1. FBI office targeted ‘radical’ Catholics, Priest, choir director questioned in rogue probe of traditionalists’ link to terror, By Susan Ferrechio, The Washington Times, December 5, 2023, Pg. A1 The FBI’s probe into whether traditional Catholics posed a terrorist threat included interviews with a priest and a church choir director and involved an undercover agent who infiltrated the church, House investigators said Monday. A House panel examining the weaponization of government uncovered the interviews and the role of at least one undercover agent as part of a congressional probe into the FBI’s recent targeting of traditional Catholics. Subpoenas issued in the investigation, House lawmakers said, revealed that the FBI “singled out Americans who are pro-life, pro-family, and support the biological basis for sex and gender distinction as potential terrorists.” According to the House Judiciary subcommittee on the weaponization of government, the FBI’s interviews with a priest and choir director were used to inform on a parishioner under investigation who self-described as a “radical traditionalist Catholic.” FBI employees in the bureau’s Richmond, Virginia, office where the probe originated could not define the meaning of radical traditionalist Catholic, but “this single investigation became the basis for an FBI-wide memorandum warning about the dangers of ‘radical’ Catholics,” House lawmakers said Monday.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/dec/4/fbi-interviewed-priest-choir-director-in-rogue-pro/__________________________________________________________ 2. Why abortion is not the silver bullet that Democrats need in 2024, By Ruy Teixeira, The Washington Post, December 5, 2023, 7:30 AM, Opinion Conventional wisdom holds that ever since the Supreme Court decision in June 2022 striking down Roe v. Wade, Democrats have been able to hammer the Republicans as the sworn enemies of abortion and women’s reproductive freedom.  But the evidence suggests that when two candidates are on the ballot, support for abortion rights does not override partisanship.  But what about a GOP platform that argues for just leaving it to the states? According to a New York Times survey experiment, a Republican presidential candidate who advocates a leave-it-to-the-states approach runs 4 points ahead of a Democratic candidate who supports a federal law legalizing access to abortion nationwide. That’s about the same as Trump’s current lead in Times polling against Biden, suggesting the former president might find a way out of the abortion maze yet. Add it all up, and it suggests that abortion, while helpful to Democrats in 2024, might not have the potency they ascribe to it. Democrats will need to think more creatively to fend off Trump and his party in 2024. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/12/05/abortion-dobbs-2024-democrats/__________________________________________________________ 3. Reported cancellation of Virginia menorah lighting draws rebuke from governor, By Associated Press, December 4, 2023, 5:17 PM Virginia political leaders, including Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, on Monday condemned the reported cancellation of a menorah lighting at a community event in Williamsburg over apparent concerns related to the Israel-Hamas war. The criticism from Youngkin and members of the General Assembly from both parties came after the Virginia Gazette reported over the weekend that the ceremony, which had been scheduled for a monthly art and musical festival happening Dec. 10, had been canceled. Shirley Vermillion, the festival’s founder, told the newspaper that the menorah lighting “seemed very inappropriate” in light of the conflict.  Youngkin — who has been outspoken in his support of Israel since Hamas’ bloody Oct. 7 rampage — said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Singling out the Jewish community by canceling this Hanukkah celebration is absurd and antisemitic. The event organizers should immediately reconsider their actions and move forward with the menorah lighting.”  https://apnews.com/article/virginia-menorah-lighting-canceled-418c20adb6bd7692de01c62c6c5bfc9a__________________________________________________________ 4. Climate activists disrupt archbishop’s Mass in Turin, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, December 4, 2023. 2:30 PM Climate activists in Italy over the weekend disrupted a Mass celebrated by Turin Archbishop Roberto Repole, with the demonstrators reading from Pope Francis’ works on the environment during the incident.  Activists with the climate group Extinction Rebellion appeared at the Turin Cathedral on Sunday during the archbishop’s Mass there, according to the Italian newspaper la Republicca. The protesters “interrupted the Mass that Archbishop Roberto Repole was celebrating to read passages from Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’” as well as his apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum. Both of those documents address climate change and what Pope Francis sees as humankind’s responsibility as stewards of God’s creation.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256172/climate-activists-disrupt-archbishop-s-mass-in-turin__________________________________________________________ 5. Pope Francis signs interfaith climate statement as part of COP28 summit in Dubai, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, December 4, 2023, 2:02 PM Pope Francis has added his signature to an “interfaith statement” meant to call attention to what the Holy Father and other advocates say is the ongoing crisis of climate change threatening much of the world.  The Holy Father signed the Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement for COP28 on Dec. 3 as part of the United Nations climate summit in Dubai. The pope was meant to be present at the event but a respiratory illness forced him to remain in Rome rather than travel to the United Arab Emirates. The annual summit, known as the “Conference of the Parties” (COP), is an opportunity for world leaders, representing state and nonstate actors, to meet and discuss policy goals that seek to establish common goals for climate change mitigation.  This year’s event marked the inauguration of the first-ever COP Faith Pavilion, a coalition of faith partners and others “dedicated to the engagement of faith communities” on the topic of environmentalism, according to the event’s website.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256171/pope-francis-signs-interfaith-climate-statement-as-part-of-cop28-summit-in-dubai__________________________________________________________

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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