1. After George Pell, they broke the mold for Catholic cardinals, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, January 11, 2023, Opinion In reaction to the surprise death of Cardinal George Pell of Australia last night, it’s likely that a good deal of media attention will focus on the impact for the conservative wing of the Catholic Church, coming as it does hard on the heels of the recent passing of Pope Benedict XVI. That’s fair enough, since Benedict was, in a sense, the Thinker-in-Chief for conservative Catholicism, while, especially in the English-speaking realm, Pell was more akin to its field general. He was a born battler, a former Australian Rules Football star and the son of a heavyweight boxing champion, who could translate Benedict’s lofty defense of Catholic orthodoxy into the hurly-burly of both secular and ecclesiastical politics. Over the course of his life, four titanic battles defined much of Pell’s public legacy.  His crusade against what he saw as an anti-Roman affect in Aussie Catholicism, an over-emphasis on an egalitarian and “live and let live” ethos that sometimes, as he saw it, translated into going soft on Catholic faith and morals. The effort to bring his country more into the Roman orbit defined much of his career as Archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney in the 1990s and 2000s. Defending Catholic orthodoxy on the global stage and in Rome, where Pell did everything in his power to promote like-minded conservatives and to resist the inroads of figures he saw as compromised or fuzzy. Among other things, Pell played the role of kingmaker among English-speaking cardinals in two conclaves, lobbying successfully for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2005, who become Pope Benedict, and unsuccessfully in 2013 for Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola. Pushing honesty and transparency in Vatican finances, a battle he fought at a distance as a member of a Council of Cardinals advising the Prefecture for Economic Affairs under Popes John Paul and Benedict, and which he waged more in earnest as Pope Francis’s first-ever Secretary for the Economy beginning in 2014. Pell’s struggle to save his own reputation, even his freedom, when charges of sexual abuse were lodged against him in his home country in 2017. After one jury was unable to reach a verdict, a second convicted Pell and he would ultimately spend roughly 400 days in prison before being exonerated by Australia’s highest court in April 2020. Pell would publish a three-volume set of memoirs documenting his prison experience.  In each of those battles, Pell won some and lost some, but he never lost his zest for the fight. He was an effective leader for those who shared his views, because there was no guile about him. One never had the sense of a hidden agenda with Pell; it was always right there, in plain view.  No matter what else one might conclude, from here on out Roman Catholicism is going to be just a little less interesting, a little more gray and dull, because George Pell isn’t around. He will be missed … by many, many, people, and certainly by me. Requiescat in pace. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2023/01/after-george-pell-they-broke-the-mold-for-catholic-cardinals__________________________________________________________ 2. Cardinal Pell, whose convictions were overturned, dies at 81, By Rod McGuirk, Nicole Winfield and Nick Perry, Associated Press, January 11, 2023 Cardinal George Pell, a onetime financial adviser to Pope Francis who spent 404 days in solitary confinement in his native Australia on child sex abuse charges before his convictions were overturned, died Tuesday in Rome. He was 81. Pell suffered fatal heart complications following hip surgery, said Archbishop Peter Comensoli, Pell’s successor as archbishop of Melbourne. Pell had been in Rome to attend the funeral last week of Pope Benedict XVI. https://apnews.com/article/pope-francis-religion-victoria-child-abuse-vatican-city-2124df94744bb3aae1355da240271150__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope honors Cardinal George Pell, divisive Australian cleric, By Rod McGuirk, Nicole Winfield and Nick Perry, Associated Press, January 11, 2023, 7:01 AM Pope Francis on Wednesday paid tribute to Cardinal George Pell, who spent 404 days in solitary confinement in his native Australia before his child sex convictions were overturned, praising his diligence in reforming the Vatican’s finances and his faith “even in the hour of trial.” Francis sent a telegram of condolences to the head of the College of Cardinals, expressing his “sadness” over Pell’s death and relaying his prayers and sympathy to the Australian prelate’s family. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/cardinal-pell-who-had-sex-convictions-reversed-dies-at-81/2023/01/11/6adc9708-9170-11ed-90f8-53661ac5d9b9_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Pell remembered as ‘deeply polarizing’ but ardent warrior for Christ, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, January 11, 2023 Friends and foes alike are reflecting on the life and legacy of the late Cardinal George Pell of Australia after his death Tuesday, with many praising his deep faith and lifelong commitment to the church, and others criticizing his record on clerical abuse and his bullish tactics of public engagement. A former top aide of Pope Francis charged with overseeing the Holy See’s financial reforms, who was charged with clerical sexual abuse and later acquitted after spending nearly 400 days behind bars, Pell died unexpectedly Tuesday night at Rome’s Salvator Mundi Hospital at the age of 81 due to complications after a hip surgery.  In a statement following Pell’s passing, the Catholic Association recalled him as “both a vanguard of orthodoxy and a fearless reformer.” Pell, they said, “was both unafraid to defend Church teaching to the world and unafraid to challenge the Church herself where reforms were needed. He suffered as a result.” Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow for The Catholic Association, said that Pell has now left this life for the next “with his name unambiguously cleared of the shameless attempts to besmirch it. He will be remembered for his courage before the Church and the world. He was a true lion of the Church.” https://cruxnow.com/church-in-asia-oceania/2023/01/pell-remembered-as-deeply-polarizing-but-ardent-warrior-for-christ__________________________________________________________ 5. Ohio AG asks justices to lift order blocking abortion law, By Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, January 10, 2023, 5:58 PM Ohio’s attorney general has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to weigh in on the future of the state’s near-ban on abortions, despite arguing less than six months ago that the same court lacked jurisdiction to determine the paused law’s constitutionality. Republican Attorney General Dave Yost appealed for the high court’s intervention on Jan. 3. The filing came after Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins preliminarily blocked the law and the First District Court of Appeals denied Yost’s attempt to appeal Jenkins’ ruling. Yost is now asking the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse that ruling, arguing that “(t)rial courts that issue such injunctions have every incentive to drag out lower-court proceedings, ensuring their orders remain in effect — and that state laws with which they disagree remain unenforceable — for as long as possible.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ohio-ag-asks-justices-to-lift-order-blocking-abortion-law/2023/01/10/4f44e5bc-913a-11ed-90f8-53661ac5d9b9_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Illinois lawmakers greenlight enhanced abortion protections, By Claire Savage, The Washington Post, January 10, 2023, 11:51 PM Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday approved a measure protecting Illinois’ access to abortion from out-of-state meddling, making the state the latest to pursue such protections since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June. The bill, ready for action by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who supports it, would shield reproductive and gender-affirming health care patients and providers from legal action originating across state lines in a post-Roe world where some states are moving swiftly to restrict such procedures. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/illinois-lawmakers-weigh-heightened-abortion-protections/2023/01/10/c98c44ca-9138-11ed-90f8-53661ac5d9b9_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican court schedules hearing for auditor’s lawsuit despite investigation, A Vatican court has scheduled a preliminary hearing for the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Libero Milone, despite a criminal investigation., By The Pillar, January 10, 2023, 3:39 PM A Vatican City court has scheduled a preliminary hearing for the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Libero Milone, the former Vatican auditor who was accused by Cardinal Angelo Becciu of spying on the private lives of Vatican officials. The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25, despite an ongoing criminal investigation into the plaintiff. Under Vatican law, a criminal investigation into the same events should suspend the lawsuit, raising questions about both the legal tactics of Vatican prosecutors, and about how the lawsuit might overlap with the ongoing Vatican financial corruption trial. Milone was named the Vatican’s first auditor general in 2015. After two years in that job, Milone was forced to resign under threat of legal prosecution after he was accused by the then sostituto at the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, of “spying” on senior Vatican officials. The former auditor general claims he was forced from office for doing his job, and for uncovering evidence of fraud, misappropriation of funds, embezzlement, and other financial crimes among senior churchmen, including cardinals. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/vatican-court-schedules-hearing-for-auditors-lawsuit-despite-investigation/__________________________________________________________ 8. Catholic bishop arrested by dictatorship in Nicaragua to be put on trial, By Catholic News Agency, January 10, 2023, 5:00 PM Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who has been held under house arrest in Nicaragua by the dictatorship of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, since August 2022, will be put on trial, accused of “conspiracy” and spreading “fake news” against the regime. In a hearing held today, amid complaints of serious irregularities in the process, the case against Álvarez, of the Diocese of Matagalpa, was referred “to trial.” According to a statement from the judiciary, “in the Managua Criminal District Courts, the initial hearing of the criminal proceeding was held, in which Rolando José Álvarez Lagos appeared as accused of the crimes of conspiracy to undermine national security and sovereignty and the propagation of fake news through information and communication technologies to the detriment of the Nicaraguan State and society.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253311/catholic-bishop-arrested-by-dictatorship-in-nicaragua-to-be-put-on-trial__________________________________________________________ 9. House Republicans to bring pro-life legislation to vote, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, January 11, 2023, 5:00 AM The new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is considering several issues in the new year. Abortion, they say, is one of them. Republicans this week plan to focus on at least two abortion-related pieces of legislation: a “born-alive” bill to protect babies who survive attempted abortions, and a resolution condemning the growing number of attacks on pro-life organizations, including churches and pregnancy centers. With a newly sworn-in Congress, Republicans are engaging in a renewed effort to pass pro-life legislation — even if pro-life policy is likely to stall in the Democrat-controlled Senate. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253313/house-republicans-to-bring-pro-life-legislation-to-a-vote__________________________________________________________

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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