1. China limits web-based ministry of faith groups, Sees danger from foreign influence, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, December 23, 2021, Pg. A1 China has launched a fresh crackdown on religious groups’ online activities in the communist nation, announcing rules that will effectively block almost all internet-based ministry that is not state-sanctioned starting in March. Anyone who uses the internet and religion “to conduct activities that endanger national security” will face government security agencies that “will prevent and handle domestic organizations, and individuals colluding with foreign ones” in such actions, a report said. Despite creating some of the world’s most powerful web-based brands, China‘s communist leadership has been a global pioneer in policing political and anti-government speech online, erecting what critics have dubbed the “Great Firewall of China.” The regime in Beijing is also deeply sensitive to religious figures and movements — such as the Dalai Lama, the Falun Gong movement and the Catholic Church — that it considers beyond its control and regulation. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/dec/22/china-bans-independent-religious-groups-nations-in/___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope shakes up office that handles migration, COVID, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 23, 2021, 8:16 AM Pope Francis on Thursday removed the head of the Vatican office that handles migration, the environment and COVID-19 issues, and put a trusted cardinal and one of the Holy See’s most influential nuns at the helm temporarily. Francis thanked Cardinal Peter Turkson for his five years of service but decided on new leadership following the results of an internal investigation, the Vatican said. Turkson, who until Thursday was the highest-ranking African person at the Holy See, told reporters earlier this week that he had submitted his resignation to Francis and that it was up to the pope to decide what to do with it. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pope-shakes-up-office-that-handles-migration-covid/2021/12/23/938fa520-63f2-11ec-9b51-7131fa190c5e_story.html ___________________________________________________________ 3. Why Jesus Never Stopped Asking Questions, By Peter Wehner, The New York Times, December 23, 2021, 5:00 AM, Opinion Twenty centuries after his birth, Jesus still holds a revered place in the hearts of billions of people. I am among them. I imagine that it has influenced almost every area of my life, like food coloring dropped in water.  Christmas is meaningful, for those of us of the Christian faith, because it situates each of our lives — the joys and the sorrows, the hope and the despair, the dramatic and the mundane — in a larger narrative: Not only did God author it; the son of God became a protagonist within it. Mr. Wehner, who served in various roles in the three Republican administrations before the Trump administration, is a contributing Opinion writer. He attends McLean Presbyterian Church in McLean, Va. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/23/opinion/christmas-jesus-questions.html___________________________________________________________ 4. In speech to Curia, pope warns against worldly attachments, including in the liturgy, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Crux, December 23, 2021 To close a year in which he put limits on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, Pope Francis warned against the temptations of pride, spiritual worldliness, and attachment to superficial reassurances, including liturgical preferences.  He cautioned, as he has in the past, against the dangers of “a spiritual worldliness” which he said is, like many other temptations, “hard to unmask, for it is concealed by everything that usually reassures us: our role, the liturgy, doctrine, religious devotion.” The remark comes at the close of a year in which Pope Francis imposed restrictions on use of the 1962 Traditional Latin Mass, which reversed liberalizations put into place by Pope Benedict XVI, causing mass uproar among the Church’s traditionalist camps. https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2021/12/in-speech-to-curia-pope-warns-against-worldly-attachments-including-in-the-liturgy___________________________________________________________ 5. Pope meets Afghan family relocated to Italy for child’s care, By Alessandra Tarantino and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 22, 2021, 11:10 AM Pope Francis has greeted an Afghan family he met during a visit this month to a refugee camp in Greece and who he helped resettle to Italy because the youngest child needs medical care. Francis greeted the family at the end of his general audience Wednesday, during which he once again urged European countries to share the responsibility of welcoming in migrants. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-meets-afghan-family-relocated-to-italy-for-childs-care/2021/12/22/a8172452-6341-11ec-9b51-7131fa190c5e_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Abortion providers seek quick resolution in challenge to Texas law, By Ann E. Marimow, The Washington Post, December 22, 2021, 5:06 PM Abortion providers in Texas, eager to restore access to the procedure there, asked a federal appeals court on Wednesday to immediately return their case to a district judge in Austin who previously blocked the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is weighing whether to transfer the case instead temporarily to the Texas Supreme Court, a step requested by state officials that could delay resolution for months. The legal wrangling over the law, which bans most abortions after six weeks, follows a Supreme Court decision this month that left the ban in place, while granting a narrow path for providers to challenge the law’s unusual enforcement structure. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-abortion-law/2021/12/22/76dfb984-633d-11ec-8ce3-9454d0b46d42_story.html___________________________________________________________ 7. Pro-Lifers Raise Safety Concerns, Push Back at the State Level Following FDA’s Removal of Restrictions on Abortion Pill, The Biden administration’s permanent lifting of restrictions on at-home abortions could cause serious harm to women, let alone the unborn., By Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, December 22, 2021, Opinion Pro-life advocates and physicians are warning of serious risks to women arising from the Biden administration’s Dec. 16 permanent lifting of in-person dispensing requirements on the abortion pill mifepristone, which allows for widespread at-home abortions through telemedicine. https://www.ncregister.com/news/pro-lifers-raise-safety-concerns-push-back-at-the-state-level-following-fda-s-removal-of-restrictions-on-abortion-pill___________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“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.