1. Catholic Ideological Split Widens, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2022, Pg. A3 Research on Catholic clergy by the Austin Institute has found that younger Catholic priests and priests ordained in more recent years tend to be noticeably more conservative than older priests on a host of issues, including politics, theology and moral teaching. The Survey of American Catholic Priests has found that since the 1980s, successive cohorts of priests have grown more conservative, according to a 2021 summary report. Regarding the church’s prohibitions of contraception, masturbation, homosexual behavior and suicide, the impossibility of women’s ordination to the priesthood, and the necessity for salvation of faith in Jesus, each successive 10-year cohort of priests supports church teaching more strongly than the one before it. Those ordained in 2010 or later are the most conservative of all—and the least happy with Pope Francis, with roughly half disapproving of him, according to the Austin Institute survey. The Vatican didn’t respond to a request for comment.   St. John Paul II, who was elected pope in 1978, tempered the modernizing changes that followed the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65 by reasserting traditional doctrine. He ordered investigations of U.S. seminaries, seeking to ensure orthodoxy in the curriculum. John Paul also inspired a generation of young men to join the clergy, said Brad Vermurlen, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin who has studied the 2021 survey.  Such attitudes distinguish those priests from Pope Francis, views of whom vary sharply by age. Almost 80% of priests ordained before 1980 “approve strongly” of the current pontiff, compared with 20% of those ordained in 2010 or later, according to the 2021 survey. Nearly half of the younger priests disapprove of the pope, either “strongly” or “somewhat.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-catholic-priests-are-increasingly-conservative-as-faithful-grow-more-liberal-11671343608__________________________________________________________ 2. Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes: Investigating medically unexplained cures, By 60 Minutes, CBS, December 18, 2022, Video Bill Whitaker reports on the unexplained healings that have occurred at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in the south of France, and the team of world-renowned doctors and researchers who investigate the claims of cures. https://www.cbsnews.com/video/sanctuary-of-our-lady-of-lourdes-miracles-cures-video-2022-12-18/__________________________________________________________ 3. Jesuits ask victims to come forward in artist abuse case, By Associated Press, December 18, 2022, 4:47 PM Pope Francis’ Jesuit order on Sunday asked any more victims to come forward with complaints against a famous Jesuit artist who was essentially let off the hook by the Vatican twice despite devastating testimony by women who said he sexually and spiritually abused them. The Jesuits asked for new evidence against the Rev. Marko Ivan Rupnik, and offered a timeline about his case in an effort to tamp down the scandal. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/jesuits-ask-victims-to-come-forward-in-artist-abuse-case/2022/12/18/9d233d62-7f1d-11ed-8738-ed7217de2775_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Pope wrote resignation note in case of health impediment, By Associated Press, December 18, 2022, 2:21 PM Pope Francis has revealed in an interview published Sunday that shortly after being elected pontiff in 2013 he wrote a resignation letter in case medical problems impede him from carrying out his duties. Speaking to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Francis said he gave the note to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who then was the Vatican secretary of state. The pontiff added that he presumes that the prelate currently in that Vatican No. 2 role, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, now has the written instruction. Francis, who turned 86 on Saturday, had surgery in 2021 to repair a bowel narrowing and has been hobbled by knee pain that for months saw him use a wheelchair. Lately, he has increasingly used a cane instead of the wheelchair to get around in public. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-wrote-resignation-note-in-case-of-health-impediment/2022/12/18/dc39366e-7ebe-11ed-8738-ed7217de2775_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Anti-abortion priest Pavone defrocked for blasphemous posts, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 18, 2022, 9:02 AM The Vatican has defrocked an anti-abortion U.S. priest, Frank Pavone, for what it said were “blasphemous communications on social media” as well as “persistent disobedience” of his bishop. A letter to U.S. bishops from the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, obtained Sunday, said the decision against Pavone, who heads the anti-abortion group Priests for Life, had been taken Nov. 9, and that there was no chance for an appeal. Pavone had been investigated by his then-diocese of Amarillo, Texas, for having placed an aborted fetus on an altar and posting a video of it on two social media sites in 2016. He posts frequently about U.S. politics and abortion, and the video of the aborted fetus was accompanied by a post saying that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform would allow abortion to continue and that Donald Trump and the Republican platform want to protect unborn children.  In a tweet Sunday, Pavone sounded defiant, comparing his fate to that of the unborn. “So in every profession, including the priesthood, if you defend the #unborn, you will be treated like them! The only difference is that when we are “aborted,” we continue to speak, loud and clear.” His supporters immediately denounced the measure, including the bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, who referred to U.S. President Joe Biden’s support for abortion rights as “evil.” “The blasphemy is that this holy priest is canceled while an evil president promotes the denial of truth & the murder of the unborn at every turn, Vatican officials promote immorality & denial of the deposit of faith & priests promote gender confusion devastating lives…evil,” Strickland tweeted. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/anti-abortion-priest-pavone-defrocked-for-blasphemous-posts/2022/12/18/770a44e8-7ed9-11ed-8738-ed7217de2775_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Poles executed for hiding Jews are declared martyrs by pope, By Associated Press, December 17, 2022, 12:07 PM Pope Francis on Saturday declared as martyrs a Polish couple who were executed by German police during World War II for hiding Jews in their farmhouse. A farmer and beekeeper, Jozef Ulma, and wife Wiktoria in the Polish town of Markowa hid several members of the Jewish community, who were being hunted down during the German occupation of Poland. An informant apparently betrayed them, and the Jews were killed by police in March 1944. The couple were then shot to death along with their six young children, the oldest of whom was 8 years old. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/poles-executed-for-hiding-jews-are-declared-martyrs-by-pope/2022/12/17/5050830a-7e2d-11ed-bb97-f47d47466b9a_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican dismisses Father Frank Pavone from priesthood, By Shannon Mullen, Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, December 17, 2022, 5:05 PM Father Frank Pavone, a well-known pro-life activist and national director of the organization Priests for Life, has been dismissed from the clerical state for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop,” CNA has learned. In a Dec. 13 letter to U.S. bishops obtained by CNA and confirmed by multiple sources as authentic, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, wrote that the prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy issued the decision on Nov. 9, adding that there was “no possibility of appeal.” “Father Pavone was given ample opportunity to defend himself in the canonical proceedings, and he was also given multiple opportunities to submit himself to the authority of his diocesan bishop,” explains a separate statement attached to Pierre’s letter. “It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions.” Pavone, however, told CNA Saturday that he had not been notified about the Vatican’s judgment. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253106/vatican-dismisses-father-frank-pavone-from-priesthood__________________________________________________________ 8. Virginia Democrats vow to defeat Youngkin’s 15-week abortion ban proposal, By Antonio Olivo, The Washington Post, December 16, 2022, 7:26 PM Virginia Democrats vowed Friday to defeat portions of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) budget plan that would further limit abortions, adding energy to next month’s special election to fill a vacant seat in the state Senate, which is narrowly held by their party. In his proposed amendments to the state’s two-year budget, Youngkin proposed allocating $50,000 toward establishing a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, echoing similar bans in Arizona and Florida. The governor also reintroduced a previously defeated proposal to prohibit state Medicaid from covering abortions in cases of “incapacitating” physical or mental fetal deformities, including cases in which the baby would be born without parts of the brain and skull. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/12/16/youngkin-abortion-ban-budget-proposal/__________________________________________________________ 9. Court: Ohio can’t appeal block on ‘heartbeat’ abortion law, By Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, December 16, 2022, 3:47 PM Ohio’s ban on most abortions will remain blocked after the First District Court of Appeals on Friday denied the state’s request to appeal a judge’s preliminary block on the law. The ruling regards Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat” abortion ban, which outlaws the procedure after the first cardiac activity is detected. That can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many people know they’re pregnant. Preterm-Cleveland and other Ohio abortion clinics challenge the law as a violation of the Ohio Constitution. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/court-ohio-cant-appeal-block-on-heartbeat-abortion-law/2022/12/16/d0d2514e-7d82-11ed-bb97-f47d47466b9a_story.html__________________________________________________________ 10. Guam Legislature passes abortion ban; governor veto expected, By Associated Press, December 16, 2022, 5:55 PM  Guam’s Legislature on Friday passed a bill prohibiting most abortions, a measure modeled after a new Texas law that leaves enforcement up to private citizen lawsuits instead of criminal prosecution. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, who favors abortion rights, is expected to veto the measure. The Guam Heartbeat Act of 2022 passed the U.S. territory’s unicameral legislature with eight senators in favor and seven opposed, the Pacific Daily News reported. Supporters would need 10 votes to override any veto. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/guam-legislature-passes-abortion-ban-governor-veto-expected/2022/12/16/e6aca7d4-7d8d-11ed-bb97-f47d47466b9a_story.html__________________________________________________________ 11. Another 140 Spanish laymen, priests martyred for their faith considered for beatification, By Catholic News Agency, December 16, 2022, 4:15 PM The diocesan phase of the beatification processes of 140 priests and laymen murdered in Spain during the religious persecution of the 1930s was concluded today. Among the candidates is the priest who hid the body of St. Isidore so that it would not be desecrated. There are three causes for beatification: one covering 61 diocesan priests from Madrid, another for 71 laypeople, and a third for eight members of the Catholic Association of Propagandists, all of whom were murdered during the religious genocide unleashed during the Second Spanish Republic and civil war. These causes are promoted by the Archdiocese of Madrid, the Diocese of Getafe, the Catholic Association of Propagandists (ACdP), Catholic Action of Madrid, and Catholic Action of Getafe. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253100/another-140-spanish-laymen-priests-martyred-for-their-faith-considered-for-beatification__________________________________________________________ 12. U.S. calls for investigation into Nigerian forced abortions, according to report, By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency, December 16, 2022, 3:15 PM The U.S. Department of State says it is “deeply troubled” by recent allegations of a forced abortion program on more than 10,000 Nigerian women and has communicated its concerns to the Nigerian government, The Christian Post reported Dec. 15. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, is seeking information from Nigerian authorities regarding evidence of a massive, forced-abortion program that was the subject of a Dec. 7 Reuters report. According to Reuters, the program’s victims are pregnant women rescued from Islamic jihadist camps in Nigeria. Reuters’ article describes Nigerian soldiers and medical personnel brutalizing women, most of whom suffered repeated rape at the hands of jihadists, and performing both chemical and surgical abortions in unsanitary conditions. A spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement to The Christian Post, “We have encouraged the government of Nigeria to take the allegations seriously and to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation, and we will continue to do so.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253097/us-calls-for-investigation-into-nigerian-forced-abortions-according-to-report__________________________________________________________ 13. Nigerian musician files lawsuit with Supreme Court challenging blasphemy conviction, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, December 16, 2022, 2:15 PM A Nigerian musician is taking a case to the country’s Supreme Court challenging a death sentence he was given in 2020 for “blasphemy,” a case his lawyers hope will overturn the harsh blasphemy laws that have plagued the country’s Christians and other religious minorities for years.  Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a Sufi Muslim, was first convicted and sentenced to death in August 2020 under the state’s Sharia-based blasphemy law, which criminalizes disrespect for the prophet Muhammed. The law is administered by Kano State, which is located in an area that has suffered from the repression and persecution of Christians by Boko Haram in recent years.  Sharif-Aminu is bringing his appeal with support from ADF International, a faith-based legal group. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253095/nigerian-musician-files-lawsuit-with-supreme-court-challenging-blasphemy-conviction__________________________________________________________

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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