TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 88 – Heroes Of 2020: Pro-Life Women & Catholic School Teachers!
Dr. Grazie Christie chats with TCA colleagues Maureen Ferguson & Ashley McGuire taking a look at 2020, a year marked by COVID-19, but many silver linings including big pro-life and religious freedom wins, #FreetheMass movements, and Catholic schools safely open! We also chat with Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life, an organization intent upon eradicating exploitation in all the dark corners where it hides. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily as we celebrate the Christmas season! Catch the show LIVE every Saturday on EWTN radio at 7am ET and 5pm ET!
1. Vatican City State is pesticide-free, imports green energy, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, December 24, 2020
Reaching “zero emissions” for Vatican City State is an achievable goal and is another green initiative it has been pursuing, said the head of its department of infrastructure and services.
The Vatican’s reforestation program has seen 300 trees of various species planted over the past three years, and “an important milestone” is the tiny nation “has achieved its goal of being pesticide-free,” Father Rafael Garcia de la Serrana Villalobos, told Vatican News in mid-December. He also said the electricity the Vatican imports is produced entirely from renewable sources.
The walled-in area of Vatican City State covers about 109 acres, including extensive gardens, and the papal property at Castel Gandolfo extends over 135 acres, including about 17 acres of formal gardens, residences and a working farm.

These and other projects are part of the Vatican’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions. Pope Francis pledged the city state would reach this goal before 2050.
2. Pope sends Christmas Eve appeals to Lebanon, South Sudan, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, December 24, 2020
On Christmas Eve, Pope Francis sent letters to Lebanon and South Sudan offering comfort to citizens and urging leaders to exert more effort in the quest for peace, voicing his desire to visit both countries as soon as possible.
In the Dec. 24 letter to South Sudan, which was also signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Martin Fair, the three religious leaders reminded South Sudanese leaders of their commitment to achieve peace, praising recent efforts but urging them to do more.
3. Biden’s Nominees Face Narrow Path in Senate, McConnell says picks would get floor votes if they get out of committee and GOP keeps majority, but some have drawn strong opposition, By Natalie Andrews and Sabrina Siddiqui, The Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2020, 9:34 AM
Some of President-elect Joe Biden’s nominees are set to face a narrow path to confirmation, with potential delays that could result in his key cabinet picks being seated later than is traditional for incoming administrations.
While many of Mr. Biden’s picks have drawn bipartisan support, several stand to face opposition from top Republicans, and they will have to make it through committee for a full Senate vote, where a simple majority is needed. GOP criticism has been especially vocal toward Neera Tanden, Mr. Biden’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget, and Xavier Becerra, his pick for Health and Human Services secretary.
4. Christmas ‘hijacked’ by consumerist mentality, pope says, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Crux, December 23, 2020
While Christmas has become a universal holiday, even for many nonbelievers, its celebration always should focus on the reality that God sent his son into the world to save humanity, Pope Francis said.
Christmas must not be confused with “ephemeral things” that reduce the celebration of Christ’s birth “to a merely sentimental or consumerist festival,” the pope said Dec. 23 during his weekly general audience.
“Last Sunday, I called attention to this problem, underlining that consumerism has hijacked Christmas,” he said, departing from his prepared remarks. “No! Christmas must not be reduced to just a sentimental or consumerist feast (that is) full of gifts and good wishes but poor in Christian faith and poor in humanity as well.”

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.