1. Vatican blasts gender-affirming surgery, surrogacy and gender theory as violations of human dignity, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 8, 2024, 8:27 AM
The Vatican on Monday declared gender-affirming surgery and surrogacy as grave violations of human dignity, putting them on par with abortion and euthanasia as practices that reject God’s plan for human life.
The Vatican’s doctrine office issued “Infinite Dignity,” a 20-page declaration that has been in the works for five years. After substantial revision in recent months, it was approved March 25 by Pope Francis, who ordered its publication.
In its most eagerly anticipated section, the Vatican repeated its rejection of “gender theory,” or the idea that one’s gender can be changed. It said God created man and woman as biologically different, separate beings, and said people must not tinker with that plan or try to “make oneself God.”
“It follows that any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception,” the document said.

2. Trump declines to endorse a national abortion ban and says it should be left to the states, By Jill Colvin, Associated Press, April 8, 2024, 9:38 AM
Former President Donald Trump said he believes abortion should be left to the states in a video released Monday morning outlining his position after months of mixed messages and speculation.
“Many people have asked me what my position is on abortion and abortion rights,” Trump said in the video posted on his Truth Social site. “My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both. And whatever they decide must be the law of the land — in this case, the law of the state.”
Trump, in the video, did not say when in pregnancy he believes abortion should be banned — declining to endorse a national cutoff that would have been used as a cudgel by Democrats ahead of the November election. But Trump’s endorsement of the patchwork approach leaves him open to being attached to the strictest proposed state legislation, which President Joe Biden and his reelection campaign have already been working to do.


3. Vatican touts ‘seamless garment’ of human dignity in new doc, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, April 8, 2024
In a new document published Monday, the Vatican presented a “seamless garment” approach to human dignity, uniting Pope Francis’s progressive social agenda with the traditional moral and ethical concerns of his predecessors.
Closely associated with the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, the “seamless garment” approach to life issues in the Church consists of a holistic reverence for human life and dignity in all cases and situations throughout the world.
Monday’s new Declaration Dignitas Infinita on Human Dignity from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) presented the consistent life ethic of this seamless garment, offering a clear definition of human dignity as the Church sees it and stressing the need to uphold it from conception to natural death.
It touches on issues such as war, poverty, migration, and the abuse crisis, stressing the need to protect and uphold human dignity in all of these circumstances, and it also takes a critical edge on topics such as abortion, surrogacy, gender theory and sex change, saying they disregard humanity’s natural God-given dignity.
Notably, however, the Declaration, while broadly condemning sex change, did not specifically touch on sex changes for minors, despite growing global debate of the controversial issue.

4. An Argentine judge recognizes gender abuse suffered for years by 20 nuns in a breakthrough ruling, By Almudena Calatrava, Associated Press, April 5, 2024, 8:11 PM
An Argentine judge on Friday ruled that 20 cloistered nuns had suffered abuse for more than two decades at the hands of high-ranking clergy in the country’s conservative north, and ordered the accused archbishop and church officials to undergo psychological treatment and training in gender discrimination.
The ruling in the homeland of Pope Francis cast a spotlight on the long-standing of abuse of nuns by priests and bishops in the Catholic Church.

“I conclude and affirm that the nuns have suffered acts of gender violence religiously, physically, psychologically and economically for more than 20 years,” Judge Carolina Cáceres said in the ruling from Salta in northwestern Argentina.

Their complaints cited a range of mistreatment including verbal insults, threats, humiliation and physical — although not sexual — assault.
The nuns describe archbishop Mario Cargnello as grabbing, slapping and shaking women. At one point, they said, Cargnello squeezed the lips of a nun to silence her. At another, he pounced on a nun, striking her as he struggled to snatch a camera from her hands. They also accused Cargello of borrowing nuns’ money without paying them back.
Cáceres, the judge, described the instances as “physical and psychological gender violence.”
5. Legal representative ‘very hopeful’ on Oklahoma Catholic school court case, By John Lavenburg, Crux, April 4, 2024
After presenting an oral argument to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, a legal representative for the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board is “very hopeful” that they will prevail in the lawsuit brought against them by the state Attorney General, which would allow St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School to open in August.
Legal representatives for the school board, St. Isidore, and Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond presented oral arguments to the Oklahoma Supreme Court on April 2. The case is now under advisement, and so it’s expected that the court will make a decision before the school plans to open in August, according to Phil Sechler, an attorney for the school board.
Sechler, who is senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told Crux that the biggest takeaway from the oral arguments was the concern one of the judges had about religious groups not receiving the same treatment as their secular counterparts.

6. Wisconsin bishop accuses Archbishop Viganò of ‘public defamation’, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, April 6, 2024, 11:00 AM
A Wisconsin bishop has publicly rebuked the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, accusing him of defamation and a possibly illicit ordination.
The clash between Bishop James Powers of the Diocese of Superior and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò stems from a March 22 post on X in which the controversial former Vatican official criticized what he called a “shamanic ceremony” at the start of the Superior Diocese’s 2024 chrism Mass. 
The March 19 Mass at its outset featured four Ojibwe women engaging in traditional dance while accompanied by Indigenous drumming. Viganò in his post called the ritual “a very serious sacrilege,” describing Powers as “a squalid official of the ecumenical religion” and “not a successor of the apostles but a servant of Freemasonry.” You can watch the beginning of the Mass in the diocese’s video here.
Powers responded in a sharply worded letter dated April 5, accusing Viganò of a “violation of my right to a good name and reputation.” The diocese posted the letter on its Facebook page.

Arguing that Viganò’s rhetoric “does not befit an archbishop of the Catholic Church” and that it “brings harm to the faithful” entrusted to his care, Powers requested “a public apology from [Viganò] to me and my people.” Viganò could not be reached for comment Saturday.

7. Diocese of Rome shake-up: Pope Francis transfers vicar to Vatican post, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, April 6, 2024, 8:57 AM
Pope Francis has transferred the vicar of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, to a different post as head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican announced on Saturday.
De Donatis, 70, has overseen the administrative needs of the Diocese of Rome as cardinal vicar since 2017. His reassignment leaves the important post of vicar general of Rome vacant until the pope appoints his successor.
The Vatican also announced on April 6 that one of Rome’s seven auxiliary bishops, Bishop Daniele Libanori, SJ, will be transferred to a new position as the Holy Father’s supervisor for Consecrated Life. The Jesuit bishop played a key role in uncovering alleged serial sexual, spiritual, and psychological abuse of women religious by Jesuit mosaic artist Father Marko Rupnik. Libanori reportedly learned of the women’s accusations while investigating the Loyola Community Rupnik co-founded in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Rupnik ultimately was dismissed from the Jesuit order and is currently under investigation by the Vatican.
The transfer of De Donatis is the latest move in Pope Francis’ major reform of the Diocese of Rome. The pope issued a decree last year that deeply diminished the role of the vicar of Rome and centralized the diocesan management under the formal control of the pontiff as bishop of Rome.


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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