1. Pope Francis: ‘Liturgy needs to return to center of Christian faith’, By Devin Watkins, Vatican News, August 23, 2021

As part of the 71st National Liturgical Week, Italian clergy and laypeople are gathered in the northern city of Cremona for a conference organized by the Center for Liturgical Action.

Pope Francis kicked off the 4-day event with a message signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

In his message, the Pope thanked God that the conference could be held this year in-person, “following last year’s disheartening moment” caused by the pandemic.

He noted that Christians have always come together weekly in Jesus’ name, an act which is closely tied to the Church’s identity.

However, he lamented, weekly Masses were “harshly limited during the most acute phase of the pandemic.”

“Yet, love for the Lord and pastoral creativity pushed pastors and lay faithful to experiment with new ways to nourish the communion of faith and love with the Lord and our brothers and sisters, in the expectation of returning to the fullness of the Eucharistic celebration in safety and tranquility.”


2. Decline in religious architecture like a warning light on our dashboard, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, August 22, 2021, Opinion

[W]hat looms most important with the passing of time often goes unnoticed as it transpires.

All this comes to mind in light of a recent feature in, of all places, the New York Times “Style” supplement featuring a rundown of what its contributors consider the 25 most important pieces of post-war architecture. What’s of interest here is that of the 25 structures, only two have any connection to religious faith – the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Dominican Couvent Sainte-Marie de la Tourette in Éveux, France.

That striking fact has passed largely without comment in the arena of Catholic media right now, consumed by whether the President of the United States should be denied communion, which senior church official will be the next to be outed for private use of a gay hookup app, and who’s stabbing whom in the back in the Vatican’s blockbuster trial over a $400 million property deal in London gone bad.

Yet arguably, we’d all do well to pay a bit more attention to the Times piece and what it has to say about the creative power of religious faith in our era.

For a term of comparison, consider a 2017 rundown from Architectural Digest of the 50 most iconic buildings around the world everyone should see before they die. They date from all periods of history, virtually all of them before the 20th century, and religion is by far the most important creative force underlying the achievements.

Like a warning light on the dashboard, surely that contrast should be alerting us to something about the declining capacity of religious faith to create culture. Moreover, it’s not a problem confined to the West or to Christianity, but something that seems to be affecting all religious traditions.


3. Vatican punishes Polish archbishop for sex abuse negligence, By Associated Press, August 21, 2021, 2:12 PM

Catholic Church authorities in Poland say the Vatican is punishing a retired Polish archbishop for his alleged negligent response to cases of sexual abuse of minors by clergymen under his authority.

The Archdiocese of Wroclaw said the Vatican had reviewed reports of alleged negligence by the diocese former head, the retired archbishop Marian Golebiewski. The probe covered the years from 1996 to 2004, when Golebiewski was head of the Koszalin diocese, and 2004 to 2013, when he led the Wroclaw archdiocese.

As a result, the Vatican has banned Golebiewski, 83, from appearing at any public religious or lay ceremonies and has ordered him to donate from his own pocket to a foundation preventing sexual abuse and supporting its victims. He is also to pray and repent.

The Holy See has punished around ten Polish bishops and archbishops over reported cover-ups of sexual abuse of minors by priests under their authority.


4. Cardinal Burke off ventilator, still hospitalized with COVID, By Associated Press, August 21, 2021, 1:41 PM

A high-ranking Roman Catholic cardinal who was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 is off a ventilator and is being moved out of intensive care, according to officials at a Wisconsin shrine that he founded.

Cardinal Raymond Burke was to return to a regular hospital room Saturday at an undisclosed location, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse said in a statement.


5. Planned Parenthood’s Deception: Former Abortion Workers Share Ex-Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen’s Disillusionment, By Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, August 21, 2021

In her recent book, former Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen outlined how her vision of expanding mainstream health-care options at the nation’s largest abortion provider led the group to part ways with her in favor of a continued focus on abortion advocacy.

Several former Planned Parenthood workers who have since become pro-life told the Register that they had similar experiences of being dedicated to providing health care to women in need, but becoming disillusioned with Planned Parenthood as they realized that the focus was on abortion.

In her book titled Lifelines, Wen — the first physician to head the abortion giant — discussed how, prior to accepting the job at Planned Parenthood, she thought “many patients depended on Planned Parenthood as their only source of care.” As a result, she wondered, “why shouldn’t the organization expand its services to provide primary care and mental health care, too? Planned Parenthood was one of few health-care providers with a presence in all fifty states — why shouldn’t it aim to extend its care to millions more women and families in rural and urban underserved areas?”

When she was approached about becoming president, she accepted only when the board affirmed her vision of “a health-care organization first, with the advocacy as a necessary vehicle to protect rights and access.” But that vision was questioned almost immediately, as she recounted being chastised for not mentioning the word “abortion” in her first media appearance and concerns being raised that it was “a signal that I didn’t want to defend access to abortion.”

She also sympathized with women who “felt fortunate to have access to abortion care, but they would much rather never have had to go through any of it.” Yet when she described “the heart-wrenching decisions of patients such as these,” she was told that “I was once again stigmatizing women.”


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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