TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 181 – Kevin Jones On Questionable Synod Art & Ashley McGuire Talks Pro-Family Bluey! Dr. Grazie Christie speaks out against recent comments by Stacy Abrams calling a fetal heartbeat ‘a manufactured sound.’ After controversial images were shared from the Vatican’s synod social media account, Kevin Jones of Catholic News Agency joins with the latest–and what these listening sessions are all about. TCA colleague Ashley McGuire also joins with a great analysis of a beautiful cartoon alternative for kids of all ages–Bluey! Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel! Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. The Ayatollahs’ Gift to Secularism, By Mustafa Akyol, The Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion Since news of Amini’s death became public, countless women have ripped off their hijabs; others have burned them in street bonfires. Such public defiance probably isn’t what Khomeini expected when he first issued his decree. He and his allies meant to shield Iran from “toxic” Western influence and ensure obedience to Islam, as they define it, for all. But by forcing their severe and cramped religious vision on an unwilling people, they’ve driven many from Islam itself.  Meanwhile, many Iranians have converted to Christianity. Iran’s underground church may be the fastest-growing in the world. “The best evangelist for Jesus was the Ayatollah Khomeini,” an Iranian pastor anonymously told the makers of the 2019 documentary “Sheep Among Wolves Volume II.”  Iran’s hijabless objectors are reminding the world that religion, if it’s to flourish, must ally itself with freedom. Mr. Akyol is a senior fellow on Islam and modernity at the Cato Institute, and the author of “Why, as a Muslim, I Defend Liberty.” 2. Over 60 Clinics Halted Procedure Since Ruling, By Jennifer Calfas, The Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2022, Pg. A7 More than 60 abortion clinics across the U.S. have stopped providing the procedure since the Supreme Court eliminated federal constitutional protections in June, according to a new study.   The report, published Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute, found 14 states in which all clinics have ceased abortion services since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. More broadly, 66 clinics in 15 states have stopped providing abortions; 40 of those clinics still provide other services, while 26 have closed, according to Guttmacher, a research group that supports abortion rights and tracks national and state statistics. The report offers a glimpse into the patchwork of abortion access that has emerged since the Supreme Court sent the legality of abortion back to the states. Over the past three months, bans on nearly all abortions have taken effect in about a dozen states, while restrictions on most abortions after six weeks or 15 weeks of pregnancy have been enforced in others. 3. The Political Case for Federal Abortion Limits, By Marjorie Dannenfelser, The Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion Ahead of November’s midterm elections, Republicans have a $124 million problem. That’s how much pro-abortion Democrats have already spent on TV ads slamming the GOP after the Supreme Court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Associated Press reports this is more than twice what Democrats are spending on their “next top issue this year, ‘character,’ and almost 20 times more than Democrats spent on abortion-related ads in the 2018 midterms.” Faced with this onslaught, too many ordinarily outspoken pro-life Republicans have ducked for cover—with consultants leading the retreat. But whether the consultants like it or not, the debate won’t go away. The only way to win is to confront it head-on. By introducing a minimum federal limit on abortion after 15 weeks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) stepped up to offer fellow Republicans the political gift of contrast. They would be wise to use it. Every pro-life Republican should support these bills—indeed, many previously voted to protect unborn babies at 20 weeks—and go on offense to expose their opponents as the true extremists.  This debate is Republicans’ to lose. They must take charge of the narrative if they don’t want to wake up on Nov. 9 wondering why their “red wave” never came ashore. I hope every one heeds the divine encouragement invoked by Mr. Graham in defending the unborn: Be not afraid. Ms. Dannenfelser is president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. 4. Pro-lifers charged with blocking clinic, By Matt Delaney, The Washington Times, October 7, 2022, Pg. A2 Eleven pro-life activists involved in a confrontation at a Tennessee abortion clinic in 2021 face potential prison time under federal charges announced Wednesday by the Department of Justice. Prosecutors unsealed indictments Wednesday charging Chester Gallagher, Heather Idoni, Calvin Zastrow, Coleman Boyd, Caroline Davis, Paul Vaughn, Dennis Green, Eva Edl, Eva Zastrow, James Zastrow and Paul Place with violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it illegal to use force, intimidate or interfere with anyone seeking or providing reproductive health care. Mr. Gallagher, Ms. Idoni, Mr. Zastrow, Mr. Boyd, Ms. Davis, Mr. Vaughn and Mr. Green also have been charged with a civil rights violation for conspiracy to prevent the clinic from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services.  The tactics used by pro-life activists have become a focus for the DOJ in recent weeks. Pennsylvania pro-life activist Mark Houck was arrested during an FBI raid at his home last month and has been charged with FACE Act violations. He’s accused of shoving a clinic escort to the ground outside of a Philadelphia abortion clinic. 5. Catholic schools are booming — new EWTN poll sheds light on possible reasons, By Jonah McKeown, Zelda Caldwell, Catholic News Agency, October 7, 2022, 6:00 AM An EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research poll of Catholic voters suggests that dissatisfaction with several aspects of public education may help explain why Catholic schools are enjoying an increase in enrollment nationwide.  The poll found that 74% of Catholic voters are concerned about children suffering from an educational “COVID deficit” caused by the shift to online learning during the pandemic. Seventeen percent said they were not concerned and 10% said they were not sure. EWTN’s polling also revealed concerns among Catholics about the quality and content of education at public schools. Nearly 47% of respondents with children in public school said they have considered, in the past year, moving their children from a public school to a private or parochial school because of concerns about the quality of the education received.  A majority of Catholic voters also support parents of K–12 students helping determine what is being taught in schools (64%), oppose biological boys who identify as girls competing against biological girls on school sports teams (76%), and oppose introducing Critical Race Theory (CRT) into the classroom (60%). 6. Muslim Prisoner, Transgender Strip Search, Religious liberty laws protect everyone, and here’s another example., By The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2022, 6:39 PM, Editorial The left likes to present religious liberty as a bigotry loophole for intolerant white Christians, so it’s worth highlighting another case that’s an ideological scrambler: Last month a federal appeals court ruled that a male Muslim prisoner in Wisconsin can have an exemption from strip searches involving a transgender guard who is biologically female. “The moral tenets of his faith” prohibit him “from exposing his body to a woman who is not his wife,” writes Judge Diane Sykes of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  Religious liberty is in the First Amendment because it’s a core American value. Offering an accommodation to the Wisconsin prisoner in this case shouldn’t be difficult. In 2015 the Supreme Court cited the same law when ruling for a Muslim inmate in Arkansas who wanted to grow a half-inch beard. These principles used to enjoy broad support. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed the Senate 97-3 in 1993. Rluipa received unanimous consent in 2000. Both were signed by President Clinton. Such laws have become less popular on the left lately, but they protect all faiths and help make the U.S. one of the world’s best places to be a religious minority. 7. Order of Malta’s former chancellor writes letter about Pope Francis, calls for unity in time of crisis, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2022, 6:30 AM The former grand chancellor of the Order of Malta has written a letter to members calling for unity while also expressing concern over the new constitution promulgated by Pope Francis. Albrecht von Boeselager asked members not to abandon the Church or the Order of Malta in a letter sent to all the confreres.  Instead, the former grand chancellor called for unity at this challenging time for the order. “Certainly, the foreseeable future will not be easy for the order and for us as members,” Boeselager wrote. “I cannot imagine that the new Constitution issued by the Holy Father will be helpful for the development of our Order’s charism, the strengthening of our spirituality and the growth of the Order’s works.”   “The Holy Father’s decision may be unjustified and unhelpful to the order. This does not alter the fact that he, as the successor of Peter, is the rock upon which God continues to build the Church, even if individual decisions are wrong.”

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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