1. China Disputes Detention Claims.

By Eva Dou and Josh Chin, The Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2018, Pg. A6

China disputed allegations that it is holding as many as one million Muslim ethnic minorities in internment camps, instead calling them vocational schools, in rare comments before a United Nations panel in Geneva.

A senior Chinese official told the U.N. panel Monday that such camps, referred to in Chinese government documents as “re-education centers,” were for “criminals involved only in minor offenses” to help them learn vocational skills and to reintegrate them into society.

He called the widely cited one million estimate “completely untrue” but declined to give an official Chinese figure for how many people are in the centers.

The camps in China’s northwest Xinjiang province have drawn international attention this year, as academic researchers used satellite photos and government construction bids to establish the vast scale of the program. China legal expert Jerome Cohen has called the internments the largest-scale detentions outside the judicial system in China since Mao Zedong’s “anti-rightist” campaigns of the 1950s.


2. Cardinal Wuerl lays out plan for lay involvement in bishops’ accountability.

By Ed Condon, Crux, August 14, 2018

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has laid out his vision for lay participation in new oversight structures as part of the ongoing response to recent scandals in the Church in the United States. He is one of several bishops pressing for collaboration between laity and bishops to ensure accountability in the Church hierarchy.

The cardinal made the specific suggestion that one or more such boards be created, with membership including laity, men and women, as well as bishops. These could be established “either at the national level or at the regional or provincial level” and be charged with assessing the credibility of accusations made against bishops.

“It seems that at the service of both accountability and transparency, such boards that reflect the makeup of the Church, laity and clergy, would help to highlight this new level of accountability,” Wuerl wrote.


3. Myanmar cardinal backs pope’s opposition to death penalty.

By Catholic News Service, August 13, 2018

Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, hailed Pope Francis’s admonition that imposing the death penalty is always inadmissible.

The Catholic Church should never compromise its fundamental belief in the right to life, including on the issue of capital punishment, Bo said in a statement released Aug. 10, ucanews.com reported.

“Even those who committed heinous crimes do have a right to life,” he said.

Civilized societies must move away from sports that provoke violent behavior, especially in children, and could indirectly lead to mass killings, Bo added.


4. Let Catholic adoption agencies be Catholic. We should focus on finding every child a home.

By Russell Moore, Russell Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, USA Today, August 12, 2018, 6:00 AM

Recently, several states have introduced laws that would limit the ability of faith-based organizations to provide child welfare services, such as adoption and foster care. In Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., for example, faith-based child welfare providers have faced loss of funding, denial of contracts and other forms of discrimination for operating according to their religiously informed convictions. This is unacceptable, not only from a religious liberty perspective, but also for the impact it will have on children in need of adoption and related services.

With the current state of adoption and foster care in our nation today, we need as many people working to facilitate these services as possible. Instead, what I am seeing is a concerted effort to shut down service providers, because they hold disfavored religious views. Whenever a service provider is forced to close their doors due to their religious convictions, a heavier burden is placed on an already overtaxed system. We need to put the politics aside and think about what is best for the thousands of children awaiting adoption. The more providers we have, the more capacity we have to get these children into their “forever homes.”

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act was recently added as an amendment to a House appropriations bill by Rep. Robert Aderholt and successfully voted out of committee. This measure seeks to ensure that there is a broad spectrum of child welfare service providers, that birth moms have a range of choice when considering adoption and ultimately, that there are as many forever homes for waiting children as possible.

In short, the bill would prevent the government from appointing itself as an evaluator of what constitutes acceptable theology — something that the state is woefully unequipped to do. Contrary to recent headlines, the bill does not at all attempt to adjudicate whether or not a gay or lesbian couple is able to provide a loving home to a child, nor does it seek to speak to the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. The bill does not inhibit LGBTQ adoption efforts nor does it discriminate against LGBTQ couples.