1. Oklahoma lawsuit seeks to block opening of first publicly funded religious charter school in the US, By Jamiel Lynch, CNN, August 1, 2023, 10:32 AMA lawsuit filed Monday in Oklahoma is seeking to block the state’s support for the nation’s first publicly funded religious charter school. The lawsuit, filed by the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee, is asking a judge to stop the sponsorship, funding and opening of the St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Catholic Charter School. It comes after the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board in June voted 3-2 to approve the application of the school, an online public school that would be administered by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa.  https://www.cnn.com/2023/08/01/us/oklahoma-religious-charter-school-opening-lawsuit/index.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Survey: Religious nonprofits lead Americans’ charitable choices, except for Gen Z, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, August 1, 2023, 7:46 AMAmong Americans who donate to charity, religious charities and nonprofits are the most popular, with about 1 in 5 Americans giving to these groups over the last year, a consumer research firm reported. While some Americans say they never give to charity, many say they can’t donate because they don’t have money. Overall, 19% of Americans said they gave to religious charities in the last year, according to a survey sponsored by the Bethesda, Maryland-based Collage Group. About 27% of baby boomer respondents, those born 1946–1964, said they gave to religious charities. This is compared with 18% of Gen Xers (born 1965–1980), 16% of millennials (born 1981–1996), and only 11% of Gen Z respondents (born 1997–2012). Charitable giving was about 19% across racial and ethnic groups. Religious charities were the first choice of all generations except Gen Z. For Gen Z, religious charities fell in sixth place behind human rights, animal-related, children’s health causes, and environmental causes. About 15% of Gen Z said they gave to human rights groups.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254956/survey-religious-non-profits-lead-americans-charitable-choices-except-for-gen-z__________________________________________________________ 3. Alabama health care providers sue over threat of prosecution for abortion help, By Kim Chandler, Associated Press, July 31, 2023, 7:58 PM Abortion rights advocates in Alabama — where abortion is almost entirely illegal — filed lawsuits Monday against the state’s attorney general seeking to prevent him from prosecuting people who help patients travel outside the state to end pregnancies. The groups say Attorney General Steve Marshall has made statements suggesting that anti-conspiracy laws could be used to prosecute those who assist with appointments or finances. The two lawsuits seek a legal ruling clarifying that the state can’t use the statute for these prosecutions.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/07/31/abortion-alabama-lawsuit/d0c46620-2fc4-11ee-85dd-5c3c97d6acda_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. ACLU of Indiana asks state’s high court to keep hold on near-total abortion ban in place for now, By Rick Callahan, Associated Press, July 31, 2023, 7:13 AM The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana asked the state’s high court Monday to keep Indiana’s near-total abortion ban on hold while it pursues a narrower preliminary injunction in a trial court to address the scope of the ban’s exemption allowing women facing serious health risks to obtain abortions. The petition seeking a rehearing will delay the ban from taking effect as soon as Tuesday while the Indiana Supreme Court considers the matter. The ACLU of Indiana’s request comes after the high court ruled on June 30 that Indiana’s Republican-backed ban doesn’t violate the state constitution.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/07/31/indiana-abortion-ban-rehearing-request/d250a6b0-2ff7-11ee-85dd-5c3c97d6acda_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. The Why of World Youth Day, While some try to water down the upcoming World Youth Day with a focus on interreligious dialogue, human fraternity and celebrating religious differences, we must reassert the centrality of conversion through an encounter with Christ., By National Catholic Register, July 31, 2023, Editorial Think of a young Catholic person you know who, against the raging currents of today’s aggressively secular culture, has the goodness and courage to be publicly and proudly Catholic. What would motivate someone like that, in the midst of a blazing hot summer that offers them countless “cooler” recreational outlets, to stuff a few belongings into a backpack and travel to another country, maybe halfway around the world, to attend a religious event like World Youth Day? The opportunity to meet peers who share the same love for the Church, to hear inspiring speakers, to visit with Pope Francis, to deepen their knowledge of their faith, and perhaps to have a life-changing personal encounter with Jesus — all of these would surely rank high on the list. What about “inter-religious dialogue”? Think about it. If you’re not young now, you were once. Would that be something that would put you on a plane, a train, or a pilgrimage on foot to a place like Lisbon, Portugal? Not a chance. So why are the organizers of this year’s World Youth Day stressing that very thing, of all things? Quietly — and confoundingly — interreligious dialogue has emerged as one of the primary themes of the Aug. 1-6 gathering in what is still an overwhelmingly Catholic country. Participants will have the opportunity to tour non-Christian places of worship, such as a mosque, synagogue and a Hindu temple. The program also includes an “ecumenical celebration” that Pope Francis himself might attend. Organizers have made a special point to invite Protestants, Mormons, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and others to participate. (Will they actually come? Why?) A gathering of local organizing committees in Lisbon in May provided an early clue that ecumenism would be a major emphasis. The festivities that day included a performance of an Ismaili choir, the recitation of a Hindu poem and the reading of passages of the Koran. A bit concerning, maybe, but it wasn’t until earlier this month when Cardinal-elect Américo Aguiar, the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon who is the chief organizer for the entire event, revealed the inner ethos undergirding this World Youth Day that alarm bells really started to go off. “We don’t want to convert the young people to Christ or to the Catholic Church or anything like that,” he said, explaining that he wants youth of any creed or no creed to feel welcome. “Differences are a richness in the world and the world will be objectively better if we are capable of placing in the hearts of all young people this certainty,” he added. While the cardinal-elect sought to contextualize his comments, saying that WYD is an invitation to experience God, he also told ACI Digital, “WYD has never been, is not, nor should it ever be an event for proselytism; on the contrary, it is and should always be an opportunity for us to get to know each other and respect each other as brothers.” Hang on a moment. The purpose of World Youth Day has always been very clear. It doesn’t need any nuancing.  “World Youth Day means precisely this: to search for an encounter with God, who entered the history of Mankind through the Paschal mystery of Jesus Christ,” Pope St. John Paul II said in 1986.  Unsurprisingly, Cardinal-elect Aguiar faced immediate criticism for his explicit renunciation of conversion. Bishop Robert Barron countered that if you had told Pope St. John Paul II that “the true purpose of the event was to celebrate difference and make everyone feel comfortable with who they are, and that you had no interest in converting anyone to Christ, you would have gotten a look to stop a train.”  The goal is, and should remain, to save souls, to lead people to heaven. It’s the organizers’ role to foster the best environment possible to allow God’s Truth and his Holy Spirit to set young people’s hearts on fire for the Catholic Faith. Bringing them to mosques, synagogues, and temples will not accomplish that. Neither will ecumenical celebrations, even if the Pope is there. This is the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, not anyone else’s. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/the-why-of-world-youth-day__________________________________________________________

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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