Jul 24

TCA Media Monitoring July 19, 2024

TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 274 – Father Charron On Trump Assassination Attempt & Pablo Kay On Joy Of Catholic Journalism!
Father Jason Charron joins to discuss the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump and how Catholics can come together to unify in such a moment of division. With the great showing of Angelus News at the Catholic Media Association Awards, we talk with Pablo Kay about the work of Catholic journalism especially in light of the Eucharistic pilgrimage and Congress now convening in Indianapolis. Father Roger Landry also joins with an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel
1. Vatican unveils program for Pope Francis’ trip to Belgium and Luxembourg in September, The Vatican has released on Friday the program for Pope Francis’ trip to Belgium and Luxembourg in late September, where he will celebrate Mass for the faithful, as well as meeting with religious and political authorities, By Associated Press, July 19, 2024, 8:07 AM
The Vatican released on Friday the program for Pope Francis’ trip to Belgium and Luxembourg in late September, where he will celebrate Mass for the faithful, as well as meeting with religious and political authorities.
During the four-day visit, on Sept. 26-29, he will also hold private talks with his brethren in the Jesuit order.
According to recent figures, about half of Belgium’s population of around 12 million identifies as Catholic. Similarly, in Luxembourg, Catholics represent about 50% of the population of 650,000.
The pope’s visit is timed to coincide with celebrations of the 600th anniversary of Belgium’s two main Catholic universities.

2. The New Wave of Powerhouse Donors Backing Abortion Rights, Phoebe Gates, Karlie Kloss and Connie Ballmer push for rights after Dobbs, By Juliet Chung and Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2024, 8:00 AM
Phoebe Gates recalls a moment two years ago that set her on the path to donating millions of dollars to abortion rights groups.
Gates, now 21, was upset about the Supreme Court’s overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that enshrined the federal right to abortion. Her mother, philanthropist Melinda French Gates, urged her to stay angry, then asked, “What are you going to do about it?”

Model and activist Karlie Kloss said her Gateway Coalition has helped direct more than $3 million in donations to abortion clinics in the Midwest. Kloss, who as a teenager trained to escort patients arriving at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Mo., began planning to fund abortion access when the Dobbs decision was leaked in May 2022. 

Kloss is married to venture investor Josh Kushner, the brother of Jared Kushner, who is former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law. A spokeswoman for Kloss said she is “a lifelong Democrat and will vote for the Democratic ticket this fall.” 

The fight playing out across the country around emergency abortionspills to terminate pregnancies and efforts to restrict out-of-state travel for abortions is drawing donors who want to restore rights they view as fundamental. Others see a chance to drive voter turnout up and down the ballot.
Some of the new giving is coming from tech fortunes. Wendy Schmidt, who is married to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, has donated at least $10 million to state ballot initiatives on abortion rights, said people familiar with her giving. Connie Ballmer has given $2 million to an initiative in Michigan, where she and her husband, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, have deep ties.
In May, French Gates said her Pivotal Philanthropies Foundation would give a portion of $200 million over the next two years to groups working on abortion rights in the U.S.
Antiabortion groups long have relied on large donors, including the Catholic Church and Richard Uihlein, a billionaire conservative who founded an industrial shipping company.
Abortion-rights groups have also depended on funding from a handful of big donors, including the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. A flood of so-called “rage giving” from smaller donors boosted groups after Dobbs, but that has since subsided, re-emphasizing the importance of big gifts.

Longtime backers of abortion rights have stepped up as well. 
Sheryl Sandberg, who left Meta Platforms’s board earlier this year, has donated anonymously to abortion clinics for years. After Roe was overturned, she gave $3 million to the American Civil Liberties Union to fight abortion bans, her biggest public commitment yet. 

3. Pro-Lifers Helped Bring Trump to Power. Why Has He Abandoned Us?, By Patrick T. Brown, The New York Times, July 19, 2024, 5:02 AM, Opinion
I am far from the only young conservative whose interest in politics was sparked by the issue of abortion. In high school and college, we would stake out early-morning spots on the National Mall for the annual March for Life, write postcards to our elected officials and pray rosaries outside abortion clinics.
Along the way, many of us found ourselves in the Republican Party, often picking up other conservative causes along the way — low taxes, limited government, strong defense, border security. The bundle of preferences could be a bit ungainly at times, but we found progressive voices quick to shout down attempts for pro-lifers to work with Democrats. So the G.O.P. became home.
It’s hard to feel that way now. While traditional social conservatives and the Republican Party might be allies on some key issues, it looks like it is no longer just one political party that wants us to shelve our convictions in the name of political expediency. It’s both.
This shift has been a long time coming, but recent events have snapped it into focus. A secularizing America, plus the shifting composition of the Republican Party, means many G.O.P. voters are less churchgoing than prior generations. Many young conservatives, in particular, seem more enthusiastic about owning the libs than strengthening the family.

Pro-life conservatives should be cleareyed about this new phase of politics. The Republican nominee seems all too content to sell out those of us who got into politics to advance policies that protect what we see as human life from its earliest stages. Pro-life groups should not be too quick to offer Mr. Trump rhetorical cover nor accommodate Mr. Trump’s redefinition of common sense on the issue. At this point, the best-case scenario for pro-lifers may be hoping that a second Trump administration hires some social conservatives for key administration roles — but that is far from a given.
Getting rid of Roe was a tremendous legal victory for conservatives. Building on it will require political courage and savvy. But if it results in higher abortion rates, conservative leaders expressing support for the abortion pill and the continued diminishing of pro-life influence on the Republican Party, it will have cost a bitterly high price.
Mr. Brown is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank, and a former senior policy adviser to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee.
4. Opposition to Abortion Rights Is at Center of J.D. Vance’s Political Career
As he joins Donald J. Trump’s presidential ticket, Mr. Vance is seeking to play down, and in some cases rewrite, his views., By Lisa Lerer, The New York Times, July 19, 2024, Pg. A13
Throughout his brief political career, Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio has been an unapologetic opponent of abortion rights, a view driven by his Catholic faith and one he has cited as a driving force in his agenda.
He has supported a federal abortion ban, opposed exceptions for rape and incest, said he wanted to protect life “from the date of conception” and frequently described himself as “100 percent pro-life.”

In January 2023, Mr. Vance signed a letter asking the Justice Department to enforce the Comstock Act, a long-dormant law from 1873, to ban the mailing of abortion medication. Such an action could significantly limit access to such medication, which accounts for a majority of abortions in the country.

Now, as he joins Mr. Trump’s presidential ticket, Mr. Vance is seeking to play down — and in some cases rewrite — those views, saying he backs Mr. Trump’s support for “reasonable exceptions” and for allowing states to decide their own limits on abortion.

His current position is a clear softening for a candidate who once described staunch opposition to abortion as one of the most crucial litmus tests for conservatives.

5. For Catholic pilgrims, all roads lead to Indy for an old-style devotion in modern stadium setting, Catholics from across the U.S. have converged for five days of traditional devotions at the Indianapolis Colts’ football stadium in what they’re calling the National Eucharistic Congress, By Peter Smith, Associated Press, July 18, 2024, 5:00 PM
Like the star of an arena tour, a spotlight illuminated the glittering, golden vessel carried by a Catholic bishop. Inside, it held a round communion host, which Catholics believe is the full presence of Jesus in the appearance of bread.
The bishop placed it on an altar at the center of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Wednesday evening. It was the culmination of more than two years of preparations and two months of four cross-country pilgrimages destined for the Midwestern city and the first National Eucharistic Congress in more than 80 years. Thousands of Catholics converged for the start of a five-day gathering focused on devotion to the Eucharist and the core Catholic doctrine that it is not merely a symbol but is the reality of Jesus among them.
The congress reflects bishops’ attempt to revive traditional devotions that have waned in recent generations, even as some have questioned how this movement was forged. There has been debate involving politics as well as disputed research over whether most Catholics actually believe the doctrine.
The stadium remained quiet for a half hour of devotional adoration, followed by prayers, multiple speakers and an extended session led by a worship band in front of a stage set and lighting that simulated the look of gothic stained-glass windows. The music ranged from the solemn hymn “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” to contemporary, electronic-infused music that more resembled that of an evangelical megachurch than of a Mass songbook.
Bishop Andrew Cozzens, who brought in the Eucharist, read a gospel passage in which Jesus calls himself the bread of life.
“We want every Catholic to realize that you are alive in the Eucharist and to encounter your love,” said Cozzens, of the Diocese of Cookston, Minnesota, in an extended prayer.
Attendees expressed enthusiasm.

There were nine National Eucharistic Congresses between 1895 and 1941, an era when Catholics also gathered by the tens of thousands in stadiums and parades in their home cities for rosary prayers, Eucharistic adoration and other traditional devotions. Such events displayed the growing numbers and clout of the Catholic population, then largely defined by their urban neighborhoods and parishes made up of European immigrant families.
By the 1950s, mass devotional gatherings had declined, and liturgical reforms of the 1960s put emphasis on other areas, such as preaching, lay involvement and congregational singing.
Many churches retained such practices on smaller scales, but this event coincides with a push by some to revive many older traditions, including the Latin Mass.

6. Not good faith: Vatican rejects broker’s claims at the close of a London trial over luxury property, The Vatican is insisting at the close of a trial in London that it was the victim of a years-long fraud over its investment in a London property, By Associated Press, July 18, 2024, 12:07 PM
The Vatican insisted Thursday at the close of a trial in Britain that it was the victim of a yearslong fraud over its investment in a London property, arguing that one of its main brokers by no means acted “in good faith.”
The Vatican submitted a concluding statement at the close of the trial brought by British-Italian broker Raffaele Mincione. A verdict is expected after the summer.
Mincione is seeking to clear his name in the British courts after he was convicted by a Vatican criminal tribunal last year for his role in the Holy See’s 350-million-euro ($375 million) investment in the former Harrod’s warehouse. He is asking the British High Court to declare that he acted “in good faith” in his dealings with the Vatican.
The Holy See had tried unsuccessfully to get the case dismissed, but once on trial, doubled down on its claims that Mincione and a fellow broker engaged in a conspiracy to fleece it of millions of euros by inflating the cost of the building when the Vatican decided it wanted to buy it fully in late 2018.

7. Montana seeks to revive signature restrictions for ballot petitions, including on abortion rights, Montana officials are asking the state Supreme Court for an emergency order to block a ruling that allowed signatures from inactive voters to count on petitions for several proposed November ballot initiatives, including one to protect abortion rights, By Associated Press, July 18, 2024, 6:44 PM
Montana officials asked the state Supreme Court on Thursday for an emergency order to block a ruling that allowed signatures from inactive voters to count on petitions for several proposed November ballot initiatives, including one to protect abortion rights.
A judge said Tuesday that Montana’s Secretary of State wrongly changed election rules to reject inactive voter signatures from three ballot initiatives after the signatures had been turned in to counties and after some of the signatures had been verified.
The judge gave county election offices until July 24 to tally signatures of inactive voters that had been rejected. All the initiatives are expected to qualify even without the rejected signatures.

8. Oklahoma Orders School Board to Rescind Catholic Charter Contract After Court Ruling, Last week Drummond ordered the statewide charter board to comply with the court’s ruling., By Kate Quiñones, Catholic News Agency, July 18, 2024
The Oklahoma attorney general is ordering a school board to rescind the contract of a budding Catholic charter school following a state Supreme Court ruling against the school last month.
St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School would have been the first religious charter school in the nation, but in late June the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against its establishment and ordered the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board to drop the Catholic institution’s contract.
State Attorney General Gentner Drummond had asked the high court to declare the state’s contract with the school unconstitutional on the grounds that it constituted public funding of a religious institution. Charter schools are publicly funded but are allowed to operate with a high degree of autonomy relative to standard public schools.

Last week Drummond ordered the statewide charter board to comply with the court’s ruling.
“You must know and accept that no state agency, board, or commission may willfully ignore an order from Oklahoma’s highest court,” Drummond wrote in a July 11 letter to the board members in which he said that the board had twice failed to rescind the contract.
“Rather than abiding by the [state] Supreme Court’s order, the board has disregarded its duties by deferring to the [school’s] litigation whims,” he continued.

Drummond ordered the board to rescind the contract either by calling a special meeting or moving the next scheduled board meeting to “no later than” the last day of July.
In a filing to the Oklahoma Supreme Court earlier this month, meanwhile, Drummond argued that a further stay would “[allow] the [school] to continue to tout its unconstitutional contract to unsuspecting families.”
St. Isidore had argued that the stay was for legal reasons, not to continue operation of the school at the moment.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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The media monitoring clips provide a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged - such as religious liberty and other fundamental Church concerns. The clips are not intended to be an exhausted source of in-depth coverage on any particular issue. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.