1. Pope Francis contributes to earthquake relief efforts in Syria and Turkey,By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, February 15, 2023, 5:05 AM The Vatican is joining the Italian government and NGOs in sending help to the suffering people of Turkey and Syria. According to Vatican News, Pope Francis has provided 10,000 thermal shirts for people who do not have adequate shelter in Turkey and Syria. The pope has also sent financial aid to Syria through the country’s apostolic nunciature, Vatican almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski told Vatican News.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253650/pope-francis-contributes-to-earthquake-relief-efforts-in-syria-and-turkey__________________________________________________________ 2. $50M shrine to honor slain priest, first US Catholic martyr, By Bobby Ross Jr., Associated Press, February 14, 2023, 9:02 AM The birth of Stanley Francis Rother was by all accounts ordinary, aside from the weather. The Catholic farm boy came into the world during an Oklahoma dust storm.But in life – and in death – he was extraordinary. The 46-year-old priest, shot to death in Guatemala in 1981, became the first person born in the United States to be declared a martyr by the Catholic Church. Now a $50 million shrine built to honor the slain missionary — killed by three masked assassins who entered his rectory during Guatemala’s civil war — is expected to draw thousands of pilgrims to his home state.  In December 2016, Pope Francis officially recognized Rother as a martyr. In September 2017, in the final step before sainthood, Rother was beatified at a special Mass that drew about 20,000 people, making him the first U.S. priest to be beatified.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/50m-shrine-to-honor-slain-priest-first-us-catholic-martyr/2023/02/14/39ccf21e-ac70-11ed-b0ba-9f4244c6e5da_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Muslim claims Southwest Airlines fired him from BWI job over religious request, Case echoes accommodation appeal Supreme Court will hear this year, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, February 14, 2023 A Maryland Muslim who says Southwest Airlines fired him from a ramp agent position at Baltimore-Washington International Airport over a request to attend Friday prayers has asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to take up his case. Justin Mavins, who also goes by Dauwd Mavins, said in the complaint he was terminated after one month on the job because of his “sincerely held religious belief” that attendance at the 30-minute Friday prayer services was mandatory.  The Mavins complaint comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments this spring in another workplace-related religious accommodation case. Gerald Groff, a longtime U.S. Postal Service employee who is a Christian, is challenging that organization’s refusal to accommodate his need for Sundays off as a day of worship.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/feb/14/muslim-claims-southwest-airlines-fired-him-bwi-job/__________________________________________________________ 4. Imprisoned Nicaraguan bishop deserves US support, religious freedom advocates say, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, February 14, 2023, 4:52 PM The U.S. government must seek the release of Nicaragua’s Bishop Rolando Álvarez Lagos, sentenced to 26 years in prison for religious freedom advocacy. That is the urgent message from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). “We are appalled that Bishop Álvarez will now serve 26 years in prison for raising concerns about Nicaragua’s many religious freedom violations. This miscarriage of justice will not be forgotten,” USCIRF Commissioner Frederick A. Davie said Feb. 14. “USCIRF urges the U.S. government to call on the Nicaraguan government to release Bishop Álvarez immediately and unconditionally.” Álvarez, who has served as bishop of Matagalpa since 2011, last Thursday refused to board a plane with 222 released political prisoners, including four priests. The released prisoners were flown to the U.S. in an agreement with the U.S. State Department. On Friday Álvarez was stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship and sentenced to 26 years and four months in prison. He was accused of being a “traitor to the homeland.” Specific charges included undermining national security and sovereignty, spreading fake news, obstructing an official in the performance of his duties, and aggravated disobedience or contempt of authority.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253648/imprisoned-nicaraguan-bishop-deserves-us-support-religious-freedom-advocates-say__________________________________________________________ 5. South Dakota bans trans drugs, sex-change surgery for minors, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, February 14, 2023, 4:32 PM South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed legislation that will prohibit doctors from prescribing drugs or performing surgeries on minors that are intended to transition the child into a gender that is different from his or her sex. “South Dakota’s kids are our future,” Noem said in a statement. “With this legislation, we are protecting kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures. I will always stand up for the next generation of South Dakotans.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253647/south-dakota-bans-trans-drugs-sex-change-surgery-for-minors__________________________________________________________

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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