TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 226 – Cardinal Burke Talks Eucharistic Revival & Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine’s 15th Anniversary! Cardinal Raymond Burke joins Dr. Grazie Christie to discuss not only the National Eucharistic Revival but also a beautiful shrine nestled in the hills of La Crosse, Wisconsin dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe that just celebrated 15 years! His Eminence also talks Eucharistic coherence and how pilgrims to the shrine can receive a plenary indulgence by visiting! As we are nearing the end of the summer months, Carrie Gress also discusses Theology of Home At the Sea, and the love of Stella Maris. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Pakistan arrests 130 people after churches attacked on blasphemy rumor, By Shaiq Hussain and Rick Noack, The Washington Post, August 18, 2023, Pg. A14 Pakistani police arrested about 130 suspected attackers after a Muslim mob, angry over reports that Quran pages were desecrated by Christians, attacked at least five churches and many homes in the east of the country, authorities said Thursday. While there were no reports of injuries or deaths, the large-scale rampages Wednesday marked some of the most serious outbreaks of sectarian violence in recent years in Pakistan, where accusations of blasphemy regularly result in unpredictable riots that have in the past raged for hours before authorities intervened.  Local officials said most Christians temporarily fled to safety. Public meetings and demonstrations in the area have been banned until further notice. 2. Lawsuit challenges ban on public funding for church repairs, By Christian Wade, The Center Square in The Washington Times, August 18, 2023, Pg. A10 New Jersey has become the latest legal battleground over the use of taxpayer dollars to repair church buildings and other houses of worship. A religious liberty group is seeking to overturn a 2018 Supreme Court of New Jersey ruling which held that the state constitution prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to repair or maintain churches and other religious buildings. Lawyers for the First Liberty Institute, a Texas-based conservative Christian group, have filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Morris County churches arguing that excluding religious organizations from government programs available to other entities is unconstitutional and discriminatory. 3. Houses of Worship Shouldn’t Mirror the Class Divide, Well-educated and well-to-do Americans are more likely to attend religious services, but there are ways to make congregations more diverse and democratic., By Ryan Burge, The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2023, 10:04 AM One of the most striking and consequential shifts in U.S. society over the last five decades is the increasing share of Americans who have abandoned religion. In 1972, just 5% of Americans reported that they had no religious affiliation, according to the General Social Survey. In 2021, that number had skyrocketed to nearly 30%. In 2020, the number of Americans who never attend religious services reached 75 million, while the number who attended weekly was 65 million, according to the Cooperative Election Study. This shift has not been uniform across American society. Survey data from the last decade shows that the people most likely to be found at religious services are the well-educated and the well-to-do.  Being economically and educationally stratified means that houses of worship are becoming more politically homogeneous as well. If someone walked into an average Protestant or Catholic church in the 1980s, they were just as likely to sit next to a Democrat as a Republican. That’s no longer the case: In almost all majority-white Protestant churches, political conservatives dramatically outnumber those who are left of center. In 1978, 50% of white weekly churchgoers were Democrats and 40% were Republicans. Today, 60% identify as Republicans and just 25% as Democrats.  Religious leaders need to remember the crucial role that houses of worship play in holding our society together. The future of American religion—and maybe American democracy—depends on it. Ryan Burge is a pastor, an associate professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, and the research director for Faith Counts. His books include “The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going.” 4. Foreign Aid Isn’t Charity, Its purpose is to support the national interest, not to make Americans feel good about themselves., By Jim Richardson and Max Primorac, The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2023, 6:41 PMWashington has a habit of confusing foreign assistance with charity, using American dollars to advance personal or ideological agendas. From climate change to drag shows, taxpayer resources are being misdirected away from projects that advance U.S. national-security goals. Foreign aid should be strategic. It shouldn’t be used to make Americans feel good about themselves.  Our foreign aid should also embrace shared American values. Republicans and Democrats did so successfully for decades. Congress voted in 1973 to prevent U.S. tax dollars from being used to perform abortions in recipient countries. That consensus stuck because large majorities of Americans—regardless of their view on the matter at home—have long opposed using taxpayer money to pay for abortions abroad. The Biden administration’s insistence that abortion be included in all foreign-aid programs has upended bipartisan support for another round of funding for Pepfar, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This popular multibillion-dollar program initiated by President George W. Bush has saved millions of African lives.  Mr. Richardson was director of foreign assistance at the State Department, 2019-21. Mr. Primorac was acting chief operating officer at USAID, 2020-21. 5. To Be Happy, Marriage Matters More Than Career, David Brooks, New York Times, August 17, 2023, Opinion When I’m around young adults I like to ask them how they are thinking about the big commitments in their lives: what career to go into, where to live, whom to marry. Most of them have thought a lot about their career plans. But my impression is that many have not thought a lot about how marriage will fit into their lives. The common operating assumption seems to be that professional life is at the core of life and that marriage would be something nice to add on top sometime down the road. According to an analysis of recent survey data by the University of Virginia professor Brad Wilcox, 75 percent of adults ages 18 to 40 said that making a good living was crucial to fulfillment in life while only 32 percent thought that marriage was crucial to fulfillment.  Many people have shifted the way they conceive of marriage. To use sociologist Andrew Cherlin’s language, they no longer view it as the “cornerstone” of their life; they view it as the “capstone” — something to enter into after they’ve successfully established themselves as adults. Partly as a result of these attitudes, there is less marriage in America today. The marriage rate is close to the lowest level in American history. For example, in 1980, only 6 percent of 40-year-olds had never been married. As of 2021, 25 percent of 40-year-olds have never been married.  My strong advice is to obsess less about your career and to think a lot more about marriage. Please respect the truism that if you have a great career and a crappy marriage you will be unhappy, but if you have a great marriage and a crappy career you will be happy. 6. How Pope Francis runs his diocese in Rome says a lot about his approach to reform, When it comes to reform, Pope Francis is not afraid to take matters into his own hands, By Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service, August 17, 2023, 7:08 PM, Opinion Tensions have been bubbling recently in the Catholic Diocese of Rome, as Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the vicar who supervises the see’s day-to-day operations, has clashed with Rome’s bishop — Catholicism’s worldwide leader, Pope Francis. Francis and De Donatis have differed over the past few years on how to handle the covid-19 pandemic and the management, or mismanagement, of the diocese’s finances, as well as the vicar’s loyalty to the Rev. Marko Rupnik, a Jesuit priest found guilty of sexually and psychologically abusing at least nine women. As the rift between the two prelates has become increasingly embarrassing for the Vatican, Francis has characteristically made repeated appeals for unity, but he hasn’t shied from using an iron fist to impose his vision and isolate his opponents, just as he has done to quell growing division throughout the church. Vatican insiders have begun to study the way Francis is handling the disagreements in his own backyard for insight into how the pontiff addresses reform worldwide.  De Donatis is not the only casualty of Francis’s leadership style, which pays little respect to titles. The No. 2 official at the Vatican, the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has seen his station weakened and his diplomacy efforts set aside by papal reform. The Vatican departments dealing with doctrine and human rights were first commissioned under Francis’s reforms and then saw their prefects replaced. Francis has a vision for the church of collegiality and fraternity — a synodal church, as he would call it — but to achieve his goal he has shown that he is more than willing to ruffle a few feathers and take matters into his own hands. 7. Brazilian mom fined for homeschooling her son and instilling Christian values, By Abel Camasca, Catholic News Agency, August 17, 2023, 4:20 PM A Brazilian mother has been fined and threatened with losing custody of her son for educating him at home and instilling Christian values. The legal advocacy organization ADF International has taken up her cause and filed a legal appeal to defend the mother’s rights. According to an Aug. 16 ADF news brief, the incident occurred in Santa Catarina state in Brazil, located south of São Paulo. Regiane Cichelero decided to educate her 12-year-old son at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of the public school in 2020. When the schools reopened in March 2021, Cichelero continued to educate her young son at home, believing that he would receive a higher-quality education in accordance with the family’s religious convictions. However, the local prosecutor’s office began legal proceedings against the mother for failing to enroll her minor child in the school system. Consequently, the mother has now been fined $300 — plus a penalty of $20 a day, not to exceed $1,200 — until she enrolls her son in school. The judge who heard her case threatened to take away custody of her son if she continued with her choice. 8. Denver Archdiocese Sues Colorado Over Preschool Program That Excludes Catholic Schools, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, August 17, 2023, 1:43 PM The state of Colorado’s program to fund universal preschool unconstitutionally excludes Catholic preschools that want to participate in the program, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Denver-area parishes and the Archdiocese of Denver. The lawsuit concerns Colorado’s universal preschool program, created in 2022, that offers eligible families at least 15 hours per week of free preschool for every participating child, according to the program website The suit maintains that the state’s rules requiring participating schools “to accept any applicant without regard to a student or family’s religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity” violate the schools’ First Amendment rights.  The lawsuit argues that state rules wrongly exclude Catholic schools from the program based on their religious beliefs, a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Its rules in effect bar the schools from prioritizing Catholic families. 9. Religious Families Denied Equal Access in California’s Special-Ed Policy, In California, even the care of young people with disabilities takes second place to secularist dogma., By Andrea M. Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, August 17, 2023, Opinion California is a “sanctuary state,” offering out-of-state pregnant women abortion services and medical interventions for “transgender” youth. It tightens its purse strings, however, when it comes to special-education services by denying reimbursement for private schooling if parents choose a school that is “sectarian” regardless of the school meeting all education and special-needs criteria. One word perfectly describes such a discriminatory policy: unconstitutional.  Represented by Becket, the religious liberty law firm with repeated successes in the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts, the parents and schools filed suit in federal court in March. Their complaint alleges that California’s exclusionary policy violates the Constitution’s guarantees for the free exercise of religion and equal protection under the law.   Denying religious parents of children with disabilities in California the opportunity to send their children to religious schools similarly violates the law. In addition to offending the Constitution, California’s policy denying reimbursement to families who choose religious schools for their children with special needs is also out of touch with popular opinion. A recent poll shows that nearly 60% of Californians think that children with disabilities should be able to use federal and state funding to go to religious schools, but the state’s elected representatives are making that impossible.  Religious-school students with special-education needs should be able to participate in these programs on equal footing as students who attend non-religious schools, and their schools should be able to participate in publicly available programs without discrimination.  The law and public opinion favor fairness when it comes to special-education reimbursement. But given California’s priorities, it will take an order from a reviewing court to make it happen.

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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