1. Biden Administration Prepares to Sue Texas Over Abortion Law, Lawsuit challenging restrictions limiting procedure to first six weeks of pregnancy set to be filed in coming days, By Sadie Gurman, The Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2021, Pg. A1

The Biden administration is preparing to sue Texas over its new law banning most abortions, people familiar with the matter said, an action that would set off a federal-state clash at a time when the future of abortion rights becomes an ever-more-pressing question before the courts.

The Justice Department could file a lawsuit as soon as Thursday, the people said, adding that the timing could be pushed back. The Biden administration has faced pressure from Democrats and abortion-rights groups to take action to stop the Texas restrictions after the Supreme Court last week allowed them to take effect.


2. Texas’ Abortion Law Should Force America to Change Its Ways, By Karen Swallow Prior, The New York Times, September 9, 2021, Opinion

Abortion is a failure for every woman and her unborn child — a failure of love, justice and mercy. Texas’ new abortion law is far from perfect, but I hope it can move us closer to these ideals.

The highest purpose of human law is the protection of human life, from its beginning to its natural end. As a pro-life Christian, I believe that each of our individual origins are in the moment of conception. That’s when my life and your life began. Not in some abstract, ethereal way, but for real — all the very particular DNA, chromosomes, eye color, hair texture and toes of you.

The Texas law ought to compel us to help women with unwanted pregnancies in meaningful ways. The millions of dollars that Texas lawmakers have allocated to the Alternatives to Abortion program, which offers support to those who “choose life in difficult circumstances,” is a start.

Dr. Prior is a research professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a columnist at the Religion News Service.


3. Legislating in the Name of God, By Linda Greenhouse, The New York Times, September 9, 2021, Opinion

Republican politicians used to offer secular rationales for their anti-abortion zealotry: They claimed that abortion hurt women or that abortion procedures demeaned the medical profession.

But now, sensing the wind at their backs and the Supreme Court on their side, Republican officeholders are no longer coy about their religion-driven mission to stop abortion.

Who let God into the legislative chamber?

The answer is that we did. Our silence has turned us into enablers of those who are now foisting their religious beliefs on a country founded on opposition to an established church.

The fact that the four of the court’s six Roman Catholic justices and a fifth who was raised Catholic but is now Episcopalian, all conservative, allowed a blatantly unconstitutional law to remain in place pending appeal has barely been noted publicly.

Religion is American society’s last taboo. We can talk about sexual identity, gender nonconformity, all manner of topics once considered too intimate for open discussion. But we have yet to find deft and effective ways to question the role of religion in a public official’s political or judicial agenda without opening ourselves to accusations of being anti-religious.

A generation separated the Kennedy and Cuomo speeches, and a generation or more has passed since Mr. Cuomo’s declaration of independence at the University of Notre Dame. As the country lurches toward theocracy, we need voices like those more than ever.


4. Cardinal: Biden ignoring ‘Catholic teaching’ on life, By Mark Kellner, The Washington Times, September 9, 2021, Pg. A2

President Biden “is not demonstrating Catholic teaching” on life when the chief executive denies that life begins at conception, Archbishop Cardinal Wilton Gregory of the District told a National Press Club audience Wednesday.

Mr. Biden, the second Catholic to be elected president, said at a Sept. 3 event, “I have been and continue to be a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade, No. 1… I respect them, those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all, I respect that. Don’t agree, but I respect that.”

Cardinal Gregory, responding to a reporter, said, “The Catholic Church teaches and has taught that life human life begins at conception. So the president is not demonstrating Catholic teaching.” Cardinal Gregory did not suggest there would be any ecclesiastical consequences for Mr. Biden.


5. Vatican says 6th Chinese bishop consecrated under 2018 deal, By Associated Press, September 8, 2021

The Catholic diocese of Wuhan, China — where the coronavirus was first detected — has a new bishop who was nominated by the pope according to the Vatican’s controversial accord with China, the Holy See said Wednesday.

Bishop Francis Cui Qingqi, a Franciscan, is the sixth bishop nominated and consecrated according to the 2018 deal on bishop nominations.


6. Louisiana Catholics pitch in as cleanup from Hurricane Ida continues, By Bob Smietana, Religion News Service, September 8, 2021, 5:43 PM

In the 10 days since the hurricane hit, volunteers from St. Xavier Church — which suffered damage in the storm — have made meals for their neighbors, donated funds to help hard-hit churches in other communities and begun the work of getting ready to reopen the parish’s school.

Similar scenes have played out at almost every parish in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Catholics across the city and the surrounding area have spent the last week helping their neighbors while also trying to repair the damage left in Ida’s wake.

Nearly 50 churches in the archdiocese suffered damage ranging from downed trees and broken windows to flooding and collapsed ceilings and walls, according to an update published by the Clarion Herald, the archdiocese newspaper. Several schools were damaged as well. Many churches remain without power.


7. Diocese vows to be timely, transparent in sex abuse cases, By Associated Press, September 8, 2021, 2:46 PM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield on Wednesday promised to adopt a series of measures intended to improve its handling of sexual abuse allegations.

The measures were recommended by a task force the diocese commissioned more than a year ago amid criticism of its handling of complaints. The panel issued its final report Wednesday and Bishop William Byrne said he will accept its suggestions.

As part of its new plan, the diocese said it will overhaul its policies to be more timely and transparent when responding to complaints, and it promised accountability for those who carry out abuse or fail to report it.


8. Texas man gets execution delay over pastor’s touch request, By Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk, Associated Press, September 8, 2021, 10:47 PM

A Texas death row inmate won a reprieve Wednesday evening from execution for killing a convenience store worker during a 2004 robbery that garnered $1.25 after claiming the state was violating his religious freedom by not letting his pastor lay hands on him at the time of his lethal injection.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked John Henry Ramirez’s execution about three hours after he could have been executed. He is condemned for fatally stabbing 46-year-old Pablo Castro, who worked at a Corpus Christi convenience store.


9. Fighting Texas abortion law could be tough for federal gov’t, By Lindsay Whitehurst and Michael Balsamo, Associated Press, September 8, 2021, 8:43 PM

Foes of the new Texas law that bans most abortions have been looking to the Democratic-run federal government to swoop in and knock down the most restrictive abortion law in effect in the country. But it’s nowhere near that simple.

President Joe Biden , who denounces the law as “almost un-American,” has directed the Justice Department to try to find a way to block its enforcement. And Attorney General Merrick Garland says his prosecutors are exploring all possible options. But legal experts warn that while the law may ultimately be found unconstitutional, the way it’s written means it’ll be an uphill legal battle.


10. Catholic bishops’ commission laments EU religious freedom envoy vacancy, By Catholic News Agency, September 8, 2021, 1:00 PM

A Catholic bishops’ commission said on Wednesday that it is a “pity” that the “key position” of EU religious freedom envoy is now vacant.

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) congratulated the outgoing envoy Christos Stylianides on Sept. 8 on his next role as head of Greece’s new climate crisis ministry.

“We urge the EU Commission to swiftly appoint a new one with reinforced mandate/resources,” COMECE wrote on its Twitter account.

ADF International, a Christian legal group, lamented Stylianides’ departure months after he took up the role.

“The current plight of Christians, Shia Muslims, and other religious minorities in Afghanistan highlights the need for a special envoy to quickly get to work, focusing on the needs of the most persecuted worldwide,” said Adina Portaru, the group’s senior counsel in Brussels, Belgium.


11. The unusual new normal on Chinese bishops’ appointments, By
Ed. Condon, The Pillar, September 8, 2021, Opinion

The appointment of the sixth Chinese bishop to be named under the terms of a deal between the Holy See and Beijing was announced on Wednesday.

The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association announced the consecration of a new bishop, Francis Cui Qingqi, to lead the Diocese of Hankou-Wuhan. The appointment was subsequently confirmed by the Vatican.  

The consecration of a new bishop for China, where dozens of dioceses remain vacant, should be big news. But the way the appointment was announced, both in China and in Rome, was unusual.And it could suggest ongoing dysfunction at the heart of the Church’s agreement with the Chinese Communist Party.

Customarily, episcopal appointments are announced in the Vatican’s daily news bulletin, usually months before bishops are actually consecrated and installed. Bishop Cui’s appointment was not announced in that way.

Instead, the director of the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni, released a brief statement Wednesday confirming the bishop’s appointment and consecration.

Several sources close to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of State, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and in China — and all familiar with the appointment process  —  told The Pillar the consecration of both bishops had been organized by the CPCA without consultation in Rome.

According to sources close to the process, the pope’s approval of a candidate may come before or after the CPCA’s final decision, or even not at all, effectively leaving Rome with the choice of accepting Chinese appointments as they happen, or else face a renewed schism between Rome and the CPCA — the Chinese ecclesial association which oversees the Church in China, and which has long appointed bishops in China without Vatican approval. That practice was supposed to end with the 2018 Vatican-China agreement.

If Pope Francis wanted to signal his dissatisfaction with the way China is managing episcopal appointments on the mainland, the threat of appointing an ambassador to Taiwan might be enough to make Beijing take more seriously its obligations in the Vatican-China.

It would be a highly unusual move by the Vatican, but little about Vatican-China relations is normal. 


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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