1. Probe highlights Vatican legal system’s limited protections, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, January 12, 2020, 2:18 AM
A criminal investigation into a Vatican real estate investment is exposing weaknesses in the city state’s judicial system and a lack of some basic protections for those accused — highlighting the incompatibility of the Holy See’s procedures with European norms.
The Vatican has never been a democracy, but the incongruity of a government that is a moral authority on the global stage and yet an absolute monarchy is becoming increasingly evident. The pope is supreme judge, legislator and executive, who holds the ultimate power to hire and fire officials, judges and prosecutors and make and waive laws and regulations.
2. Benedict XVI to receive coronavirus vaccine, By Catholic News Agency, January 12, 2021, 3:30 AM
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI will receive the coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is available, his personal secretary said Tuesday.
Archbishop Georg Gänswein told CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, Jan. 12 that the 93-year-old former pope would be vaccinated “as soon as the vaccine is available.”
3. Joe Biden’s Catholicism is all about healing. Now, he will lead a suffering America, By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, January 11, 2021, 10:11 AM
Biden’s churchgoing ways haven’t remotely won over many of his fellow Catholics, particularly conservative ones who call him a heretic. Approval of Biden among Catholics is closely linked to partisan identity, and he only narrowly won the Catholic vote in November, by 52 percent to Trump’s 47 percent — compared with about 80 percent of Catholics who cast ballots for John F. Kennedy in 1960.

But to Jayd Henricks, a former top lobbyist for the bishops, Biden creates a crisis: He “undermines the prophetic work of the Church and her call to witness the truth and love of Jesus Christ,” Henricks wrote last month in First Things. “The bishops’ crisis in this situation is not a political crisis. It is a crisis of authority, a crisis of identity, and a crisis of faith.”
4. Supreme Court won’t hear PA abortion clinic free speech case, By Associated Press, January 11, 2021, 10:12 AM
The Supreme Court is declining to get involved in a case about free speech outside a Pittsburgh abortion clinic.
The high court turned away the case Monday. The court’s decision not to hear the case leaves in place a 2019 appeals court decision that upheld a Pittsburgh ordinance creating a 15-foot “buffer zone” where protests are barred around entrances to health care facilities. The decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed “sidewalk counseling” within that zone.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that he agreed with the court’s decision not to take up this particular case because it “involves unclear, preliminary questions about the proper interpretation of state law.” But he said the court should take up the issue of buffer zones in an appropriate case.
5. My college tried to stop me from speaking about religion. Now, we’ll meet in the Supreme Court, By Chike Uzuegbunam, The Washington Post, January 11, 2020, 1:42 PM, Opinion
That is how I came to have a case before the Supreme Court that will be heard on Tuesday.
In 2013, I enrolled at Georgia Gwinnett College, a public institution in Lawrenceville, Ga. I also became a Christian — a choice that brought me so much joy and purpose that I wanted to share my faith with as many people as possible.

One day, in 2016, a security guard approached, telling me I could not talk publicly about such things except in one of the college’s two “speech zones” — and a reservation would be needed. I went along with the policy, even though the zones made up 0.0015 percent of campus — the equivalent of a piece of paper on a football field — and were open only about 10 percent of the week.
But as I spoke for the first time in the zone I’d reserved, campus police stopped me again. They said someone had complained (I never learned the nature of the complaint), and — speech zone or not — I’d have to stop or face some unspecified punishment. All I was doing was speaking with students about something that mattered to me, the sort of thing I saw others doing in and out of the speech zones every day.

I spoke with attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, who helped me challenge the college’s restrictive policies in court, pointing out how blatantly those policies violated First Amendment protections of free speech. On a public campus, the U.S. Constitution protects the right of students to peacefully express themselves, including my freedom to speak about my faith.

The administrators of public universities, and government officials generally, shouldn’t get a pass when they violate someone’s constitutional rights. No matter a person’s religious or political beliefs, in the land of the free, liberty belongs to every American.
6. US Supreme Court directs Nevada governor to respond to Covid church limit challenge, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, January 11, 2021, 7:01 PM
The Supreme Court has given the governor of Nevada eight days to file a response to a church which argued that the state’s COVID-19 protocol was discriminatory against houses of worship.
In an order published Jan. 11, the Supreme Court directed Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) to respond to Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley before noon on Jan. 19. Calvary Chapel Dayton has until noon on Jan. 21 to file a reply brief.

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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