1. Court says it will wait to rule on Georgia abortion law, By Kate Brumback, Associated Press, September 28, 2021

A federal appeals court said Monday that it will wait until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a case that seeks to overturn its landmark decision guaranteeing a woman’s right to an abortion before weighing in on a restrictive Georgia abortion law that a lower court blocked.

Mississippi has argued in court filings that the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed the right to an abortion. The high court is set to hear arguments in that case in December. Mississippi’s law would ban abortions later than 15 weeks into a pregnancy.

That means the law remains blocked, and abortion in Georgia remains available up to 20 weeks into pregnancy.


2. China seeks to reduce abortions, as Beijing pushes for more children, By Eva Dou, The Washington Post, September 28, 2021, 5:33 AM

China on Monday announced plans to reduce the number of abortions performed in the country, prompting concerns from some women over the prospect of reduced access to the procedure.

The new measures arrive as China is seeking to revive its birthrate, which fell last year to its lowest point since 1961. In May, Beijing announced all married couples may have three children, up from the previous limit of two.

For years, abortion was not only widely available in China, but regularly forced onto women who became pregnant multiple times in violation of the long-standing one-child policy. Many women in traditional families also chose to abort female fetuses to save their one-child quota to have a son.


3. Pope recognizes errors as Mexico celebrates independence, By Mark Stevenson, Associated Press, September 28, 2021

Mexico celebrated a relatively little-known date Monday marking 200 years since the victory of the 1810-1821 independence movement.

The commemorations included a message from Pope Francis acknowledging the errors of the Roman Catholic Church in supporting the old order.


4. On communion, DC cardinal says bishops are pastors, not ‘police’, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, September 28, 2021

With ongoing debate on whether prochoice politicians such as United States President Joe Biden should be able to receive communion, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington has said bishops who make that decision are not there to police their people, but to guide them as pastors.


5. Merkel to join Pope in closing Rome interreligious event on Oct. 7, By Inés San Martín, Crux, September 28, 2021

After 16 years, German chancellor Angela Merkel will be stepping down before the end of the year. But before leaving office, she will join with Pope Francis to close an Oct. 7 interreligious and cultural encounter.

Organized by the community of Sant’Egidio, the 35th encounter in the “spirit of Assisi” will take place Oct. 6-7 under the theme of “Brothers and Sisters, Future Earth. Religions and Cultures in Dialogue” and will include a wide array of VIPs, including the grand Imam of Al-Azhar university, Ahmed Al Tayyeb; the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Patriarch Bartholomew I; the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; and the President of the European Rabbis, Pinchas Goldschmidt.

According to the organizers, Merkel will take part in the closing of the summit as the “witness of a European leader that knew how to respond to the COVID-19 crisis with one of the foundational pillars of the European Union, that of solidarity.”


6. How abortion laws in the U.S. compare to those in other countries, Many states have moved to restrict access as global abortion laws become more liberal., By Daniela Santamariña, Youjin Shin, Sammy Westfall and Ruby Mellen, The Washington Post, September 27, 2021, 12:00 PM

Legality is one thing. Access on the ground can look very different. Many European countries limit on-request abortions to the first trimester, more restrictive than much of the United States. Antiabortion groups say U.S. laws are too liberal when compared with the rest of the world.

“Currently, the U.S. is an extreme outlier in abortion law and policy,” said Denise Harle, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which supports antiabortion policies. She added that the United States is one of the few countries that allows the abortion of a child “who can hear her mother’s heartbeat.”

The United States is one of less than a dozen countries that allows abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on any grounds.

But in Europe, many countries offer broad exceptions after the first three months for socioeconomic reasons like unemployment, medical issues like fetal impairment, or social issues like the age of the mother.

There are countries with procedural barriers including doctor approval, parental consent and mandatory waiting periods. In Germany, women must receive counseling and wait three days to get an abortion. In the Netherlands, the waiting period is five days so that, according to a governmental website, “you can think carefully about your decision.”

Even countries where abortion is legal, or decriminalized, women can still face obstacles to access. A 2020 study found that in Italy, where abortion is legal, access can still be limited because 71 percent of gynecologists are registered as conscientious objectors. This designation allows them to refuse abortions due to moral or religious beliefs.


7. Women’s March plans return to D.C. to fight for abortion access, By Casey Parks, The Washington Post, September 27, 2021, 6:20 PM

The Women’s March returns to Washington this Saturday for its fifth annual event.

Most of the previous marches have occurred in January, but organizers decided to host this year’s event in October to fight imminent threats to abortion access. Texas recently enacted one of the most restrictive abortion laws in decades, and a U.S. Supreme Court case out of Jackson, Miss., could overturn Roe v. Wade this fall. Eleven other states have trigger laws set to ban abortion if Mississippi prevails.

Leaders of this year’s march said they applied for permits for 10,000 people.


8. Philadelphia Catholic agency can once again help make foster care placements, after settlement with city, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2021, 8:00 AM

Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is once again helping make foster care placements, following a legal settlement with the city to cap a years-long court battle.

The Supreme Court in June ruled in favor of Catholic Social Services in its lawsuit against the city, in the major religious freedom case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The agency and two foster moms working with it had alleged that the city violated religious freedom when, in 2018, it stopped contracting with the agency due to its religious stance on marriage. The city handles all foster care placements and contracts with various agencies to make referrals; Catholic Social Services does not refer foster children for same-sex or unmarried couples.

Following the ruling, Catholic Social Services reached a settlement with the city, and could once again help make placements of foster children on Friday, Sept. 24.


9. Pope Francis decries abortion and euthanasia as treating human life like ‘waste’, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2021, 9:00 AM

Pope Francis decried abortion and euthanasia in a speech Monday in which he said that today’s “throwaway culture” leads to the killing of children and discarding of the elderly.

“There is the discarding of children that we do not want to welcome with the law of abortion that sends them to the dispatcher and kills them directly. And today this has become a ‘normal’ method, a practice that is very ugly. It is really murder,” Pope Francis said Sept. 27.


10. Church in Canada pledges funds for healing, reconciliation after residential schools, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2021, 6:00 PM

The Canadian bishops are aiming to raise $30 million (USD 23.8m) over the next five years to support the Indigenous peoples of the country, including survivors of residential schools.

“The Bishops of Canada, as a tangible expression of their commitment to walk with the Indigenous Peoples of this land along the pathway of hope, are making a nation-wide collective financial commitment to support healing and reconciliation initiatives for residential school survivors, their families, and their communities,” the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops announced in a Sept. 27 statement.


11. World needs action to back COVID vaccines and health care access, Cardinal Parolin tells UN, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2021, 5:39 PM

The failure to provide health care access, testing, and vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic deserves global scrutiny, Cardinal Pietro Parolin told the United Nations on Friday. His remarks addressed development, supporting the marginalized, and ensuring the UN adheres to its original mandate and does not empower interest groups that seek to advance disputed or misleading visions of human rights.

“Even today many have no access to testing, basic care, or vaccines or even to the energy infrastructure that would make such care possible,” Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, said Sept. 25 to the U.N. General Assembly. He called for “a renewed examination of how health care systems have largely been overwhelmed by the pandemic and left so many without sufficient care or any care at all.”


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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!

“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.