Requiescat in Pace, Benedict XVI
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has passed away at the age of 95. USCCB President Archbishop Timothy Broglio reflected on his life and many contributions to the Church, which included a faithful witness to Jesus's teaching on the meaning of love, marriage, and the human person. Please join us praying for him and his successor.
Is the Church Rethinking Contraception? No.
A conference articulating the authentic Catholic view of contraception took place in Rome, organized by the International Catholic Jurists Forum in response to a document by the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Vatican think tank. The document appeared to challenge the teachings of Humanae Vitae and subsequent popes, which this conference upheld. Helen Alvaré, Robert George, Abigail Favale, and the USCCB's own Theresa Notare were among the many distinguished speakers.
Ending 2022 on a High Note
The podcast ended the year with a look back at The Muppet Christmas Carol on its 30th anniversary. At first glance, this kids movie might not have much substance, but it builds on Charles Dickens's classic in surprising ways.

In the previous episode, Fr. Gregory Pine, OP, from Pints with Aquinas joined us to talk about St. Thomas Aquinas's significant and underrated contributions to the theology of marriage. Later that same episode, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of Casablanca!

We had more listeners in 2022 than ever before, so thank you for helping us build something special!

Find previous episodes of the podcast here and share it with your friends!
Legal/Policy Updates
"Respect" for Marriage Act President Biden signed the misnamed act into law after it passed both houses of Congress just before the end of the congressional term. The law now endangers faith-based organizations and their ability to carry out their work while witnessing to the truth about marriage, as detailed in a letter by Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Barron.

Defending Conscience The Chairman of the USCCB Religious Liberty Committee, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, issued a statement of concern over proposed rule changes by the Department of Health and Human Services. The changes would impact the "Conscience Rule", which protects the exercise of religious and moral convictions in healthcare, specifically with regard to abortion and "gender-affirming" procedures.

Another Court Victory – The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Religious Sisters of Mercy in their case against HHS, protecting the sisters from a potential requirement to perform medical procedures that violate the dignity of the human person. This is the second victory against the Biden Administration's transgender mandate, following a ruling in another case by the U.S. Fifth Circuit in August.

Protecting Minors The Eighth Circuit also heard an Arkansas case (Brandt et al v. Rutledge et al) challenging the first state law banning "gender-affirming treatment" for minors. Multiple detransitioners testified in favor of the state law, which will not go into effect until its constitutionality is determined when the case is decided in 2023.

Males in Women's Sports The Second Circuit ruled against female athletes who sued Connecticut high schools for allowing female-identifying males to participate in women's sports. An appeal to the Supreme Court remains a possibility, and would be the first such case to go before the court.

Detransitioners After an advocate claimed before a House of Representatives committee hearing that those who undergo "gender-affirming treatment" never reverse course and embrace their natural sex, many actual detransitioners spoke on the contrary.

School Reform – South Florida school districts began rolling back LGBT-oriented policies in accord with the recently passed Florida Parental Rights in Education Act (misleadingly dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" act by opponents). These policies previously called for the use of preferred pronouns and the "genderbread person" as a teaching tool.

International – Spanish lawmakers passed a law allowing any individual age 14 or older to change their legally recognized "gender" without undergoing a medical evaluation. The Scottish parliament passed a similar bill for people age 16 or older, though resistance to transgender activism appears to be growing.