1. The Vatican Is Losing In Latin America, Brazil is poised to become minority Catholic as Pentecostals make big inroads in region, By Francis X. Rocca, Luciana Magalhaes and Samantha Pearson, The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022, Pg. A1For centuries, to be Latin American was to be Catholic; the religion faced virtually no competition. Today, Catholicism has lost adherents to other faiths in the region, especially Pentecostalism, and more recently to the ranks of the unchurched. The shift has continued under the first Latin American pope.  Seven countries in the region—Uruguay, the Dominican Republic and five in Central America—had a majority of non-Catholics in 2018, according to a survey by Latinobarómetro, a Chilean-based pollster. In a symbolic milestone, Brazil, which has the most Catholics of any country in the world, is expected to become minority-Catholic as soon as this year, according to estimates by academics that track religious affiliation. In Rio state, it has already happened. Catholics make up 46% of the population, according to the latest national census in 2010, and a little more than a third of some poverty-stricken favelas, or slums. https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-the-catholic-church-is-losing-latin-america-11641914388?___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis remembers the ‘desperate’ who killed themselves after losing their jobs in the pandemic, By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times, January 12, 2022 Pope Francis on Wednesday invited the faithful present at his weekly general audience to observe a moment of silence for “desperate” people who took their own lives after losing their jobs during the pandemic. Speaking off the cuff, Francis also appealed to government leaders to “give everyone the possibility of earning bread.” “It is an unction of dignity, work,” he added. “And this is important.” https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/01/12/world/omicron-covid-testing-vaccines/pope-francis-remembers-the-desperate-who-killed-themselves-after-losing-their-jobs-in-the-pandemic___________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Francis prays for workers ‘crushed by an unbearable burden’ in COVID-19 recession, By Catholic News Agency, January 12, 2022, 2:55 AM Pope Francis prayed on Wednesday for workers “crushed by an unbearable burden” amid the COVID-19 recession. At his Jan. 12 general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, the pope asked for a moment’s silence for workers who took their lives after losing their jobs amid the pandemic. “Many young people, many fathers and mothers, experience the ordeal of not having a job that allows them to live tranquilly, they live from day to day. And how often the search for work becomes so desperate that it drives them to the point of losing all hope and the desire to live,” he said. “In these times of pandemic, many people have lost their jobs — we know this — and some, crushed by an unbearable burden, reached the point of taking their own lives. I would like to remember each of them and their families today.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250083/pope-francis-prays-at-general-audience-for-workers-crushed-by-an-unbearable-burden-in-covid-19-recession___________________________________________________________ 4. Delaware AG sues town over fetal remains ordinance, By Randall Chase, Associated Press, January 11, 2022, 5:49 PM Delaware’s Democratic attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a small town’s passage of an ordinance mandating burial or cremation of fetal remains. The Seaford town council passed the ordinance last month regarding disposal of fetal remains following any abortion performed within the city limits. The move came after Planned Parenthood opened a facility in Seaford in September, its first clinic in southern Delaware since a Rehoboth Beach location closed in 2011. State officials are asking a Chancery Court judge to declare the ordinance invalid under Delaware law and to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting it from being enforced. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/delaware-ag-sues-town-over-fetal-remains-ordinance/2022/01/11/c5b01d4e-7330-11ec-a26d-1c21c16b1c93_story.html___________________________________________________________ 5. GOP bill in Florida would ban abortions after 15 weeks, By Curt Anderson and Brendan Farrington, Associated Press, January 11, 2022, 3:58 PM Most abortions would be banned in Florida after 15 weeks of pregnancy under bills filed Tuesday by Republicans on the first day of the state’s annual legislative session. The measures by Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Erin Grall are similar to a Mississippi law currently under challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court. It does not go as far, however, as a Texas law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy with enforcement provisions allowing citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone who assists in an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/gop-bill-in-florida-would-ban-abortions-after-15-weeks/2022/01/11/43829b8a-7321-11ec-a26d-1c21c16b1c93_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Outspoken Nigerian bishop says he is ‘fine’, amid reports he was called in for questioning by state police, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, January 11, 2022, 1:00 PM Following Nigerian media reports over the weekend that a Catholic bishop had been summoned for questioning by a state security agency, the bishop in question says he is “fine” and that “the matter [has] actually passed.” Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah told CNA in a Jan. 11 email that “For now, [I] am very fine and have been in my village for a week now.” Kukah, who leads the Sokoto diocese in Nigeria’s northwestern corner, criticized Nigeria’s government for complicity in the face of kidnappings and other persecution of the country’s Christians in a 2021 Christmas message.  Reports surfaced in Nigerian media last weekend that the State Security Service, a federal secret police force, reportedly took notice of Kukah’s remarks and ordered him to present himself for questioning, according to an unnamed source cited by the People’s Gazette.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250073/outspoken-nigerian-bishop-says-he-has-not-yet-been-called-in-for-questioning-by-state-secret-police-as-was-reported-over-the-weekend___________________________________________________________ 7. German bishop criticizes Synodal Path for postponing gender-neutral debate, By Catholic News Service, January 11, 2022 Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer criticized the Synodal Path for postponing a debate on gender-neutral language. The German Catholic news agency KNA reported that, in an open letter to the Synodal Presidium published Jan. 11, the Regensburg bishop wrote that the debate on such language in the texts of resolutions should be discussed at the next Synodal Assembly, Feb. 3-5, as promised to the delegates at the last assembly in October and also stated in the minutes.  In a news release accompanying Voderholzer’s letter, the Diocese of Regensburg said the issue should be addressed urgently because it went beyond the writing style and readability of documents. Texts with the “gender star” — formed by placing an asterisk after the stem of a noun to denote that it refers to all genders, including nonbinary people — would also be “an unmistakable commitment to gender ideology and thus a contradiction of biblically based anthropology.” https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2022/01/german-bishop-criticizes-synodal-path-for-postponing-gender-neutral-debate___________________________________________________________

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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