1. Codify Roe? No., Virginia lawmakers should reject lame-duck special session, By The Washington Times, December 27, 2021, Pg. B2 With time running out on Democrats’ control of the Virginia governorship and House of Delegates, abortion rights extremists in Richmond are maneuvering to get one final — albeit major — piece of their agenda codified into state law before Republicans take over in mid-January. Apparently, they aren’t content with having repealed modest abortion restrictions enacted by prior Republican-controlled legislatures and GOP governors, such as requirements that women wait 24 hours and get an ultrasound before having the procedure. Their drive to codify Roe v. Wade — the highly divisive 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide — took on new urgency following Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory in the governor’s race and after the GOP reclaimed control of the lower house of the legislature, both on Nov. 2.  Elections have consequences, of course, and calling for a lame-duck special session to circumvent those consequences is the political equivalent of a middle finger. Tactically, it reeks of the same “ends justify the means” mindset of Democrats in Congress seeking to ram through President Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar “Build Back Better” social spending boondoggle over unanimous Republican opposition via the Senate reconciliation process. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/dec/23/editorial-codify-roe-no/___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope decries Italy’s ‘demographic winter’ of falling birth rates, family size, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, December 26, 2021 On the Catholic feast of the Holy Family, Pope Francis criticized his adopted country’s “demographic winter,” saying an increasing preference not to have children is doing damage not just to families but to the country and society at large. When thinking of the family, “a concern comes to mind, a real concern, at least here in Italy: the demographic winter,” the pope said in his Dec. 26 Angelus address. Speaking to faithful gathered in a rainy St. Peter’s Square, he noted that many couples seem to have given up on the idea of “going ahead with children,” and that couples increasingly “prefer to have none, or to have just one.” https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2021/12/pope-decries-italys-demographic-winter-of-falling-birth-rates-family-size___________________________________________________________ 3. On Christmas, pope prays for pandemic’s end, peace dialogues, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 25, 2021, 6:41 AM Pope Francis prayed Saturday for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, using his Christmas Day address to urge health care for all, vaccines for the poor and for dialogue to prevail in resolving the world’s conflicts. Amid a record-setting rise in COVID-19 cases in Italy this week, only a few thousand people flocked to a rain-soaked St. Peter’s Square for Francis’ annual “Urbi et Orbi” (”To the city and the world”) Christmas address. Normally, the square would be packed with tens of thousands of holiday well-wishers. At least they could gather this year. Italy’s 2020 holiday lockdown forced Francis to deliver a televised address from inside the Apostolic Palace to prevent crowds from forming in the square. Although Italy this week counted more than 50,000 cases in a single day for the first time, the government has not ordered another lockdown. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/on-christmas-pope-prays-for-pandemics-end-peace-dialogues/2021/12/25/9ae7132c-6577-11ec-9b51-7131fa190c5e_story.html___________________________________________________________ 4. Vatican defends finance trial, says rights being respected, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, December 24, 2021, 1:31 PM Lawyers for defendants in a big Vatican financial trial asked the Holy See newspaper on Friday to correct the record after it ran a front-page editorial this week largely defending the investigation and insisting that the rights of the defense were being respected. The letter to L’Osservatore Romano editor Andrea Monda was signed by eight defense attorneys and follows a Dec. 20 editorial penned by the Holy See’s editorial director, Andrea Tornielli. The trial concerns the Holy See’s 350 million euro (nearly $400 million) investment in a London property deal but has expanded to include other alleged financial crimes. Vatican prosecutors accuse Italian brokers, Vatican officials and a self-styled security analyst of bilking the Vatican coffers of millions of euros, largely donations from the faithful.  In the letter sent Friday, they said the editorial didn’t correspond “to the reality of the trial” and appeared to be an effort to “normalize the multiple procedural violations” by the prosecution that the court has already sanctioned. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/vatican-defends-finance-trial-says-rights-being-respected/2021/12/24/a68d003a-64e4-11ec-9b51-7131fa190c5e_story.html___________________________________________________________ 5. Becciu says answering Pell questions ‘beneath the dignity of cardinals’, By The Pillar, December 23, 2021 Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the disgraced former sostituto of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, has written to Cardinal George Pell, the former prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, declining to explain why he sent millions of euros of Vatican funds to Australia during the run up to Pell’s 2017 criminal trial. In an open letter dated December 22, Cardinal Becciu wrote that he felt forced to respond to recent media statements by Pell which, he said, “were offensive to my personal dignity” and which impugned his decades of curial service.  “Believe me,” Becciu said, “I am [writing this letter] against my personal desires, because I am now forced to do so by your numerous interventions.” The cardinal, who was dismissed from his curial positions by Pope Francis in September last year, and is currently on trial in Vatican City charged with embezzlement, abuse of office, and related financial crimes, said he had no intention of responding to claims made by Pell concerning his time at the Secretariat of State, and that engaging with Pell’s statements would be “beneath the dignity of cardinals.” https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/becciu-says-answering-pell-questions___________________________________________________________ 6. Vatican tightens COVID-19 rules for offices of Roman Curia, By Catholic News Agency, December 23, 2021, 9:00 AM From Thursday, people seeking to enter the offices of the Roman Curia must provide either proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or evidence of recovery from it. The new rule was contained in a decree issued by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Dec. 23. The Vatican has required all visitors and personnel since October to show a COVID-19 pass proving they have been vaccinated, recovered from the coronavirus, or tested negative for the disease. But in a Dec. 16 ordinance, Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, removed the recent negative test option. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/249975/vatican-tightens-covid-19-rules-for-offices-of-roman-curia___________________________________________________________ 7. Pope Francis to beatify ‘smiling pope’ John Paul I in September 2022, By Catholic News Agency, December 23, 2021, 9:53 AM Pope Francis will beatify the “smiling pope” John Paul I on Sept. 4, 2022. Vatican News, the website overseen by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication, said on Dec. 23 that the pope who reigned for only 33 days will be beatified in St. Peter’s Basilica. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/249976/pope-francis-to-beatify-smiling-pope-john-paul-i-in-september-2022___________________________________________________________ 8. A Catholic chapel at Port Newark is where longshoremen go to find an oasis, By Kevin Armstrong, The Washington Post, December 21, 2021, 7:00 AM Rudy Moni, the musician at Stella Maris, a Catholic chapel in the shadows of empty shipping containers at Port Newark, adjusted a microphone, strummed his guitar and shouted to the Rev. John Corbett on the first Sunday of Advent.  It is an eclectic constellation. Longshoremen pray two pews from armed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, and crane operators offer peace to curiosity seekers as big rigs rumble past the Nativity scene outside all year on Corbin Street, a main corridor. To be heard, they sing above a chorus of train whistles and truck horns. As Christmas delivery deadlines loom during the supply-chain crisis, cranes beep, chassis rattle and the chapel vibrates when trucks pass. At night, Corbett sleeps on a Murphy bed in his small office. To meditate, he wears silicone earplugs. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/a-catholic-chapel-at-port-newark-is-where-longshoremen-go-to-find-an-oasis/2021/12/21/b6d69496-5c66-11ec-ae5b-5002292337c7_story.html___________________________________________________________

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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