1. Faith groups slams move on shelters, transgender residents, Trump-era policy reversed, By Kery Murakami, The Washington Times, April 26, 2021, Pg. A4
A religious-rights group on Friday blasted a decision by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge to reverse a Trump-era move that would have allowed faith-based groups running homeless shelters to decide which gender they consider transgender people to be.
The result will be that homeless shelters will be required to allow a transgender person who was born as male to sleep next to women, the Alliance Defending Freedom said.
Ms. Fudge announced Thursday that she is pulling back a rule that the Trump administration had been in the process of implementing when it left office.
The Trump policy would have allowed shelters to decide whether they consider a transgender person to be a man or woman, a potential issue in situations in which a transgender woman asks to stay in a women’s shelter.
2. Pope: Migrants begged for help at sea, shamefully ignored, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, April 25, 2021
Pope Francis on Sunday decried as shameful the deaths of 130 migrants in the Mediterranean, saying they pleaded for two days for help for their overcrowded, foundering rubber dinghy in the sea off Libya but potential rescuers choose “to look the other way.”
Francis called the sea tragedy last week “a moment of shame.”
3. Let’s face it: The modern papacy is an impossible gig, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 25, 2021, Opinion
To recap, these stories touch on health care systems and delivery in the 21st century, climate change, biodiversity, the tension between protecting public health and individual freedom in the Covid era, and the politics of the Middle East.
Is there a common denominator? In today’s world, the pope is expected to have something to say about all of them.
We live in a time of instant opinion, in which perspective is generally the first casualty of war. Nevertheless, here’s a bit of perspective anyone who follows Vatican news and the Catholic scene ought to try to keep in mind: The papacy, as it’s come to be understood, is an impossible gig.
I’m not talking about how the papacy is defined in, say, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or the Code of Canon Law. Those formula are time-honored, immutable, and, honestly, elastic enough to accommodate all manner of concrete applications.
I’m talking about the expectations in the popular mind – in the street, around water coolers, on TV and in newspapers, on social media, and so on.

This bit of perspective doesn’t mean popes aren’t subject to legitimate criticism.

What perspective does suggest, however, is leavening such criticism with a hermeneutic of generosity, since the occasional failure or blind spot is pretty much inevitable when you elect someone to do the impossible.
4. Donor Disclosure at the Supreme Court, By The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2021, Pg. A12, Editorial
Monday’s paired cases, consolidated under AFPF v. Rodriquez , ask an important question at a time when people are keelhauled by tweet for having unpopular political views or making a tasteless joke. Donors to nonprofits that are involved in heated issues—say, abortion, religious liberty or transgenderism—deserve robust protections for their privacy.

The challenge of the internet age is that, in the blink of an eye, an outed donor could face a Twitter mob that posts his address, email address, picture, place of business, kids’ names, and more. After watching the unending harassment of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who declined to create a cake for a gay wedding, is it any wonder that a donor to a nonprofit legally defending him might fear disclosure? Ditto for causes on the left like Planned Parenthood.
The First Amendment guarantees free association. That includes private association.
5. Appeals court reinstates Tennessee abortion waiting period, By Associated Press, April 24, 2021, 4:44 PM
A federal appeals court has reinstated a 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions in Tennessee as the state appeals a judge’s ruling in the case.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Friday in a case that stems from a challenge to a 2015 law in Tennessee that required women to make two trips to an abortion clinic — first for mandatory counseling and then for the abortion at least 48 hours later.
6. Spain: Catholic leaders put numbers to sex abuse claims, By Aritz Parra, Associated Press, April 23, 2021, 2:55 PM
In a first public attempt to put numbers to instances of child sex abuse by the country’s Catholic clergy, Spain’s Episcopal Conference revealed Friday that 220 cases were officially reported to the Vatican over the past two decades.
The conference, which is the top governing body of Spain’s Catholic Church, said Spanish bishops submitted 76 allegations against regular priests and 144 against members of specific religious orders to the Vatican’s office that handles sex abuse cases since 2001.
7. Health care organizations find success with faith-based allies in vaccine distribution, By Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service, April 23, 2021, 2:33 PM
One of the keys to getting people in the door to get vaccinated has been enlisting local faith leaders, Khan said. He has reached out to clergy in Fairfax and Arlington counties and marveled at their response. Some religious leaders have opened their houses of worship as additional clinics for COVID-19 vaccinations or acted as go-betweens, referring people who have had limited opportunities to get COVID-19 shots in their arms.

The collaboration of religious officials with health care professionals — from both nonprofit and for-profit companies — has been a crucial driver in efforts to increase access to vaccinations among populations that have had disproportionately higher levels of sickness or death from the coronavirus.

Neighborhood Health, which serves 40,000 often low-income and uninsured patients in multiple clinics, set up seven separate COVID-19 vaccination sites. Four are in religion-related sites, including a seminary, two Baptist churches and a hall of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. With 5,000 people getting vaccinated per week, about half are receiving shots at the faith-related locations.
8. Stika facing likely ‘Vos estis’ Vatican investigation, By The Pillar, April 23, 2021
The Vatican has received multiple allegations of administrative misconduct against Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, and is expected to authorize an investigation under the terms of Vos estis lux mundi, The Pillar has learned.
Complaints filed against the bishop allege that Stika impeded or restricted investigations into accusations of serial sexual misconduct by a seminarian who was living in his home, according to multiple sources in both the United States and Rome.
But Stika told The Pillar Thursday that he has acted properly, and is satisfied with the diocese’s handling of a series of misconduct reports against the seminarian.

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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