1. Pope Francis blasts scandal of clergy sex abuse in Portugal and meets with survivors, By Nicole Winfield, Helena Alves and Barry Hatton, Associated Press, August 3, 2023, 1:05 AM Pope Francis met with survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Portugal on Wednesday and blasted members of the country’s Catholic hierarchy for their response to the long-ignored scandal, which he said had marred the Catholic Church and helped drive the faithful away. Francis dove head-on into the crisis roiling the Portuguese church on the first day of a five-day visit to Lisbon for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day festival. His trip comes at a delicate moment for the Portuguese church; a panel of experts hired by Portugal’s bishops reported in February that priests and other church personnel may have abuse at least 4,815 boys and girls since 1950. The Vatican said Francis met with 13 abuse victims for more than an hour at the Vatican Embassy and characterized the pope’s role in the meeting as one of “intense listening.” The victims were accompanied by church personnel in charge of child protection programs.  https://apnews.com/article/portugal-pope-abuse-world-youth-day-climate-4db3ac2405da84abb9beced2b1f8b7c3__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis urges students in Portugal to fight economic injustice and protect the environment, By Nicole Winfield, Helena Alves and Barry Hatton, Associated Press, August 3, 2023, 8:07 AM From a university campus to a seaside town, Pope Francis challenged young people on Thursday to make the world a more just and inclusive place, as he focused the second day of his Portugal trip on inspiring students to use their privilege to combat global warming and economic inequalities. Francis received a warm welcome first at the Catholic University in Lisbon, one of Portugal’s top institutions of higher learning. He then had a more intimate, informal encounter with young people in the former fishing village of Cascais, where he was serenaded with a mournful performance of the traditional Portuguese fado, meaning fate or destiny. Francis is in Portugal through the weekend to attend World Youth Day, the big Catholic jamboree that St. John Paul II launched in the 1980s to encourage young Catholics in their faith. The Argentine Jesuit has picked up John Paul’s mantle with gusto as he seeks to inspire the next generation to rally behind his key social justice and environmental priorities.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/08/03/pope-portugal-students-economic-justice-environment/8e715274-31db-11ee-85dd-5c3c97d6acda_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Federal Appeals Court Further Limits Abortion Access on Guam, By David W. Chen, The New York Times, August 3, 2023, Pg. A11 A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that women on the American territory of Guam who are seeking medication abortion must first have an in-person consultation with a doctor, which is likely to make access to the procedure on the remote island even more difficult. Abortion-rights supporters said that since there were no doctors on Guam who provided abortions, the ruling created a significant obstacle for women seeking the procedure.  In 1990, Guam passed what was then described as among the most draconian abortion bans in the country, making it a crime to perform, undergo or seek an abortion — except in some medical emergencies — or to encourage women to have abortions.  With the 1990 law still blocked, Guam’s Legislature has since passed additional restrictions. One such measure was the in-person consultation law, which was challenged in January 2021 by a local lawyer, Vanessa L. Williams, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of the two doctors based in Hawaii. That law was then blocked by a federal judge, allowing the doctors to send abortion pills. But with the momentum of the Supreme Court decision last year that overturned the national right to abortion, the Guam attorney general’s office said the injunction should be lifted. Oral arguments were heard in February in Honolulu before a three-judge panel — two appointed by President Donald J. Trump and the third by President George W. Bush.  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/02/us/guam-abortion-ruling.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Pope Francis laments ‘secularism, indifference to God,’ urges recommitment to Jesus at World Youth Day vespers, Pope Francis apostolic journey has been marked by concerned reflection on Western social ills and hope for cultural recommitment to the faith, By Timothy H.J. Nerozzi, Fox News, August 2, 2023, 3:24 PMPope Francis emphasized the need for courage and resilience in the face of a secularized, increasingly pessimistic world during his vespers address for World Youth Day. Pope Francis spoke at Jerónimos Monastery in Portugal on Wednesday, where he reflected on the biblical story of Saints Peter and Andrew — fishermen who were called to ministry by Jesus after finishing a day without catching fish. “There are moments in our ecclesial journey when we can feel a similar weariness — when we seem to be holding on to empty nets,” the pontiff said. “This is not uncommon in countries of ancient Christian traditions buffeted by social and cultural changes and increasingly marked by secularism, indifference to God, and growing detachment from the practice of the faith.” In the midst of these cultural upheavals, the pontiff said that the church must not shut itself off to those outside, saying, “The good, the sinners — everyone should be able to enter into God’s church.”  He drew particular attention to the rising issue of state-sanctioned euthanasia, asking, “Where are you sailing if, before life’s ills, you offer hasty but mistaken remedies like easy access to death — a convenient answer that seems ‘sweet’ but is in fact more bitter than the waters of the sea?”  https://www.foxnews.com/world/pope-francis-laments-secularism-indifference-god-urges-recommitment-jesus-world-youth-day-vespers__________________________________________________________ 5. The Opening of a Religious Charter School Is Not Christian Nationalism, By Natan Ehrenreich, National Review, August 2, 2023, 5:14 PM, Opinion “Something deeply un-American is underway in the state of Oklahoma,” writes Rachel Laser, president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, in the New York Times. Mourning — and suing to prevent — the opening of a religious charter school in Tulsa, she decries that “Christian nationalist groups see charter schools as fertile ground for their full-on assault on the separation of church and state in public education.” But despite Laser’s assertions to the contrary, there is nothing sinister, ahistoric, unconstitutional, or un-American about religious communities educating their children about something other than secularism.  The opening of our nation’s first religious charter school has predictably proven controversial, but that’s not because its proponents are adopting a relatively new, distorted understanding of the American view of religion’s place in the public square. Rather, it’s folks like Laser who are doing just that. Laser’s legal error is the same one made often by ardent secularists: importing a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1802, the “wall of separation between church and state,” and first referenced in a Supreme Court decision no earlier than 1879, into the original meaning of the First Amendment.  But simply declaring a legal principle “foundational” does not make it so. As Tal Fortgang notes in City Journal: “Jeffersonian separationism became fully authoritative in Establishment Clause decisions in 1947, when the Court announced that ‘[t]he First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state’ a century and a half after its ratification.” And as the great First Amendment scholar Michael McConnell, alongside Marci A. Hamilton, explains, the period in which the Supreme Court held that the Establishment Clause prohibits public funding of religious education was distinct from both earlier and later jurisprudential periods[.]  Because it’s difficult to read the First Amendment — “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .” —  and conclude that the State of Oklahoma is forbidden from placing religious and secular education on the same level, one wonders if Laser is driven not by an authentic desire to uphold the original demands of the Constitution, but by an animus toward the religious communities that simply want to raise their children in a religious environment. Her repeated insistence that these communities are “Christian nationalists” furthers that hunch. Apparently, Laser’s distaste for religion extends so far that she criticizes Oklahoma’s former attorney general for the entirely unremarkable and thoroughly American claim that “there’s a God who has values and endows us or imbues us with those values that are not granted to us by the government.” Those who place such a statement outside the pale of publicly accepted opinions to be transmitted to the next generation — and sue religious Americans who disagree — are neither defenders of the pluralism or authentic Americanism they are so keen to invoke. They are just secularists who wish to impose their secularism on religious communities. Something deeply un-American is under way in the state of Oklahoma, indeed. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-opening-of-a-religious-charter-school-is-not-christian-nationalism/__________________________________________________________

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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