TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 94 – Father Mike Schmitz & Kathryn Jean Lopez
Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson chat with Father Mike Schmitz about his new podcast topping the charts, the SEEK 2021 Conference hosted by FOCUS, and he also answers a lightning-round of questions from some of his biggest fans! Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review also joins talking about religious liberty threats many still face in the era of COVID. Catch the show on EWTN radio every Saturday at 7amET/5pm.
1. Abraham’s Missing Child: Christians, Jews and Muslims make peace, but this endangered minority lacks a regional voice., By Robert Nicholson, The Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2021, Pg. A15, Opinion
The announcement that Israel would normalize ties with Muslim-majority Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates might have been the highlight of an otherwise dismal 2020. Yet these groundbreaking accords still lack one important child of Abraham. Do Near Eastern Christians have a seat at this table? If not, who can help get them there?
Years of international anxiety over the slow demise of Christianity in its ancient homeland hasn’t translated into action. The situation in old bastions like Lebanon, Syria and Iraq is now catastrophic. Egypt, with the largest population of Jesus followers in the region, isn’t much better. That the region’s second most afflicted religious group—after the devastated Yazidis—has gained the least from a long-overdue peace is a painful irony not lost on its persecuted members.

The conditions are ripe, the cause is just, and the opportunity is unprecedented to do right by all the children of Abraham. Working with regional partners, the U.S. can help Christians get a seat at the table.
Mr. Nicholson is president of the Philos Project.
 2. The New Republic’s Shameful Anti-Catholic Screed, By Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, February 4, 2021, 6:30 AM, Opinion
Why do progressives have a reputation for open hatred of Catholics and Catholicism? Only because they keep publishing things like Peter Hammond Schwartz’s latest essay in The New Republic, entitled “Originalism Is Dead. Long Live Catholic Natural Law.” To get the full flavor, you must begin with the illustration of Justice Amy Coney Barrett as the pope.

The essay’s atmosphere is full of familiar tropes of the Left. A shady, extreme, well-funded conspiracy is out to impose theocracy on America through the courts: “a 50-year saga of Catholic intellectual and theological penetration of the halls of power.” Naturally, “William F. Buckley, the devout and mystically inclined Catholic” is implicated as part of this “doorway to the medieval past.” Predictably, the Koch brothers are referenced, despite their conspicuously libertarian social views. The chief villains are “the three Leos — nineteenth-century Pope Leo XIII, twentieth-century German-American philosopher Leo Strauss, and twenty-first-century Federalist Society impresario Leonard Leo.” Schwartz uses the language of viral infection to describe the influence of Catholic thought.

The New Republic should be ashamed and embarrassed by this, if its editors are still capable of such a sentiment.
3. Pope, Muslim leader celebrate fraternity anniversary, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, February 4, 2021, 9:41 AM
Pope Francis and a top Sunni Muslim came together virtually Thursday to reinforce a message of fraternity, pressing forward with a broad-based Christian-Muslim peace initiative ahead of Francis’ planned trip to Iraq next month.
Thursday marked the first-ever 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.
4. German cardinal says he will keep promise to publish abuse report, By Catholic News Agency, February 4, 2021, 12:00 PM
A German cardinal facing calls to resign confirmed on Thursday that he would release an eagerly awaited report on abuse cases in his archdiocese next month.
Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki told the Kölnische Rundschau newspaper on Feb. 4 that he stood by his promise to release the Gercke Report on clerical abuse on March 18.
He also said that an independent commission would be granted access to another report, by the Munich law firm Westphal Spilker Wastl, which the Archdiocese of Cologne controversially declined to publish.
5. White House: Biden supports Equality Act, funding of Planned Parenthood, By Catholic News Agency, February 4, 2021, 4:00 PM
The White House on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to funding Planned Parenthood and supporting the Equality Act—a bill opposed by the U.S. bishops.
At Thursday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if President Joe Biden would “stand by” his promise to sign the Equality Act within his first 100 days in office.
“He stands by it,” Psaki said, noting that Congress would need to pass the bill first. She added that “we have 85 days to go” for Biden to make good on his promise.

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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“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.