1. Vatican’s ‘Trial of the Century’ faces backlash, comparisons to Inquisition, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 28, 2022, Opinion It’s been a rough week for the case against Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu and nine other defendants in the Vatican’s “Trial of the Century,” with challenges facing the prosecution both inside the courtroom and also more than 230 miles away. On the inside, the court heard (and rejected) another due process complaint from defense attorneys this week, one which actually compared the current trial to the era of the Inquisition. It also heard testimony from one of the defendants which did not appear to bolster the prosecution case.  On the outside, the priests of a diocese in Becciu’s native Sardinia published an open letter referring to police raids last week in connection to one aspect of the charges as “absurd,” “unjustified” and “specious.” The case, however, continues to grind along, with Becciu himself set to testify next week on May 5.  From the beginning, there actually have been two trials vis-à-vis the charges against Becciu and the other defendants. One is being waged in the Vatican courtroom presided over by Pignatone, and there the outcome remains uncertain. The other trial is unfolding in the court of public opinion, where the Vatican wants to convince the world of its new commitment to transparency, accountability and internationally accepted “best practices,” especially concerning financial crime. The whole point of indicting a cardinal was to show that no one, anymore, is above the law. In that second trial too, the battle isn’t yet over. Yet as the prosecution continues to amass embarrassments and question marks, it’s not clear the smart money right now would be on the Vatican getting an entirely clean bill of health when the dust settles. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/04/vaticans-trial-of-the-century-faces-backlash-comparisons-to-inquisition___________________________________________________________ 2. U.S. religious freedom body highlights Nigeria, Russia in new report, By John Lavenburg, Crux, April 28, 2022 All five of the new countries that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that the State Department designate as Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs) have experienced Christian persecution over the past year. USCIRF recommended Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Syria and Vietnam for the CPC list in its 2022 annual report published on April 25. The potential newcomers were recommended with the 10 countries on last year’s list – Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan – that were recommended for redesignation, as well. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/04/u-s-religious-freedom-body-highlights-nigeria-russia-in-new-report___________________________________________________________ 3. Vatican trial places pope, top aide at center of London deal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 27, 2022, 12:10 PM The former director of the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency testified Wednesday that Pope Francis asked him to help the Vatican secretariat of state get full control of a London property, once again putting the pope and his top deputies in the spotlight for their roles in the problematic deal. Tommaso Di Ruzza is one of 10 people accused in the Vatican’s sprawling financial trial, which is centered on the secretariat of state’s 350 million euro investment in a luxury London property. Vatican prosecutors have accused brokers and Vatican officials of fleecing the Holy See of millions of euros in fees, much of it donations from the faithful, and then extorting the Vatican of 15 million euros to get full control of the property. Di Ruzza, the former director of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, or AIF, is accused of abuse of office for allegedly failing to block the 15 million payment to broker Gianluigi Torzi and of allegedly failing to alert Vatican prosecutors to a seemingly suspicious deal. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/vatican-trial-places-pope-top-aide-at-center-of-london-deal/2022/04/27/9d1fd290-c644-11ec-8cff-33b059f4c1b7_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Pro-Lifers Raise Alarm Over Practices of DC Late-Term Abortionist Cesare Santangelo, In the wake of last month’s recovery of the remains of 115 aborted babies outside of his abortion facility, pro-life advocates continue to demand an investigation into possible criminal violations related to how the babies were killed., By Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, April 27, 2022 Pro-life advocates continue to call for an investigation into the deaths of five aborted babies whose bodies were recently obtained by pro-life activists Lauren Handy and Terrisa Bukovinac.  The women, who are with the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAUU) group, say that a Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services driver gave them two boxes, containing the remains of 115 aborted babies, which he alleged came from the waste left outside the Washington Surgi-Clinic in the District of Columbia. Dr. Cesare Santangelo, a known late-term abortionist, appears to be the only doctor licensed at the clinic. Live Action produced property records that show an LLC with his name as the owner of the facility. The activists are especially concerned because five of the babies appeared to be close to full term. The pro-lifers and some experts suspect that they may have been born alive and left to die, with one having injuries that suggest it was the victim of an illegal partial-birth abortion. https://www.ncregister.com/news/pro-lifers-raise-alarm-over-practices-of-dc-late-term-abortionist-cesare-santangelo___________________________________________________________ 5. Federal court orders cases brought against Texas pro-life law dismissed, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, April 27, 2022, 2:19 PM A federal court on Tuesday ordered a lower court to dismiss all legal challenges brought against the enforcement mechanism of a Texas abortion law, a move which a pro-life group called a “substantial pro-life victory.” The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on April 26 remanded the case, brought by a number of abortion providers and pro-abortion organizations, to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, with instructions to dismiss all challenges to the private enforcement provisions of the Texas Heartbeat Act.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251079/federal-court-orders-cases-brought-against-texas-pro-life-law-dismissed___________________________________________________________

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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