1. Abortion Funding Spurs Texas Fight.

By Elizabeth Findell, The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2019, Pg. A3

The city of Austin is caught in a political and legal feud with Texas Republicans over what constitutes public support for abortion, in the latest clash between the state’s conservative leaders and its overwhelmingly liberal capital.

The current fracas began when the GOP-led state legislature earlier this year banned cities from making “any transaction” with an abortion provider.

The legislature cited Austin’s deal to rent a city-owned property to a Planned Parenthood clinic as the reason the bill was needed. City leaders had little reaction to the move, as it was too late to affect the reproductive health organization’s 20-year lease.


2. Clinic Performed Abortion On Wrong Client, Police Say.

By Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times, September 26, 2019, Pg. A8

An expectant mother who visited a medical clinic in Seoul, South Korea, last month to receive a nutritional shot woke up hours later to learn she had mistakenly been given an abortion, the police said on Wednesday.

The police said they planned to ask prosecutors to indict the clinic’s doctor and a nurse on charges of inflicting accidental injury. The staff, the police said, administered anesthesia and performed an abortion on the woman, a Vietnamese citizen, who was six weeks pregnant.

In a landmark ruling in April, South Korea’s Constitutional Court struck down a 66-year-old law that made performing an abortion a crime punishable by up to two years in prison, and gave Parliament until the end of 2020 to revise the law.

Under the current law, a woman who undergoes an abortion can be punished with up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 2 million won, about $1,670. Abortions are legal in exceptional circumstances, including rape, incest or when a woman’s health is at risk.


3. Diocese Bankruptcy Upsets Abuse Plaintiffs.

By Corina Knoll, The New York Times, September 26, 2019, Pg. A22

Last month, at 67 years old, Mr. Saracino filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester under a new law in New York that allows victims to seek justice over sexual abuse from long ago.

His lawsuit and dozens of others against the diocese were supposed to play out in civil court, with the expectation that victims would learn what church leaders knew and did. But the diocese sidestepped all of that by declaring bankruptcy.

Those who had anticipated a dramatic public accounting will now see their fight for culpability swept to the sidelines under the arcane rules of bankruptcy court.

Because the focus moves to the diocese’s assets, plaintiffs will be limited when it comes to asking pointed questions of priests and obtaining sensitive documents.


4. Trump court pick defends pro-life views at hearing, Nominee clerked for Kavanaugh.

By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, September 26, 2019, Pg. A6

A pro-life lawyer and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh defended her ability to set aside her personal beliefs and prior advocacy work during her confirmation hearing Wednesday, promising to be a fair and impartial federal district court judge.

Sarah E. Pitlyk, President Trump’s nominee to the Eastern District of Missouri, was peppered with questions about her Catholic faith and her defense of pro-life activists such as David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, who published videos in 2015 of Planned Parenthood officials appearing to negotiate the sale of aborted fetal body parts.

“I stand in a long line of other people who have sat at this table who have had history in advocacy, or in an issue-related advocacy, or in politics and who have become very distinguished jurists,” Ms. Pitlyk told the Senate Judiciary Committee.


5. Pope Francis calls contemporary martyrs ‘seed of new Christians’.

By Inés San Martín, Crux, September 25, 2019

Calling contemporary Catholicism “rich in martyrs,” Pope Francis Wednesday invoked the famous line from the second and third century Church father Tertullian that their blood is the “seed of new Christians.”

“Martyrs are not ‘little holy men’ [santini] but men and women in flesh and blood who, as the Book of Revelations says, ‘have washed their garments, making them white in the blood of the Lamb’,” Francis said as he addressed thousands who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly public audience.

Martyrs, the pope said, “are the real winners.”

Francis closed his remarks asking for prayer that “by contemplating the martyrs of the past and present, we may live a full life, accepting the martyrdom in daily fidelity to the Gospel and conformity to Christ.”

According to watch groups, an estimated 245 million Christians experience high levels of persecution, and while estimates of the number of Christians killed each year for their faith vary widely, even low-end estimates are in the thousands.


6. Laity Are at the Heart of Archbishop Chaput’s Legacy, Collaborators reflect on the legacy of a shepherd with an outsized impact on the Catholic Church in the United States.

By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, September 25, 2019

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia marks his 75th birthday on Sept. 26.

As canon law stipulates, he is expected to tender his resignation to Pope Francis, but whether it is accepted or set aside, the anniversary is a time for his closest collaborators to reflect on the legacy of the first Native American to become an archbishop — a shepherd with an outsized impact on the Catholic Church in the United States who took “risks” to empower lay apostolates.

“I learned a lot from him about the need for getting solid laypeople involved in the work of the Church and giving them the space to take a vision of the New Evangelization and move forward on it,” said Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, who had served as the founding rector of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, which opened early in Archbishop Chaput’s tenure in the Rocky Mountain State.

During his 31 years as a bishop, Archbishop Chaput, ordained to the priesthood in the Capuchin Franciscan order, backed dynamic lay apostolates like the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), the Augustine Institute and Endow. Aides and lay collaborators describe him as a talent spotter and risk taker who is accessible and generous with his guidance and contacts, but will withdraw support if he loses confidence in a project.


7. Calumny, slander is a ‘diabolical cancer,’ pope says.

By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, September 25, 2019, 9:11 AM

The act of bearing false witness to destroy someone is an attack against the body of the church, Pope Francis said.

Christians who engage in calumny are like those responsible for the martyrdom of St. Stephen; they chose “the pettiest solution to annihilate a human being: slander and false witness,” the pope said Sept. 25 during his weekly general audience.

“We know that calumny always kills,” he said. “This ‘diabolical cancer’ of calumny — born from a desire to destroy a person’s reputation — also assaults the rest of the ecclesial body and seriously damages it when, for petty interests or to cover their own faults, (people) unite to sully someone.”

The pope continued his series of talks on the Acts of the Apostles and reflected on the life and martyrdom of St. Stephen, one of seven deacons chosen by the apostles to serve the early Christian communities.


8. German bishops vote to adopt statutes for Synodal Assembly.

By Ed Condon, Catholic News Agency, September 25, 2019, 3:45 PM

The bishops of Germany have voted to adopt a set of statutes for their long-planned “Synodal Assembly.” The decision was taken in a vote on Wednesday, Sept. 25, the final day of the plenary session of the German bishops’ conference.

The bishops voted to adopt the statutes by a margin of 51-12 with 1 abstention. The vote followed hours of debate concerning several amendments. Various changes were proposed and considered in response to Vatican concerns that a previous draft of the plans was “not ecclesiologically valid.”

Senior figures within the conference told CNA Tuesday night that “some minor changes” had been adopted by the conference, but that the revised text of the statutes would not be released until Wednesday at the earliest.  

Sources also told CNA that the final version of the document includes a revised preamble which makes direct reference to the synodal priorities outlined by Pope Francis in his June letter to all German Catholics.


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