1. Pope Francis to visit Kazakhstan in September, By Catholic News Agency, August 1, 2022, 5:05 AM Plans are now set for Pope Francis to visit Kazakhstan in September for an interreligious meeting. Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed the trip in a statement issued Monday. “Accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesial authorities, Pope Francis will make the announced Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan from 13-15 September this year, visiting the city of Nur-Sultan on the occasion of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions,” the statement said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251927/pope-francis-to-visit-kazakhstan-in-september___________________________________________________________ 2. Polish Priest’s War on Abortion Means Fighting for the Mothers, By Katrin Bennhold and Monika Pronczuk, The New York Times, July 31, 2022, Pg. A1 Abortion has been banned in Poland for 29 years, but that has done little to prevent women from finding access to the procedure, leaving the Rev. Tomasz Kancelarczyk a busy man. The Roman Catholic priest plays ultrasound audio of what he describes as fetal heartbeats in his sermons to dissuade women considering an abortion. He has threatened teenage girls with telling their parents if they have an abortion. He hectored couples as they waited at the hospital for abortions on account of fetal abnormalities, which were permitted until the law was further tightened last year. But Father Kancelarczyk’s most effective tool, he acknowledges, may actually be something the state has mostly neglected: helping single mothers by providing them with shelter, supermarket vouchers, baby clothes and, if need be, lawyers to go after violent partners.  Kasia, who also did not want her full name used because the stigma that surrounds the issue, is one of nine women currently living at Father Kancelarczyk’s shelter. She was 23 when she became pregnant. She said her boyfriend had abused her — the police refused to intervene — and then left her. Her mother had kicked her out of the house. A friend contacted an abortion clinic across the border in Germany. “It is not difficult,” she said of getting an illegal termination. “It is a matter of getting a phone number.” In the end, it was a near-miscarriage in the eighth week of her pregnancy that changed Kasia’s mind and persuaded her to carry out her pregnancy. Father Kancelarczyk offered her not just free room and board in his shelter but a lawyer, who took the former boyfriend to court. He is now serving a 10-month sentence and might lose custody. “I feel safe now,” Kasia said. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/30/world/europe/poland-abortion-ban-single-mothers.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Ending Priestly Celibacy Would Not Stop Abuse, Trotting out the canard that married priests would mean less abuse isn’t just ignorant. It’s a shocking disservice to victim-survivors, By Ed Condon, National Review, July 31, 2022, 6:30 AM, Opinion The Economist recently ran a lead article arguing that if the Catholics “want to reduce the scourge of sexual abuse by priests, they should demand an end to the rule requiring priestly celibacy.” I found myself checking the year of publication. Surely this must have been an article from 20 years ago. But no: In the same week in which the Catholic bishops of the United States published their annual report on the (still falling) number of abuse claims made in American dioceses, the Economist was running with a tired, discredited argument. Trying to hang the deadly sin of abuse around the church’s policy of clerical celibacy was perhaps an understandable speculative endeavor in the aftermath of the horrific scandals reported by the Spotlight team of the Boston Globe in the early 2000s. But, with all we have learned in the decades since, and with the painful, continuing revelations of abuse of children in all manner of institutions, trotting out the canard that married priests would mean less abuse isn’t just ignorant. It’s a shocking disservice to victim-survivors. The institutions of the Catholic Church have, for sure, stained themselves with the blasphemy of child abuse and, far too often, with the silencing of victims and the protection of predators. As a canon lawyer, I’ve seen up close the horrific suffering caused by these crimes, and sat with survivors simultaneously brimming with pain and righteous rage. I’ve been unsparing in my criticisms of the church institutions and leaders that created the opportunities for evil men to prey on the weakest of us. And, the progress made in the United States notwithstanding, real problems remain with the reflexive secrecy and clerical deference with which the Vatican continues to treat abuse allegations concerning bishops. But the suggestion that abuse is caused, amplified, or sustained by the unmarried state of clergy isn’t just without evidence: It flies in the face of the experiences of so many survivors of abuse in other settings. No one who has followed the terrible reckoning the Southern Baptist Convention has had with its own institutional failure to protect children could cite the “successful” example of Protestant clergy as proof that married pastors mitigate the risk of abuse. Likewise, consider the heartbreaking experiences of survivors of abuse in families, schools, youth organizations, the Boy Scouts, and the child-welfare system. The assertion, which the Economist is by no means first to make, that Catholic priests are more likely to be abusers because the practice of celibacy attracts pedophiles in the first place is based on a false premise. At its root is the conviction that there must be something suspect about the practice of celibacy in the first place. In our society, which has saturated itself with sexuality as identity and with sexual practice as self-actualization, the idea that an entire class of people can offer a witness to a different means and end to human fulfillment is treated as necessarily sinister.  The Church owes to the survivors of clerical abuse a debt, moral and practical, that can never wholly satisfy survivors’ rightful demands for justice. What we as a wider society all owe survivors of child abuse, by anyone in any institution, is to listen to their experiences with profound respect and to give them our fullest commitment to protecting children. The urgent goal of fulfilling that commitment and building institutions that are ever safer for children is not served by the lazy conflation of clerical celibacy with sexual predation. https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/07/ending-priestly-celibacy-would-not-stop-abuse/__________________________________________________________ 4. Pope says he’ll slow down or retire: ‘You can change a pope’, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 30, 2022, 4:22 AM Pope Francis acknowledged Saturday that he can no longer travel like he used to because of his strained knee ligaments, saying his weeklong Canadian pilgrimage was “a bit of a test” that showed he needs to slow down and one day possibly retire. Speaking to reporters while traveling home from northern Nunavut, the 85-year-old Francis stressed that he hadn’t thought about resigning but said “the door is open” and there was nothing wrong with a pope stepping down. “It’s not strange. It’s not a catastrophe. You can change the pope,” he said while sitting in an airplane wheelchair during a 45-minute news conference. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-says-hell-slow-down-or-retire-you-can-change-a-pope/2022/07/30/cba2d028-0fe0-11ed-88e8-c58dc3dbaee2_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Pope: Canadian residential schools were cultural ‘genocide’, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 30, 2022 Pope Francis agreed Saturday that the attempt to eliminate Indigenous culture in Canada through a church-run residential school system amounted to a cultural “genocide.” Speaking to reporters while en route home from Canada, Francis said he didn’t use the term during his trip to atone for the Catholic Church’s role in the schools because it never came to mind. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission determined in 2015 that the forced removal of Indigenous children from their homes and placement in the residential schools to assimilate them constituted a “cultural genocide.” https://apnews.com/article/pope-francis-religion-f0a5b44114856bb52d02b794c95c524c__________________________________________________________ 6. Biden Nominates Lawyer Who Argued Supreme Court Abortion Case to Judgeship, Julie Rikelman will be the 132nd federal judicial nominee for whom the Biden administration has sought Senate confirmation, By Jan Wolfe, The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2022, Pg. A2 President Biden nominated an attorney who unsuccessfully argued for abortion rights in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade to a vacancy on a federal appeals court. Mr. Biden has named Julie Rikelman to the Boston-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the White House said Friday. Her appointment is subject to confirmation from a simple majority of the Senate, where she will likely face strong opposition from Republicans. Ms. Rikelman, a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued in front of the Supreme Court last year in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, representing the now-closed Mississippi abortion clinic at the center of the case. https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-nominates-lawyer-who-argued-supreme-court-abortion-case-to-judgeship-11659122157?__________________________________________________________ 7. Apologies ‘fell short’, Pope Francis ended his Canada trip, where he offered regrets for the cruelty of the residential school system., By Chico Harlan and Amanda Coletta, The Washington Post, July 30, 2022, Pg. A1 In the last stop on a penitential pilgrimage that has drawn mixed reviews from the Indigenous people he came to see, Pope Francis on Friday apologized again to survivors of Canada’s residential schools and said it was his hope to “shed light on what happened and move beyond that dark past.” The town of Iqaluit, built on permafrost, marked a fitting end for a somber, one-of-a-kind papal trip, geared primarily to atoning for the cruelty of the government-funded schools, most of which were operated by Catholic entities. “I want to tell you how very sorry I am,” the pope said. He noted in particular the way in which the system, aimed at forcibly assimilating Indigenous children into Christian culture, pulled children from their parents and grandparents — a practice he called “evil.”  Many Indigenous people said they were moved by the long-sought visit — particularly given the 85-year-old’s frailty and immobility. They said his willingness to say “I’m sorry” on Indigenous land was a crucial first step toward healing. But as the week proceeded, he faced criticism from Indigenous leaders, who said were still waiting for him to apologize for the Catholic Church as an institution. “[The apology] fell short,” RoseAnne Archibald, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a television interview this week after the pope’s appearance in Maskwacîs, Alberta. She was one of the Indigenous leaders who greeted Francis when he arrived in the country on Sunday. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/29/pope-francis-nunavut-canada-criticism/__________________________________________________________ 8. Pope Francis says he has ‘said all he has to say’ in 2019 letter to German Catholics about the ‘Synodal Way’, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, July 30, 2022, 2:22 AM The latest Vatican intervention against the German “Synodal Way” was published by the Secretariat of State, but he himself has said “everything he had to say” about the process in his own letter to German Catholics, Pope Francis told journalists on the papal plane on July 30. During an in-flight press conference on his return flight to Rome from Iqaluit, Canada, Francis said he thought the latest statement from the Holy See was “a communiqué of the Secretariat of State.”  The fact that the Holy See’s statement was not signed otherwise was not done out of “ill will,” the pope stressed, in light of “astonished” reactions from people responsible for the controversial German process.  “The ‘Synodal Way’ in Germany does not have the power to compel bishops and the faithful to adopt new forms of governance and new orientations of doctrine and morals,” the Vatican said in its statement published a week ago.  On the papal flight back from Canada on July 29, the Holy Father stressed that he had “already said all he had to say” on the subject in his 2019 letter to German Catholics. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251918/pope-francis-synodal-way-secretariat-of-state-letter-german-catholics__________________________________________________________ 9. Pope Francis on birth control: Can the teaching of the Church on contraception change?, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, July 30, 2022, 4:38 AM Can the Church’s teaching on birth control change? During Pope Francis’ return flight from Canada, a journalist asked him about the possibility of a development in the Church’s teaching on contraception. “This is very timely. But know that dogma, morality, is always in a path of development, but development in the same direction,” Pope Francis responded on July 30.The pope went on to say that he thinks that the development of Catholic moral doctrine, in general, is fine but recommended in particular that it follows the rules outlined by the 5th-century theologian St. Vincent of Lérins. Pope Francis explained that St. Vincent of Lérins taught “that true doctrine in order to go forward, to develop, must not be quiet, it develops ut annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate.” “That is, it consolidates with time, it expands and consolidates, and becomes more steady, but is always ‘progressing.’ That is why the duty of theologians is research, theological reflection. You cannot do theology with a ‘no’ in front of it … the magisterium will be the one to say no,” the pope added.https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251920/pope-francis-on-birth-control-can-the-teaching-of-the-church-on-contraception-change__________________________________________________________ 10. Arlington bishop curtails Traditional Latin Masses, By Shannon Mullen, Catholic News Agency, July 30, 2022, 12:53 PM Thirteen parishes in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, must stop offering Traditional Latin Masses come Sept. 8 under new rules issued Friday by Bishop Michael J. Burbidge to conform with Pope Francis’ liturgical directives. Under the rules, eight other parishes may continue to offer Masses in what is called the Extraordinary Form, but five of those may only do so in other locations besides their churches, including school buildings and a former church.  A statement published on the Arlington Diocese’s website says Burbidge submitted a “request for dispensation from Traditionis custodes” to the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. Burbidge made the request so that “the approximately 2.5% of local, Mass-attending Catholics who prefer this liturgical form” in the diocese could continue to have access to Traditional Latin Masses, the statement says. “Consequently, three parishes were granted permission to continue celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in their parish churches for a term of two years,” the statement continues. The diocese’s policy says that this permission “may be extended upon the approval of the Dicastery, so long as ongoing work toward a unitary form (use of the third edition of the Roman Missal, promulgated in English in 2011 and in Spanish in 2018) of celebration of the Sacred Liturgy continues.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251924/arlington-bishop-restricts-traditional-latin-masses__________________________________________________________ 11. Justice Alito Warns of Secular Threats to Religious Liberty, In Rome speech, Supreme Court justice cites hostility to religion as a concern in U.S. and globally, By Jess Bravin, The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2022, 5:56 PM Justice Samuel Alito warned that secular elements in society pose a threat to religious liberty, urging a largely Catholic audience in Rome to promote the values of religious rights to Americans who may doubt their relevance. “The problem that looms is not just indifference to religion. It’s not just ignorance about religion. There’s also growing hostility to religion or at least the traditional religious beliefs that are contrary to the new moral code that is ascendant in some sectors,” Justice Alito said. “The challenge for those who want to protect religious liberty in the United States, Europe and other similar places is to convince people who are not religious that religious liberty is worth special protection and that will not be easy to do,” he said.  “Freedom of worship means freedom to do these things that you like to do in the privacy of your home, or in your church, or your synagogue, or your mosque, or your temple. But when you step outside into the public square in the light of day, you had better behave yourself like a good secular citizen. That’s the problem that we face,” he said. https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-alito-warns-of-secular-threats-to-religious-liberty-11659131775___________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.