TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 208 – Carlos Eire on Christian Mysticism + Father Dave Pivonka on Protecting Female Athletes! Cuban-born scholar Carlos Eire joins to discuss his own experience being exiled from his family at such a young age and what it’s like growing up with ‘this peculiar sadness.’ He also talks about teaching at Yale in the age of wokeism and his new podcast exploring Christian Mysticism. As Riley Gaines has made waves calling out the unfair reality of transgender athletes, we also revisit with Father Dave Pivonka about why he is concerned about his own female athletes at Franciscan University given the current secular atmosphere. Father Roger Landry offers a moving homily for Divine Mercy Sunday. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Biden Boils the Religious-Liberty Frog, By Nicole Stelle Garnett and Meredith Holland Kessler, The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2023, Pg. A13, Opinion Cease and desist. That’s what Walter Reed National Military Medical Center wrote last week to Holy Name College, a community of Franciscan priests that has provided pastoral care to hospitalized service members for nearly two decades. The group had continued to minister into Holy Week after the government didn’t renew its contract when it expired on March 31—opting instead​ for what the Archdiocese for the Military Services described as a “secular defense contracting firm.” The result, it says, has been insufficient access to Catholic sacraments for troops and veterans. The decision is part of a broader pattern of bureaucratic incursions on religious liberty. In mid-March the public-comment window closed on proposed federal regulations that would severely curtail the rights of faith-based organizations that work with the federal government to provide social services. The regulations, which would govern programs in nine federal agencies, are innocuously titled “Partnerships With Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations.” They would scale back and in some instances rescind rules ensuring that religious organizations may participate in federally funded programs while keeping their faith commitments.  Meantime, the Education Department seeks to rescind the Religious Liberty and Free Inquiry rule, which protects religious student organizations from being targeted because university administrators object to their beliefs.  It doesn’t end there. The Health and Human Services Department would require religious hospitals and doctors to perform deeply contested procedures—including abortion and “gender transition” surgery—even though two federal appeals courts have rejected similar regulations on religious-liberty grounds. This proposal, and another, would also scale back conscience protections, pressuring healthcare providers to choose between their professional obligations and their faith.  The Biden administration shows no sign of slowing its regulatory war on religion, perhaps because its actions have thus far gone unnoticed. Talk of “notice of proposed rulemakings” evokes yawns, but these proposals ought to spark outrage. Many of these regulations will be challenged in court, and some of them eventually will be invalidated. But religious believers shouldn’t have to turn to courts to remind the executive branch that it is bound by the Constitution. Ms. Garnett is a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. Ms. Kessler is an attorney in the Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Clinic. 2. DeSantis signs Florida GOP’s 6-week abortion ban into law, By Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press, April 14, 2023 Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill approved by the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The governor’s office said in a statement late Thursday that he had signed the legislation. The ban gives DeSantis a key political victory among Republican primary voters as he prepares to launch an expected presidential candidacy built on his national brand as a conservative standard bearer. The six-week ban will take effect only if the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing legal challenge that is before the state Supreme Court, which is controlled by conservatives. 3. FBI’s targeting of Catholics is anti-religious and anti-American, By The Washington Times, April 14, 2023, Editorial There was a time in America when Christian institutions were regarded with admiration. Now there is an element within officialdom that views them with suspicion. The FBI has searched for “opportunities” to target believers who want nothing more than the freedom to practice their faith in the same manner their forebears have done since the nation’s founding. It’s an inexcusable anti-Americanism that necessitates purging the agency’s leadership. The FBI’s faithless regard for the Constitution returned to the spotlight with Monday’s House Judiciary Committee release of new details of an agency initiative to develop “new avenues for tripwire and source development” — in other words, place spies — in Catholic chapels affiliated with the Society of Saint Pius X, a traditionalist Catholic priesthood, in Richmond, Virginia. Other “opportunities” included “mainline Catholic parishes” and the local “diocesan leadership.” Not simply the harebrained idea of one member from the agency’s Richmond field office, the plan was approved by a local chief division counsel and two senior analysts, and it was then propagated to field offices around the nation, according to whistleblowers.  With more than 100 pregnancy crisis centers and churches firebombed or vandalized in the wake of the Dobbs ruling, only two people have been prosecuted. In contrast, 34 pro-life activists have been charged in the past year with obstructing access to or vandalizing abortion clinics.  Americans should not tolerate these anti-Americanisms. Rather than retrain offending individuals, they should be fired. And whenever the bungling Biden administration departs, so should their faithless bosses. 4. The Coming Eucharistic Revival, As belief in the Real Presence declines, signs are emerging of a Church begging for renewal., By Michael Warsaw, National Catholic Register, April 14, 2023 In ecclesiastical circles, it is sometimes said that bishops will always find something to fight about — perhaps that’s why they call each other “brother bishops.” In November 2021, America’s conference of bishops proved the maxim true, this time wrangling over their document on Eucharistic coherence, “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.” The document was drafted in part to respond to the public debate over whether high-profile Catholic leaders like President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who promote aggressive policies contrary to Church teaching on life and the human person, should be allowed to receive the Eucharist at Mass. While the secular media focused first on the potential fight between the president and the bishops and then on the conference statement, many missed a point of universal agreement reflected forcefully in the bishops’ document and that Catholics on all sides still firmly support today: We need a Eucharistic revival. Like Daniel interpreting the writing on the wall in Babylon, everyone knows that the declining belief in the Real Presence is a major warning sign and an underlying cause of the still-dwindling Mass participation. A 2008 study showed 74% of Catholics believe bread and wine actually become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. More recent polling from EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research showed belief in the Real Presence among Catholics dropped to 50%. Another study found as few as 30% of Catholics believe that Christ is physically present in the Blessed Sacrament.  A Eucharistic revival will inspire us to “go to the peripheries,” as Pope Francis urges, renewing our families, our cities, our states, our nation, and the world. But that renewal begins within, as we go to the peripheries of our own hearts, striving with more faith each time to say to the consecrated Host: “My Lord and my God.” The debates about how best to achieve a Eucharistic revival will go on. But as long as we continue to turn to the Blessed Sacrament with faith, hope and love, we know that Christ will respond by reviving us — and the whole world. 5. Poll: Among U.S. Latinos, Catholicism still largest faith, By Luis Andres Henao, Associated Press, April 13, 2023 Catholics remain the largest religious group among Latinos in the United States, but the number of Latinos who identify as religiously unaffiliated continues to grow. Those are among the key findings in a comprehensive report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center that surveyed 7,647 U.S. adults in Aug. 1-14 of last year. The report, which uses the terms Latino and Hispanic interchangeably, found that Catholicism remains the largest faith among Latinos in the U.S., even as the number of Latino adults who identify as Catholic steadily declined over the past decade. The number went from 67% in 2010 to 43% last year. 6. Can anyone at the Vatican agree on who’s a ‘vulnerable adult’?, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, April 13, 2023, 5:04 PM Following the latest wave of legal reforms aimed at bringing legal clarity and due process to the Church’s handling of sexual abuse and misconduct cases, Pope Francis has now approved legislation offering several competing definitions of who is a “vulnerable adult” and who is the equivalent of a minor in the Church’s criminal law.  The differing definitions in different laws have been a source of confusion for canonists, Church officials, and abuse reform experts as they try to move the Church closer to a consistent application of best practice in handling abuse cases.  After years of effort, and countless pieces of papal legislation, it seems the Church is no closer to a coherent reforming agenda. And, as long as that remains the case, it seems likely that the Church’s application of its own reforms will always be, at best, incoherent.

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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