1. Vatican mum on Chinese bishop’s transfer without approval, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, April 5, 2023 While the Vatican last year issued a rare public criticism of China for appointing a bishop without their approval, it has remained quiet on a similar incident that took place in the past few days, when a bishop was transferred to another diocese without Rome’s permission.On Tuesday, Bishop Shen Bin, leader of the nearby Diocese of Haimen (Jiangsu), was installed as the new bishop of Shanghai without prior the Vatican’s prior knowledge or approval. The Diocese of Shanghai has been de facto vacant for the past 10 years, since its Rome-approved bishop, Ma Daqin, was placed under house arrest at Sheshan Seminary in 2012 for resigning from the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the government-approved Catholic body in China, immediately after his episcopal ordination, and he has remained there ever since. In a statement, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said, “The Holy See was informed a few days ago of the decision of the Chinese authorities to transfer of His Excellency Shen Bin, bishop of Haimen, to the diocese of Shanghai and learned from media of the inauguration this morning.” https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2023/04/vatican-mum-on-chinese-bishops-transfer-without-approval__________________________________________________________ 2. Debate over abusers’ artwork pits tradition against new moral imperatives, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, April 5, 2023, Opinion A mounting debate in Catholicism over whether to remove artwork by sexual abusers from sacred spaces seems destined to be especially difficult to resolve, pitting the weight of tradition against changing cultural sensitivities, not to mention practicalities against new moral imperatives. The most likely outcome seems that no universal solution will be found, with answers deemed appropriate in one context not working in others. The question is presented above all by the case of Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik, a celebrated Slovenian artist whose Eastern-themed work adorns churches all over the world, and who now stands accused of spiritual, psychological or sexual abuse of multiple adult women stretching over almost 40 years.  In some ways, these cases pose a question which, at least theologically, Catholicism would seem to have answered a long time ago: Does the spiritual value of an act depend upon the moral integrity of the person performing it? The Donatists posed that question in the fourth through the sixth centuries, insisting that sacraments performed by ministers who had capitulated to imperial authority during the Diocletian persecution were invalid and had to be re-administered. In response, the church developed the doctrine of ex opere operato, which roughly means that the validity of a sacrament arises from its own power as an instrument of God, not on the personal worthiness of the minister. In other words, the church made a distinction between actors and their works that has echoed in Catholic tradition, and not just in sacramental theology.  In the end, it seems likely that the decision about “should it stay or should it go” vis-à-vis Rupnik’s art not be settled in any uniform fashion, but rather on a case-by-case basis.  In the end, whatever happens seems unlikely to fully satisfy everyone. To date, Pope Francis himself has not weighed in on the fate of the artwork created by his fellow Jesuit – and, in the end, this may be one of the many questions in Catholic life which can’t really be settled by papal edict anyway. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2023/04/debate-over-abusers-artwork-pits-tradition-against-new-moral-imperatives__________________________________________________________ 3. Kansas OKs bill that penalizes doctors for some abortions, By John Hanna, Associated Press, April 4, 2023, 5:20 PM Doctors accused of not providing enough care to infants delivered alive during certain kinds of abortion procedures in Kansas could face lawsuits and criminal charges under a bill that won final approval Tuesday in the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature.  The Kansas House voted 86-36 to approve a proposed “born-alive infants protection” law similar to a proposed law that Montana voters rejected in November. The Senate approved the measure last week and it goes next to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, who vetoed such a bill in 2019.The Senate voted 31-9 for the bill last week, meaning it passed both chambers with more than the two-thirds majorities necessary to override a potential veto from Kelly.  The “born alive” measure is premised on a claim that abortion providers leave newborns to die if they’re delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Critics of the bill said the state would be intervening in difficult medical and ethical decisions between doctors and parents.  The Kansas measure is similar to laws in 18 other states requiring infants delivered alive during labor and delivery abortions to go to a hospital and imposing criminal penalties for doctors who don’t provide the same care “a reasonably diligent and conscientious” provider would with other live births.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/04/04/born-alive-abortion-bill-kansas-legislature/98a2d110-d31b-11ed-ac8b-cd7da05168e9_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. China installs new bishop in Shanghai, despite local opposition, By The Pillar, April 4, 2023, 3:26 PM A new bishop was installed as the leader of the Shanghai diocese Tuesday, without public recognition from the Vatican. Both local priests and a Vatican official say the move was provocative, canonically illicit, and likely to prompt opposition from local Catholics in Shanghai. Bishop Joseph Shen Bin, 52, the erstwhile Bishop of Haimen, was installed as Shanghai’s new bishop with no formal announcement from the Vatican, or even from his own diocese before the liturgy commenced.  In an April 4 installation at the diocesan Cathedral of St. Ignatius, Bishop Shen, who is also the president of the state-sanctioned Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China, promised to lead the Shanghai diocese with “patriotism and love.”   One Vatican official close to the Secretariat of State, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record, told The Pillar on Tuesday that Shen’s appointment had “not originated with the Holy See.”  It was instead a “regrettable action” by Chinese authorities, the official said.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/china-installs-new-bishop-in-shanghai__________________________________________________________ 5. Baltimore archbishop addresses clergy child abuse ahead of expected public report, By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency, April 4, 2023, 3:42 AM Baltimore Archbishop William Lori in a letter to parishioners Monday addressed “the evil of child abuse” ahead of the expected release of a Maryland attorney general report detailing decades of abuse in the archdiocese. “On behalf of the Archdiocese, I offer my heartfelt apology to the victim-survivors and their families,” wrote Lori. “More than anything, in this moment, though, I want to pause to recognize and validate that the vile and horrifying abuse that is the subject of the Attorney General’s investigation represents a grave betrayal, and that it has had devastating consequences for victim-survivors.”  The 456-page report compiled by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh will be released this Wednesday, according to the Baltimore Sun.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254022/baltimore-archbishop-addresses-clergy-child-abuse-ahead-of-expected-public-report__________________________________________________________

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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