Thursday, January 17, 2013

Five Things to Remember on Jan. 17

1.      National Vocation Awareness Week began Sunday. This week we have guest posts by young priests and religious. Here’s the fourth vocation post, by Jesuit Father Charles Frederico  

2.      The First Circuit Court of Appeals in ACLU of Massachusetts v. USCCB vacated a lower court ruling from March 2012 that found that HHS had violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment over an anti-human trafficking contract that HHS had previously awarded to the USCCB. HHS and USCCB eventually won on limited grounds that didn’t decide the core issue whether the conscience clause in the USCCB contract w/HHS violated the Establishment Clause. The court also didn’t reach the more peripheral (but still important) question of whether ACLU alone (i.e., not as attorneys for an aggrieved trafficking victim or subcontractor) has standing to challenge the contract, solely as an interested association of taxpayers. The court only found that there is no more dispute left for the court to decide, because the original contract ran its course – in legalese, that the case is moot. Since the decision—which was terrible—was vacated, there is no precedential effect whatsoever, not even as persuasive authority. That blight is gone. However, the lack of conclusive resolution to the case leaves open the possibility those similar suits could be re-filed.

3.      It’s all in how you ask the questions. Pew Research out today indicates that 63 percent of Americans do not want to completely overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy 40 years ago  Meanwhile a Marist Poll taken last month found that more than eight in ten Americans favor abortion restrictions. 

4.      U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities is urging Catholics nationwide to participate in Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage, January 19-27, marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The intentions for these nine days will be for healing and conversion, for elected officials who support abortion and for all people whose lives have been forever changed by an abortion. 

5. God loves you.

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