1. Pope, Chinese leader Xi to cross paths in Kazakhstan, By Huizhong Wu, Associated Press, September 14, 2022Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first trip overseas since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic will overlap with a visit by Pope Francis to Kazakhstan, although the Vatican says there are no plans for them to meet. Xi’s state visit Wednesday comes just weeks ahead of an all-important political meeting in China where he is expected to take a third term as he cements his grip on power. The pope is in Kazakhstan until Thursday for a state visit and an interfaith congress of world religious leaders. Asked during his flight to Kazakhstan about a possible meeting with Xi, the pope said, “I don’t have any news about this. But I am always ready to go to China.” The two have been in the same vicinity before and not met, including New York for the United nations General Assembly in 2015 and Xi’s visit to Italy in 2019. The Vatican and China are due to renew their 2018 deal on bishop nominations at the end of this month. A Vatican delegation recently returned from Beijing, and Holy See officials expect the deal to be continued. https://apnews.com/article/taiwan-pope-francis-china-asia-xi-jinping-90f3680d0756933cb145dfa915710a34__________________________________________________________2. West Virginia lawmakers OK abortion ban with few exceptions, By Leah Willingham, Associated Press, September 14, 2022 West Virginia’s Legislature passed a sweeping abortion ban with few exceptions Tuesday, approving a bill that several members of the Republican supermajority said they hope will make it impossible for the state’s only abortion clinic to continue to offer the procedure. “It is going to shut down that abortion clinic, of that I feel certain,” Republican Sen. Robert Karnes said on the Senate floor, amid shouts from protesters standing outside the chamber doors. “I believe it’s going to save a lot of babies.” Under the legislation, rape and incest victims would be able to obtain abortions at up to eight weeks of pregnancy.  Abortions also would be allowed in cases of medical emergencies. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-legislature-west-virginia-ad2d90e5b23fcb777a1c0c74076d9ce3__________________________________________________________ 3. Amid Russia’s war, pope says faith cannot justify such evil, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, September 14, 2022, 6:04 AM Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis told the Russian Orthodox hierarchy and other faith leaders Wednesday that religion must never be used to justify the “evil” of war and that God must never “be held hostage to the human thirst for power.”  Francis didn’t mention Russia or Ukraine in his remarks to the Kazakh conference. But he insisted that faith leaders themselves must take the lead in promoting a culture of peace, since it would be hypocritical to expect that non-believers would promote peace if religious leaders don’t. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/amid-russias-war-pope-says-faith-cannot-justify-such-evil/2022/09/14/9f048f04-33ec-11ed-a0d6-415299bfebd5_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Lindsey Graham’s 15-Week Abortion Ban, It’s constitutionally dubious and risks misreading the politics., By The Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2022, 6:52 PM, Editorial Democrats want to make the midterms about abortion, not inflation, and on cue Tuesday Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced legislation to enact a nationwide ban at 15 weeks of pregnancy. This is constitutionally dubious, and although Mr. Graham is right that Democratic abortion absolutists too often get a pass, he is taking a big political gamble.  Mr. Graham’s goal is to draw a line that the GOP can defend to the public. According to the Gallup figures, 67% of Americans want abortion to be “generally legal” in the first 12 weeks. That falls to 36% in the first 24 weeks. But the nuances might be lost on voters, and Democrats are trying to ensure that they are.  After Roe v. Wade, conservatives spent five decades arguing that the Supreme Court had inflamed the country by nationalizing the debate on abortion, which is properly a state issue. This summer the Justices reversed that mistake in Dobbs, and the result has been hurly-burly democratic arguments in state legislatures. There’s no need to re-nationalize the question, and it isn’t clear Congress has the authority to do so. Mr. Graham’s bill cites the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause as justifications for federal power, but neither is convincing. If Republicans care about originalism, and many of them do, then it’s a mistake to start arguing that abortion regulations qualify as “commerce.” Fighting for policy change in all 50 states is arduous, with victories offset by defeats and unsatisfying compromises. Democrats and some Republicans don’t want to bother, since it’s easier to pass one bill in Congress, constitutional or not. https://www.wsj.com/articles/lindsey-grahams-15-week-abortion-ban-congress-nancy-pelosi-republicans-democrats-11663108380?__________________________________________________________ 5. ‘The Least We Can Do to Protect’ Women and Babies, By Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, September 13, 2022, 3:48 PM “The science of fetal development, and what we know about a 15-week-old unborn baby, is vital in evaluating the bill Sen. Graham introduced today. Pregnancy websites describe “babies” who “work on breathing, sucking and swallowing motions … kicking, curling toes and moving those little arms and legs.” Limits on abortion at this stage of development are humane and common sense. We applaud Sen. Graham’s efforts to seek consensus in a post-Roe world and to protect as many babies and women as possible from the harms of abortion.” — Maureen Ferguson, senior fellow with The Catholic Association https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-least-we-can-do-to-protect-women-and-babies/__________________________________________________________ 6. Lindsey Graham’s attempt at a national abortion ban could help GOP in midterms. What we know about the bill, Democrats control the Senate and are unlikely to bring this legislation to a floor vote. But Sen. Lindsey Graham said this bill could give the GOP a counterargument on abortion in their midterm runs., By Candy Woodall, USA Today, September 13, 2022, 1:45 PM Sen. Lindsey Graham is introducing a national abortion ban that would prohibit the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy and provide a Republican response to a politically charged issue that could be galvanizing for Democrats this fall.  Maureen Ferguson, a senior fellow for The Catholic Association, said in a statement that the limits on abortion in Graham’s bill “are humane and common sense.”   “We applaud Sen. Graham’s efforts to seek consensus in a post-Roe world and to protect as many babies and women as possible from the harms of abortion,” she said. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2022/09/13/lindsey-graham-abortion-bill-gop/10366880002/__________________________________________________________ 7. Study: Christianity may lose majority, plurality status in U.S. by 2070, By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, September 13, 2022 If trends of the past 30 years continue for the next 50, Christianity will lose its majority status in the United States by 2070, according to a new demographic study by the Pew Research Center. If those trends, first identified in 1990, accelerate over the next half-century, Christianity will have fewer adherents than Americans who are not affiliated with any church, according to the study, “Modeling the Future of Religion in America,” released Sept. 13. Even with the demographic modeling used by Pew, the numbers vary widely. Christians, put by Pew currently at 64 percent of the U.S. population, could slide to 54 percent — or plunge to 35 percent — by 2070. By the same token, the religiously unaffiliated — called “nones” in some circles — currently at 29 percent, could rise to 34 percent of the population in the next half-century, or soar to 52 percent. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/09/study-christianity-may-lose-majority-plurality-status-in-u-s-by-2070__________________________________________________________ 8. King Charles III, defender of persecuted Christians, Britain’s new monarch has emerged as one of the world’s most influential supporters of persecuted Christians., By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, September 13, 2022, 1:20 PM Britain’s new monarch is known as a champion of unfashionable causes. He was dismissed as “completely dotty” in the 1970s when he began raising the alarm about plastic pollution. In the 1980s, he was mocked for installing “strange machines” known as bottle banks – for recycling – at Buckingham Palace. Environmentalism has long since gone mainstream, but in recent years King Charles III has attempted to draw attention to another unfashionable phenomenon, one often dismissed, downplayed, or ignored. The monarch has emerged as one of the world’s most influential supporters of persecuted Christians.  From 2013 onward, Charles began to speak out frequently and insistently on behalf of persecuted Christians.  The advocacy group Open Doors USA estimates that more than 360 million Christians worldwide currently face high levels of persecution and discrimination, and 5,898 were killed for their faith in the past year alone. Charles III is one of the seemingly few international figures who grasps the scale of the suffering and has no qualms about denouncing it. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/king-charles-iii-defender-of-persecuted-christians/__________________________________________________________ 9. Archbishop invites U.N. reps to begin dialogue on nuclear disarmament, By Catholic News Service, September 13, 2022 Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, brought his summons to begin meaningful conversations to achieve full nuclear disarmament to the annual United Nations prayer service. Addressing U.N. delegates and staff as well as representatives of nongovernmental organizations at the Church of the Holy Family Sept. 12, Wester reiterated his urgent invitation first made in a pastoral letter he issued in January. The event, coordinated by the Vatican’s permanent observer mission to the U.N., was held on the eve of the opening of the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly. As he did in the letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament,” the archbishop called for dialogue about the threat nuclear weapons pose to the planet and outlined necessary steps to dismantle the world’s nuclear arsenal in order to uphold the biblical “ideal of right relationships.” https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/09/archbishop-invites-u-n-reps-to-begin-dialogue-on-nuclear-disarmament__________________________________________________________10. Democrat Senators urge stronger LGBT mandates in Biden’s sex discrimination rule, By Edie Heipel, Catholic News Agency, September 13, 2022, 4:00 PM A group of Democrat Senators urged the Biden administration to add even stronger LGBTQ and abortion mandates to its proposed Title IX rule in a public comment issued Monday. Led by Sen. Patty Murray and signed by 18 other senators, the comment issued in the form of a Sept. 12 letter celebrates the administration’s reinterpretation of Title IX’s federal ban on sex discrimination to include “sexual orientation or gender identity” and urges it to “build on this progress.”   The senators requested that the administration “clarify the scope of prohibited discrimination” regarding LGBTQ students under Title IX. The letter recommends the rule should ensure that “students must be housed consistent with their gender identity and specify that intentional misgendering is a form of harassment.” The senators also urged the Education Department to move forward with a rule ensuring that sports teams must allow transgender students to play on teams “consistent with their gender identity.”  The letter also celebrated the department’s inclusion of abortion as a protected category but called for further enforcement.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252280/democrat-senators-urge-stronger-lgbt-mandates-in-bidens-sex-discrimination-rule__________________________________________________________

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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