1. Mass. Governor: Many COVID-19 clusters stem from religious services, By Associated Press, December 2, 2020
Gov. Charlie Baker is urging those attending services at houses of worship in Massachusetts to adhere to COVID-19 precautions, like wearing masks and practicing social distancing particularly for indoor services.
The state is still seeing too many COVID-19 clusters that can be traced back to houses of worship, the Republican said at a Tuesday press conference. Since the start of the pandemic, houses of workshop have experienced a total of 36 clusters, Baker said.
“We know that houses of worship have always served as a place of refuge especially in difficult times like this,” Baker said at a press conference. “But as with all gatherings, protocols have been put in place to ensure that services and other functions that happen in houses of worship happen as safely as possible.”
2. Pope book backs George Floyd protests, blasts virus skeptic, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 1, 2020, 1:14 PM
Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice in the wake of the U.S. police killing of George Floyd and is blasting COVID-19 skeptics and media organizations that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown.
In “Let Us Dream,” published Tuesday, Francis also criticizes populist politicians who whip up rallies in ways reminiscent of the 1930s, and the hypocrisy of “rigid” conservative Catholics who support them. But he also criticizes the forceful downing of historic statues during protests for racial equality this year as a misguided attempt to “purify the past.”
The 150-page book was written in collaboration with Francis’ English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh, who said Monday he hopes a more colloquial English-speaking pope will resonate with English-speaking readers and believers.
3. Coronavirus robs biblical Bethlehem of Christmas cheer, By Jelal Hassan, Associated Press, December 1, 2020, 3:46 PM
The coronavirus has cast a pall over Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, all but shutting down the biblical town revered as Jesus’ birthplace at the height of the normally cheery holiday season.
Missing are the thousands of international pilgrims who normally descend upon the town. Restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops are closed. The renowned Christmas tree lighting service will be limited to a small group of authorized people, as will church services on Christmas Eve.
4. Social justice must be founded on care for others, pope tells judges, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Crux, December 1, 2020
Guaranteeing justice for all men and women is not possible while a few people control most of the world’s wealth and everyone else’s right to a dignified life is disregarded, Pope Francis said.
In a Nov. 30 video message, the pope encouraged judges from North and South America and Africa not to lose sight of “the distressing situation in which a small part of humanity lives in opulence, while an increasing number of people are denied dignity and their most elementary rights are ignored or violated.”
“We cannot be disconnected from reality,” he said. “This is a reality you must keep in mind.”
The judges were taking part in a virtual meeting Nov. 30-Dec. 1 on “Building the New Social Justice.” The meeting was sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Committee of Pan-American Judges for Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine.
5. Late-Term Abortion Must Stop in the US, By Katie Yoder, TownHall, December 1, 2020, 10:14 AM
Many in the media argue that there’s no such thing as late-term abortion. But a new report confirms that thousands of unborn babies – at or past 21 weeks gestation – are destroyed in abortion each year.
On November 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published its latest annual Abortion Surveillance report detailing U.S. abortion data for the years 2017 and 2018. That data revealed that 1 percent of reported abortions in 2018 were performed at or after 21 weeks gestation. While 1 percent might sound small, that figure translates to thousands of late-term abortions.

Dr. Grazie P. Christie, a policy advisor for the Catholic Association and an EWTN radio host, likewise stressed last year that late-term abortion “is never medically necessary.”
“As a physician, I can tell you with perfect confidence that if a woman – a pregnant woman’s health is endangered in the third trimester, there is never a reason to stop the child’s heart with an injection and dismember the child on the way out,” she said in a video posted to social media.
Instead, “there is always the possibility of delivering the child immediately, through a live birth, or a C-section,” she said.

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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