1. Children will benefit if we face this fact: Married parents are ideal, By Megan McArdle, The Washington Post, September 20, 2023, 7:15 AM, Opinion If we want to build a healthy society in which everyone has the best possible chance to flourish, we need to be able to say that bad things are bad.  But let’s talk about family structure. The evidence is overwhelming that the decline of marriage over the past few decades has been very bad for children and, by extension, for society. For various reasons, however, this truth is too often left unsaid. In her new book, “The Two-Parent Privilege,” University of Maryland economist Melissa S. Kearney lays out all the dispiriting facts. My colleague Alyssa Rosenberg has done a wonderful deep dive into the data that Kearney marshals, and I won’t duplicate her efforts here, but to sum up: More than 1 in 5 American children now live with an unpartnered mother. The trend is particularly pronounced among children whose mother does not have a college degree. Forty percent of those children are without the benefit of married parents. And this change is mostly driven not by divorce, nor by partnerships that are marriage-in-everything-but-name, but by the rise in never-married parents. No matter how heroic their efforts, mothers (or fathers) alone cannot muster the resources — emotional as well as financial — of a two-parent family. They are more likely to live in poverty and can spend less time with their children, so their kids start life at a disadvantage. Boys appear to especially suffer from the lack of a father in the home. They are less likely to finish high school or graduate from college, more likely to be incarcerated, more likely to have children of their own outside marriage. And there are spillover effects to the families around them — one of the best predictors of economic mobility is growing up in a neighborhood full of two-parent families.  Yet the same report suggests, in line with other polls, that today only 30 percent of college-educated liberals agree that it’s important for children to have two married parents. For those on the left, saying such a thing might feel racially loaded, because Black and Hispanic mothers are more likely to be raising children outside of marriage. It might also feel like conceding that social conservatives might have had at least half a point.  These people used to treat two-parent families as the ideal, even if one that was sometimes honored in the breach. If all of us would do so again, it could help a lot of kids. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/09/20/married-parents-ideal-children/__________________________________________________________ 2. Billboards tell I-55 drivers: ‘Abortion is OK, you are loved’, By Kyle Melnick, The Washington Post, September 20, 2023, 12:16 PM When she drove past a new billboard along Interstate 55 in Arkansas earlier this month, a 58-year-old woman cried. The billboard, which said in big block letters “God’s plan includes abortion,” reminded her of the abortion she’d had 41 years ago. Queen, who spoke on the condition that her last name not be used out of fear of harassment, said that she was taught as a child that abortion was a sin. Seeing a message like the one she passed this month would’ve reassured her that the procedure was her best choice, she said. That feeling of support is what Amelia Bonow, the executive director of the activist group Shout Your Abortion, hoped to spread when she recently posted six billboards along I-55, which runs through five states that have banned most abortions.  Bonow said the billboards are scheduled to come down next week, but she’s raising money from supporters to maintain them. Plus, she’d like to spread the messages farther. “I would love for them to be everywhere,” she said. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/09/20/shout-your-abortion-billboards-illinois/__________________________________________________________ 3. Alleged Rupnik victims say rehabilitation shows zero tolerance is just a ‘PR campaign’, By Crux, September 20, 2023 An open letter signed by five alleged victims of Father Marko Rupnik, a former Jesuit and renowned Slovenian artist, asserts that recent events show pledges of “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse by Church officials are merely a “PR campaign  … followed only by frequently covert actions, which support and cover up for the authors of abuse.” The signatories to the letter were objecting to a Sept. 15 audience granted by Pope Francis to an Italian lay theologian and defender of Rupnik, followed by a Sept. 18 statement from the Diocese of Rome saying the Centro Aletti founded by Rupnik fosters a “healthy community life” and raising doubts about the ex-Jesuit’s brief 2020 excommunication for using the confessional to absolve a woman with whom he’d reportedly engaged in sexual activity. Those developments, the signatories said, “leave us speechless, without voice any longer to cry out our shock, our scandal.”  https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2023/09/alleged-rupnik-victims-say-rehabilitation-shows-zero-tolerance-is-just-a-pr-campaign__________________________________________________________ 4. The pro-life movement should abandon Trump over his abortion comments, By Henry Olsen, The Washington Post, September 19, 2023, 4:32 PM, OpinionDonald Trump has earned the sincere gratitude of pro-lifers for his appointment of Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade. The former president, however, has also earned their sincere opposition to his renomination, thanks to his recent comments on abortion bans. The pro-life movement fought for about 50 years to repeal Roe because pro-lifers genuinely believe abortion takes a human life. For most of them, this applies to any abortion after the moment of conception. Their movement does not exist to limit abortion or make procedures safer; it exists, as Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America proclaims, “to end abortion and the destruction of unborn human life.” This doesn’t mean all pro-life people march in lockstep.  But what unites pro-lifers is more important than what divides them. The objective is to end as many abortions as possible. That desire is driven by a profound belief that the unborn child within a pregnant woman is human and deserves legal protection.  Pro-lifers should also be wary of where Trump’s sympathies lie. He said the heartbeat bill that his chief rival for the GOP nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, signed was “a terrible thing, a terrible mistake.” But Florida’s law is exactly what pro-lifers have fought for decades to achieve. In fact, many remain unhappy that such bills implicitly permit abortions in the earliest stages of pregnancy. When someone calls the fulfillment of your dreams “a terrible thing,” perhaps he’s just not that into you. Just as disturbing was Trump’s description of how he saw his role. He described himself “almost like a mediator,” which suggests he wants to remain neutral so as to help negotiators on both sides strike a deal. Pro-lifers have longed for a champion, not someone who explicitly says he wants to stand aloof from the fray.  Trump’s attitude toward abortion is reminiscent of Stephen Douglas’s approach toward slavery in his debates with Abraham Lincoln. Douglas, a senator of Illinois, advocated “popular sovereignty,” which would allow a territory’s residents to decide whether to permit the practice — anathema to those like Lincoln who viewed slavery as inherently immoral. Douglas even declared that he did not personally care if slavery was voted up or down. Trump’s ambivalence should be just as disqualifying to pro-lifers as Douglas’s was to abolitionists. Pro-lifers must make a hard choice: They must either swallow their true feelings and implicitly allow someone who has declared open opposition to their goals to become the Republican presidential nominee, or they must fight for their values and strenuously oppose him. That’s not a choice many will relish, but there is no middle ground. They can continue to move up toward an America where life in the womb is protected, or they can shrink back and watch as abortion rights advocates turn back their greatest victory. With Trump, they would be choosing the latter. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/09/19/trump-abortion-pro-life-republican-party/__________________________________________________________ 5. U.S. bishops urge ‘radical solidarity’ with mothers for Respect Life Month, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, September 19, 2023, 1:30 PM, Opinion The United States Catholic bishops are calling on the faithful to embrace “radical solidarity” with mothers who are facing difficult or challenging pregnancies this October, which the Church in the United States has observed as “Respect Life Month” since 1973. Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge, the chairman of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, echoed St. John Paul II’s call for “radical solidarity,” which means, according to the bishop, “putting our love for them into action and putting their needs before our own.” “This new mindset requires that we come alongside vulnerable mothers in profound friendship, compassion, and support for both them and their preborn children,” Burbidge wrote in a statement to Catholics for the 50th anniversary of Respect Life Month.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255413/us-bishops-urge-radical-solidarity-with-mothers-for-respect-life-month __________________________________________________________

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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