Knights of Columbus Pope John Paul II Council 13808 Greensboro, GA
Knights of ColumbusPope John Paul II Council 13808Greensboro, GA
Justices seem willing to allow Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
In the Supreme Court’s first major abortion case in decades–which looked at Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy–the majority of justices Dec. 1 seemed willing to let that ban stay in place. But it was unclear if they would take this further and overturn Roe. The post Justices seem willing to allow Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Senior Side: Friendship with God (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
There is another dimension or perspective on friendship that all seniors ought to consider in the second half of life. As I get closer to the end than the beginning, I’m realizing how important it is to establish a friendship with my creator.   The post Senior Side: Friendship with God appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Youth and young adult writers needed (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
High school youth and young adults in the Archdiocese of Atlanta are invited to contribute to The Georgia Bulletin beginning in January 2022. The post Youth and young adult writers needed appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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St. Anna Church honors clergy  (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
St. Anna Church, a rural parish in Walton County, held an appreciation weekend for its clergy after Masses Nov. 6-7. The post St. Anna Church honors clergy  appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Knights host “Carry Your Cross” hike (Tue, 30 Nov 2021)
The Knights of Columbus at Transfiguration Church carried 40-pound wooden crosses up Kennesaw Mountain to raise money for seminarians. The post Knights host “Carry Your Cross” hike appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Now is time to build new world without inequality, injustice, pope says (Sun, 19 Apr 2020)
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) — As the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a risk it will be struck by an even worse virus — that of selfish indifference, Pope Francis said. This … Continue reading →
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Puerto Rico: ‘An unprecedented level of need’ (Mon, 06 Nov 2017)
Catholic News Service was the first major Catholic news organization to send a photographer and a reporter to tour the island and document the efforts of the church and other organizations to help many of the people far from the capital of San Juan. Continue reading →
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Historic Tomb of Michelangelo and altarpiece in dire need of repairs (Wed, 11 Oct 2017)
By Matthew Fowler ROME (CNS) — The historic tomb of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti family altarpiece in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence are in dire need of cleaning and restoration due to sustained damage over the past 50 … Continue reading →
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A look back at the Legion of Decency (Thu, 17 Aug 2017)
By Mark Pattison and Julie Asher WASHINGTON (CNS) — It’s summertime and the movies are plentiful. As everyone knows the summer movie season is a big one for Hollywood, and when it comes to a close, it is followed closely … Continue reading →
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Jamboree called ‘life-changing event’ for youths, adults (Fri, 28 Jul 2017)
Here’s a dispatch from Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia sent earlier this week by Msgr. John B. Brady from the national Scout jamboree, which closed today. A retired priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, he became … Continue reading →
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Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 23, 2017 (Fri, 21 Jul 2017)
July 23, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time       Cycle A. Readings:      1) Wisdom 12:13, 16-19      Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16      2) Romans 8:26-27      Gospel: Matthew 13:24-33   By Sharon K. Perkins Catholic News … Continue reading →
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John C. Quinn tended to the ‘least of these’ in U.S. newsrooms (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
WASHINGTON (CNS) – I’m convinced that around the country, and perhaps the world, there are many letters similar to the one I received in the mail some 18 years ago. It was written by hand and it ended with a … Continue reading →
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Some cheese with your ‘whine’: Pope ‘establishes’ complaint-free zone (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis left a not-so-subtle message outside his office in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence: anyone who is thinking of making a fuss, leave your whining at the door. … Continue reading →
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Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 16, 2017 (Thu, 13 Jul 2017)
  July 16, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time       Cycle A. Readings:       1) Isaiah 55:10-11       Psalm 65:10-14       2) Romans 8:18-23       Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23   By Jeff Hedglen Catholic News Service It seems as though every time … Continue reading →
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Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 9, 2017 (Fri, 07 Jul 2017)
The Scriptures this weekend contain a familiar, but difficult text. “Take my yoke upon you,” Jesus says. “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Continue reading →
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Supreme Court appears willing to allow Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
Washington 20211201T1400-SCOTUS-ABORTION-1513191.JPG People in Washington gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court Dec. 1, 2021, the day justices heard oral arguments in a case about a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn) In the oral arguments for the U.S. Supreme Court's first major abortion case in decades -- which looked at Mississippi's ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy -- the majority of justices on Dec. 1 seemed willing to let that ban stay in place. But it was unclear if they would take this further and overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. While the justices considered the state law and the possible ramifications of supporting it or not, people on both sides of the issue were on the steps of the Supreme Court revealing the divide on this issue by what they were shouting or with their placard messages calling abortion murder or an essential right. At several points during the argument, Chief Justice John Roberts continued to bring the focus back to the question at hand: the 15-week ban on abortions in Mississippi, which was struck down by a federal District Court in Mississippi in 2018 and upheld a year later by the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. A 15-week ban is not a "dramatic departure from viability," Roberts said. The point of viability -- when a fetus is said to be able to survive on its own -- was key to the discussion because the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that states cannot restrict abortion before 24 weeks, or when a fetus is said to be able to survive on its own. Roberts seemed hesitant to take this further, asking if the court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, if it also would be asked to reconsider several other cases that people could say have been wrongly decided. During that discussion of previous court decisions, the use of stare decisis came up frequently. The term, which literally means to stand by things decided, was used in reference to previous abortion cases but also several other cases. Some justices pointed out that precedence should not always be a deciding factor and that some cases did need to be overturned. Justice Stephen Breyer indicated the court was treading on contested ground and was concerned that its decision could be seen as merely being political. Justice Sonia Sotomayor took this a step further, saying the court would be seen as highly politicized if it were to overturn Roe and other related rulings. "Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?" she asked. "I don't see how it is possible." But as the arguments continued, more reflection seemed to be on the issue of abortion itself and the possibility of bringing the issue "back to the people," as Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart suggested. Stewart said that Roe and the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey "haunt our country" and "have no home in our history or traditions." The decision in Casey affirmed Roe and also stressed that a state regulation on abortion could not impose an "undue burden" on a woman "seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability." Justice Brett Kavanaugh said the court was being forced to "pick sides" on a contentious issue and questioned why the court had to be the arbiter on abortion. "The Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice," he said, noting that it "leaves the issue to the people to resolve in the democratic process." Justice Clarence Thomas asked what those opposed to Mississippi's ban thought was the constitutional right to an abortion, and Justice Samuel Alito spoke of the fetus having "an interest in having a life." Julie Rikelman, of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who represented the Jackson Women's Health Organization in its challenge of Mississippi's abortion law, said keeping the law in place would cause "profound damage to women's liberty, equality and the rule of law." U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar went on to argue that overturning the court's previous abortion rulings would have "severe and swift" effects causing abortion restrictions in other states. // Advertisement Advertisement If the court ultimately sides with Mississippi, it would be the first time the court would allow an abortion ban before the point of viability, and could lay the groundwork for other abortion restrictions from other states. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a court brief supporting Mississippi, said abortion is not a right created by the Constitution and called it "inherently different from other types of personal decisions to which this court has accorded constitutional protection." Referring to the court's major abortion decisions, the brief warned that if the Supreme Court "continues to treat abortion as a constitutional issue," it will face more questions in the future about "what sorts of abortion regulations are permissible." Just as the arguments started, the bishops issued a statement from Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, which said: "We pray that the court will do the right thing and allow states to once again limit or prohibit abortion and in doing so protect millions of unborn children and their mothers from this painful, life-destroying act." A ruling in the case is expected in July. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Clergy comfort students, community after tragic high school shooting (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
Lake Orion, Mich. 20211201T0915-MICHIGAN-SCHOOL-SHOOTING-1513177.JPG Oxford High School students and staff attend Mass Nov. 30, 2021, at St. Joseph Church in Lake Orion, Mich. (CNS photo/Michael Stechschulte, Detroit Catholic) Oxford High School students and staff attend Mass Nov. 30, 2021, at St. Joseph Church in Lake Orion, Mich. (CNS photo/Michael Stechschulte, Detroit Catholic) Many were not Catholic, but they arrived at St. Joseph Catholic Church the night of Nov. 30 nonetheless — first a trickle, then a steady stream. Soon, a sea of varsity jackets and sweatshirts emblazoned with Oxford High School's mascot, the Wildcats, overwhelmed the vestibule of the Lake Orion church. Hugs were exchanged and cathartic tears were shed. Friends separated in fear hours earlier reunited, and parents consoled one another in their grief. Earlier in the day, a gunman — alleged by authorities to be a 15-year-old Oxford High sophomore — took the lives of three Oxford students and wounded eight other people in the worst school shooting in Michigan history. As the community came together at St. Joseph, the closest Catholic parish to Oxford, just 4.4 miles away in neighboring Lake Orion, the parish's regularly scheduled Tuesday evening liturgy became an impromptu occasion of healing for a community that will need plenty of it in the coming weeks and months. "This is truly what a strong community does. We come forth. We bond together. We hug one another," Father Jim Kean, pastor of St. Joseph, told the nearly 1,000 parents, students, parishioners and community members who gathered for the Mass. "We turn to those words that on a day like today aren't particularly easy to say: 'I love you.' 'How are you?' 'Are you OK?'" Even as the Mass was celebrated, lights and sirens could be seen and heard outside as the investigation into the shooting continued to unfold. Late into the evening, news reports indicated authorities were raiding the downtown Oxford home of the alleged suspect, who was taken into custody shortly after the shooting. Authorities responded to multiple 911 calls around 12:50 p.m. at the public high school, located about 45 miles north of Detroit in northern Oakland County, as reports of an active shooter began to leak out into the community. According to police, the suspect — who has not yet been identified publicly — fired 15 to 20 rounds from a semiautomatic handgun in approximately five minutes before surrendering to authorities. Authorities later identified the three students killed as 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 16-year-old Tate Myre. The eight others wounded — including seven students and a teacher — were transported to nearby hospitals. Three remained in critical condition early Dec. 1. As panicked parents frantically tried reaching their children at the school, many turned to social media for information. John Wurges, who attended the Mass at St. Joseph, said his daughter, an Oxford High student, was home from school Nov. 30 after breaking up with her boyfriend. // Advertisement Advertisement "Her and I were in the living room talking when she looked at her phone and saw what was going on," a visibly shaken Wurges, who isn't Catholic but attended the Mass out of a sense of solidarity with the community, told Detroit Catholic, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Wurges said a fellow parent was having difficulty reaching his own daughter, one of Wurges' daughter's friends, and asked for help. After a few text messages, the girl was discovered to be safe, having hidden in a closet at the school. "It's crazy what's going on. For this to hit our community is just devastating," Wurges said. "We're gonna have to stick together. We've got to find a way to keep our kids safe." In the aftermath of the shooting, students were evacuated to a nearby Meijer supermarket, which subsequently closed to customers and served as a hub for parents to pick up their children. After hearing of the shooting, Father John Carlin, associate pastor at St. Joseph — which locked down its own grade school as a precaution — went to the supermarket to offer whatever spiritual and emotional support he could. "Something told me as a priest, as a father to the community, that I was supposed to be there," said Father Carlin, who celebrated the Nov. 30 Mass. During his homily, Father Carlin consoled students and families, assuring them that God hears their prayers and cries and that nothing is stronger than Jesus' victory over death. "Every time we experience a loss of friends or loved ones or something we don't understand, the Lord wants not only to walk with us in that darkness, but to let us know that He is there," Father Carlin said. "He's not going anywhere, and He never will." After the liturgy, several remained inside the parish for eucharistic adoration, while Father Kean, Father Carlin and clergy from St. Joseph counseled students, parents and parishioners and offered confessions to those who wanted it. At the end of the Mass, Father Kean acknowledged the difficulty of facing friends and loved ones in the aftermath of a tragedy, even mustering the courage to say, "I love you." "We recognize that these words are hard because of the love we feel surrounding us," Father Kean said as students in the congregation broke down in tears. "Even simple gestures, when people extend their thanks and appreciation to you or let you know that they're thinking of you, those waves of emotion can hit you again." "We recognize that these words are hard because of the love we feel surrounding us," Father Kean said. Father Kean said he received a call from Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who was audibly concerned for the community's well-being and sent his prayers for the victims and their families. statement "As Archbishop Vigneron spoke to me, you could hear the emotion catching up with him a bit," Father Kean said. "But it brings us together to have that emotion. It gives us a fuller sense of comfort to know that so many are praying for us, and though they are far away in distance, they're near to our hearts." Shortly after news of the shooting, Archbishop Vigneron said in a statement: "I am heartbroken to hear of the horrific tragedy at Oxford High School. On behalf of the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit, I offer heartfelt prayers for the victims, their families, and all those affected in our community. "May Our Blessed Mother wrap all those wounded — physically, emotionally or spiritually— in her loving mantle and offer them consolation in the difficult days ahead.” Among those praying was Gage Harris, an alumnus of St. Joseph School who has friends in the Oxford community. Harris, now a sophomore in college, said his brother knew one of the victims, Myre, a member of the football team. "My heart goes out to the families that are suffering right now," Harris said. "And I hope that they can get through this because this is a really tough time for our community." "We're strong. We're bonding. We're here for one another," Harris added. "When you see people here praying for you, it gives you that hope back. Even when you feel like everything is gone, you know that you have something to turn to and that God is always there, even when it's super dark. You always have that light that God gives you." Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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God can act in unexpected ways, calling for brave acceptance, pope says (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
Vatican City 20211201T1000-POPE-AUDIENCE-JOSEPH-JUST-1513156.JPG Pope Francis greets a group of nuns after his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Dec. 1, 2021. (CNS photo/Yara Nardi, Reuters) Pope Francis greets a group of nuns after his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Dec. 1, 2021. (CNS photo/Yara Nardi, Reuters) St. Joseph teaches people to learn to take life as it comes and to accept what God has in mind, Pope Francis said. Speaking about how Joseph reacted to Mary being pregnant while they were still engaged, the pope explained why St. Joseph "gives us an important lesson: He chooses Mary with 'his eyes open,'" and "with all the risks" that came with it. "They had probably cultivated dreams and expectations regarding their life and their future," he said during his weekly general audience Dec. 1. But then, "out of the blue, God seems to have inserted himself into their lives and, even if at first it was difficult for them, both of them opened their hearts wide to the reality that was placed before them." During his audience in the Vatican's Paul VI hall, Pope Francis continued a series of talks on St. Joseph, reflecting on his role as a just man and husband of Mary, and what he can teach all engaged couples and newlyweds. St. Joseph was pious and subject to observing the religious laws of the time, which called for stoning a woman accused of adultery or — with later interpretations — a formal repudiation that had civil and criminal consequences for the woman, the pope said. But Joseph's "love for Mary and his trust in her suggested a way he could remain in observance of the law and save the honor of his bride. He decided to repudiate her in secret, without making noise, without subjecting her to public humiliation." "How holy Joseph was," Pope Francis said. In contrast, "we, as soon as we have a bit of gossip, something scandalous about someone else, we go around talking about it right away!" An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him not to fear taking Mary as his wife and explaining the divine origin of and plan for her son. God reveals "a greater meaning than his own justice. How important it is for each one of us to cultivate a just life and, at the same time, to always feel the need for God's help to broaden our horizons and to consider the circumstances of life from an always different, larger perspective," the pope said. Many times, he said, people feel "imprisoned" by what happens to them and are tempted to "close in on that pain, in that thought that good things never happen to us. And this is not good for us. This leads you to sadness and bitterness. A bitter heart is so ugly." Often, "a providence is hidden that takes shape over time and illuminates the meaning even of the pain that has touched us," he said. // Advertisement Advertisement By taking this risk, Joseph "gives us this lesson: to take life as it comes. Has God intervened there? I accept it" and seek to follow God's guidance, the pope said. During their engagement, Christian couples are called to witness to this kind of love that "has the courage to move from the logic of falling in love to that of mature love," the pope said. Mature love moves from infatuation and imagination to taking "responsibility for one's life as it comes." It is demanding, but it will strengthen their love "so that it endures when faced with the trials of time," he added. "Dear brothers and dear sisters, our lives are very often not what we imagine them to be. Especially in loving and affectionate relationships," Pope Francis said. He repeated his advice to married couples, urging them to always make peace before the end of the day and never let arguments or bad feelings fester "because the cold war the next day is very dangerous. Don't let war begin the next day." At the end of the audience, the pope recalled that Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. "It is an important occasion to remember the many people who are affected by this virus. For many of them, in some areas of the world, access to the necessary treatment is not available. My hope is that there might be a renewed commitment in solidarity to guarantee fair and effective health care," he said. He also asked for prayers for his trip Dec. 2-6 to Cyprus and Greece to visit the people whose countries are "rich in history, spirituality and civilization." "It will be a journey to the sources of apostolic faith and of fraternity among Christians of various confessions. I will also have the opportunity to draw near to a humanity wounded in the persons of so many migrants in search of hope: I will visit Lesbos. I ask all of you, please, to accompany me with your prayer," he said. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Catholic church burned as Myanmar military continues assault (Tue, 30 Nov 2021)
Yangon, Myanmar 20211130T1130-MYANMAR-TARGET-CHRISTIANS-1513077.JPG A woman is pictured in a file photo praying at St. Anthony church in Yangon, Myanmar. (CNS photo/Jorge Silva, Reuters) A woman is pictured in a file photo praying at St. Anthony church in Yangon, Myanmar. (CNS photo/Jorge Silva, Reuters) Myanmar's military continues to target churches in predominantly Christian regions in the Buddhist-majority country, ignoring appeals by the Catholic Church and world leaders, reported UCA News. The latest military assault on Christians in Myanmar's ethnic regions is not the first time the minority has been attacked and targeted. UCA News reported Christians have borne the brunt of the decades-old civil war and faced persecution at the hands of the military, which ruled for more than five decades. The latest attacks have accelerated since the February military coup. St. Nicholas Catholic Church in the deserted town of Thantlang in Myanmar's Chin state was burned by the military Nov. 27, local media reports said. UCA News reported the Chin Human Rights Organization said the junta set fire to houses in Thantlang Nov. 26, with fires burning for three straight days as soldiers continued arson attacks. St. Nicholas was reportedly among dozens of structures to be destroyed by the fire, according to rights group. The latest attack came within a couple of days of at least 49 buildings, including Thantlang Centenary Baptist Church, being burned to the ground. More than 300 houses, including four churches, have been destroyed by military arson attacks in the town since September. // Advertisement Advertisement In the predominantly Christian states of Kayah and Chin, more than 130,000 civilians have been forced to seek refuge in churches, convents and makeshift camps even while the military is targeting priests and pastors, bombing and vandalizing churches, UCA News reported. Chin state is 85% Christian and has been the state at the forefront of resistance to the military junta; the military has responded with fierce attacks, including air strikes, heavy artillery and indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Hundreds have been arbitrarily detained and dozens killed. The Chin Human Rights Organization said at least 22 churches were burned or destroyed by the military along with more than 350 civilian homes in the state between August and November. Church leaders, including Pope Francis, have called for the military not to target religious buildings, as places of worship are the cultural property of a community covered by international protocols. After the military shelled Sacred Heart Cathedral in Pekhon, in Shan state, three times in five months, Bishop Peter Hla pleaded with the military to stop. "Attacking the cathedral is like attacking the hearts of each of the faithful, and all the faithful feel sad due to attacks," Bishop Hla said in a letter. Since the conflict escalated in May, Pekhon Diocese is one of the worst-affected areas, along with Loikaw Diocese in Kayah state, UCA news reported. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Teacher fired by Catholic school wins appeal to continue lawsuit (Tue, 30 Nov 2021)
Washington 20211130T1145-INDIANAPOLIS-TEACHER-APPEAL-1513086.JPG Cathedral High School in Indianapolis is seen in this 2018 file photo. (CNS photo/John Shaughnessy, The Criterion) Cathedral High School in Indianapolis is seen in this 2018 file photo. (CNS photo/John Shaughnessy, The Criterion) The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 23 that an Indiana trial court "committed reversible error" when it dismissed a former teacher's lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis earlier this year. The unanimous decision by the appellate court's panel allows the initial lawsuit filed by the teacher, who was fired from a Catholic school, to move forward. The case involves Joshua Payne-Elliott, a former world language and social studies teacher at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis who was fired in June 2019. Payne-Elliott claimed the Indianapolis Archdiocese illegally interfered with his contract with the school where he had been teaching for 13 years by mandating that all Catholic schools in the archdiocese enforce a morality clause that did not permit employees to be in same-sex marriages. Payne-Elliott married Layton Payne-Elliott, a teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, also in Indianapolis, in 2017. Indiana's Marion County Superior Court dismissed Payne-Elliott's lawsuit against the Indianapolis Archdiocese in May, which the former teacher appealed. The Indianapolis Archdiocese had asked a lower court to dismiss the suit when it was initially filed, saying it went against the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. The appellate court's 27-page decision said the trial court was incorrect in ruling that it didn't have jurisdiction to hear this case, and the panel also said it was it was too early in the process to dismiss it. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a "statement of interest" in the lawsuit brought against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and urged the Indiana court to stay out "of deciding what it means to be Catholic." // Advertisement Advertisement Days before Cathedral High School fired Payne-Elliott, Indianapolis Archbishop Charles C. Thompson removed  the Catholic status of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School since  it refused to dismiss Layton Payne-Elliott, the spouse of Joshua Payne-Elliott. In a news conference at the time, the archbishop said the issue involving the two schools came down to the Catholic Church's teaching on marriage. While stressing that "one's (sexual) orientation is not a sin," the archbishop said the issue involving the two schools "is about public witness of church teaching on the dignity of marriage as (between) one man and one woman. That is our church teaching." "In this particular case we're dealing with, those are ministers in our church. Teachers, guidance counselors, other leaders, leaders of the schools and other leaders in the archdiocese are bound to live out these principles," he said. In 2019, the Midwest province of the Society of Jesus, which administers Brebeuf, appealed the decree taking away the school's Catholic status to the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education. In late September of that year, the congregation announced it was temporarily lifting the decree until it made a final decision, which has not yet been announced. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Pro-life leaders react to President Joe Biden's statements about Dobbs abortion case (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis Oct. 29, 2021 / Daniel Ibanez/CNA Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 17:52 pm (CNA). President Joe Biden reaffirmed his support of Roe v. Wade on Wednesday, in response to a question about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could overturn the nation’s abortion precedent, though he said he did not listen to the oral arguments that took place earlier in the day. "I didn't see any of the debate today, the presentation today,” Biden said. “And I support Roe v. Wade.”  President Biden expresses his support for Roe v Wade as oral arguments for the historic #DobbsvJackson case are being heard by the Supreme Court. He says, "I support Roe v. Wade. I think it's a rational position to take. And I continue to support it." pic.twitter.com/HwexOxdWMJ — EWTN News Nightly (@EWTNNewsNightly) December 1, 2021 Biden’s presidency, which has repeatedly reaffirmed and expanded access to abortion and abortion rights, has been a source of continued contraversy owing to his Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”  “If Joe Biden had paid attention today, he would have heard the most rigorous debate the Supreme Court has ever had on abortion — the kind of debate all Americans deserve, but have been denied for almost 50 years since Roe v. Wade,” said Prudence Robertson of the Susan B. Anthony List.  “President Biden may have missed the debate at the Supreme Court today, but it's impossible to miss how much technology has advanced in fetal development, how far women have come in being able to carve their own path without abortion, or the rise of pregnancy help centers across the nation that stand ready to help her not need an abortion,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International.  Megan Wold, an attorney practicing in appellate and constitutional law who is a former law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito and a former deputy solicitor general in Ohio, said that “Roe v. Wade did not hold that abortion was simply rational, it held that abortion was so fundamental that states are obligated to allow abortion on demand until viability. That was wrong when Roe was decided and it is still wrong now.” Wold continued: “I think the Supreme Court knows that. As we heard today, a majority of the court understands that Roe has no basis in the Constitution or in our history and traditions, and that the passage of time has only further exposed how deeply flawed Roe is.” Andrea Trudden, senior director of communications and marketing for Heartbeat International, told CNA that if Biden had paid attention he “would have heard that women do not ‘need’ abortion to be successful. Through technological and scientific advances over the last 50 years, women have resources at their fingertips to help them overcome hurdles and set them up for success. Pregnancy help organizations offer compassionate care and support while providing practical needs to pregnant women through parenting classes, job training, and even housing so that no woman feels that abortion is her only option.” Brian Burch, president of Catholic Vote, said that it was almost impossible for him to believe the president would not have tuned in to Wednesday’s oral arguments “given the historical significance of the case and the politics surrounding it.” “I can't help but think his conscience is agitating him. He knows he's wrong, and yet persists in doubling down on defending the killing of millions of innocent children," Burtch said of Biden. During a press conference, Biden defended his support as the “rational position to take,” adding, “And I continue to support it.” “Even former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg understood Roe was wrongly decided,” Godsey told CNA. “Keeping the country captive to a culture of death is far from rational. Women deserve better than abortion.” “In 1974, Biden stated that I ‘went too far.’ Indeed, it put us in the company of a tiny handful of nations that allow abortion on demand more than halfway through pregnancy, when unborn babies can clearly feel pain, even up to birth,” Robertson of Susan B. Anthony said. “That is the radical status quo our ‘devout’ Catholic president swears allegiance to today," she said. "The American people and their elected representatives overwhelmingly reject this extremism. It’s time to restore their right to protect women and children.” Added Burch: “The Holy Spirit doesn't stop working, and neither should we."
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Dobbs v. Jackson: What did Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett say? (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 13, 2020. / null Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 17:22 pm (CNA). As the wait begins for a decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case, close attention will be paid to the comments and questions of three conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that some observers view as possible swing votes: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. At issue is a 15-week abortion ban passed in Mississippi, which challenges the court’s precedent of allowing abortions before viability, roughly 24-28 weeks into pregnancy. Pro-life groups are hoping the court, where conservative appointees have a 6-3 majority, will strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. A number of questions from the justices focused on the principle of stare decisis, a Latin phrase roughly meaning “to stand by things that have been decided,” and understood to mean that the court generally stands by its own precedent. The justices' questions and comments were made in response to the three lawyers who gave oral arguments in the case on Dec. 1. They are: Scott G. Stewart, the solicitor general of Mississippi; Julie Rikelman, litigation director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who was representing the Jackson Women’s Health abortion clinic in Mississippi, and U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar, who was representing the Biden administration in opposition to Mississippi’s law. Here are some of the highlights of what Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett said during the proceeding: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Roberts to Stewart: “On stare decisis, I think the first issue you look at is whether or not the decision at issue was wrongly decided. I've actually never quite understood how you evaluate that. Is it wrongly decided based on legal principles and doctrine when it was decided or in retrospect? Because Roe — I mean, there are a lot of cases around the time of Roe, not of that magnitude but the same type of analysis, that went through exactly the sorts of things we today would say were erroneous, but do we look at it from today's perspective, it's going to be a long list of cases that we're going to say were wrongly decided.” Roberts to Rikelman: “...if you think that the issue is one of choice, that women should have a choice to terminate their pregnancy, that supposes that there is a point at which they've had the fair choice, opportunity to [choose], and why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? Because viability, it seems to me, doesn't have anything to do with choice. But, if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?” Roberts to Rikelman: “...I'd like to focus on the 15-week ban because that's not a dramatic departure from viability. It is the standard that the vast majority of other countries have. When you get to the viability standard, we share that standard with the People's Republic of China and North Korea. And I don't think you have to be in favor of looking to international law to set our constitutional standards to be concerned if those are your -- share that particular time period.” Roberts to Rikelman: “It is certainly true that we cannot base our decisions on whether they're popular or not with the people. Casey seemed to say we shouldn't base our decisions not only on that but whether they're going to — whether they're going to seem popular, and it seemed to me to have a paradoxical conclusion that the more unpopular the decisions are, the firmer the Court should be in not departing from prior precedent, sort of a super stare decisis, but it's super stare decisis for what are regarded as — by many, as the most erroneous decisions. Do you think there is that category? Is there -- or is it just normal stare decisis?” Roberts to Prelogar: “...your discussion of the reliance interests and the ability of women and men to control their lives in reliance on the right to an abortion, the argument would not be as strong, I think you'll have to concede, given what we're talking about, which is not a prohibition; it's a 15-week line. Is that right?” Justice Brett Kavanaugh Kavanaugh to Stewart: “I want to be clear about what you're arguing and not arguing … to be clear, you're not arguing that the Court somehow has the authority to itself prohibit abortion or that this Court has the authority to order the states to prohibit abortion as I understand it, correct?” Kavanaugh to Stewart: “And as I understand it, you're arguing that the Constitution is silent and, therefore, neutral on the question of abortion? In other words, that the Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice on the question of abortion but leaves the issue for the people of the states or perhaps Congress to resolve in the democratic process? Is that accurate? ... [I]f you were to prevail, the states, a majority of states or states still could, and presumably would, continue to freely allow abortion, many states; some states would be able to do that even if you prevail under your view, is that correct?” Kavanaugh to Rikelman: “I think the other side would say that the core problem here is that the Court has been forced by the position you're taking … to pick sides on the most contentious social debate in American life and to do so in a situation where they say that the Constitution is neutral on the question of abortion, the text and history, that the Constitution's neither pro-life nor pro-choice on the question of abortion, and they would say, therefore, it should be left to the people, to the states, or to Congress … and we [the Supreme Court] should be scrupulously neutral on the question … I want to give you a chance to respond to that.” Kavanaugh to Rikelman: “I want to ask a question about stare decisis … history helps think about stare decisis … and the history of how the Court's applied stare decisis, and when you really dig into it, the history tells a somewhat different story, I think, than is sometimes assumed. If you think about some of the most important cases, the most consequential cases in this Court's history, there's a string of them where the cases overruled precedent. Brown v. Board outlawed separate but equal. Baker versus Carr, which set the stage for one person/one vote. West Coast Hotel, which recognized the states' authority to regulate business. Miranda versus Arizona, which required police to give warnings when the right to — about the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present to suspects in criminal custody. Lawrence v. Texas, which said that the state may not prohibit same-sex conduct. Mapp versus Ohio, which held that the exclusionary rule applies to state criminal prosecutions to exclude evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Giddeon versus Wainwright, which guaranteed the right to counsel in criminal cases. Obergefell, which recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In each of those cases...the Court overruled precedent. … So I assume you agree with most, if not all, the cases I listed there, where the Court overruled the precedent. So the question on stare decisis is why, if … we think that the prior precedents are seriously wrong, if that, why then doesn't the history of this Court's practice with respect to those cases tell us that the right answer is actually a return to the position of neutrality and — and not stick with those precedents in the same way that all those other cases didn't?” Kavanaugh to Prelogar: “When you have those two interests at stake and both are important, as you acknowledge … why should this Court be the arbiter rather than Congress, the state legislatures, state supreme courts, the people being able to resolve this? And there will be different answers in Mississippi and New York, different answers in Alabama than California because they're two different interests at stake and the people in those states might value those interests somewhat differently. Why is that not the right answer?” Justice Amy Coney Barrett Barrett to Stewart: “I have a question … about stare decisis. And I think a lot of the colloquy you've had with all of us has been about the benefits of stare decisis, which I don't think anyone disputes … You know, we have Plessy, Brown. We have Bowers versus Hardwick, to Lawrence. But, in thinking about stare decisis, which is obviously the core of this case, how should we be thinking about it — I mean, Justice Breyer pointed out that in Casey and in some respects, well, it was a different conception of stare decisis insofar as it very explicitly took into account public reaction. Is that a factor that you accept, or are you arguing that we should minimize that factor?. .. [Is there a distinct set of stare decisis considerations applicable to what the Court might decide is a watershed distinction?” Barrett to Rikelman: “... Petitioner points out that in all 50 states, you can terminate parental rights by relinquishing a child after abortion, and I think the shortest period might have been 48 hours if I'm remembering the data correctly. So it seems to me, seen in that light, both Roe and Casey emphasize the burdens of parenting, and insofar as you and many of your amici focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women's access to the workplace and to equal opportunities, it's also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy. Why don't the safe haven laws take care of that problem? It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly. There is, without question, an infringement on bodily autonomy, you know, which we have in other contexts, like vaccines. However, it doesn't seem to me to follow that pregnancy and then parenthood are all part of the same burden. And so it seems to me that the choice more focused would be between, say, the ability to get an abortion at 23 weeks or the state requiring the woman to go 15, 16 weeks more and then terminate parental rights at the conclusion. Why didn't you address the safe haven laws and why don't they matter?” Barrett to Rikelman: “I don't understand why 27 weeks is less workable than 24.” Barrett to Prelogar: “... I asked Ms. Rikelman this question too, but I'm not sure that I fully understand the government's position or Ms. Rikelman's position. So, on pages 18 and 19 of your brief, you talk about reliance interests and you quote some of the language from Casey about a woman's ability to participate in the social and economic life of the nation. And I mentioned the safe haven laws to Ms. Rikelman, and it seems to me I fully understand the reliance interests. There are the airy ones Justice Kagan was referring to and then there are the more specific ones about a woman's access to abortion as a backup form of birth control in the event that contraception fails so that she need not bear the burdens of pregnancy. But what do you have to say to Petitioners' argument that those reliance interests do not include the reliance interests of parenting and bringing a child into the world when maybe that's not the best thing for her family or her career?” Note: Transcripts obtained via the U.S. Supreme Court website. 
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Pro-life leaders, legal experts speak out after Dobbs arguments at US Supreme Court (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
Pro-life advocates at the 45th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2018. / Jonah McKeown/CNA Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 17:01 pm (CNA). On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerning Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. Leading up to and in response following the oral arguments, pro-life leaders and legal experts offered their perspectives.  Below is a collection of statements and social media posts.  Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie  Senior Fellow, The Catholic Association “Justice Sotomayor's assertions in today's oral argument in the landmark abortion case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health about fetal pain were wholly ignorant of the tremendous scientific advances in fetal medicine. As recently as last year, doctors in the Journal of Medical Ethics wrote, 'Current neuroscientific evidence supports the possibility of fetal pain before the 'consensus' cutoff of 24 weeks' and may be as early as 12 weeks. Not only does medicine agree that fetal anesthesia be administered for fetal surgery, a clear reflection of the medical consensus that unborn babies can feel pain, but like viability, the line marking when they feel pain continues to inch earlier.” “As a practicing diagnostic radiologist, I can attest that advances in ultrasound technology continue to astonish the medical community as to the humanity of the unborn child, a truth and medical reality that we can now see clearly in the earliest weeks of life. To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby's organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath. This case is before the Supreme Court today in large part because Americans have seen the evolving science and increasingly want a voice in a question of great moral consequence.”  As promised, Monica is wearing her “Her life is valuable” shirt. These little people are why we fight! #EmpowerWomenPromoteLife pic.twitter.com/BXNvbM999Y — Secular Pro-Life (@secularprolife) December 1, 2021   Sherif Girgis Associate Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School “Across the political spectrum, many close court-watchers who would've said at 9:59 a.m. that there is no chance the Court fully reverses Roe are now saying that's the likeliest outcome. The Chief repeatedly asked if there was a middle ground, and no one produced one. On the contrary, the lawyers for the Biden administration and the clinics repeatedly rejected any middle ground.”  “Justice Kavanaugh repeatedly signaled that he thinks abortion is entirely for the states to decide. Justice Barrett showed that the availability of adoption undercuts many of the arguments for a constitutional abortion right. I would be very surprised if Roe survived the summer. " "This is a moment we've been waiting for for more than 30 yrs. The willingness of the court to take up...this...case means that they...may be very ready to review and reverse the egregiously wrong decision that the court made in 1973."@KristanHawkins https://t.co/0X4gPe7mrG — Students for Life of America (@StudentsforLife) December 1, 2021 Megan Wold Legal Expert & Attorney Practicing Appellate and Constitutional Law “During today’s argument, the justices signaled that Roe was wrongly decided as an original matter; that Roe has been undermined by subsequent scientific and legal developments; that the Constitution is silent on the question of abortion; and that no right to abortion exists in our country’s history and tradition. These views support overruling Roe.”  “Moreover, no Justice proposed a new standard to replace Roe, and six justices suggested a willingness to eliminate Roe’s key viability holding.  It is clear that the court is likely to substantially weaken Roe, or more likely, to overrule Roe altogether."  Today is one of the most important days in the pro-life movement: the day oral arguments are heard for a case they could overturn Roe v. Wade. And we're outside SCOTUS to advocate for life during it. pic.twitter.com/vV4Dg8ho9u — Live Action (@LiveAction) December 1, 2021 Stephen Billy Executive Director, Charlotte Lozier Institute “Chief Justice John Roberts correctly stated during today’s Dobbs oral arguments that United States abortion law is extreme in comparison to global and European norms. The United States is among a small handful of nations, including China and North Korea, that allow elective abortion more than halfway through pregnancy, or after 20 weeks.” “I was stunned to hear the abortion industry counsel challenge Chief Justice Roberts on whether or not U.S. abortion law is extreme. The Chief Justice correctly cited CLI research that shows how Roe puts the United States in the same class with China and North Korea, allowing abortion-on-demand until the day of birth. Does the abortion industry not read the Washington Post?” “Despite Ms. Rikelman’s claims, the black-letter law is clear:  47 out of 50 European nations limit elective abortion prior to the 15-week limit proposed by Mississippi.” “When we stand for life, we are really protecting women. When we give women real choices and real options, they don't choose abortion.” -@TheRealMayraRdz, DFLA Chair of Hispanic Outreach#DobbsvJackson#RoeVWade — Democrats for Life (@demsforlife) December 1, 2021 Camille Pauley Co-Founder, Healing the Culture “Roe v. Wade is an archaic judicial artifact on life support, and the Supreme Court should seize this opportunity to dump it on the ash heap of history. But no matter how this decision falls, Roe is a crippled legal dogma that will not long survive.” “Science, philosophy, and public opinion have passed it by. Our hope is that the Court’s ruling in Dobbs will bury this dead letter from the past and reinstate the principles of human rights that are outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.”  “The lethal logic of Roe v. Wade is that your life won’t be protected unless you’ve attained a certain level of development, but this violates the most critical and important principles of civilization—do no harm, the ends don’t justify the means, every human being is intrinsically valuable, the right to life must take priority over the right to liberty, and numerous others. Without these principles, civilization collapses.”  FFL is here at the SCOTUS showing our #prolife support during the #DobbsvJackson hearing. Molly on the left is joined by her daughter Catherine. Thanks to all our supporters who are here today! pic.twitter.com/JwRSn0jObb — Feminists for Life (@Feminists4Life) December 1, 2021 Chelsey Youman National Legislative Advisor, Human Coalition Action “Roe was egregiously bad jurisprudence and has resulted in millions of deaths. Ending an innocent human life is not justified by purported reliance interests. Continued fidelity to Roe and Casey is extraordinarily disruptive to a functioning and healthy society, and if the Court’s rulings are to have any integrity, this precedent must not stand any longer. It is time for Roe to be consigned to the dustbin of history.” “We flatly reject the claim that abortion is necessary to the flourishing of women. We advocate every day for women who are able to parent, work, and succeed amid challenges. Human Coalition Action stands ready to advocate for a culture of life, regardless of whether Roe is overturned. We pushed for the expansion of the safety net in Texas for pregnant and postpartum mothers, and we will continue to advocate for protection of preborn children, and for prioritizing the health and safety of mothers.” Analysis: Justices seem ready to uphold law protecting babies at 15 weekshttps://t.co/ezKww42DOg#Dobbs #DobbsvJWHO #SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/j4XLx0GUoa — Heartbeat Int'l (@HeartbeatIntl) December 1, 2021 Tom Brejcha President and Chief Counsel, Thomas More Society “As the high court hears arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, we face the first real legal opportunity in over a decade to topple Roe v. Wade. The 1973 decision that legalized abortion in America has left a tragic trail of human carnage: more than sixty-two million dead children and countless broken families and wounded souls.” 4️⃣ Precedent/stare decisis The Supreme Court has overruled itself in the past to correct egregious wrongs. It can and should do the same in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization 9/10 — Susan B. Anthony List #ModernizeOurLaw (@SBAList) December 1, 2021 Dr. David Prentice Vice President of Research, Charlotte Lozier Institute “Respectfully, we suggest that Justice Sotomayor follow the science, which has not stood still since Roe was decided in 1973.  Modern research is revealing that unborn babies do feel pain at an early stage, and we see that science in action regularly during fetal surgery, in which doctors apply analgesia in utero to prevent the suffering of the unborn child.” Today, we give voice to the millions of Marchers calling for the Supreme Court to protect the inherent dignity of the human person and to empower women to choose life. This is why we march! 9/9#EmpowerWomen #ProtectLife — March for Life (@March_for_Life) December 1, 2021
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Physician blasts Justice Sonia Sotomayor for 'dead brain people' comment about fetal pain (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
Ultrasound of a baby in the womb. / GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 16:22 pm (CNA). U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor drew criticism from an accomplished physician for comments that appeared to draw a comparison between an unborn child and a corpse, suggesting that fetal movements recoiling from pain can be likened to reflexes in dead bodies. The comments came as Sotomayor attempted to create question marks within the larger argument for the humanity of unborn babies during the oral arguments Dec. 1 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a potentially landmark abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.  “To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby's organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath,” said Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, M.D., a radiology specialist with more than 20 years of experience. Sonia Sotomayor. Public domain. Sonia Sotomayor. Public domain. Sotomayor’s comments came on the heels of Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart’s argument that advances in medical science over the past 30 years have helped Americans grow in “knowledge and concern” about whether the unborn child is “fully human,” which are based in part on increased knowledge of the pain experienced by fetuses in the womb. “Virtually every state defines a brain death as death. Yet, the literature is filled with episodes of people who are completely and utterly brain dead responding to stimuli,” Sotomayor said. “There's about 40% of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don't think that a response to — by a fetus necessarily proves that there's a sensation of pain or that there's consciousness,” the justice said. Christie, co-author of a science-based amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case, criticized the Supreme Court justice for her assertions, calling them “wholly ignorant of the tremendous scientific advances in fetal medicine.”  “As recently as last year, doctors in the Journal of Medical Ethics wrote, 'Current neuroscientific evidence supports the possibility of fetal pain before the 'consensus' cutoff of 24 weeks' and may be as early as 12 weeks,” Christie said. “Not only does medicine agree that fetal anesthesia be administered for fetal surgery, a clear reflection of the medical consensus that unborn babies can feel pain, but like viability, the line marking when they feel pain continues to inch earlier,” Christie added. Christie emphasized that the medical awareness of the humanity of the unborn child has made its way to ordinary citizens, and not just doctors.  “This case is before the Supreme Court today in large part because Americans have seen the evolving science and increasingly want a voice in a question of great moral consequence,” she said.  Several pro-life organizations have extensive scientific information regarding the humanity of the unborn child, including the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
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Notable moments from the Supreme Court arguments over Mississippi abortion law (Wed, 01 Dec 2021)
Pro-life advocates demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2021. - The justices weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. / Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images Washington D.C., Dec 1, 2021 / 16:12 pm (CNA). Oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization have concluded. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Here are some of the more notable happenings in and around the court on Wednesday.  1. Opening argument: The court should overturn Roe and Casey 

 Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart opened his argument by claiming that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey "have no basis in the Constitution," and have "no home in our history or traditions.  “They've damaged the democratic process. They poison the law. They've choked off compromise for 50 years,” he said.  Stewart said those cases have "kept this court at the center of a political battle that it can never resolve.” “Nowhere else does this court recognize a right to end a human life," he said. 2. The two big words of the day: stare decisis “Stare decisis,” the legal term for “precedent”, was a hot topic Dec. 1, with nearly every justice raising the issue of how legal precedent should be applied to both sides of the case. Justice Brett Kavanaugh seemed to indicate that precedent is not necessarily a gold standard, noting that the court has overturned many high-profile cases.  "I think that is sometimes assumed if you think about some of the most important cases, the most consequential cases in this court's history, there's a string of them where the cases overruled precedent," said Kavanaugh, singling out Brown v. Board of Education, Lawrence v. Texas, and Miranda v. Arizona as examples. 3. Another hot topic: viability 

 Chief Justice John Roberts asked the lawyer for Jackson Women’s Health Organization if a 15-week cutoff for abortions could be more workable as a legal standard than viability.  "It seems to me that (viability) doesn't have anything to do with choice," said Roberts. "If it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?" Jackson Women’s Health’s counsel said it would not, as enacting a pre-viability line would result in states moving to ban abortions earlier and earlier in a pregnancy. Since the “viability” standard for abortion law was established in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, improved neonatal care has changed when babies are considered viable. Now, babies born at the 23rd week of pregnancy are statistically likely to survive. The earliest premature baby to survive, a boy named Richard Scott William Hutchison, was born when his mother was 21 weeks pregnant. 4. Pro-lifers rallied in large numbers… 
Hundreds of people braved the near-freezing temperatures on Wednesday morning for the “Empower Women Promote Life” rally outside the Supreme Court. The all-female lineup of speakers included members of Congress, pro-life leaders of all politcal backgrounds, including Terrisa Bukovinac, Dr. Grazie Christie, EWTN News in Depth host Montse Alvarado, Penny Nance, Jeanne Mancini, Erika Bachiochi, and Kristen Day of Democrats for Life of America.  5. ...While others shouted their abortions.

 Three women cheered as they allegedly took mifepristone, the first pill in an abortion-drug regimen, while standing in front of the Supreme Court. A video of the act was shared by the organization “Shout Your Abortion,” an organization which seeks to normalize abortion.  Erin Matson, executive director of Reproaction, called it “epic action.”  Communications professional Beth Baumann called the video “pretty monstrous,” and remarked, “They're acting like they're taking a tequila shot, not an abortion pill.”

 6. Will history look at Roe the same way it regards Plessy v. Ferguson?  In his rebuttal, ​​Stewart, representing Mississippi, compared Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health to Brown v. Board of Education. "In closing, I would say that in the dissent of Plessy v. Ferguson, Justice Harlan emphasized that there is no caste system here; and the humblest in our country is the peer of the most powerful. Our Constitution neither knows nor tolerate distinctions on the basis of race," he said. "It took 58 years for this court to recognize the truth of those realities in a decision. And that was the greatest decision that this court ever reached. We're running on 50 years of Roe,” said Stewart.  Roe “is an egregiously wrong decision that has inflicted tremendous damage on our country, and will continue to do so and take innumerable human lives" until it is overruled, he added.
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