TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 190 – Dr. Bruchalski on Divine Mercy Care & Father Roger Landry’s Advent Retreat Dr. Grazie Christie and Leigh Snead revisit with Dr. John Bruchalski, former abortionist-turned pro-life advocate and how the Blessed Mother changed his heart for life. As we near Gaudete Sunday, Father Roger Landry offers some words of wisdom on how to truly embrace this season of Advent. Catch the show every Saturday at 7am/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. The Media Scapegoat Catholicism for Club Q, By Samuel J. Aquila, The Wall Street Journal, December 9, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion My state witnessed an unmitigated tragedy on Nov. 19 when a gunman opened fire in a gay club in Colorado Springs, killing five and wounding 25. Unfortunately, the reaction has thus far fostered more vitriol and division than peace and unity as the press has blamed religious communities, including the Catholic Church, to which the shooter has no apparent connection.  Our critics charge that the Catholic Church is discriminating against those who identify as gay or transgender. But it isn’t discriminatory to tell someone you think his beliefs don’t conform to nature—it’s an act of charity. The Catholic Church teaches an integrated and complex worldview about sexuality and the human person that deserves to be engaged with, not caricatured and defamed. A reasonable approach to the tragedy at Club Q would ask some essential questions, such as: Is there evidence that Christian teaching influenced the gunman? Was he a believing or practicing Christian in any sense? If reports about the shooter’s background are accurate, the answer to these basic questions appears to be no.  The Catholic Church isn’t perfect in its efforts to welcome those who don’t live according to her teachings. We need to cooperate better with God’s grace, help people discover Jesus Christ and more radically love those who disagree with us to build understanding rather than sow division. But the church should be judged according to the goodness of those who live her values to the highest degree of perfection, not those who fail to do so. Ignoring the substance of an argument and resorting to scapegoating is the sign of a weak argument. Our politics are plagued by it. But a weak argument isn’t always a peaceful one: Labeling Catholic teaching or one’s political enemies as a root cause of violence may itself inspire violence. The attacks on churches and pregnancy-resource centers—including several in northern Colorado—in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision have made this clear. What, then, is the solution? It is to embrace pluralism that has served as a bedrock of our nation’s founding for centuries. When we can openly discuss our beliefs without caricaturing each other and assuming evil intentions, we’ll be making progress toward the common good. Archbishop Aquila leads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver. 2. Bill protecting same-sex, interracial unions clears Congress, By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press, December 9, 2022 The House gave final approval Thursday to legislation protecting same-sex marriages, a monumental step in a decades long battle for nationwide recognition that reflects a stark turnaround in societal attitudes. President Joe Biden has said he will promptly sign the measure, which requires all states to recognize same-sex marriages. It is a relief for hundreds of thousands of couples who have married since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that legalized those marriages and have worried about what would happen if the ruling were overturned. 3. Crisis of confidence over cardinal shakes Cologne Catholics, By Kirsten Grieshaber, Associated Press, December 9, 2022, 2:18 AM An unprecedented crisis of confidence is shaking a historic center of Catholicism in Germany — the Archdiocese of Cologne. Catholic believers have protested their deeply divisive archbishop and are leaving in droves over allegations that he may have covered up clergy sexual abuse reports. While Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki’s personal fate is in the hands of Pope Francis, the drama has reverberations nationwide, given that the Cologne archdiocese has more Catholics than any other in Germany — about 1.8 million. Its double-domed cathedral is an iconic tourist attraction and one of the oldest, most important pilgrimage sites of Northern Europe. 4. At this Pa. college, 40 students live in a convent with 40 nuns, By Kyle Melnick, The Washington Post, December 9, 2022, 4:09 AM The residence building, the Our Lady of Angels Motherhouse Convent, was built around 1900 for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. The nuns founded Neumann, which was then named Our Lady of Angels College, in 1965 as an all-women school. Neumann changed its name and began to admit men in 1980, and nuns continued to reside in the 152,000-square-foot convent, which their religious order retained ownership of. But their numbers have declined in recent years, leaving some convent rooms empty, so Neumann purchased the building in June 2021. Across the United States, there’s been a shortage of on-campus housing at universities in recent years. At Neumann, about 660 of the school’s 2,155 students received on-campus housing across five residential facilities. In the spring, school leaders and nuns agreed to open 20 rooms for 40 more students across two convent floors.  Their lifestyles don’t always match. The nuns typically sleep between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.; students sometimes don’t get out of bed until noon. One night, the nuns were concerned when a car approached the convent at 3 a.m. A student explained he had ordered pizza on Uber Eats.  When the students introduced TikTok to the nuns, Snell said “it was like discovering fire” for the sisters. They’re rehearsing for an upcoming TikTok dance video. Part of that dancing group is Anderson, who joined the Sisters of St. Francis in 1962 after graduating from high school in Ireland. In the years that followed, she found fulfillment developing bonds with children and teenagers while working in schools and churches. After losing that connection in recent years, that excitement returned this fall. It will probably continue, too, because school leaders said they plan to add students to the convent next year. Anderson now follows a busy schedule, even on weeknights. 5. The (Incomplete) Revolution in Counting Abortions, Researchers know more than before, but incomplete data is still an issue as more women try to sidestep restrictions., By Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times, December 8, 2022 Even the decrease in legal abortions as a result of Dobbs v. Jackson is hard to fully measure. In the first real-time count of abortions in the country, a research group called WeCount has been surveying most abortion clinics in the United States. It found that the number of legal abortions in July and August decreased by around 10,000 per month, a decline of 6 percent. Because only around 80 percent of abortion providers shared their numbers with the group, its researchers estimated the number of abortions for the other 20 percent. Another group, the Self-Managed Abortion Needs Assessment Project at the University of Texas at Austin, has tried to count how many people have been requesting pills outside the U.S. medical system. The researchers do not currently publish the number of prescriptions filled, given that the service operates in a legal gray area. Though it is illegal for a doctor not licensed in the United States to prescribe medicine to someone in the United States, enforcement is outside the jurisdiction of state law enforcement agencies. In some cases, though, people have been arrested under other laws, like those addressing child abuse or practicing medicine without a license, according to If/When/How, a legal group that supports reproductive rights. More recently, some states have been cracking down on pills as part of new abortion restrictions.  Until recently, there had been no systematic attempt to count self-managed abortions. Professor Myers and colleagues estimated the effect of abortion restrictions enacted in 2009 in Texas by measuring births years later.  Even without an exact number, it’s clear that a growing number of pills from abroad are offsetting the reduction in legal abortions. A more complete picture will be known in nearly a year, when states begin to release data on the number of births since abortion bans went into effect. 6. Pope weeps in Rome as he prays for peace in Ukraine, By Associated Press, December 8, 2022, 10:45 AM Pope Francis wept Thursday in the center of Rome as he prayed for peace in Ukraine during an annual Christmas visit to venerate a statue of the Virgin Mary near the Spanish Steps. Francis leaned over and choked up, unable to speak precisely as he arrived at the part of the prayer where he said: “I would have liked to have brought you the thanks of the Ukrainian people …” As the crowd of thousands of dignitaries, clergy and ordinary Romans realized that the pope was overcome with emotion, they broke into applause and encouraged him to continue. After a long pause, Francis continued the prayer, picking up from where he left off: “… the Ukrainian people for the peace we have so long asked the Lord. Instead I must present you with the pleas of children, elderly, mothers and fathers and the young people of that martyred land, that is suffering so much.” 7. Pennsylvania panel updates anti-discrimination regulations, By Mark Scolforo, Associated Press, December 8, 2022, 12:43 PM A state panel on Thursday narrowly approved new definitions of sex, religious creed and race in Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination regulations, with three members appointed by Democrats in favor and two Republican appointees voting no. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission signed off on the set of definitions that concern the types of employment, housing, education and public accommodations discrimination complaints that can be brought before the state Human Relations Commission.  The regulation defines “sex” as including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, sex assigned at birth, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, and differences in sex development. 8. Oklahoma petition to enshrine abortion rights withdrawn, By Associated Press, December 8, 2022, 7:25 PM A group of Oklahoma residents has withdrawn a petition that sought to put a state question on the ballot that would protect the right to an abortion. Records show the proponents of the citizen-led initiative petition notified the Secretary of State’s office on Wednesday of their plans to withdraw. The group was led by Roger Coody, a hairstylist from Tulsa with no formal legal training who said he was hoping to protect the rights of women in his state. Messages left Thursday for Coody were not immediately returned. 9. Baltimore abuse survivors file request to make abuse report public, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, December 8, 2022, 2:45 PM A group of clerical sexual abuse survivors has filed a request with the Baltimore Circuit Court in an attempt to make public a recently sealed attorney general’s report that claims to chronicle hundreds of instances of clerical abuse. At issue is a 456-page report compiled by the office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, which consists of information given by the Archdiocese of Baltimore along with information gathered from interviews, and which claims to identify more than 600 victims of clerical abuse in the archdiocese dating back eight decades. It is currently unclear whether the report will lead to any new criminal charges. A judge in Baltimore last week ordered all proceedings, filings, and communications related to the release of the report on clerical sexual abuse to be made confidential. Going forward, the legal processes of releasing the full report will not be disclosed to the public because of the confidentiality order. Should the full report be released, pending Judge Anthony Vittoria’s decision, it will likely be redacted.

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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