TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 104 – Steven Mosher On Jimmy Lai & Father Jeff Kirby Talks Real Religion
With the news of Jimmy Lai’s arrest in Hong Kong and a possible 5-year prison sentence, Dr. Grazie Christie gets the latest on the persecution of Catholics in China with Steven Mosher of Population Research Institute. Grazie and TCA colleague Maureen Ferguson also chat with Father Jeff Kirby about his new book, Real Religion: How to Avoid False Faith and Worship God in Spirit and Truth. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio!
1. Biden administration poised to change Trump restrictions on fetal tissue research, By Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post, April 16, 2021, Pg. A1
The Biden administration is preparing to announce Friday that it will alter Trump-era restrictions on federal funding of research that uses fetal tissue, according to the nation’s top health official, potentially allowing a resumption of thwarted scientific studies into covid-19 treatments, HIV and other diseases.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday that the National Institutes of Health would make an announcement about what he characterized as a fetal tissue ban.

It is not entirely clear how far NIH will go to reorient the previous administration’s path. HHS and NIH declined to elaborate on the secretary’s remarks. And groups and individuals who have been in touch lately with administration officials on the subject said they did not come away with specifics.
2. Can Pope Francis Head Off a Schism?, He should say no to demands by German bishops to embrace modern mores., By Tim Busch, The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2021, Pg. A13
The Protestant Reformation began in Germany some 500 years ago before spreading across the Western world. Today, Germany’s Catholic bishops are taking steps that could again rattle the foundations of the world’s largest church. They are moving to tear down the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality, priestly celibacy and other morally and politically charged issues. Without direct and immediate intervention by Pope Francis, the church could be headed for another schism.

As the Germans barrel toward a break with Rome, Catholics everywhere should pay attention. A divide that starts there would spread much further. It would surely find its way to the rest of Europe, the Americas and the wider world. The archbishop of Cologne said last year that “the worst outcome would be if the Synodal Path leads to a schism.” He’s right, and the faithful are counting on Pope Francis to stop it.
Mr. Busch is founder of the Napa Institute, a Catholic lay organization.
3. Governor signs bills defending campus free speech in Montana, By Iris Samuels, Associated Press, April 16, 2021
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Thursday two bills that supporters say aim to protect freedom of expression and association on public university campuses in the state.
The new law prohibits universities from denying resources to religious, political or ideological student organizations even if they hold views that other students find offensive. Universities can still prohibit discrimination targeting particular students.
That bill passed the Legislature largely along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. Supporters of the measure say it is needed to avoid exclusion of groups that hold controversial views. Opponents say the measure would allow groups to receive university funding even if they uphold views that exclude or target certain students, such as members of the LGBTQ community.
4. German Catholics plan huge blessing of gay unions on May 10, By Inés San Martín, Crux, April 15, 2021
Continuing to openly challenge the Vatican, several Catholic leaders in Germany are openly supporting the blessing of same-sex couples, with a massive blessing service scheduled for May 10, in direct opposition to Rome’s chief doctrinal office.
Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen said that the priests in his diocese will face no canonical consequence if they decide to bless gay and lesbian couples next month as part of the event called “Love wins, blessing service for lovers.”
5. Anthony Fauci, Chelsea Clinton to speak at Vatican health conference, By Catholic News Agency, April 15, 2021, 11:39 AM
Anthony Fauci, Chelsea Clinton, and Deepak Chopra are among the featured speakers at a Vatican conference being held in May on the interplay of mind, body, and soul in healthcare.
The Vatican announced the conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation April 15.
“Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul: How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health,” will take place virtually May 6-8.
It will feature the CEOs of large pharmaceutical companies, including Moderna and Pfizer, along with celebrities active in medical philanthropy, global health advocates, policymakers, physicians, and religious leaders.

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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