1. Hungary’s Orban meets pope with Ukraine war as backdrop, By Nicole Winfield and Justin Spike, Associated Press, April 21, 2022, 8:04 AM Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday as the war in Ukraine and the millions of refugees it has created cast a shadow over two leaders who have long sought closer ties with Russia. The 45-minute meeting was the second between Francis and Orban in less than a year, but couldn’t have been more different in tone. The pope made a brief stop in Budapest to close out a church congress, and the awkwardness of that September encounter was evident given his and nationalist Orban’s starkly different views of mass migration to Europe. But on Thursday, a smiling and jovial Francis showed his appreciation for the welcome Hungary had provided to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion. He gave Orban a medallion of St. Martin and said he chose it specifically to honor Hungary’s reception of refugees. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hungarys-orban-meets-pope-with-ukraine-war-as-backdrop/2022/04/21/7464ee48-c15e-11ec-b5df-1fba61a66c75_story.html___________________________________________________________ 2. Two news items underscore that the future belongs to the ‘PINS’ nations, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 21, 2022, Opinion Two small news items from the past week underscore a much bigger reality about the Catholic Church in the 21st century. In a phrase, they confirm the centrality of the “PINS” nations to Catholic fortunes, especially in the English-speaking world. I coined the term “PINS” several years ago, with the reference being to the Philippines, India, Nigeria and South Korea. Together they represent a vast pool of 144 million Catholics for whom English is a primary language, including 84 million in the Philippines, 24 million in India, 30 million in Nigeria, and 6 million in South Korea. That’s more than the Catholic population of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand combined, representing the traditional cradles of English-speaking Catholicism, and the trend lines are moving in opposite directions – while the faith is declining in the latter group, it’s exploding in the former. The two news items from the past week both have to do with the Philippines. First, the Vatican reported that in 2020, the last year for which we have statistical data, the Philippines recorded the most Catholic baptisms in the world with 1,603,283, considering both children and adults. That’s higher than both Brazil and Mexico, the only two nations in the world with a larger Catholic population than the Philippines.  Second, the Vatican announced this past week that Pope Francis has reappointed Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao in the Philippines to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which is the Vatican’s department that oversees worship around the Catholic World.  Given all the above, it’s reasonable to expect more news items such as the two we saw this week, and not just about the Philippines but all four PINS nations. They are the future, especially in the English-speaking world … and, as a result, American Catholics would do well to start paying closer attention. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/04/two-news-items-underscore-that-the-future-belongs-to-the-pins-nations___________________________________________________________ 3. Vatican’s foreign minister contemplating visit to Kyiv, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, April 21, 2022 As Ukraine awaits word on whether a potential visit from Pope Francis will in fact happen, the Vatican’s foreign minister is contemplating his own visit to Kyiv in a bid to convey solidarity and support efforts toward peace. According to sources familiar with the plans, British Archbishop Paul Gallagher intends to travel to Kyiv, and the visit was scheduled “some time ago.” While there is no immediate timeline for the visit given the unpredictability of the situation on the ground, “The plans are still there,” and were made before the war began, the source said, saying the visit is being planned “in view of the current situation.” https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/04/vaticans-foreign-minister-contemplating-visit-to-kyiv___________________________________________________________ 4. Does Religion Make People More Ethical?, Research shows that when it comes to moral behavior, engaging in rituals and practices matters more than identifying with a faith., By David DeSteno, The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2022, 11:24 AM, Opinion Do children need religion to grow into good people? Sixty-five percent of Americans think so. And even though younger adults have been leaving traditional faiths in droves, about 48% of them still hold this view. The result is a lot of conflicted parents. While they don’t necessarily miss going to church, synagogue or mosque, they do worry that without some sort of religious education, their kids might not grow into morally upstanding people. So while many leave formal religion behind in their 20s and 30s, they slowly, and often somewhat reluctantly, begin to return when they have kids. But belief about how religions work doesn’t always match reality, particularly when it comes to the question of virtue. A study in the journal Science that examined the behavior of 1,200 adults by randomly pinging them five times a day to ask about moral failures found no differences between people who identified with a religion and those who didn’t. A 2015 study in the journal Current Biology on the moral behavior of children found the same. So why the discrepancy between people’s beliefs and scientific findings? And what’s a concerned parent to make of it all? The answer to whether religion improves morality doesn’t come down to a simple yes or no. That’s because when it comes to morality, the power of religion is more in the doing than in the believing. Studies of religion and health show that identifying with a religion—saying you believe in God or going to worship once a year on Easter or Yom Kippur—means very little. Epidemiological research shows that it is people who live their faith, regularly going to services and engaging in their religion’s rituals, who tend to live longer, healthier and happier lives. In most faiths, being religious isn’t just defined by a creed but by rituals and practices that permeate daily life. When we pray and sing together, listen to readings from scripture, or give offerings and blessings of thanks to God, our minds and bodies aren’t passive. They’re subtly being nudged toward virtue. Mr. DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, is the author of “How God Works: The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion” and the host of a podcast of the same name. https://www.wsj.com/articles/does-religion-make-people-more-ethical-11650468288?___________________________________________________________ 5. Kentucky abortion clinics in limbo after new law’s passage, By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press, April 20, 2022, 3:24 PM  Frustration is building among abortion rights groups in Kentucky, where a restrictive new law has thrown the state’s only two remaining clinics into limbo. The clinics, both in the state’s largest city of Louisville, say they were forced to halt abortions because officials haven’t had time to write guidelines for complying with the law, which the Republican-dominated legislature passed a week ago over the veto of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. Advocates say the situation foreshadows what could happen in Republican-leaning states across the country if the U.S. Supreme Court ends up overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a right to abortion nationwide. Effective immediately, the new law bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, replacing the state’s previous 20-week limit — a restriction that four other states also have passed. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kentucky-abortion-clinics-in-limbo-after-new-laws-passage/2022/04/20/71de06ca-c0df-11ec-b5df-1fba61a66c75_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Pro-Lifers Aren’t ‘Imposing Their Religious Views’, By Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, April 20, 2022, 10:41 AM, Opinion In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Jewish abortion activist Shira M. Zemel argues that abortion opponents are “seeking to impose their religious views on all of us” and “to encode their theology into the laws of our nation.” Even as she derides pro-lifers for praying outside of an abortion business in Falls Church, Va., Zemel notes that the First Amendment protects their right to demonstrate and her religious freedom to practice Judaism. This much is certainly true. Where Zemel goes wrong is when she insinuates that access to abortion is protected by the First Amendment’s religion clauses, suggesting that because her religious worldview licenses abortion, it is therefore a matter of religious freedom that she be permitted to access it. She doesn’t bother to explain or defend this argument in detail, but merely hints at it in passing. More troubling is how Zemel indulges in a favorite lazy slander of abortion supporters, claiming throughout that the Christianity of some pro-lifers means that opposing abortion is an effort to “impose religious views” on the nation.   For one thing, the pro-life movement is hardly a Christian monolith — there are agnostic pro-lifers, atheist pro-lifers, Muslim pro-lifers, and, for that matter, Jewish pro-lifers. If the pro-life movement is attempting to impose religion on the nation, it remains unclear what religion that might be. Meanwhile, Zemel conveniently ignores that every law imposes some view of morality. Surely most of the laws that Zemel supports manage to impose a view of morality that coincides with Christian teaching.  Arguments such as this one from Zemel aren’t much of an argument at all, rather a convenient way to sidestep defending their belief that it should be legal to kill unborn human beings. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/pro-lifers-arent-imposing-their-religious-views/___________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican approves norms to reshape U.S. priestly formation, By The Pillar, April 20, 2022 The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy has approved new norms for the formation of seminarians, which were drafted by the U.S. bishops’ conference in 2019, and have been under discussion between Rome and the USCCB since that time. The sixth edition of the Program for Priestly Formation, which governs seminary education for priests, will require seminaries and dioceses to reshape their formation programs, in order to accommodate new stages of formation at both the start and conclusion of seminary studies. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/vatican-approves-norms-to-reshape?s=r___________________________________________________________ 8. Catholic priest reveals role in DC aborted babies case: ‘I buried them myself’, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, April 20, 2022, 8:44 AM A West Virginia priest is speaking publicly about his role in providing a funeral Mass and dignified burial for more than 100 aborted babies that pro-life activists say they rescued outside of a Washington, D.C., abortion clinic. “I buried the babies myself,” Father Bill Kuchinsky, 62, a longtime advocate for the unborn who also runs the Catholic prison ministry for the entire state of West Virginia, revealed in an interview with CNA. He declined to disclose the burial location other than to say it was in a private cemetery.  CNA also found that Kuchinsky’s bishop, Bishop Mark Brennan of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, fully supports the actions Kuchinsky took to ensure the babies’ remains were treated respectfully. “Father William Kuchinsky’s Mass for and burial of around 100 children aborted at a Washington, D.C., abortion facility follow a long Christian tradition of practicing the corporal work of mercy for the dead, honoring their physical remains and burying them with love,” Brennan said in a statement to CNA Tuesday. “I fully approve Father Kuchinsky’s caring actions. They remind us that these were real human children, not lifeless things — until their lives were unjustly taken from them,” the bishop added. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251015/priest-funeral-mass-burial-dc-aborted-babies___________________________________________________________

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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