25 Things That Caught My Eye: Religion in Ukraine, Unmasking Children, Senator Casey’s Vote for Abortion Extremism, & More | National Review

The Three Percent Non-Solution | National Review


2. George Weigel: The religious roots of Ukrainian resistance

Many Western observers have missed the deeply religious dimensions of Ukrainian identity – and Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression.


3. Eric Patterson: A threat to Russian authoritarianism

Ukraine’s religious diversity and freedom offer a clear alternative to Putin’s ways

4. Christianity Today: During Sunday Siege, Ukraine’s Churches Persevere

5. Nun in Ukraine: When we hear the sirens, we take the Blessed Sacrament, hide and pray

6. How the Ukraine conflict is reshaping relations between Churches

Pope Francis has often spoken of the “ecumenism of blood.” In the case of Ukraine, there is a “field hospital ecumenism,” which finds expression in the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO).

The Churches’ unity in defending the nation is apparent from an event on Feb. 24, the first day of the invasion. Metropolitan Onufriy, the head of the UOC-MP, released a surprising statement, in which he said: “Defending the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine, we appeal to the President of Russia and ask you to immediately stop the fratricidal war.”

“The Ukrainian and Russian peoples came out of the Dnieper baptismal font, and the war between these peoples is a repetition of the sin of Cain, who killed his own brother out of envy. Such a war has no justification for either God or men.”

On Feb. 28, the synod of the same Church addressed the following appeal to the Moscow Patriarch Kirill: “Your Holiness! We ask you to intensify your prayer for the long-suffering Ukrainian people, to speak your First Hierarchical Word on the cessation of fratricidal bloodshed on Ukrainian soil, and to call upon the leadership of the Russian Federation to immediately stop the hostilities that already threaten to turn into a World War.”


8. Where to Give to Help Ukrainians:

The Knights of Columbus launched the Ukraine Solidarity Fund, and donations can be made at kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html. On Feb. 25, the Knights of Columbus announced a commitment of $1 million for immediate distribution to support Ukrainian refugees and will match all funds raised up to an additional $500,000. The relief funding will be used to provide shelter, food, medical supplies, clothing and religious goods, as well as other humanitarian needs as identified, both directly in Ukraine and through refugee sites in Poland.


10. Nadine Maenza & Frederick A. Davie: Biden must prioritize the resettlement of Afghanistan’s religious minorities

11. How Chemical Pills Became the Go-To Abortion Method

Experts say the FDA has ignored data showing the dangers of Plan C

12. Maureen Ferguson: Sen. Casey, Democrats abandon pro-life roots

Bob Casey Jr. first ran for office as a pro-life Democrat, too, and was elected to the U.S. Senate largely on his father’s good name. That legacy is proud and noble — but it has become inconvenient at glitzy fundraisers and on Twitter. And so Mr. Casey, like his party’s leaders, has abandoned that proud, inclusive legacy and traded it in for cultural intolerance and ideological extremism. Mr. Casey is now a full-fledged member of Team Planned Parenthood.

13. Biden balks at explaining abortion stance to EWTN correspondent

U.S. President Joe Biden (D), a Catholic, declined to discuss why he supports abortion rights despite Church teaching prior to boarding Marine One ahead of a flight to Duluth on Wednesday, March 2.  

“I don’t want to get into a debate with you about theology,” said Biden, after being asked by EWTN Correspondent Owen Jensen about how he is able to reconcile his Catholic faith with his public support of abortion. “I’m not going to make a judgment for other people.”

14. Sen. John Kennedy urges Justice Dept. to crack down on anti-Catholic crime, vandalism

Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana Republican, prodded the Justice Department on Wednesday to act against rising crime targeting Catholic churches and worshipers, saying he has received no response since raising the issue in 2020.

 In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Mr. Kennedy cited numerous examples of attacks on Catholic churches and institutions, including arson, vandalism and beheading of holy statues.

“If the government continues to let these crimes go unpunished, it will further inhibit the people’s practice and enjoyment of their fundamental, constitutional right,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Thus, I again ask that the DOJ increase efforts to identify and prosecute criminals targeting Catholic people and property so that the tens of millions of Catholics in our country can continue to practice their faith safely.”

15. Pope Francis to visit South Sudan, DR Congo in July

16. Becket backs on-field prayer at Supreme Court


18. Stephanie H. Murray in the Atlantic: Speech Therapy Shows the Difficult Tradeoffs of Wearing Masks

When the world shut down in the spring of 2020, many speech-language pathologists told me, they were quick to adapt. A lot of practices immediately pivoted to teletherapy, often successfully. But remote therapy is tough for young kids. “He would just completely disengage, lie on the floor, start playing with the toys, literally turn his back to the computer, try to close it,” says Julia Toof, a parent in Somerville, Massachusetts, of her then-almost-3-year-old son. “It just didn’t work.” Teletherapy also typically required significant involvement from parents, many of whom were already overwhelmed by work and homeschooling during the pandemic.

And when in-person therapy resumed, masking requirements made it difficult. Some of the dozen-plus speech and language therapists I spoke with said children found the masks distracting. More important, masks hide the mouth from view, which the therapists said is disruptive to some forms of therapy, especially those that target motor speech and motor planning—“anything having to do with actual speech that comes out of your mouth,” said Alexandria Zachos, an Illinois-based pathologist. For “that type of therapy, you absolutely need to see the speech therapist’s mouth and they need to see yours,” Zachos said.

Where available, therapists used masks with a clear panel, with mixed results. “They are kind of uncomfortable to wear. They really heat up,” Zachos said. And although she’s tried a number of tricks to prevent them from fogging up, they inevitably do. Fogging aside, even clear masks prevent therapists from using tactile cues, such as straws or tongue depressors to push patients’ tongues into place, or bite plates to keep the jaw in alignment. Therapists have found creative work-arounds—some use videos to demonstrate tongue placement, for example— but the ones I consulted agreed that masks are not ideal. “There is just a lot of interference on so many levels that I think there are certainly kids whose care was impacted negatively and whose progress probably was slowed,” Levine said.

Problems in speech therapy were exacerbated by problems outside therapy. Parents told me their children are more hesitant to talk with a mask on, which makes it harder for them to feel secure in their ability to communicate. “He’s hardly understandable without a mask,” said a mother of a 3-year-old boy in Iowa who asked to remain anonymous. “If he’s not understood, he will not have the confidence to continue speaking.” And on the heels of extended school closures, kids seem to be more socially anxious; they can take a lot longer to warm up to therapists, says Craig Selinger, who owns a company that offers speech therapy and tutoring services in New York City. “Their verbal output is more restricted because they feel more uncomfortable,” Selinger told me. This is a particular concern for autistic kids, for whom therapy is often more about nurturing engagement than building vocabulary, says Danielle Lindgren, a Los Angeles–based speech-language pathologist.

Many parents and speech therapists have struggled to obtain any kind of accommodation. “She sees no work-around; there’s no opportunity to go outside or use a clear face shield,” Megan said of her son’s therapist. “We would do a rapid test every day before our speech therapy if we needed to.” Several therapists and parents told me that their schools or agencies did not provide clear masks.

The CDC does not list speech or language impairments among the acceptable reasons for exemption from school masking guidelines, so many schools do not grant one—either during in-school therapy sessions or while kids are in class. Even where exemptions could have been available for children with qualifying disabilities, some parents said they were scared to ask for them, fearing that their child would be ostracized by classmates as a viral risk.

19. Robby Soave: If COVID-19 Is Over for Congress, it Should Be Over for School Children Too

It’s gratifying that children can finally discard their masks while playing sports or enjoying outdoor recess; it’s also infuriating that it took this long for officials to throw in the towel. But most of the school day is spent indoors, where D.C. students are still expected to wear masks.

20.  Mark Regnerus: War Highlights Sex Differences and Family Ties

21. Mary Margaret Olahan: Liberal Activists Rebrand Sex Changes As ‘Gender-Affirming Medical Care’ To Bully State Officials Into Allowing The Mutilation Of Children

22. Five Steps Schools Can Take Now to Boost Youth Mental Health

23. Arthur Brooks: The Kind of Smarts You Don’t Find in Young People 

America needs more than innovation; it needs wisdom.

24. Did a cyberattack disrupt Archbishop Cordileone’s rosary for Ukraine?


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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.