National Media Watch

Catholic Senator Contemplates Presidential Run

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Oct. 14 — Catholic convert Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., is assessing the possibility of a presidential primary campaign, reported The Times.

Brownback first ran for Congress in 1994. After being diagnosed with melanoma in 1995 he reevaluated his life and faith. Three years ago, with the sponsorship of Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., Brownback entered the Catholic Church.

Brownback has led efforts to ban human cloning and embryonic stem-cell research and has proposed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex “marriage.”

Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation said, “I mention him oftentimes to grass-roots people who call me and say: ‘What are we doing? We don't have a candidate in 2008.’”

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Abortion for Prisoner

MISSOURIAN, Oct. 18 — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the State of Missouri in favor of transporting a female prisoner to receive an abortion despite a state law prohibiting taxpayers from having to pay for such a trip, said the Missourian.

That decision came after Justice Clarence Thomas issued a temporary stay preventing the inmate's access to transportation. The full court, however, lifted Thomas’ stay Oct. 17 — without comment or an indication of which justices voted which way.

“We will be complying with the court order in this situation and transporting the inmate for the procedure,” said John Fougere, spokesman for the Missouri Corrections Department. He maintained, however, that transporting Missouri inmates for this elective procedure violates a 2005 law.

Over the past eight years, seven prisoners have been transported to receive abortions at a total cost of approximately $2,800 for Missouri taxpayers. Costs include the expense for fuel, as well as salaries for two custody officers to transport the inmate.

Traditional Orders Attract Young Women

DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL, Oct. 16 — According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, young women who are answering the vocational call are attracted to more traditional orders.

“Young people want to be challenged,” said Sister Wendy McMenamy, of the Ohio-based Sisters of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which has grown to eight sisters in just two years. “They want to feel like they're giving up something for Jesus.”

“More traditional orders are attracting more applicants than progressive orders,” said Dean Hoge, sociology professor at The Catholic University of America. But, he added, “neither are attracting that many applicants.”

Diocese Fires Planned Parenthood Volunteer

FOX NEWS, Oct. 17 — Sacramento drama teacher Marie Bain has been fired from her job at Loretto High School by Bishop William Weigand for escorting clients for abortion at Planned Parenthood, reported Fox.

Bishop Weigand described Bain's “public participation in the procurement of abortions … morally inappropriate and unacceptable.”

Catholic schools Superintendent Dom Puglisi said that while teachers can hold private beliefs, their public actions cannot conflict with Church teachings.

Planned Parenthood said that Bain volunteered weekly escorting clients. The organization described the diocese's action as “disappointing.”