1. Texas Abortion Law Takes Effect Pending Supreme Court Action, Justices haven’t acted on request by abortion providers to block the state’s so-called fetal-heartbeat law, By Brent Kendall, Jess Bravin and Jacob Gershman, The Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2021, 8:14 AM

A new Texas abortion law that bars the procedure after approximately six weeks of pregnancy took effect Wednesday, after the Supreme Court didn’t act on an emergency request by clinics and abortion-rights advocates to block it.

When the court said nothing by midnight, the ban officially went into force, making it the most restrictive abortion law in effect in the U.S. The high court still could choose to act soon.

Though the Texas law is in effect for now, separate state-court litigation could reduce some of its immediate impact.


2. In new interview, Pope speaks about Afghanistan, Latin Mass, and Vatican corruption trial, By Inés San Martín, Crux, September 1, 2021

In the latest wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis speaks about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, his health and resignation rumors, the Vatican’s corruption trial against several people including one of his former closest advisers, and his decision to limit the use of the Tridentine Mass.

Francis, speaking about the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, said: “I was touched by something that Chancellor [Angela] Merkel, who is one of the great figures of world politics, said in Moscow. I hope the wording is correct, but she said: ‘It is necessary to put an end to the irresponsible policy of intervening from outside and building democracy in other countries, ignoring the traditions of the peoples.’”

(The quote was actually from Russian President Vladimir Putin.)

Asked specifically about Becciu, the pope said that he “goes to trial according to Vatican law,” and that “I hope with all my heart that he is innocent. Besides, he was a collaborator of mine and helped me a lot. He is a person whom I have a certain esteem for, that is to say, that I my wish is that he turns out well. This is simply the presumption of innocent. But in addition to the presumption of innocence, I want him to come out well. But Justice is the one that will decide.”

Asked about the decree Traditionis custodes, released in July, limiting the celebration of the Tridentine Mass, commonly known as the Traditional Latin Mass or the Old Mass, Francis said that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to publish Summorum Pontificum, giving the possibility of celebrating the Mass with the Missal of John XXIII for those who had a “certain nostalgia,” was one “of the most beautiful and human pastoral things” by his predecessor, “a man of exquisite humanity.”

He said that last year the application of Benedict’s motu proprio was studied, through a year-long consultation of all the bishops around the world, and it became evident that what had been a pastoral gesture was “being transformed into ideology.”

“We had to react with clear norms,” Francis said. “Clear norms that put a limit to those who had not lived that experience. Because it seemed to be fashionable in some places. If you read the letter well and read the Decree well, you will see that it is simply a constructive reordering, with pastoral care and avoiding an excess of those who are not.”


3. Former US Religious Freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback Warns of Potential Genocide for Religious Minorities in Afghanistan, By Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, September 1, 2021, Interview

As the last of the U.S. troops left Afghanistan Monday and the Taliban has taken control, many fear for the religious minorities in the country, including Christians, who are likely to be targeted for their beliefs.

Sam Brownback, a Catholic who served as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom from 2018 to 2021 and was formerly governor of Kansas, spoke with the Register Tuesday about the threats these groups now face and some of the ways the U.S. could act to prevent what he fears could be a genocide.

[Sam Brownback:] I think it’s a grave situation for religious minorities, and that includes Christians, Christian converts, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims that don’t agree with the dominant philosophy; there are Shia Muslims. All those are in grave danger in this situation in Afghanistan.

There are several things [the U.S. government should do]: No. 1, push for a safe zone, a safe haven inside or multiple safe havens inside Afghanistan. The French, the Germans are calling for this through the U.N. The U.S. can call for that, as well. That would be very helpful, to get a safe zone where people could go to and that had international security provided in those safe zones. That would be the No. 1 thing that could happen.

No. 2 is getting the adjacent countries to allow safe passage for these people fleeing from Afghanistan that are religious minorities or others.


4. State high court upholds Loudoun teacher’s reinstatement, Affirms his transgender comments didn’t cause ‘significant disruption’, By Emily Zantow, The Washington Times, September 1, 2021, Pg. A10

The Virginia Supreme Court this week upheld a ruling requiring Loudoun County Public Schools to temporarily reinstate a gym teacher who was suspended after speaking out about a proposed policy requiring staff to use transgender students’ chosen pronouns.

Monday’s ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in June by Mr. Cross, who was placed on paid administrative leave days after he spoke at a Loudoun County Public Schools board meeting about how the then-proposed policy would violate his religious beliefs.

The decision requires the school district to allow Mr. Cross to keep teaching while the legal battle plays out.


5. Laywoman assumes high position at Vatican’s Latin America commission, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, August 31, 2021

Pope Francis appointed Argentine theologian Emilce Cuda as the new head of office of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, a position she assumes Sept. 1. A laywoman and mother of two, Cuda will work with the new secretary, Rodrigo Guerra López, a Mexican philosophy professor and also a layman.

Cuda’s nomination was seen in the South American country as a sign of Pope Francis’ ongoing struggle against clericalism and as an important step to increase women’s presence in the church hierarchy.


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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