1. Catholics frustrated as increasing attacks on churches go unnoticed, Brian Burch, CatholicVote.org president, urges Biden to condemn attacks, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, September 8, 2021, Pg. A1

Their houses of worship have been torched and hit by gunfire, their statues smashed and defaced repeatedly in the past 18 months, but Catholics are having a hard time getting the powers that be to notice.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reported 93 incidents as of Aug. 24 in 28 states since May 2020, including “arson, statues beheaded, limbs cut, smashed, and painted, gravestones defaced with swastikas and anti-Catholic language and American flags next to them burned.”

Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org , chalked up the disconnect in large part to the church’s well-known opposition to abortion, a stance at odds with the Democratic Party and liberal movement, as well as many media figures.

“Can you imagine if the type and number of attacks we’ve seen against Catholics occurred against mosques or Jewish places of worship?” he asked. “The response would be overwhelming, and yet there’s practically silence, in part because the media does the bidding of the pro-abortion movement.”

“We commented last year that it was shocking that then-candidate Joe Biden did not comment on the rise of vandalism against Catholics, especially since he was running as a devout Catholic,” Mr. Burch said. “And, of course, he hasn’t said anything since.”


2. Mexico’s Supreme Court rules that abortion is not a crime, By María Verza, Associated Press, September 8, 2021

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it is unconstitutional to punish abortion, unanimously annulling several provisions of a law from Coahuila — a state on the Texas border — that had made abortion a criminal act.

The decision will immediately affect only the northern border state, but it establishes a historic precedent and “obligatory criteria for all of the country’s judges,” compelling them to act the same way in similar cases, said court President Arturo Zaldívar. “From now on you will not be able to, without violating the court’s criteria and the constitution, charge any woman who aborts under the circumstances this court has ruled as valid.”

Those circumstances will be clarified when the decision is published, but everything points to that referring to abortions carried out within the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, the period allowed in the four states where abortion is already legal.


3. Pope says to ‘trust science,’ calls vaccines a sign of hope, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, September 8, 2021

As blowback mounts to increasingly strict international vaccine requirements, Pope Francis in the preface for a new book by an Italian journalist called the vaccines a sign of hope amid a global nightmare and urged people to trust what science has to say.

“We must find hope and trust in science today too: thanks to the vaccine, we are slowly returning to see the light again, we are emerging from this ugly nightmare,” the pope writes.


4. U.S. bishops launch program to encourage more civil political life, By John Lavenburg, Crux, September 8, 2021

The U.S. Bishops Conference on Sept. 7 launched a new initiative that aims to address the political polarization and division across the nation.

The initiative, titled “Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics” runs through the website CivilizeIt.org that provides Catholics with resources to be bridge builders in their communities for those with different political perspectives.

The initiative also asks Catholics to take a pledge of charity, clarity and creativity.

Charity is described on the initiative’s website as upholding the dignity of every person through words and actions and listening to understand other people’s experiences. Clarity includes assessing one’s own beliefs to ensure they’re “rooted in truth,” forming the conscience through prayer and being open to a process of dialogue. Creativity, meanwhile, is a commitment to bridge building and finding creative solutions with those that have different beliefs.


5. Video game company CEO out over pro-life comment on Texas abortion law, By Ryan Lovelace, The Washington Times, September 8, 2021, Pg. A6

Conservative leaders are warning American corporations that they will pay the price for punishing right-leaning employees and red states after a Georgia-based video game company ousted its CEO for a tweet in support of a Texas law restricting abortions.

Tripwire replaced its leader, John Gibson, on Monday after he said he was proud of the Supreme Court.

“Proud of #USSupreme-Court affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat,” Mr. Gibson said in a Saturday tweet. “As an entertainer I don’t get political often. Yet with so many vocal peers on the other side of this issue, I felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer.”


6. South Dakota governor orders restrictions on abortion meds, By Stephen Groves, Associated Press, September 7, 2021

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday issued an executive order to restrict access to abortion medication and make it clear that medicine-induced abortions fall within state law requiring an in-person consultation with a physician.

Amid a nationwide push among Republicans to outlaw most abortions, Noem directed the state Department of Health to create rules that abortion-inducing drugs can only be prescribed or dispensed by a state-licensed physician after an in-person examination. South Dakota law already places that requirement on doctors, but the Republican governor’s order was made in anticipation that the Food and Drug Administration later this year will allow abortion medications to be dispensed through the mail or virtual pharmacies.


7. Vatican won’t say if women can vote in 2023 church meeting, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, September 7, 2021, 9:51 AM

Vatican officials declined on Tuesday to say if women would be able to vote on concrete proposals about the future of the Catholic Church at the end of a two-year process of consultation of ordinary faithful that Pope Francis kicks off next month.

For years, women activists and even nuns have pressed to be able to vote at Synod of Bishops meetings, which bring together the Catholic hierarchy to Rome to discuss pressing issues facing the 1.3-billion strong church.

Francis has sought to make them more inclusive, participatory and reflect on the real-world issues facing ordinary Catholics. But to date women haven’t been able to vote – not even the religious superiors who participate as representatives of the world’s 641,000 nuns.


8. Pope, patriarch and Canterbury abbot issue climate appeal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, September 7, 2021, 12:42 PM

The world’s top Christian leaders — Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians — on Tuesday issued a joint appeal for delegates at the upcoming U.N. climate summit to “listen to the cry of the Earth” and make sacrifices to save the planet.

In their first-ever joint statement, the three Christian clerics said the coronavirus pandemic gave political leaders an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the global economy and make it more sustainable and socially just for the poor.

“We must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations,” said the statement from Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby of the Anglican Communion and the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

But in the statement, they also noted that the threat is no longer far off.

“The extreme weather and natural disasters of recent months reveal afresh to us with great force and at great human cost that climate change is not only a future challenge, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival,” they said.

The statement sought to give a sense of urgency to the upcoming U.N. climate summit, which Francis at least is expected to attend in person.


9. When Worlds of Gender Ideology and Religious Freedom Collide, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, September 7, 2021, Opinion

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 during the Obama administration, was the most sweeping regulatory expansion of health-care coverage since Medicare and Medicaid were created in the mid-1960s. One provision of the act, Section 1557, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex by “any health program or activity” receiving federal financial assistance. A general antidiscrimination provision would normally be a fine idea. When it is hijacked by gender ideologues, however, it comes up against important conscience rights. 

Gender ideologues have a stronghold in the Biden administration. Health-care providers with religious, moral and medical objections to Biden’s transgender mandate are pushing back to safeguard conscience rights. Their legal victories may be the only reality check on this latest progressive ideology.

Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, the director of the Conscience Project, is the host of the Register podcast Religious Freedom Matters.


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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