TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 87 – Steven Mosher Talks China & Lina Nealon On The 2020 Dirty Dozen List
Dr. Grazie Christie welcomes Steven Mosher of Population Research Institute back to the show to discuss the plight of Catholics in China and also recent news regarding the fate of Uyghur Muslims who are being persecuted and killed by the Chinese Communist Party. We also talk with Lina Nealon of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation–they’ve just released their 2020 Dirty Dozen List–to name and shame the mainstream players in the US that perpetuate sexual exploitation–Google, TikTok, Twitter, Wyndham Hotels and others made the list this year–we also hear from Father Roger Landry with an inspiring homily on the Advent season–listen LIVE every Saturday at 7am ET & 5pm ET on EWTN radio!
1. In a Tough Year, a Nativity Scene ‘That Has Had Problems’, The Vatican’s Nativity scene this year has prompted much criticism — and some head-scratching., By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times, December 18, 2020, 5:00 AM
A couple stood in front of the Vatican’s new Christmas Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square, trying to understand exactly what they were looking at.
The three wise men, life-size and cylindrical, looked as if constructed from ceramic oil drums. Joseph and Mary, likewise torpedo-shaped, seemed like enormous, Bible-themed Weebles. Two enigmatic, totemic figures stood in the middle of the platform. One held a shield and a decorative spear and had for a head what appeared to be an overturned caldron, carved like an angry Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. The other wore an astronaut’s helmet and held the cratered moon in its hands.

Every year, the Vatican unveils a different Nativity scene, usually donated by an Italian town, to be displayed next to the ancient obelisk in the center of St. Peter’s Square.

“It’s hideous,” said Ms. Banti, who looked at the ceramic menagerie of animals — chicks that looked like fallen meteorites, a camel made of ceramic cubes — with horror. “Why do they have that one with the horns?” she asked. “What is that? A turkey?”
That critique has been amplified by conservatives who see in the ceramic figures a further erosion of church traditions and customary images they hold dear.
2. HHS acts on violations of conscience protection, By Catholic News Service, December 18, 2020
Two U.S. bishop’s committee said Dec. 17 they “strongly commend” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services taking “corrective action” against a Vermont medical center and the state of California for violating federal conscience protection laws when it comes to abortion.
In the first case, HHS’s Office for Civil Rights said Dec. 16 it has referred the University of Vermont Medical Center to the Department of Justice for a lawsuit over forcing a nurse to assist in an abortion procedure in violation of the nurse’s conscience rights.
The same day, the HHS office also announced it will “disallow $200 million in federal Medicaid funds going to California in the upcoming quarter due to the state illegally mandating that all health care plans subject to regulation by the California Department of Managed Health Care cover abortion without exclusion or limitation.”
3. Pence, pro-life groups celebrate Trump administration’s accomplishments, By Dave Boyer, The Washington Times, December 17, 2020, Pg. A4
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday led a White House celebration of President Trump’s pro-life accomplishments, an event that acknowledged indirectly the president’s election defeat even as the attendees expressed optimism about ending abortion in the U.S.
Speaking to members of more than 20 pro-life advocacy groups, the vice president said Mr. Trump couldn’t have forged a record as “the most prolife president in American history” without their help.
4. High court denies Kentucky religious school’s plea to reopen, By Associated Press, December 17, 2020, 5:14 PM
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to block an order by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear that bars in-person K-12 education until early January in areas hard hit by COVID-19, rejecting a plea from a private religious school.
The court said in an unsigned opinion that Beshear’s order will effectively expire at the end of the week anyway because schools are about to begin their Christmas vacation and can open again in early January. A ruling against the state “would have little practical effect,” the court said.
Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented. Gorsuch noted that the governor issued a separate order allowing “virtually all other in-person activities to continue with only capacity restrictions. Movie theaters, indoor wedding venues, bowling alleys, and gaming halls remained open for business.”
5. Faith on Trial Podcast, Ashley McGuire and Benjamin ZeisloftDecember 17, 2020
Guest #1 Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association
Discussion: Biden’s appointment of the California attorney general as the head of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerra, his background, his ex policy positions; and have a discussion on how his appointment will affect people of faith.
Guest #2 Benjamin Zeisloff from Campus Reform
Discussion: U of lowa dental student represented for expressing conservative view; LGBT threats to the accreditation of Christian schools.

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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“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.