1. Pope Francis urges Europe to work for peace as he lands in Portugal for World Youth Day, By Nicole Winfield, Helena Alves and Barry Hatton, Associated Press, August 2, 2023, 7:54 AM Pope Francis challenged Europe to retake its role as a peacemaker and bridgebuilder as he arrived Wednesday in Portugal to open World Youth Day, hoping to inspire the next generation of Catholics to work together to combat conflicts, climate change and other problems facing the world. Francis was spending five days in Lisbon, blending a state visit and pilgrimage to the Catholic shrine at Fatima with the raucous trappings of World Youth Day, the Catholic jamboree that aims to rally young Catholics in their faith. More than 1 million young people from around the world were expected to attend the gathering, which culminates with a papal Mass on Sunday.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/08/01/portugal-pope-abuse-world-youth-day-climate/aeb710ba-30e5-11ee-85dd-5c3c97d6acda_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope vowing to ‘stir things up’ says WYD brings hope to a troubled Europe, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, August 2, 2023 In the opening salvo of a five-day trip to Portugal, Pope Francis repeated his condemnations of populism and the inequalities of market capitalism, reiterating his main concerns regarding Europe, including migration, a declining birth rate, and growing polarization. In that context, the pope said he believes World Youth Day represents hope for the future and a desire on the part of future generations to write a different story together based on pluralism and respect for life. “At a time when we are witnessing on many sides a climate of protest and unrest, a fertile terrain for forms of populism and conspiracy theories, World Youth Day represents a chance to build together,” he said, saying the event “revives our desire to accomplish something new and different, to put out into the deep and to set sail together towards the future.”  https://cruxnow.com/world-youth-day-lisbon/2023/08/pope-vowing-to-stir-things-up-says-wyd-brings-hope-to-a-troubled-europe__________________________________________________________ 3. The Pope of Peace, By Matthew Schmitz, First Things, August 1, 2023, OpinionAmidst a war involving the world’s foremost nuclear powers, Pope Francis has been a lonely voice for peace. For his pains, he has been criticized by commenters on left and right and by leaders in both Russia and Ukraine. Yet he has continued to speak. There is a great deal at stake in whether the world heeds his words—not just countless lives, but the fate of a deeply humane way of thinking about the nature of war and peace.  Why then has Francis been so widely criticized? Unlike almost every other European leader, Francis has consistently called for negotiation to end the conflict in Ukraine. Standing behind these calls are his horror at the human suffering ­unleashed by war and his belief that nuclear escalation may lead to “uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences on the world level.” Many observers claim that acknowledging any logic behind Russia’s actions is tantamount to justifying them. Instead of seeking to understand Russia’s motivations, these people have described Putin as a “madman” (or in Boris Johnson’s more polite phrasing, an “irrational actor”), and otherwise spoken as if there were no possible grounds for a diplomatic settlement. Francis has challenged these assumptions by stating that Russia’s invasion may have been “provoked” by NATO’s “barking at Russia’s door.” He has described the Ukraine conflict as a confrontation between opposing imperial powers: “There are imperial interests there, not just of the Russian empire, but of the empires of other sides.” Francis’s claims may be impolitic, but they are not ­incorrect. Some, pointing out that Francis is from the Global South, have argued that his view of Ukraine reflects a mere disagreement over geopolitics. But the debate has exposed a much deeper divide, one separating two fundamentally opposed understandings of the morality of war. On one side is a view that tends to reject ­negotiation with the enemy as an accommodation of evil. Its logic leads to the demand for unconditional surrender and the prosecution of total war. On the other side is a ­belief—associated with the tradition of just war theory—that war must be restricted in its methods and aims. Without supposing that diplomacy will ever be simple or easy, it insists on negotiation whenever possible in order to avoid total war.  It is wrong to suggest that by working for peace Pope Francis has compromised the Church’s moral authority. On the contrary, he has served as a witness to the Christian understanding of war and peace. Over the years, critics have faulted the pope for chasing popularity and deviating from Catholic doctrine. They should pause to note that, in what may turn out to be the last days of his pontificate, he has taken a deeply unfashionable stance in defense of the Church’s teaching. At a decisive moment, Pope Francis has emerged as the leader not only of the Catholic faithful, but of all those who seek to limit the horrors of war. Matthew Schmitz is a founder and editor of Compact. https://www.firstthings.com/article/2023/08/the-pope-of-peace__________________________________________________________ 4. Idaho health care providers can refer patients for abortions out of state, federal judge rules, By Gene Johnson and Ed Komenda, Associated Press, August 1, 2023, 9:03 PM A federal judge has ruled that it would violate Idaho medical providers’ free speech rights to sanction them for referring patients to out-of-state abortion services, rejecting the state attorney general’s interpretation of Idaho’s abortion ban. Idaho’s law makes it illegal to perform or attempt to perform an abortion, a crime punishable by two to five years in prison. It also makes it unlawful for health care professionals to assist in the provision or attempted provision of one, with the penalty being the suspension or loss of their medical license. Republican Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador wrote a letter to a conservative lawmaker in March in which he opined that referring a patient to legal abortion services in other states would constitute assisting in an abortion or attempted abortion — and thus would require the suspension of the health professional’s license.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/08/01/abortion-referral-idaho-ruling/535e4b76-30d0-11ee-85dd-5c3c97d6acda_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. German cardinal under fire for admonishing priest over same-sex blessings, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, August 1, 2023, 9:15 AM A German cardinal was publicly criticized by the powerful Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) on Monday for formally warning a priest over same-sex blessings in the Archdiocese of Cologne. Birgit Mock, a vice president of the ZdK, attacked Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne for admonishing Father Herbert Ullmann, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.   The priest had conducted a “blessing service for all loving couples,” reported the newspaper Rheinische Post, which also published a photo of the liturgical ceremony, including altar servers before a rainbow flag on the altar steps. In an interview with Domradio, ZdK’s Mock called the warning “beyond incomprehensible” and pointed to a resolution of the German Synodal Way that says “all people are equal before God and human dignity includes gender identity and sexual orientation.” Mock, who headed the Synodal Way’s working group on sexuality, is a staunch supporter of German public defiance of the Vatican on blessing same-sex unions.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254958/german-cardinal-under-fire-for-admonishing-priest-over-same-sex-blessings__________________________________________________________ 6. Looking For The Lord Jesus In Lisbon, By George Weigel, First Things, July 26, 2023, OpinionIn mid-May, I spent two intense days in Lisbon, where a new Portuguese edition of my Letters to a Young Catholic was being prepared as a catechetical resource for World Youth Day 2023. … In each of these encounters, I found a great hope that WYD 2023, under the maternal protection of Our Lady of Fatima, would energize the New Evangelization in Portugal and perhaps throughout Western Europe. So I cannot imagine that my Portuguese friends were replete with pentecostal joy when the coordinator of World Youth Day, Lisbon auxiliary bishop Américo Aguiar, said in a July 6 interview that, at WYD 2023, “we don’t want to convert the young people to Christ or to the Catholic Church or anything like that at all.” Rather, WYD 2023’s goal was to create a situation in which each young person could say, “I think differently, I feel differently, I organize my life in a different way, but we are brothers and we go together to build the future.” This striking renunciation of the Great Commission—“Go and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20)—might not have resonated beyond Portugal had Pope Francis not announced, three days later, his intention to create Bishop Aguiar a cardinal on September 30. The usual internet brawl ensued, and the Lisbon auxiliary, evidently feeling some pressure, explained that his words had been taken out of context; all he was saying was that there would be no “proselytism” at WYD 2023. What the bishop and cardinal-designate did not explain was why fulfilling the Great Commission through evangelization and catechesis—hitherto understood to be essential components of any World Youth Day—was “proselytism.” Pondering this latest example of Catholicism dumbed down to the Religion of Nice, I remembered a radically different approach to explaining the relationship of the Lord Jesus to the yearnings of young hearts. It was the approach taken by Pope John Paul II at Tor Vergata in Rome, during the night vigil before the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2000.  Such robust Christocentrism is not, I submit, “proselytism.” It is a Christian witness to Christian truth. It’s an affirmation that combines conviction with compassion. It’s an explication of the basic confession of Christian faith: Kýrios Iēsoûs, “Jesus is Lord.” And that Christocentrism is what has inspired millions of the young Catholics who have attended World Youth Days since 1984 to be the missionary disciples they were baptized to be. As for this tiresome psychobabble about walking together into the future, Bishop Aguiar and others who indulge it might reconsider St. Luke’s beautifully crafted story of the two disciples walking to Emmaus on Easter Sunday afternoon (Luke 24:13–35). They were walking together. But they were walking in the wrong direction until they encountered the Risen One. Then they started walking together again, but now in the right direction: toward a Jerusalem transformed by the Resurrection, from which they and the others who had met the Lord Jesus would be sent throughout the world to invite others to “the city of the living God” (Heb. 12:22). That is the “walking together” that World Youth Days should inspire: a walking together that leads to Christ and to mission. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2023/07/looking-for-the-lord-jesus-in-lisbon__________________________________________________________

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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