1. Leave New York’s Yeshivas Alone, Hasidic Jews don’t need the Times’s input on how to educate their kids., By William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2023, Pg. A13, Opinion Are Jewish moms and dads who send their children to religious schools lawbreakers? Or are they exercising their right to live by their beliefs—even if those beliefs are out of fashion with modern American sensibilities? The New York State Education Department is targeting Hasidic Jews for running yeshivas it says do not equip students with the skills necessary for 21st-century life. An 1895 New York law requires that children in nonpublic schools receive an education “substantially equivalent” to that of a public school. But a few weeks ago a court in Albany ruled that yeshivas themselves can’t be held to this law, so the government now has to decide whether to escalate by going after the parents.  While a yeshiva education is not the best route to Harvard or a career at Google, parents might rate more highly having their kids in schools where they are safe from violence and drug use and learn how to live a faithful Jewish life. Especially if they believe this is how God wants them to live.  In the end, it comes down to a philosophical question about who gets to decide: the government or parents. Certainly some yeshiva grads end up resenting the opportunities they may not have because of their education. But lots of kids resent the consequences of their parents’ choices. The only real path left for New York to gets its way is to go to war with these yeshiva parents. Victory wouldn’t be worth the price. https://www.wsj.com/articles/leave-new-yorks-yeshivas-alone-religious-education-public-schools-compulsory-standards-parents-494cc627__________________________________________________________ 2. Can the Post Office Force a Christian to Deliver on Sunday?, Under existing case law, yes. In Groff v. DeJoy, a mailman asks the Supreme Court to revisit the question., By Nathan J. Diament, The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2023, Pg. A15, Opinion What doesn’t the Civil Rights Act of 1964 say? For one, that honoring the protections it establishes is optional if doing so merely proves to be a nuisance. Yet for several decades that’s been the operative interpretation in federal law when it comes to religion in the workplace—never mind the balancing the text actually requires. If you’re among the millions of Americans who observed holy days in recent weeks and needed your work hours adjusted to do so—but your boss refused—you had little legal recourse. Your faith commitment is subordinate to your employer’s business needs. Gerald Groff is one in a long list of people who’ve met this fate over the past half-century. Mr. Groff is a devout Christian who believes he shouldn’t work on Sundays in observance of the Sabbath.  The Americans with Disabilities Act provides a model for making such accommodations. The ADA sets the standard for an employer’s exemption from providing the accommodation as “undue hardship,” which is interpreted as removing the obligation if granting it would impose “significant difficulty or expense.” Employers have years of experience with this ADA provision, and it can function as well with religious requests in the workplace too. The high court’s religious-liberty jurisprudence has evolved significantly since the 1970s. Then, its animating principles were of “strict separation” of church and state, paired with a vision of religion as being a mostly private matter concerned with belief, not practice. The court has since moved more toward a proper balance—insisting on government neutrality, neither disfavoring nor favoring religion. Groff v. DeJoy is an opportunity for the justices to reassert that religious liberty in America encompasses the freedom to act consistent with our beliefs—in our homes and places of worship, and our workplaces. Mr. Diament is executive director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-post-office-works-on-the-sabbath-but-must-its-religious-staff-usps-supreme-court-religious-freedom-3f9e710b__________________________________________________________ 3. Supreme Court hears mail carrier’s religious tolerance case, By Jessica Gresko, Associated Press, April 18, 2023, 12:03 AM The Supreme Court is being asked to decide under what circumstances businesses must accommodate the needs of religious employees. A case before the justices Tuesday involves a Christian mail carrier in rural Pennsylvania. He was told that as part of his job he’d need to start delivering Amazon.com packages on Sundays. He declined, saying his Sundays are for church and family. U.S. Postal Service officials initially tried to get substitutes for the man’s shifts, but they couldn’t always. When he didn’t show, that meant more work for others. Ultimately, the man quit and sued for religious discrimination. The case is the latest religious confrontation the high court has been asked to referee. In recent years, the court’s 6-3 conservative majority has been particularly sensitive to the concerns of religious plaintiffs. That includes a ruling last year in which the court said a public high school football coach should be allowed to pray on the field after games. Another case the court is weighing this term involves a Christian graphic artist who wants to create wedding websites, but doesn’t want to serve gay couples.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/04/18/supreme-court-mail-carrier-christian-sunday-work/eeeefe40-dd9d-11ed-a78e-9a7c2418b00c_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Ex-Cardinal McCarrick charged in Wisconsin with sex abuse, By Harm Venhuizen, Associated Press, April 17, 2023 The defrocked Roman Catholic cardinal who became the face of the church’s clergy sex abuse crisis has been charged in Wisconsin with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man more than 45 years ago, court records show. A criminal complaint filed Friday alleges that Theodore McCarrick, who was removed from the priesthood in 2019 after a Vatican investigation found he had sexually molested adults and children, fondled a man in 1977 while staying at a cabin on Geneva Lake in southeastern Wisconsin. The alleged victim, who is not named, told investigators that McCarrick had repeatedly sexually assaulted him since he was 11 and even brought him to parties where other adult men sexually assaulted him, according to the complaint.  https://apnews.com/article/cardinal-mccarrick-abuse-charges-wisconsin-4c931d1ef3faee7819633e5a8435dc17__________________________________________________________ 5. Hong Kong bishop visits Beijing on historic trip, By Kanis Leung, Associated Press, April 17, 2023 Hong Kong’s Roman Catholic bishop arrived in Beijing on Monday, marking the first visit to the Chinese capital by the city’s bishop in nearly three decades, despite signs of Sino-Vatican strains. The five-day trip by Bishop Stephen Chow began about two weeks after Vatican News, the news portal of the Holy See, reported that China had unilaterally appointed a new bishop to Shanghai. Chow, who was named by Pope Francis as the city’s bishop in 2021, earlier said that the visit underscores the mission of the Hong Kong Diocese to be a bridge church and promote exchanges between the two sides. He was invited to visit the Chinese capital by his counterpart there. China’s ruling Communist Party closely controls organized religion, which it sees as a potential threat to its monopoly on power. People are allowed to worship in institutions that abide by party rules. Some Christians have set up underground churches, which are considered illegal and harassed by authorities.  https://apnews.com/article/hong-kong-bishop-stephen-chow-beijing-vatican-53fd68821d54d3c7bf98741654729930__________________________________________________________ 6. Lawmakers rebuke Biden administration for ending military hospital’s contract with Catholic priests, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, April 17, 2023, 3:55 PM Lawmakers are demanding answers from the Biden administration after a military hospital ended a contract with the Franciscan friars who have provided Catholic pastoral services there for nearly two decades.  The Holy Name College Friary in Silver Spring, Maryland, received a cease-and-desist order April 4, during Holy Week, that ordered them to halt all services it provides at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in nearby Bethesda, Maryland. Rather than renewing the contract, which expired March 31, the medical center announced it would contract with the secular Mack Global, LLC, instead of with the friars. The Mack Global website says the company serves the U.S. military, government agencies, and private companies in telework consulting services, administrative and religious staffing, transportation, and roadway services, and professional development and training. Its product supplies portfolio includes janitorial supplies, tactical and training equipment, raw materials, and industrial machinery. It specifically names water-tight doors and gym equipment. In a letter to Secretary of State Lloyd Austin, Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, who is Catholic, accused the administration of having a “lack of consideration to service members’ religious needs and rights” and said he has “grave concerns” regarding a secular organization’s ability to provide Catholics with the pastoral care they require.  “This highlights questionable judgment by officers awarding a Catholic pastoral care contract to a for-profit company best suited to provide industrial services instead of a Catholic religious institution with a strong record of providing pastoral services,” Smith said in the letter.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254119/lawmakers-rebuke-biden-admin-for-ending-military-hospitals-contract-with-catholic-priests__________________________________________________________ 7. Chow’s China visit: ‘Our man on the mainland,’ or just a man in the middle?, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, April 18, 2023, 8:06 AM Bishop Stephen Chow of Hong Kong is on the Chinese mainland this week for a five-day visit to the Archdiocese of Beijing. The visit, during which he will spend time with Bishop Joseph Li Shan, head of the archdiocese and the leader of the state-sponsored Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, is billed as “historic,” in both Western media and in the mainland press. It is the first time a Bishop of Hong Kong has officially traveled to the mainland in some 30 years. But while Chow’s tour is being pushed locally as a sign of the integration of the Catholic Church into Chinese society and the ever-closer ties between Hong Kong and the mainland, he arrives with Vatican-China cooperation at a visibly low ebb. Away from the photo ops and inevitable positive public statements, what might his visit actually achieve? Regardless of what the Hong Kong bishop intends or hopes to achieve with his visit, Chow’s mere presence in Beijing is something of a much-needed PR coup for the state-sanctioned Church in China.  It is entirely possible that, even if Chow returns from Beijing with useful intelligence, he might lack for willing ears to receive it in the Vatican. If Rome’s attitude to affairs on the mainland is increasingly to see and hear and speak of as little evil as possible, that would also leave Chow in a rather isolated position — not so much a bridge between the Vatican and Beijing as alone out on an ecclesiastical limb, under pressure from the Chinese Church and government, and without meaningful support from the Holy See. It could be that Chow will be spending the next five days in Beijing trying to assure Bishop Li of his intentions, rather than the other way around, and trying to stave off any designs the CPCA might have on his diocese. If that is the case, it would seem he’d be right where Beijing wants him. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/chows-china-visit-our-man-on-the__________________________________________________________

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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