TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 146 – Tom Carroll On Catholic Schools Week & Scot Landry Talks Edify!As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, Dr. Grazie Christie chats with Tom Carroll, superintendent of Boston Catholic schools about the successes they continue to have during the ongoing pandemic, and Tom’s continued mission of putting the ‘Catholic’ back in Catholic schools–especially as so many secular forces permeate the culture. We also check in with Scot Landry about his new project, EDIFY, launched by Catholic Vote’s Education Fund, a digital platform offering videos featuring leading Catholic thought leaders on issues affecting our world today. His twin brother, Father Roger Landry, also offers his weekly homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel! Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pm ET on EWTN radio! 1. German Catholic Leaders Support Married Priests, Raising Pressure on Pope Francis, Progressive German synod is also expected to call for ordination of women as deacons, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2022, 6:56 AM German Catholic bishops and lay leaders on Friday called on Pope Francis to loosen the church’s rules on priestly celibacy, two years after he decided not to do so. The step is the latest in the Germans’ progressive drive, which has prompted calls for caution from the pope and warnings from conservatives that it could split the world-wide church.  The draft statement adopted on Friday said that a shortage of priests in Germany was one reason for opening the priesthood to married men. It also suggested a link to the clerical sexual-abuse crisis, arguing that “obligatory celibacy may attract a disproportionately large number of men who are unsure of their sexuality, of their sexual identity and orientation, and wish to avoid confronting it.” A separate statement, slated for debate and voting later in the day, called for the ordination of women as deacons.  The synod was scheduled to vote Saturday on another draft statement calling for the institution of formal blessings for unmarried couples, both straight and gay, in the liturgy of the German church. 2. Biden joins pope, imam in calling for ‘human fraternity’, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 4, 2022, 4:52 AM U.S. President Joe Biden joined Pope Francis and a leading Sunni imam on Friday in calling for greater global cooperation to fight the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other world crises on the second anniversary of a landmark Christian-Muslim peace initiative. The Vatican released a statement from Biden marking the International Day of Human Fraternity, a U.N.-designated celebration of interfaith and multicultural understanding inspired by a landmark document signed on Feb. 4, 2019, in Abu Dhabi by Francis and Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb, the imam of the Al-Azhar center for Sunni learning in Cairo. 3. The Pandemic Has Reaffirmed the Value of Catholic Education, By Ashley E. Mcguire, National Review, February 3, 2022, 10:16 AM, Opinion As Catholic Schools Week comes to a close, I find myself looking back on not just a week, but a pandemic. Like so many, I hope that this latest surge is the beginning of the end. Time will, of course, tell. But we don’t need time to know that Catholic schools have done a singular job navigating this once-in-a-century pandemic-and-lockdown crisis. Last year, my home state of Colorado declared a state of emergency for pediatric mental health, with suicide as the leading cause of death among children older than 10. Not long after, the surgeon general of the United States made a similar declaration and issued a 40-page report detailing the ways that the lockdowns have crushed the spirits of America’s children. Are we surprised? For some 55 million children, school was basically closed for 18 months. Now those kids remain on a Covid roller coaster without a kill switch. The remotest of contact with even an asymptotic case, and they are out of school for weeks more. Silent lunches. K-N95 masks at recess. Weekly nasal swabs. Snow days on Zoom. This is Covid-lockdown life for countless of America’s school-age kids. Catholic schools have been a haven from this insanity. Not only did they walk bravely into the storm and open in the fall of 2020, well before a vaccine was even on the horizon, but they have stayed open and nimbly adjusted each time the guidance from government and health experts changed. Last year, I profiled Little Flower School in Bethesda, Md., the parochial school where three of my own children attend, bragging that six months into reopening, the school hadn’t once closed because of an outbreak. A full year later, only one of my three school-age children has missed a total of two school days for quarantining. My story embodies the reality that the Catholic-school approach to Covid was a courageous and extraordinary success. But what Catholic schools have done for the millions of children who are lucky enough to attend them isn’t just about keeping kids at their desks. These schools have been ports in a storm, offering children a place to be children even amid the lockdown protocols that have robbed kids of their childhood. The Catholic-school mission as stated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop is to educate “the whole person.” Catholic schools have stayed true to this ideal and have proved to be a place where children can flourish in a holistic way despite the death and disease and fear swirling around them.  It is only fitting that just as America’s Catholic schools led the way into the dark by bravely and safely reopening, now they’re leading the way out. 4. Pope Francis asks nuns ‘to fight’ against sexism within the Catholic Church, By Maite Fernández Simon, The Washington Post, February 3, 2022, 2:23 PM Pope Francis is urging nuns to push back against sexism within the Catholic Church. In a video posted to his official Twitter account on Tuesday, the pontiff asked people to pray for religious sisters and consecrated women and highlighted their service. “What would the Church be without religious sisters and consecrated laywomen?” Francis said. “The Church cannot be understood without them.” Speaking in Spanish, he prompted nuns to work to better the life of the poor and the marginalized, and to fight back against sexism, especially within the Church. 5. Peter’s Pence USCCB lawsuit is stalled, but not over, By The Pillar, February 3, 2022 Parties have waited more than a year for a federal judge to decide whether to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the U.S. bishops’ conference fraudulently promoted the annual Peter’s Pence collection, but a lawyer for the plaintiff says he expects the case could soon begin moving forward. And while the lawyer who originally filed the suit in 2020 was credentialed last month as the United States ambassador to Argentina, the attorney now leading the case says he is optimistic about the plaintiffs’ claim, and confident in his legal team. The class-action lawsuit was filed in January 2020 by plaintiff David O’Connell, a Rhode Island Catholic. The suit says that while the USCCB promoted the Peter’s Pence offertory collection as an effort to help the Church’s global relief efforts, most of the money collected — hundreds of millions of dollars — was placed by the Vatican Secretariat of State into suspect investment funds or used “to plug holes in the Vatican’s administrative budget.”   The USCCB denied in court most of the lawsuit’s allegations, saying in July 2020 that while it “assists the Holy See in the promotion of the Peter’s Pence Collection” it does not “administer, oversee, collect or receive funds for the Peter’s Pence Collection.” The bishops asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, and a hearing was held in January 2021. But before the case’s judge issued a ruling, she was promoted to a new bench, and there has been no progress in the lawsuit for more than a year. 6. Tennessee Down syndrome abortion ban back in effect while legal challenges continue, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, February 3, 2022, 2:00 PM A Tennessee law restricting abortions based on sex, race, or prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is back in effect for now, as legal challenges against the law continue to play out in court.   The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 allowed the law to go back into effect, after having blocked it last September. That same court last year allowed a similar ban in Ohio to remain in effect.

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.