1. Pope To Receive Argentine President On February 12, By Agence France Presse, February 5, 2024 Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, will have a private audience with his compatriot Pope Francis on February 12, the Vatican said Monday. Milei is expected to repeat an invitation for Francis to visit Argentina. The 87-year-old pope has not been to his homeland since being named head of the Catholic Church in 2013.  Milei will also meet with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on his visit, which follows a trip to Israel this week.  https://www.barrons.com/news/pope-to-receive-argentine-president-on-february-12-d55028f4__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis Rebellion Grows as 90 Catholic Figures Sign Scathing Letter, By James Bickerton, Newsweek, February 4, 2024, 6:40 AM A group of 90 Catholic clergymen, scholars and authors have published a joint letter to “all Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church,” urging them to oppose a Vatican document approved by Pope Francis that allows priests to bless same-sex unions for the first time. In the letter, the Catholic conservatives say that Fiducia Supplicans, a Vatican doctrine released on December 18 and signed by the Pope, would lead to the blessing of “objectively sinful” relationships. They add that the cardinals and bishops should “forbid immediately the application of this document in your diocese” and “ask directly the Pope to urgently withdraw this unfortunate document, which is in contradiction with both Scripture and the universal and uninterrupted Tradition of the Church.”  Those who have signed the open letter include Gil Bailie, a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars; Dr. Regis Martin, a professor of theology at Franciscan University Steubenville; and Rev. Robert Sirico, president of the Catholic St. John Henry Newman Institute in Michigan.  https://www.newsweek.com/pope-francis-rebellion-grows-90-catholic-figures-sign-scathing-letter-1866617

__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope reaffirms Christians’ special relationship with Jews amid rising antisemitism, Gaza war, By Associated Press, February 3, 2024, 4:03 PM Pope Francis on Saturday reaffirmed Christians’ special relationship with Jews amid rising antisemitism since the outbreak of the Gaza war in a letter to the Jews of Israel that he said was prompted by messages from Jewish organizations around the world. The letter served as a belated fence-mending after Francis was criticized for his initial response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. Francis said the Holy Land has been “cast into a spiral of unprecedented violence,” part of what the pope referred to as “a sort of ‘piecemeal world war,’ with serious consequences on the lives of many populations.’’  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/02/03/vatican-pope-jews-gaza-war/cac69032-c2cb-11ee-a4c6-8f5c350e9316_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. The Pope’s Inquisitor Riles Conservatives. Some Call Him a Heretic, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández has alarmed some Catholics with guidelines on blessing same-sex couples and a book on orgasms, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2024, 11:01 AM The Vatican’s doctrinal office, historically known as the Inquisition, was once known as the guardian of orthodoxy, defining Catholic teaching and disciplining theologians who dissented from it. But under its current head, the office has been accused of deviating from tradition and even embracing heresy. Since taking over the office last year, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández has become a lightning rod for conservatives unsettled by Pope Francis’ conciliatory approach to homosexuality, a signature issue of his progressive reign and possibly the most polarizing topic currently being debated in the global Catholic Church. Fernández’s guidelines for the blessing of same-sex couples, issued in December, set off an extraordinary controversy among the church’s hierarchy around the world. Amid the furor, conservatives were also disconcerted by the rediscovery of the cardinal’s 25-year-old book on the spirituality of orgasms. In Africa, opposition to the document on blessings was so overwhelming that the Vatican ended up having to backtrack there, making an exception for the continent’s Catholics.  Incensed by Fernández ’s new rules, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa, Congo, traveled to Rome early in January to urge the pope to heed African Catholics’ concerns.  Francis put Ambongo in touch with Fernández and the next day the two cardinals sat down in front of a computer at the doctrinal office, with a secretary typing, to write out a statement, phoning the pope occasionally for approval of particular passages. The resulting document was a historically unusual compromise that exempted one part of the world from Catholic teaching applicable to the rest. It cited biblical injunctions against homosexual acts and said Africans considered same-sex unions “intrinsically corrupt,” and was released on Jan. 11 under the title: “No Blessing for Homosexual Couples in the African Churches.”  https://www.wsj.com/world/europe/the-popes-inquisitor-riles-conservatives-some-call-him-a-heretic-f70add41__________________________________________________________ 5. Canada postpones assisted suicide for mentally ill: Country ‘not ready’ for it, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, February 2, 2024, 2:30 PM The Canadian government will postpone until 2027 plans to expand its assisted suicide program to include those suffering from mental illness after a parliamentary report said the country’s health system is “not ready.” Canada first legalized assisted suicide in June 2016 for adults suffering from irreversibly deadly illnesses. In 2021, the government said it would wait an additional two years to extend those services to citizens suffering from mental illness to “study how MAID [medical assistance in dying] on the basis of a mental illness can safely be provided.” The government last year extended that delay by another year. Canadians suffering from mental illnesses were expected to be able to apply for assisted suicide by mid-March 2024.  On Thursday the government announced that the extension would be delayed until 2027, stating that the government-run health system “is not yet ready for this expansion.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256724/canada-postpones-assisted-suicide-for-mentally-ill-country-not-ready-for-it__________________________________________________________ 6. Bishop urges Utah lawmakers to protect seal of confession in sex abuse reporting bill, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, February 2, 2024, 5:45 PM Bishop Oscar Solis of the Diocese of Salt Lake City is urging lawmakers to protect the seal of confession when considering legislation that would change sex abuse reporting laws when the reporter is a member of clergy. proposed bill before the Utah Legislature would extend to members of the clergy the same legal protections when reporting sex abuse that are given to mandatory reporters. Essentially, the legislation would shield clergy from potential civil or criminal liability when reporting a potential abuser if he “reasonably believes that a child is the subject of ongoing abuse or neglect.” Unlike similar proposals in 2020 and 2023, the bill would not make the priest a mandatory reporter and would not require the priest to report on information learned when hearing a confession. However, the protection from legal liability would extend to the priest if he were to do so. Solis said the diocese, which encompasses the entirety of Utah, is not against this version of the bill. In his letter, the bishop discouraged lawmakers from altering the language in any way that would jeopardize the seal of confession.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256730/bishop-urges-utah-lawmakers-to-protect-seal-of-confession-in-sex-abuse-reporting-bill__________________________________________________________

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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