Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (Supreme Court) The US Supreme Court has overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973, restoring the authority of individual states to regulate abortion.
“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” the Court majority ruled, rejecting the logic of the Roe and Casey decisions. “We now overrule those decision and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
The landmark ruling came on a 6-3 vote, with Justice Samuel Alito writing for the majority. The final ruling closely followed the argument of a draft by Justice Alito that had leaked to the press in May. Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett joined in opinion, with Chief Justice Roberts adding a concurring opinon. Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan filed a vigorous dissent.
The Court’s decision does not outlaw abortion, but allows for individual states to make their own laws regarding the practice. Pro-life leaders have emphasized the importance of political action at the state level to protect life, while pro-life jurists have argued that the courts should take the next logical step and recognize that unborn children should receive Constitutional protection.
Leaders of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the Supreme Court ruling. “This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life,” said Archbishops José Gomez and William Lori—the president of the USCCB and the chairman of its pro-life committee, respectively. “We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision.”
Radical pro-abortion groups had vowed to wreak havoc on Catholic churches and on pregnancy-help centers if the Court overturned Roe. The Department of Homeland Security has reportedly advised Catholic churches to step up security.
Pope Francis: Catholics, Oriental Orthodox should examine more sacramental sharing (CNS) On June 23, Pope Francis received members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The six Oriental Orthodox churches ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451).
During his address, Pope Francis emphasized that “ecumenism is essentially baptismal,” “ecumenism always has a pastoral character,” and “ecumenism already exists as a primarily local reality.”
After referring to previous agreements that allowed Catholics to receive some of the sacraments from Oriental Orthodox priests (and vice versa), Pope Francis said, “Now, on the basis of the theological consensus noted by your Commission, would it not be possible to extend and multiply such pastoral agreements, above all in those situations in which our faithful are a minority and in the diaspora?”
“This question is a challenge,” the Pope continued. “May the Holy Spirit inspire ways of moving forward on this path, which regards the good of persons, the good of souls, the good of the people of God, our people, not to moral, theological or ideological distinctions.”
Pope orders public release of archives from World War II (AP) Pope Francis has ordered the release of material from the Vatican archives covering World War II, the reign of Pope Pius XII, and the Vatican’s efforts to shield Jews from the Holocaust.
The Pope said that the archival material, which has been opened to scholars, should now be made available online. The move comes amid new controversy over the wartime role of Pope Pius XII.
Cardinal Parolin on arms for Ukraine: 'Peace cannot be constructed with weapons' (L'Osservatore Romano (Italian)) Speaking at Coopera 2022—an Italian conference devoted to development—Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, said that “war is at our doorstep” and that “the conflict in Ukraine like other conflicts shows us how war aggravates the tragedy of hunger and produces underdevelopment.”
Referring to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain, Cardinal Parolin said that “we can unblock the departure of the grain and distribute it to those in need” and that “it is important not to use grain as a political and military weapon.”
Commenting on arms shipments to Ukraine, he added, “Certainly peace cannot be constructed with weapons.”
The prelate also said that “5 P’s”—“people, peace, planet, prosperity, partnership”—are five paths of “progress towards a social and political order whose soul is social charity.” These “5 P’s” shaped the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Pope: 'The drama of Cain and Abel unfolding in Ukraine' (Vatican News) “we have returned to the drama of Cain and Abel; a life-destroying violence has been unleashed, a Lucifer-like, diabolical violence, to which we believers are called to react with the power of prayer, with the concrete help of charity, with every Christian means so that weapons give way to negotiations,” Pope Francis said in a June 23 address to participants in the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO).
Canon lawyer for jailed Argentine bishop now investigating accusers (Crux) The lawyer who represented Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta in a canonical trial is now investigating some of the clerics who testified against him.
Bishop Zanchetta is now serving a prison term in Argentina for sexual abuse. The results of an earlier trial before an ecclesiastical tribunal have not been made public. But the lawyer who represented him in that trial, Belda Iniesta, has now been appointed by the Vatican to investigate priests in the Oran diocese, where the bishop once served.
Iniesta said that there was no conflict of interest involved in his switch from defender of the bishop to investigator of the accusers. He said that his appointment for the latter role was natural because of his familiarity with the case.
Council of Cardinals, Pope hold online meeting (Vatican News) At an online meeting, Pope Francis and members of his advisory Council of Cardinals discussed the application of Praedicate Evangelium (the March apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia), as well as the agenda for the August 29-30 meeting of the world’s cardinals.
World Meeting of Families looks at how families protect life, pray, connect generations (Our Sunday Visitor) A “key dimension of the family vocation” is “to be guardians of the sacredness of human life from the first moment of conception to natural death,” Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, preached at the 10th World Meeting of Families on June 23. “The life of each child must be defended and protected precisely because God has great plans for that child’s goodness and holiness right from the very beginning.”
The World Meeting began the previous evening with a speech by Pope Francis (CWN coverage). Speakers on June 23 included Greg and Lisa Popcak of the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life, and Christopher Bellitto, professor of history at Kean University (IN).
Resist fear spread by organized crime with healthy, hopeful roots, Pope says (Vatican News) “We must also resist Mafia cultural colonialism through research, study and formative activities aimed at attesting that civil, social and environmental progress springs not from corruption and privilege, but rather from justice, freedom, honesty and solidarity,” Pope Francis said in a June 23 address to members of the Pontifical International Marian Academy and the Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate.
Without Jesus, we can do nothing, Pope tells Comboni Missionaries (Vatican News) Pope Francis received participants in the general chapter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus.
“We can do many things: initiatives, programs, campaigns,” the Pope said, “many things; but if we are not in Him, and if His Spirit does not pass through us, everything we do is nothing in His eyes, that is, it is worth nothing for the Kingdom of God.”
The Pope’s meeting with the Comboni Missionaries came five days after his meeting with eight members of the Comboni Survivors Group who had suffered sexual abuse as minor seminarians. The Pontiff did not mention sexual abuse in his address to the Comboni Missionaries.
German sex abuse lawsuit targets former Pope Benedict (Reuters) The man who is now 38 alleges he was sexually abused by a now-laicized priest when he was 11 and 12; thus, the alleged abuse took place in 1995 and 1996, well after the future Pope was Archbishop of Munich and Freising (1977-1982).
Nonetheless, the plaintiff alleges that the Pope Emeritus bears some legal culpability, as he had “responsibly approved” the priest’s appointment to a Bavarian parish, according to a CNS report.
Chicago parish offers pulpit to same-sex couple (CNA) Two men in a same-sex civil marriage offered a “Gospel reflection” at Old St. Patrick’s Parish in Chicago, during the time reserved for the homily.
“Let’s be honest, there are probably not too many gay dads speaking on Father’s Day at many Catholic churches on the planet today,” said one of the men.
Fertility doctors moving embryos to guard against legal protection (Wall Street Journal) American fertility clinics and their patients are moving embryos to guard against the possibility that some states might give legal protection to embryos, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Spokesmen for the lucrative assisted-reproduction industry explained that states could criminalize the destruction of frozen embryos that doctors said were not viable.
In 2019—the last year for which reliable data are available—more than 2% of the babies born in the US were the result of in vitro fertilization.
Marriage is not an unattainable ideal, Pope tells World Meeting of Families (Vatican News) “Family life is not a beautiful ideal, unattainable in reality,” Pope Francis said as he opened the 10th World Meeting of Families on June 22.
“Marriage is not a formality to be fulfilled. You don’t get married to be Catholic with the label, to obey a rule, or because the Church says so, or to throw a party,” the Pope told an audience of about 2,000 families, gathered from around the world for the three-day meeting. Fortified by the grace of sacramental marriage, he said, “God makes it a wonderful journey—to be taken together with Him, never alone.”
Cardinal Kasper rips German Synodal Path as 'attempted coup' (CNA) Cardinal Walter Kasper has denounced the German episcopal conference’s commitment to radical changes advanced by their “Synodal Path,” saying that the German bishops must recognize that the Church cannot be “remolded and reshaped to suit the situation.”
Cardinal Kasper—a noted theologian known for his liberal views, and a former president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity—said that if the German bishops failed to heed to concerns expressed by other bishops around the world, their campaign for change would be “breaking its own neck.”
Noting that the Synodal Path pledges German bishops to implement policies that conflict with current Church teaching, Cardinal Kasper remarked that the bishops, in doing so, would be renouncing their obligations. “Constitutionally,” he said, “the whole thing could only be called a coup.”
Vatican confirms schedule for Pope's July trip to Canada (Vatican Press Office) The Vatican has confirmed plans for a papal visit to Canada late in July, easing fears—at least for now—concerns that the trip might be postponed because of the Pope’s health problems.
The schedule released by the Vatican on June 23 calls for Pope Francis to visit Edmonton, Quebec, and the northern city of Iqaluit, in Nunavut territory, where he will meet with tribal elders and former students at one of Canada’s residential schools.
The Pope is scheduled to fly to Edmonton on July 24, and leave from Iqaluit on July 29, arriving in Rome the next morning.
Just ten days ago, the Vatican announced that the Pope’s plans for a trip to Africa earlier in July would be postponed “in order not to jeopardize the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee.” That announcement came two weeks after the Vatican had released a full schedule for the African trip, and less than a month before the trip was to take place.
Pope renews condemnation of anti-Semitism (Simon Wiesenthal Center) A 30-member delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center met with Pope Francis on June 22 and presented the Pope with a copy of a 1919 document by Adolf Hitler calling for the destruction of the Jews.
Based in Los Angeles, the Jewish organization is named after human rights activist Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005) and is devoted to Holocaust research.
Emphasizing the importance of “the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry and genocide,” Rabbi Marvin Hier told Pope Francis that “our world needs your leadership now more than ever.”
The Pontiff “denounced the current wave of anti-Semitism” and “urged the [Center] to continue to serve as a bridge between the past and the future,” according to the Center.
With 200 witnesses on docket, Vatican finance trial likely a marathon (RNS) Vatican prosecutors have indicated that as many as 200 witnesses may be called before the tribunal hearing the landmark financial-misconduct case.
The tribunal will continue questioning defendants at the next session on July 7, then begin hearing other witnesses. But the tribunal’s summer hiatus—as well as the large number of witnesses—guarantees that the trial will continue for months.