1. Thank You, Justice Gorsuch, Liberals will one day cite and celebrate this defense of religious liberty, By Bret Stephens, The New York Times, December 1, 2020, Pg. A25, Opinion
It may take a terrorist attack, a war or some other national emergency, but America will one day thank Justice Neil Gorsuch for his stirring words last week in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo. “Government,” he wrote in a concurrence to the 5-4 majority opinion, “is not free to disregard the First Amendment in times of crisis.”
The case arises from restrictions Andrew Cuomo imposed by executive order in October that sharply limit attendance at houses of worship in zones designated by the New York governor as pandemic hot spots.

The point is there are no second-class rights — and the right to the free exercise of religion is every bit as important to the Constitution as the right to assemble peaceably, petition government for redress and speak and publish freely. That goes in circumstances both ordinary and extraordinary.
Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post.
2. Cardinal Pell on the Vatican and vindication, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 1, 2020
The pope’s former treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, said Monday he feels a dismayed sense of vindication as the financial mismanagement he tried to uncover in the Holy See is now being exposed in a spiraling Vatican corruption investigation.
Pell made the comments to The Associated Press in his first interview since returning to Rome after his conviction-turned-acquittal on sexual abuse charges in his native Australia. Pell told the AP that he knew in 2014 when he took the treasury job that the Holy See’s finances were “a bit of a mess.”
“I never, never thought it would be as Technicolor as it proved,” Pell said from his living room armchair in his apartment just outside St. Peter’s Square. “I didn’t know that there was so much criminality involved.”
Pell spoke to the AP before the Dec. 15 release of the first volume of his jailhouse memoir, Prison Journal, chronicling the first five months of the 404 days he spent in solitary confinement in a Melbourne lockup.
3. Wilton Gregory could be the religious bridge-builder Joe Biden needs, By John Gehring, The Washington Post, November 30, 2020, 3:28 PM, Opinion
The nation’s first Black cardinal and the second Catholic president share a commitment to social justice and finding common ground. Our nation, and the world, would benefit if they can overcome divisions and work together for the common good.
John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life Action Fund and author of “The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church.”
4. French Catholic bishops win appeal against 30-person Mass limit, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, November 30, 2020, 10:00 AM
The French Council of State has ruled that a proposed 30-person limit on Masses and other forms of public worship is a “disproportionate” government measure and must be modified by Dec. 2.
The country’s Catholic bishops welcomed the decision Nov. 29, saying in a statement that “reason has been recognized.”
The bishops’ conference had submitted the urgent legal appeal with the administrative court two days prior, declaring that they had “a duty to ensure freedom of worship in our country.”
With its ruling, France’s highest administrative court gave Prime Minister Jean Castex three days to propose an alternative protocol to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at places of worship.
5. Supreme Court Halts New York’s Enforcement of Severe Restrictions on Attending Religious Services, Justices’ writing the 5-4 decision in favor of injunction explained, that “even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, November 30, 2020, Opinion
There is more to freedom of religion than the right to worship; but, if we lose that right, there can be no freedom of religion. This should be too obvious to need saying, but the truth is that this once sacrosanct right has been tested by the reality of the coronavirus — and, even more so, by our fear of the virus, which is not quite the same thing. 
Last week, the Supreme Court stepped in to clarify that the right to attend religious services is a guarantee protected by the U.S. Constitution even in the midst of a global pandemic. That it was forced to do so is both very significant and very worrying. 

There is renewed concern about a surge in the spread of the coronavirus, but in the past few months we have learned a lot about its transmission and how to best care for those who are infected. Put simply, we now know how to gather for worship this Advent at least as safely as for grocery shopping or acupuncture treatments. Government has no place giving less favorable treatment to the right to worship which is, after all, a constitutional right.

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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