1. Cardinal Zen, 5 others stand trial in Hong Kong over fund, By Zen Soo, Associated Press, September 26, 2022, 6:39 AMA 90-year-old Catholic cardinal and five others stood trial in Hong Kong on Monday for allegedly failing to register a now-defunct fund set up to assist people arrested in the mass anti-government protests in the city three years ago. Cardinal Joseph Zen, who is a retired bishop of Hong Kong, was first arrested in May together with others including singer Denise Ho and barrister Margaret Ng on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces to endanger China’s national security. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/cardinal-zen-5-others-stand-trial-in-hong-kong-over-fund/2022/09/25/71fd2a6a-3d4d-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. More Trans Teens Are Choosing ‘Top Surgery’, Small studies suggest that breast removal surgery improves transgender teenagers’ well-being, but data is sparse. Some state leaders oppose such procedures for minors., By Azeen Ghorayshi, The New York Times, September 26, 2022, 3:00 AM Republican elected officials across the United States are seeking to ban all so-called gender-affirming care for minors, turning an intensely personal medical decision into a political maelstrom with significant consequences for transgender adolescents and their families.  Genital surgeries in adolescents are exceedingly rare, surgeons said, but top surgeries are becoming more common. And while major medical groups have condemned the bans on gender-related care for adolescents, the surgeries have presented challenges for them.  After many months of deliberations over its new guidelines, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health initially decided to endorse top surgeries for adolescents 15 and up, part of a suite of changes that would have made gender treatments available to children at younger ages. But the organization backtracked this month, after some major medical groups it had hoped would support the new guidelines bristled at the new age minimums, according to Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecologic and reconstructive surgeon and the president of WPATH, who is transgender.  Instead, the guidelines kept the previous recommendations, published a decade ago, allowing surgeries for minors on a case-by-case basis. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/26/health/top-surgery-transgender-teenagers.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope urges Italians to have more children, welcome migrants, By Associated Press, September 25, 2022. 5:28 AM Pope Francis traveled to southern Italy on Sunday to close out an Italian church congress that coincided with Italy’s national election, and delivered a message that hit on key domestic campaign issues including immigration.  At the end of the outdoor Mass in Matera, Francis spoke off the cuff asking Italians to have more children. “I’d like to ask Italy: More births, more children,” Francis said. Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and Francis has frequently lamented its “demographic winter.”  He added: “Immigrants are to be welcomed, accompanied, promoted and integrated.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-urges-italians-to-have-more-children-welcome-migrants/2022/09/25/6ffb6b12-3cb4-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Biden Abortion Policy Angers GOP as Democrats Urge More Action, Administration is constrained by limits on how federal funding can be used, risk of court challenges, By Stephanie Armour, The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2022, 9:25 PM Three months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the Biden administration has made a series of moves aimed at protecting access to abortion that has angered opponents of legalized abortion and left supporters urging the federal government to do more. Republicans and some other critics say the Department of Health and Human Services’s actions—such as directing doctors to provide abortions when needed in emergency situations and telling pharmacists not to deny access to abortion medications—have gone too far and will require healthcare providers to potentially violate their own moral or religious beliefs. The initiatives stem from two executive orders President Biden signed in July and August instructing HHS to take actions to expand abortion access. Some measures have faced legal challenges from states that say they go beyond what is allowed under federal law, and GOP lawmakers have proposed legislation to block department guidance. https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-abortion-policy-angers-gop-as-democrats-urge-more-action-11664026713?__________________________________________________________ 5. Pope appeals to the young to save the planet, find peace, By Associated Press, September 24, 2022, 7:25 AM Pope Francis, visiting Assisi, the birthplace of his namesake saint who was close to nature, called on Saturday for “courage” in abandoning fossil fuels and lamented that older generations didn’t know how to protect the planet and secure peace.  “Now is the time for new courage in abandoning fossil fuels to accelerate the development of zero- or positive-impact sources of energy,” Francis said. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-appeals-to-the-young-to-save-the-planet-find-peace/2022/09/24/f9a55c18-3bf8-11ed-b8af-0a04e5dc3db6_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Arizona judge: State can enforce near-total abortion ban, By Bob Christie, Associated Press, September 23, 2022, 10:26 PM Arizona can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years, a judge ruled Friday, meaning clinics statewide will have to stop providing the procedures to avoid the filing of criminal charges against doctors and other medical workers. The judge lifted a decades-old injunction that blocked enforcement of the law on the books since before Arizona became a state. The only exemption to the ban is if the woman’s life is in jeopardy. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/arizonas-15-week-abortion-ban-coming-as-other-ban-looms/2022/09/23/f3765a74-3b88-11ed-b8af-0a04e5dc3db6_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Abrams denied reality of fetal heartbeat which is one of the prettiest sounds in medicine, Fetal heartbeat sound is just as real as an X-ray. It’s not ‘manufactured.’, By Grazie Pozo Christie, Fox News, September 23, 2022, 1:21 PM, Opinion Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams trampled heavily on science when she claimed, “there is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”   The heartbeats that she says don’t exist are my life’s work as a diagnostic radiologist. Day in and day out, pregnant women lay down on our examining table, breathless with anticipation. “Is the baby alive?” they want to know. They know they are pregnant, but it is only when the transducer goes down on the perfectly flat belly and the pulsing whoosh-whoosh of doppler sound that is the fetal heartbeat fills the room that we can assure her the baby lives.      It is probably one of the prettiest sounds in medicine, and it never fails to bring a smile to everyone who hears it, from mom and dad to physician and technician, and to anyone that is walking by the room. It is a sign of life, and life very distinct from the mother’s. The mother’s heart beats at around 75 or 80 beats per minute, perhaps slightly faster when she’s nervously lying on the table. But the embryo? The embryo’s heartbeat is quick as lightning, and can often be up to 160 beats per minute — or more. A sluggish heart rate is a bad sign. A brisk and regular rate is cause for celebration.   When Abrams calls the doppler fetal heart signal a “manufactured sound,” she shows a gross lack of understanding about the basics of ultrasonography. Putting it simply, ultrasound scanning of unborn children is the culmination of decades of development of very early work using sound waves (sonar) to detect the presence of underwater objects like submarines. Ultrasound scanners can be regarded as a form of “medical” sonar. Doppler ultrasound, the kind we use to detect the heartbeats of unborn children, works by measuring sound waves that bounce off of moving objects, such as the blood cells traveling through the fetal heart. The computer receives the data which it translates into pictures and sounds, so that we can see and hear what is hidden deep inside the mother’s womb.    For the “fact-checkers” desperately wanting to give Abrams some cover who claim that it’s more proper to call a fetal heartbeat cardiac or “electrical activity,” this is a silly argument which falls flat with any woman who has ever lain on an exam table, waiting for the magic sound to start pulsing through the room, or any man that has been holding that woman’s hand. When the distinctive, delightful, surging and rushing beat fills the air, what we are all hearing is the sound of life. And life is beautiful.    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/abrams-denied-reality-fetal-heartbeat-which-is-prettiest-sounds-medicine__________________________________________________________ 8. Benedict XVI writes about ‘inner drama of being a Christian’ in new letter, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, September 23, 2022, 5:29 AM In a new letter, Benedict XVI praised the story of a woman who lived “the inner drama of being a Christian” and dedicated her life to the spiritual encounter with Christ in eucharistic adoration and other practices.  The pope emeritus wrote that his own personal experience was similar to what Mother Julia Verhaeghe went through in a letter to the author of a new biography. The writer, Father Hermann Geissler, is a former official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a member of the Spiritual Family “The Work” that Mother Julia founded and Pope John Paul II designated as a family of consecrated life in 2001. In his letter to Geissler, made available to CNA, Benedict did not hide the fact that he had “the fear that her life could be of little interest as a whole because it lacks any external drama.” Benedict praised the author for making “the inner drama of being a Christian visible, writing a genuinely fascinating biography. The external path of this life, which leads from Belgium through Austria and Hungary to Rome, with a focal point in Austria, becomes a reflection of the interior path through which this woman was led.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252369/benedict-xvi-writes-about-inner-drama-of-being-a-christian-in-new-letter__________________________________________________________ 9. Which U.S. states rank first (and last) in religious freedom protections?, By Zelda Caldwell, Catholic News Agency, September 23, 2022, 7:00 AM A nonprofit legal organization specializing in religious liberty cases has conducted a study comparing U.S. states on the basis of how free its residents are to practice their faith.  Spoiler alert: Mississippi offers the most protections for religious freedom, while New York comes in last on the First Liberty Institute’s “Religious Liberty in the States 2022 (RLS)” index. The states are ranked according to how many laws are on the books that protect the free exercise of religion, with the states with the most laws providing safeguards for religious freedom ranked the highest. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252366/which-us-states-rank-first-and-last-in-religious-freedom-protections__________________________________________________________ 10. FBI raids home of pro-life leader on questionable charges, By Catholic News Agency, September 23, 2022, 5:56 PM A Catholic speaker and author who regularly prays the rosary outside an abortion clinic in Philadelphia was arrested by at least 20 SWAT team members on Friday for an alleged physical assault of a Planned Parenthood clinic escort last year. The alleged assault has been disputed by Houck as well as the legality of the arrest it is based upon. Mark Houck, 48, of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, is the co-founder and president of the Catholic ministry The King’s Men, which aims to give spiritual formation to Catholic men.   If he is convicted, Houck could face up to 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $350,000, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.  The FACE Act “prohibits violent, threatening, damaging and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain or provide reproductive health services,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Violating the FACE Act is a federal crime and protects “all patients, providers, and facilities that provide reproductive health services, including pro-life pregnancy counseling services and any other pregnancy support facility providing reproductive health care,” according to the DOJ. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252380/fbi-raids-home-of-pro-life-leader-on-questionable-charges__________________________________________________________

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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