1. White House proclamation honors anniversary of St. Thomas Becket’s martyrdom, By Catholic News Service, December 30, 2020
The White House issued a proclamation honoring the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket Dec. 29 and inviting “the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches and customary places of meeting with appropriate ceremonies.”
The proclamation, signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 28, described Becket as “a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop and a lion of religious liberty.”

The White House proclamation described this martyrdom as “an event that changed the course of history” and which “eventually brought about numerous constitutional limitations on the power of the state over the church across the West.”
It also said Becket’s death “serves as a powerful and timeless reminder to every American that our freedom from religious persecution is not a mere luxury or accident of history, but rather an essential element of our liberty.”

The White House acknowledged religious believers everywhere who suffer persecution for their faith, particularly Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong and Pastor Wang Yi of Chengdu, China, describing them as “tireless witnesses to hope.”
2. Bill legalizing abortion passed in pope’s native Argentina, By Almudena Calatrava and DÉbora Rey, Associated Press, December 29, 2020, 10:27 PM
Argentina’s Senate passed a law legalizing abortion in Pope Francis’ homeland early Wednesday after a marathon 12-hour session, a victory for the women’s movement that has been fighting for the right for decades.
The vote means that abortion will be legalized up to the 14th week of pregnancy, and also will be legal after that time in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s life. It will have repercussions across a continent where the procedure is largely illegal.
3. Mass. Legislature overrides veto, expands access to abortion, By Associated Press, December 29, 2020, 3:45 PM
The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday voted to override the Republican governor’s veto of legislation that expands access to abortion in the state, making the measure law.
The Democratic-controlled Senate’s 32-8 override came a day after the Democratic-controlled House similarly voted to override Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto 107-46.
The bill, known as the Roe Act, codifies abortion rights into state law, allows abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases where the child will not survive after birth, and lowers from 18 to 16 the age at which women can seek an abortion without consent from a parent or guardian.
Baker, in vetoing the legislation last week, said while he strongly supports many provisions of the measure, he could not support expanding the availability of later-term abortions and permitting 16- and 17-year-olds to get an abortion without parental consent.
4. Dublin archbishop who helped Ireland heal from abuse retires, By Associated Press, December 29, 2020, 11:16 AM
Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who worked to rebuild the Roman Catholic Church’s credibility in Ireland after it was shattered by decades of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up.
Martin turned 75 earlier this year, the mandatory retirement age for bishops. Francis named Bishop Dermot Farrell, 66, the head of the Ossory diocese in eastern Ireland, as Martin’s replacement.
5. New law brings needed transparency to finances, Vatican official says, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, December 29, 2020
A new law that removes financial assets from the control of the Vatican Secretariat of State is a step forward on the path of financial reform, said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, president of Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.
“There was a need to turn around the management of finances, economy and administration, to increase transparency and efficiency,” Galantino said in an interview with Vatican News.
Issued “motu proprio,” on the Pope Francis’s own accord, and published Dec. 28, the decree ordered the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, also known as APSA, to manage all bank accounts and financial investments belonging to the Vatican Secretariat of State.

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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