1. Prayer Shouldn’t Be a Firing Offense, By Joe Kennedy, The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion With all the bad things I’ve done in my life, it still surprises me that I was fired for praying. I was a terrible kid. My adoptive parents did their best, but I was always getting in trouble. The Marine Corps became my ticket out of the fights, group homes and foster care. Twenty years after enlisting, I moved back home to Bremerton, Wash. I had never been particularly religious, but my wife persuaded me to go to church. I felt God was calling me to be a better husband, so I committed my life to him. The Bremerton High School athletic director seemed sure that my experience training Marines to work as a team was all the qualification I needed to be a football coach. As I weighed the opportunity, I caught the movie “Facing the Giants.” It seemed an answer from God. I committed to coaching football and promised God that I would take a knee by myself in quiet prayer at the 50-yard line following every game, win or lose.  Unless the U.S. Supreme Court rules in my favor, teachers could be fired for praying over their lunch in the cafeteria if students can see them. That doesn’t seem like the Constitution I fought for in the Marine Corps. I just want to be back on the field with my guys, building a team to accomplish a mission. I hope the Supreme Court agrees. Mr. Kennedy is a Marine Corps veteran and the appellant in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, on which the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday. https://www.wsj.com/articles/prayer-shouldnt-be-a-firing-offense-joe-kennedy-supreme-court-football-coach-religion-11650818024?___________________________________________________________ 2. Funding for Needy Los Angeles Catholic Schools in Limbo as Judge Nixes Lawsuit, The archdiocese, in 2019, filed a complaint against the public-school district, saying it blocked the majority of Title I funds it was entited to., By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, April 25, 2022 Despite a state of California report saying that the Los Angeles Unified School District wrongly withheld federal funding from Catholic schools that serve poor students, a judge has said the archdiocese still needs to make its case first through administrative action, not through a lawsuit. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Douglas Stern said April 20 that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ lawsuit against the public-school district is “not ripe,” given that the dispute is still in an administrative process. The public-school district appealed the relevant California Department of Education decision to the U.S. Department of Education, and the appeal has been pending for more than eight months. The archdiocese had filed its lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court in December as a back-up plan and in anticipation that the federal government will rule in its favor, but the school district will continue to refuse funds, Courthouse News Service reports. https://www.ncregister.com/cna/funding-for-needy-los-angeles-catholic-schools-in-limbo-as-judge-nixes-lawsuit___________________________________________________________ 3. Why did Francis really pull the plug on summit with Russian Orthodox leader?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 24, 2022 From the first moments after his election, Pope Francis has defied conventional Vatican wisdom more times than even NASA supercomputers could calculate, from the choice not to live in the papal apartments to the titles he uses. In all honesty, the unofficial anthem of this papacy probably ought to be Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” This is a papacy, after all, for which bucking tradition and courting confusion in the name of evangelical authenticity is essentially its modus operandi. That background makes the pontiff’s recent response to an Argentine journalist about why a possible encounter with Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church in June has been called off truly puzzling. It would have been their second encounter, after an historic meeting at the Havana airport in 2016. “Our diplomacy understood that a meeting between the two at this time could lend itself to much confusion,” the pope told Joaquin Morales Sola of the Argentine newspaper La Nacion. Really? Francis backed down because Vatican diplomats told him such a step might be “confusing”? He showed no such reticence, for example, when critics warned that an opening to communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics risked “confusion” about Catholic teaching on marriage, issuing his controversial document Amoris Laetitia in 2016 anyway.  So, what gives? One possibility is that Francis is sensitive to the fact that his refusal to name Russia or Putin as the aggressor is being read in some quarters as signaling deference to Moscow, and he didn’t want to augment that interpretation. (He addressed that criticism too in the La Nacion interview, saying popes never condemn heads of state or whole nations, and insisting that a nation is a bigger reality than whoever happens to hold political power at any given moment.) It’s also possible Francis believes his risk tolerance has to be lower when it comes to war. It’s one thing to “make a mess” when the worst thing that’s going to happen is that a few conservative cardinals get their noses out of joint; it’s another when innocent people might pay a price in blood if a churchman with good intentions inadvertently makes a conflict worse.  There’s yet another, far more cynical possibility – to wit, that the Vatican never really intended to go through with meeting Kirill, dangling the prospect only to be able to pull it back. The aim would be to underscore Kirill’s growing international isolation, a sort of ecclesiastical analogue to the economic sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of the war. The foregoing amounts to little more than speculation, because the real reasons for pulling the plug on the Pope/Patriarch summit aren’t yet known. What does seem clear, however, is that for a pope with a maverick streak a mile long, the mere possibility of “confusion” doesn’t quite answer the question. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/04/why-did-francis-really-pull-the-plug-on-summit-with-russian-orthodox-leader___________________________________________________________ 4. Pope appoints key posts, including nun in development office, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 23, 2022, 11:27 AM Pope Francis made key appointments in his newly reformed Vatican bureaucracy Saturday, naming new deputies for the doctrine office and confirming the highest-ranked woman in the Holy See as the No. 2 in the development office. The appointments are some of the first since Francis last month issued his long-awaited overhaul of the Vatican Curia, or bureaucracy, which acts as the central government for the 1.3-billion strong Catholic Church. Francis promoted Irish Monsignor John Kennedy to head the discipline section of the newly named Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles clergy sexual abuse cases. In a 2019 interview with The Associated Press, Kennedy said the office had seen a “tsunami” of cases from parts of the world that had previously not reported any. Joining him as secretary in the parallel doctrine section of the dicastery is Italian Monsignor Armando Matteo, currently the under-secretary in the office and professor of fundamental theology at Rome’s Pontifical Urbaniana University. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-appoints-key-posts-including-nun-in-development-office/2022/04/23/d1005394-c317-11ec-b5df-1fba61a66c75_story.html___________________________________________________________ 5. Pope clears schedule for medical checks on painful knee, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 22, 2022, 7:46 AM Pope Francis cleared his schedule Friday to undergo medical checks on his right knee, as his strained ligaments have made walking, standing and getting up from his chair increasingly difficult and painful. Francis’ mobility has been greatly curtailed of late, with his already pronounced limp from sciatica seemingly aggravated. The 85-year-old pope had to bow out of celebrating the Easter Vigil last weekend, struggled through Easter Sunday Mass and now frequently walks with a shuffle and the assistance of an aide. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-clears-schedule-for-medical-checks-on-painful-knee/2022/04/22/85443bde-c225-11ec-b5df-1fba61a66c75_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Vatican clears aide to John Paul II of negligence claims, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 22, 2022, 9:21 AM A Vatican investigation into allegations that the former top aide to St. John Paul II was negligent in handling sex abuse claims in his native Poland has cleared him of wrongdoing, the Vatican’s embassy in Poland said Friday. A statement from the embassy, or nunciature, said the investigation conducted by a Holy See envoy determined that Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz’s actions were “correct, and therefore, the Holy See decided not to proceed any further.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/vatican-clears-aide-to-john-paul-ii-of-negligence-claims/2022/04/22/fb9466f4-c236-11ec-b5df-1fba61a66c75_story.html___________________________________________________________ 7. Washington Post Editorial Board Celebrates Maryland’s Dangerous Abortion Expansion, By Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, April 22, 2022, 10:58 AM Last week, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto, enacting an affirmatively pro-abortion law, a law so pro-abortion that even the avowedly pro-abortion Hogan wouldn’t sign it. The law makes Maryland the 15th state in the country to allow non-physicians, including nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician’s assistants, to perform abortions. It also requires Maryland insurance providers to cover the entire cost of abortion procedures and requires the state to spend $3.5 million annually on abortion-procedure training. Naturally, the Washington Post editorial board is thrilled with this development, calling the law “a significant step to increase access to abortion statewide.” Left unstated is the main reason why this policy change will “increase access”: Less than 15 percent of OB-GYNs are willing to perform abortions, and permitting non-physicians to do so will increase the pool of abortion providers. Unlike what the Post claims, this move does not come without attendant risks.  Once again, “women’s rights” cheerleaders — including those on the Washington Post editorial board — have proven themselves willing to overlook or downplay the possibility that expanded abortion access might come at a cost to women’s health and safety. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/washington-post-editorial-board-celebrates-marylands-dangerous-abortion-expansion/___________________________________________________________ 8. Pro-life, Catholic groups file to intervene in Michigan governor’s abortion lawsuit, By Catholic News Agency, April 22, 2022, 4:47 PM Pro-life and Catholic groups in Michigan are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who asked the Michigan Supreme Court to declare that abortion is protected by the state’s constitution. On behalf of Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference, faith-based legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a motion Friday to intervene in the case Whitmer v. Linderman. “Every human life is valuable and worthy of protection under the law,” John Bursch, ADF’s senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy, said in a press release. “Gov. Whitmer should be doing everything in her power to uphold existing laws that protect the innocent and vulnerable lives of the unborn.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251042/pro-life-catholic-groups-michigan-governor-abortion-lawsuit___________________________________________________________

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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