1. ‘Hate speech’ label does damage to civil dialogue, Philadelphia Statement warns, By Catholic News Agency, August 12, 2020, 3:26 AM

Efforts to protect people from harm and error now marginalize and even demonize others for unpopular opinions, warns a new statement urging a revival of civil engagement and conscientious respect for the convictions of others.

“We want—and to be true to ourselves we need—to be a nation in which we and our fellow citizens of many different faiths, philosophies, and persuasions can speak their minds and honor their deepest convictions without fear of punishment and retaliation,” said the newly released Philadelphia Statement.

The statement was released Aug. 11. Its signers include academics, religious leaders and other commentators, including Archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia Charles Chaput and Princeton Law School professor Robert George.


2. Pope Francis: Human dignity has serious political implications, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, August 12, 2020, 5:00 AM

Pope Francis said Wednesday that Christian faith demands conversion from individualism and a commitment to defending the inherent dignity of every person.

“While we work for the cure of a virus that affects everyone without distinction, faith urges us to work seriously and actively to fight indifference in the face of violations of human dignity,” Pope Francis said Aug. 12.

“We want to recognize the human dignity in every person, whatever his or her race, language or condition might be,” the pope said at his general audience.


3. Successor: Ousted bishop quiet on restitution plan, By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, August 12, 2020, Pg. B7

More than a year after Pope Francis ordered ousted West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield to make personal amends for alleged sexual and financial misconduct, his successor bishop says he has yet to hear from Bransfield about a restitution proposal.

Last Tuesday, MetroNews, a West Virginia news site, quoted Bishop Mark Brennan as saying that he had not heard from Bransfield in “many months, and I would not expect to. … Whatever he is doing, he is doing and is in a dark hole. We do not know exactly what he is up to; we have not been in communication.” 


4. A D.C. man is accused of bilking the Catholic Church and pandemic funds of $2.5 million., By Spencer S. Hsu, The Washington Post, August 12, 2020, Pg. B1

A District man has been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $2.1 million in federal coronavirus relief loans and stealing more than $427,000 from the Catholic Church, using the money to buy a yacht, a million-dollar rowhouse and a luxury car, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Kenneth Gaughan, 41, entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday to a 12-count indictment handed up July 22 charging him in an eight-year scheme to embezzle money from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, where he worked as an assistant superintendent and contracting contact for its 95 schools.


5. Updated COVID-19 guidance issued for religious services in Washington, By Associated Press, August 12, 2020

Some coronavirus restrictions on in-person worship have been relaxed for churches, under new guidance issued by Gov. Jay Inslee.

While drive-in services or remote sessions are still the recommended option, counties in Phase 1 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan can hold outdoor services for up to 100 people, with a required six feet of distancing and facial coverings worn by those who attend.


6. HK diocese promotes ‘national identity’, security law in Catholic schools, By Catholic News Agency, August 11, 2020, 11:00 AM

Catholic schools in Hong Kong have been told to explain the provisions of the new National Security Law and encourage patriotic values to students, according to the text of a letter sent by the Diocese of Hong Kong to nearly 200 schools.

The letter, signed by Peter Lau Chiu Yin, a layman who serves as the Episcopal Delegate for Education in the diocese, was addressed to principles and leaders of all Catholic primary and secondary schools and was first reported by the Hong Kong news service RTHK last week.


7. Chinese Cardinals, World Religious Leaders: ‘We Stand With the Uyghurs’, Statement condemns China’s egregious treatment of ethnic group, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, August 10, 2020

The Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghurs is “one of the most egregious human tragedies since the Holocaust,” two Asian cardinals and 74 other religious leaders wrote in a statement released Aug. 8.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, and Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, archbishop of Jakarta, Indonesia, were among the 76 signatories calling for “prayer, solidarity and action to end these mass atrocities” against the Muslim minority in China.

“After the Holocaust, the world said ‘Never Again.’ Today, we repeat those words ‘Never Again’, all over again. We stand with the Uyghurs. We also stand with Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and Christians throughout China who face the worst crackdown on freedom of religion or belief since the Cultural Revolution,” the statement said.

“We make a simple call for justice, to investigate these crimes, hold those responsible to account and establish a path towards the restoration of human dignity,” it states.


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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