main topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.

The Synodal Way, launched on Dec. 1, 2019, was originally expected to end in October 2021, but was extended to February 2022 due to the pandemic. The latest extension means that the controversial process will last more than three years.


6. Sex abuse probe: French church had 3,000 child abusers, By Associated Press, October 3, 2021

An independent commission examining church sex abuse in France believes that 3,000 child abusers — two-thirds of them priests — have worked in the church over the past 70 years.

The estimate was given by the commission president, Jean-Marc Sauvé, in an interview published Sunday in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper. The commission has been investigating for 2 1/2 years. Its full findings are scheduled to be released on Tuesday.


7. German Catholic Leaders Defy Pope On Gay Blessings, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2021, Pg. A8

German Catholic bishops and lay leaders on Friday called for their church to bless same-sex relationships, challenging a Vatican ban on the practice.

The move raised pressure on Pope Francis to respond to the Germans’ progressive drive, which conservatives have warned could split the world-wide church.

At a meeting in Frankfurt, German church leaders voted 168 to 28, with five abstentions, to adopt a draft statement on sexuality that includes a resolution saying that “same-sex partnerships who want to take the risk of an unbreakable common life…should be able to see themselves placed under the blessing of God.”

Friday’s statement on sexuality, which calls generally for a more liberal approach in church teaching, including more tolerance for contraception and masturbation, is cast as an appeal to the pope, acknowledging that many of its proposals “essentially fall within the teaching competence of the Bishop of Rome and can therefore not be undertaken by the Church in Germany.”


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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