1. Pope Francis praises charitable work of Knights of Columbus.

By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, February 10, 2020, 6:28 AM

Pope Francis on Monday met Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and members of the Knights of Columbus supreme council, praising the organization’s charitable work in Rome and in defense of life.

“Today the Knights of Columbus continue their work of evangelical charity and fraternity in a variety of fields,” the pope said Feb. 10. “I think in particular of your faithful witness to the sacredness and dignity of human life, evident at both the local and national levels.”

He also noted the Knights’ dedication to aiding, “both materially and spiritually, those Christian communities in the Middle East that are suffering the effects of violence, war and poverty.”


2. Nuns March To Highlight Global Plague Of Trafficking.

By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times, February 10, 2020, Pg. A10

For years, nuns around the world have worked to help trafficked and enslaved people break free from the conditions that ensnare millions of men, women and children.

They have prayed for them, and they have offered hospitality. On Sunday, they marched on St. Peter’s Square for them.

“There have never been as many slaves in the world as there are today,” Gabriella Bottani, the international coordinator of Talitha Kum, a global network of nuns that assists trafficked persons, said in kicking off the march. “Only together we can break the chain of trafficking and slavery.”

Dozens of nuns, lay people and a smattering of priests walked along the broad avenue that links the Castel Sant’Angelo to St. Peter’s Square.

The march was part of the sixth World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action against Human Trafficking, which takes place each year on Feb. 8, the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese nun who has become the symbol of the Roman Catholic Church’s commitment to fight human trafficking.


3. Pope to visit Malta on May 31 in first foreign trip of 2020.

By Associated Press, February 10, 2020, 7:15 AM

ope Francis will visit the Mediterranean island nation of Malta on May 31, the Vatican said Monday, confirming the Pope’s first foreign trip for the year.

Other rumored trips for Francis include a visit to Indonesia and East Timor in the second half of 2020.


4. Gibraltar faces challenge to pro-life protections in March 19 abortion referendum.

By Charles Collins, Crux, February 10, 2020

Gibraltar will need “all the courage and strength of Hercules” if it is going to keep its pro-life protections after a March 19 abortion referendum, according to the UK’s Lord David Alton.

The British overseas territory is on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, overseeing the strategic Strait of Gibraltar, that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

It currently has the strongest pro-life protections in Europe, with those found guilty of violating its abortion law facing life in prison.

In July 2019, the Gibraltar Parliament voted to allow abortion in some circumstances in the territory, but a pro-life petition signed by over 6,000 people convinced the parliament to hold a referendum on the new law.

The proposed legislation would allow a woman to terminate her pregnancy where her mental or physical health was at risk before the 12th week of pregnancy, and later if the unborn child suffers from undefined “abnormality.”


5. Pope to Web companies: guard against human traffickers’ bait.

By Associated Press, February 9, 2020, 5:01 PM

Pope Francis called on internet-based companies Sunday to be vigilant about keeping human traffickers from using electronic communications to entrap victims.

Francis said during his remarks to the public in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday that the “plague” of human trafficking “exploits the weakest.” He said research has shown that criminal organizations use the “most modern means of communications to snare their victims with deception.”

The pope said education is needed on the “healthy” use of modern technology and “suppliers of such electronic services must be held to their responsibilities.”


6. Pope calls for respect of humanitarian law in Syria’s Idlib amid escalation.

By Reuters, February 9, 2020, 6:21 AM

Pope Francis called on Sunday for respect of humanitarian law in Syria’s Idlib province, amid an escalation of a Syrian government offensive that has displaced more than half a million in two months.

He told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s square that the reports from Idlib were “painful … particularly regarding the conditions of women and children, of people forced to flee from a military escalation.”

“I renew my heartfelt appeal to the international community and all parties involved to use diplomatic means, dialogue and negotiations, in respect of international humanitarian law, to safeguard the lives and fate of civilians,” Pope Francis said.


7. Ukraine’s president asks pope to help win release of prisoners of war.

By Philip Pullella, Reuters, February 8, 2020, 9:27 AM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked Pope Francis on Saturday for help to win the release of prisoners of war held by Russia and Russian-backed separatists.

The Vatican has diplomatic relations with both Ukraine and Russia.

Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the east completed a large-scale prisoner swap on December 29 in the breakaway Donbass region. It is not clear how many Ukrainian government soldiers are still being held, but activists say there are about 100.


8. Pope to visit Italian region poisoned by toxic waste dumping.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 8, 2020, 1:35 PM

Pope Francis will mark the fifth anniversary of his ecological manifesto by visiting a southern Italian region where decades of toxic-waste dumping by the mob have polluted the environment and sickened its people.

The diocese of Acerra announced Francis’ May 24 visit on Saturday. It said his trip to the so-called “Land of Fires” would be a source of joy and hope for the region’s families, and especially their cancer-stricken children.


9. Pro-life bills advance in several US states.

By Catholic News Agency, February 8, 2020, 6:01 AM

Several state-level pro-life measures cleared legislative hurdles this week. Lawmakers have considered several of the proposals before, and already a number of the proposals have advanced further than they did last year.

A bill that would temporarily revoke a doctor’s license for performing an abortion has advanced in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and will proceed to the Senate.

HB 1182 passed the Oklahoma house Feb. 6 by a vote of 71-21. The bill would revoke a physician’s medical license for a minimum of six months and would also provide for a minimum fine of $500.

Meanwhile, in Florida, legislation to require parental consent for minors seeking abortions cleared the state Senate by a vote of 23-17 and now moves to the House. Doctors who perform abortions without the parental consent of a girl under 18 would face up to five years in prison for a third-degree felony, the Associated Press reports.

In Arizona, a bill which would provide $3 million over two years for programs seeking to provide services to women and dissuade them from choosing abortion passed a House committee Feb. 6 and a Senate panel earlier in the week.


10. Kansas pro-life amendment fails to gain support for ballot placement.

By Catholic News Agency, February 7, 2020, 4:33 PM

An effort to place a referendum on the Kansas ballot clarifying that abortion is not a constitutional right fell four votes short of the support needed in the House of Representatives on Friday.

If it had been approved, the proposed referendum would have asked voters throughout the state in August if they wanted to amend the constitution to explicitly state that abortion is not a right and the court cannot interpret the constitution to say it is.

The Senate approved the measure 28-12 last week. However, the House vote on Friday was 80-43, four votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed for approval, the AP reported.


11. Prominent pro-life Democrat quits party.

By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, February 7, 2020, 1:00 PM

Catholic theologian Charles Camosy has resigned from the board of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), writing in an op-ed on Thursday that the Democratic Party’s extreme support of abortion left him “no choice” but to leave his party.

“Anything even hinting that abortion is less than good now violates party orthodoxy,” Camosy wrote in a Feb. 6 column in the NY Post.


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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