1. Pope, Out of Hospital, Thanks Palm Sunday Crowds, By Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times, April 3, 2023, Pg. A7 Pope Francis, who was discharged from a three-day hospital stay on Saturday, seemed on the mend on Sunday as he addressed tens of thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for Palm Sunday Mass, allaying concerns about his health. Francis, 86, arrived at the crowded square in an open-topped jeep, which drove along a corridor lined with thousands of faithful, many waving palm fronds over their heads, and up a ramp to the top of the basilica’s steps. He walked to the altar unassisted — because of knee problems and recurrent sciatica, he often uses a cane or a wheelchair. Francis delivered the homily — in which he urged the world to care for those who are “abandoned” — the Angelus prayer and a blessing to the estimated 60,000 people in the crowd. And he thanked attendees for their “participation, and also for your prayers, which intensified during these past days.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/02/world/europe/pope-francis-palm-sunday.html__________________________________________________________ 2. The Catholic Church Is Right, ‘Gender-Affirming’ Care Is Wrong, By John Grabowski, National Review, April 3, 2023, 6:30 AM, Opinion The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Doctrine Committee’s recent statement “The Moral Limits to Technological Manipulation of the Human Body” has elicited some predictable wailing and gnashing of teeth among self-identified progressive Catholics. These critics complain that the document fails to take science seriously and overlooks the voices and experiences of transgender persons. In case we didn’t get that last point, Father James Martin, best known for his vociferous defense of half of the Church’s teaching on same-sex attraction (i.e., that such persons should be treated with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity”), tweeted out the story of a father of two, married for 29 years, who now identifies as a “transgender Catholic woman.” What exactly did the bishops say or fail to say that has provoked such dismay? Summarizing a basic tenet of Christian anthropology, the bishops note that the Church has always opposed “dualistic conceptions” that “do not regard the body as an intrinsic part of the human person.” Further, sexual difference is an intrinsic part of human embodiment and part of God’s plan “from the beginning” (cf. Gen. 1:27). Following Pope Francis, they note that we can distinguish the “socio-cultural role of sex (gender)” from biological sex rooted in the body — but not separate it (see Amoris Laetitia, no. 56). On this anthropological foundation of the unity of body and soul, the Doctrine Committee overlays the principle of totality affirmed in modern church teaching. This principle allows technological modifications of the human body only in two cases: first, when the modification aims to repair a bodily defect, and second, when the sacrifice of some part of the body is necessary for the well-being of the whole (e.g., amputating a gangrenous limb). Chemical and surgical gender-transitioning procedures fail both tests. They aim to “exchange the sex characteristics of the patient’s body for those of the opposite sex or simulations thereof.” That final phrase is key. Medical “gender transitioning” does not change a person’s sex — even on the biological level. Instead, it causes a person’s body to simulate the appearance of the other sex. Through a series of harsh and painful surgeries, a person’s genitalia are reconfigured to appear like those of the other sex, and his or her internal gonads are removed. Through cross-sex hormones (which a person will typically have to remain on for life), some of his or her genotypical sex characteristics will over time come to resemble those of the other sex. But a person’s basic body size, brain structure, and genetic sex are unchanged by these procedures. And even though the individual comes to resemble the other sex, he or she will never bear children, because transitioning leaves the person sterile. In short, while the suffering caused by gender dysphoria is real, the means used to treat it “must respect the fundamental order of the body.” Transitioning procedures fail to do so.  Good treatment for the pain of gender dysphoria should indeed “respect the fundamental order of the body.” When we fail to do that, we unleash harm in ourselves and in God’s creation. The book of nature read with the help of science and the book of Scripture read with that of faith concur on this point. Of course, that should not surprise us — they have a common Author. John Grabowski is an Ordinary Professor of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of Unraveling Gender (TAN Books, 2022). https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/04/the-catholic-church-is-right-gender-affirming-care-is-wrong/__________________________________________________________ 3. Rebounding Pope Francis marks Palm Sunday in Vatican square, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, April 2, 2023, 11:54 AM Bundled in a long, white coat and battling a hoarse voice, Pope Francis presided over Mass in St. Peter’s Square before tens of thousands of faithful on Palm Sunday, a day after he left a Rome hospital where he was treated for bronchitis.  Francis, 86, received antibiotics administered intravenously during his three-day stay. He last previous appearance in St. Peter’s Square saw him conduct his regular Wednesday public audience. He was taken to Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic that same day after feeling ill.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/04/02/pope-francis-health-palm-sunday-vatican/d27d826e-d130-11ed-ac8b-cd7da05168e9_story.html __________________________________________________________ 4. Catholic school enrollment post-pandemic: an interview with the NCEA president, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, April 2, 2023, 4:00 AM, Interview Catholic schools in the United States have grown in enrollment for two straight years, reaching record levels in some dioceses. Nationwide, Catholic enrollment jumped from 1.63 million to 1.69 million students, an increase of more than 3.5%, according to data released in February by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).   Though the statistics show that enrollment has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels — 1.74 million students enrolled in 2019 — the reversal is notable, as before the pandemic enrollment was trending down by 2% to 3% annually. Lincoln Snyder, president and CEO of the NCEA, which works with Catholic educators to support ongoing faith formation and the teaching mission of the Catholic Church, spoke with CNA about the new numbers and the state of U.S. Catholic education today.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253986/catholic-school-enrollment-post-pandemic-an-interview-with-the-ncea-president__________________________________________________________ 5. In letter, thousands of Catholic nuns declare trans people ‘beloved and cherished by God’, The letter follows a recent statement from U.S. Catholic bishops discouraging Catholic health-care groups from performing various gender-affirming medical procedures, By Jack Jenkins, The Washington Post, March 31, 2023, 12:14 PM A coalition led by Catholic nuns, representing thousands of women religious and associates at partner groups, released a public a letter on Friday voicing support for transgender, nonbinary and gender-expansive individuals, declaring they “are beloved and cherished by God” and implicitly rebuking recent statements from the U.S. Catholic hierarchy. The letter is meant to mark the International Day of Transgender Visibility, which takes place Friday.  Prepared by representatives from various communities including the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, and Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth JPIC office, the letter lists orders of nuns and other organizations representing more than 6,000 vowed religious across 18 states. Among the signatories are various offices of the Sisters of Charity; the leadership of the Presentation Sisters of Dubuque, Iowa; Sisters of Loretto/Loretto Community; multiple offices of the School Sisters of Notre Dame; the Dominican Sisters of Houston; and the Justice Office of the Medical Mission Sisters. The letter also lists ways to take action, such as supporting New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBTQ outreach group, or signing a statement highlighting a “Catholic commitment to trans-affirmation” from DignityUSA. The nuns’ effort comes in the wake of a doctrinal statement published earlier this month by a committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which discouraged Catholic health-care groups from performing various gender-affirming medical procedures, arguing doing so does not respect the “intrinsic unity of body and soul.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2023/03/31/letter-thousands-catholic-nuns-declare-trans-people-beloved-cherished-by-god/__________________________________________________________

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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