TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 195 – Sisters of Life on Lifefest & Dr. Ingrid Skop on Dangers of Abortion Pill With the March for Life just a week away, Sister Marie Veritas of the Sisters of Life joins Dr. Grazie Christie to discuss LifeFest featuring great Catholic artists, very moving testimonies, and Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lori ahead of the march. As the FDA has relaxed its rules yet again on the abortion pill, Dr. Ingrid Skop of the Charlotte Lozier Institute joins to discuss why this is such a tragic idea especially as it’s disguised as women’s health. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Cardinal Pell Faced Down a Hostile World, By Raymond J. de Souza, The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2023, Pg. A13, Opinion Australia’s Cardinal George Pell, who died Tuesday at 81, was the most influential Catholic churchman in the English-speaking world. Pell devoted his considerable talents and prodigious energies to proclaiming the Gospel, refusing to be cowed by a culture turning against its Christian heritage. Persecuted in his native Australia, he suffered a wrongful sexual-abuse conviction but emerged with his reputation intact and his credibility enhanced.  Pell prevailed over entrenched interests in Rome until he opposed attempts by Pope Francis to relax ancient doctrine on marriage and divorce. “As Christians, we follow Christ,” Pell said during the 2014 synod on the family. “Some may wish Jesus might have been a little softer on divorce, but he wasn’t. And I’m sticking with him.” The pontiff wasn’t pleased and gutted the authority of the secretariat for the economy, the new financial-reform body he had created and entrusted to Pell. Pope Francis eventually changed course and vindicated Pell’s reforms thoroughly. But by then Pell was no longer in Rome. He had returned to Australia in July 2017 to face a series of charges that he had sexually abused minors.  In a scathing assessment of the “Get Pell” spirit animating the prosecution and lower courts, the high court unanimously and emphatically overturned the convictions. It didn’t order a new trial but entered on its own authority the only verdict fitting for an innocent man—total acquittal. Pell emerged from prison demonstrating that the Catholic orthodoxy he always preached includes mercy, forgiveness and compassion. He spoke no ill words about his persecutors and published three volumes of his prison diaries, which revealed the inner Christian disciple that public caricatures concealed. Pell told friends that he was deeply touched that those diaries were being read to Pope Benedict XVI in the last weeks of his life. Pell was magnanimous and merciful. His ecclesial service was without parallel in Australia. And his witness during wrongful imprisonment was the crown of a public, deeply faithful and remarkably inspiring Catholic life. Father de Souza is a priest in Kemptville, Ontario, and a columnist with the National Post and National Catholic Register. 2. British Historian, Conservative Icon Dies, By David Luhnow and Max Colchester, The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2023, Pg. A16, Obituary Paul Johnson, a prolific journalist and popular historian who became an intellectual icon for political conservatives in both the U.S. and Britain, died Thursday at age 94. During his long career, the ginger-haired Catholic from Manchester with a combative streak became one of the most prominent leftist intellectuals who drifted to the right during the 1960s, moving from editor of the leftist New Statesman magazine to a regular columnist for the Spectator and eventually the right-wing Daily Mail tabloid.  Along the way, he wrote more than 50 books on topics ranging from Socrates to Queen Elizabeth I, as well as dozens of tomes on religious history, art and architecture, novels, memoirs and travel. His histories of the modern world, Jews, and Christianity were among the most prominent.  The son of an artist, Mr. Johnson received a religious upbringing and was a devout lifelong Catholic who kept a crucifix in his office, according to Mr. Nelson. He once presented Pope John Paul II a copy in Polish of his 600-page volume on the History of Christianity. 3. Catholic Charities protests status denial, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, January 13, 2023, Pg. A2 A Roman Catholic charity has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to declare it a religious organization, something the state’s unemployment bureau has fought for several years. The Catholic Charities Bureau in Superior, Wisconsin, sued the state’s Labor & Industrial Review Commission, which has opposed the designation. An appeals court said because the charity doesn’t evangelize its clients, the group isn’t “inherently” a religious entity, despite the church’s teaching that caring for the poor is a divine mandate, whether the people are Catholics, some other religion or none. “The lower court’s reasoning flies in the face of both the Constitution and simple common sense,” Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, which represents the charity, said in a statement. He said “it is absurd to suggest that Catholic Charities Bureau is not religious.”  The tussle over a religious exemption from the state’s unemployment insurance program — one historically granted to Catholic organizations and other religious groups — allows Catholic Charities to set up and administer their own unemployment benefits program. 4. Chaput: ‘Speaking the truth is polarizing’, Archbishop Charles Chaput has a view on some central issues in the life of the Church., By The Pillar, January 13, 2023, 7:00 AM, Interview Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., is the emeritus archbishop of Philadelphia, and a long-time leader among American bishops.  The archbishop, the author of four books, talked with The Pillar this week about the deaths of Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal George, the synod on synodality, and the Second Vatican Council. [Interviewer:] Archbishop, with the deaths of both Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal George Pell this month, it seems that two guiding stars for many people in Church have been lost. What will be the impact on the Church of their deaths? [Archbishop Chaput:] The Church will continue her work and her witness because she depends on no individual except Jesus Christ. But their absence is a very heavy loss because both men embodied articulate, faithful Christian intelligence in a remarkable way. No one in current Church leadership has the capacity to replace them. That will happen in time, but the talent bench at the moment seems pretty thin. [Interviewer:] Whether fairly or not, Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Pell were portrayed as polarizing figures. Perhaps polarization in the Church is not a new reality, but it seems that various “camps” within the Church have become more hostile to each other in recent years. Why is that? [Archbishop Chaput:] Speaking the truth is polarizing. It got Jesus killed. Bad people with bad ideas dislike good people trying to do good things. And that accounts for the contempt, resentment, and outright lying directed at both men over the years, including from people who describe themselves as Christians; people within the Church herself.  [Interviewer:] Archbishop, the notion of synodality seems to be a major theme of the Holy Father’s pontificate. What will be the outcome of the three-year ‘synod on synodality’ effort? [Archbishop Chaput:] About the outcome, I have no idea. About the process, I think it’s imprudent and prone to manipulation, and manipulation always involves dishonesty. The claim that Vatican II somehow implied the need for synodality as a permanent feature of Church life is simply false. The council never came close to suggesting that. Moreover, I was a delegate to the 2018 synod, and the way “synodality” was smuggled onto the agenda was manipulative and offensive. It had nothing at all to do with the synod’s theme of young people and the faith. Synodality risks becoming a kind of Vatican III Lite; a rolling council on a much more controllable, malleable scale. That wouldn’t serve the needs of the Church or her people. I served a term on the Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops starting in 2015. And I remember some brief discussions about the difficulty of holding another ecumenical council because of the large number of bishops today. But I’d be very wary of the idea that synodality can somehow take the place of an ecumenical council in the life of the Church. There’s no tradition of bishops delegating their personal responsibility for the universal Church to a smaller number of bishops, so any such development would need to be very carefully examined and discussed before any attempt at implementation. That’s not the current spirit or reality of what’s happening. 5. Cardinals in different camps agree papal resignation should be rare, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, January 13, 2023 Two prominent cardinals, one often seen as at odds with Pope Francis and another perceived as a papal loyalist, have agreed that papal resignations should not become the norm in the Catholic Church, but differed as to whether there’s a need for new rules for when it does happen. Speaking to journalists at a Jan. 10 book presentation, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a prominent conservative, said he did not think new norms are needed because the resignation of a pope is “something absolutely exceptional.”  However, Italian Jesuit Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a well-known canonist and a top aide to Pope Francis, was of the opposite view, saying “a legislation that determines the position of the pope who resigned would be opportune” in order to avoid any “ambiguities.” Both men agreed that papal resignations should not become the norm but should remain an exception, with a pope stepping down only in the case of true incapacity to fulfil the obligations of their office. 6. Stricter Medicaid abortion process up for debate in Montana, By Amy Beth Hanson, Associated Press, January 12, 2023, 7:09 PM Officials in Republican-controlled Montana on Thursday heard comments against a health department proposal to require prior authorization to pay for abortions for Medicaid patients. Critics say the proposal would unnecessarily reduce access and delay or even prevent abortion care for low-income women. The Department of Public Health and Human Services wants doctors to submit medical information supporting the need for an abortion to save a patient’s life or for any other medically necessary reason before Medicaid would agree to pay for the procedure. The information would include the number of her pregnancies and children.  The agency said it is putting into state rules a 1995 court decision that found Montana Medicaid has to cover the costs of “medically necessary” abortions, but not elective abortions. Montana is one of 16 states where Medicaid is required to cover “medically necessary” abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Under the proposed rule, the state wants to define a medically necessary abortion as one performed to protect the life of the mother or to prevent aggravation of an existing physical or psychological condition for which the patient is receiving treatment. 7. Vatican to hear from PR expert with grudge against cardinal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, January 13, 2023, 4:35 AM The Vatican’s big financial fraud and corruption trial took a soap opera turn Friday with court-ordered testimony from a public relations specialist who has long harbored a grudge against one of the prime defendants, Cardinal Angelo Becciu. Francesca Chaouqui was called to answer questions after text messages entered into the court record indicated that she helped coach Becciu’s key accuser into turning on the cardinal. Chaouqui has never hidden her fantasy of taking revenge on Becciu, whom she accused of being behind her 2015-2016 prosecution for passing confidential documents to journalists. She apparently found the chance to settle scores when Vatican police in 2019 began investigating the secretariat of state’s 350 million-euro investment in a London property. Prosecutors charged 10 people, including Becciu, with a host of financial crimes, alleging Vatican monsignors and external brokers fleeced the Holy See of tens of millions of euros in fees and commissions. 8. ‘Nothing but the Truth’: A reader’s guide to Archbishop Gänswein’s memoir, The memoir of Benedict XVI’s personal secretary is the most talked-about Catholic book in years. Here’s what’s in it., By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, January 12, 2023, 10:53 AM Archbishop Georg Gänswein’s memoir “Nothing but the Truth” is the most talked-about Catholic book in years. Released on Jan. 12, it recounts the archbishop’s experiences as Benedict XVI’s personal secretary and concludes with the pope emeritus’ death and funeral. The book, published in Italian by Edizioni Piemme, runs to more than 300 pages and is co-written with the journalist Saverio Gaeta. It has stirred controversy because of its candid description of the relationship between Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, and its citation of previously confidential documents. Here is The Pillar’s guide to the book’s characters and contents. 9. U.S. House passes resolution condemning attacks on pro-life centers and churches, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, January 12, 2023, 11:10 AM The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning recent attacks of vandalism, violence, and destruction against pro-life facilities, groups, and churches, and called on the Biden administration to investigate and prosecute the crimes.  House Resolution 1233, introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana), affirms “the sanctity of life and the important role pro-life facilities, groups, and churches play in supporting pregnant women, infants, and families.”  The resolution also calls on the Biden administration to “use all appropriate law enforcement authorities to uphold public safety and to protect the rights of pro-life facilities, groups, and churches.”  The measure passed Jan. 11 by a vote of 222-209, with just three of the 209 House Democrats joining all 219 House Republicans — except for three Republicans who did not vote — in approving the resolution. 10. Catholic bishops’ pro-life chair applauds passage of ‘Born-Alive’ Act, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, January 12, 2023, 8:56 AM The Catholic bishops’ pro-life chair is applauding the passage of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. “We commend the House of Representatives for passing legislation to protect innocent children from infanticide and urge the Senate to follow suit,” Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, said in a statement Wednesday. “Babies who are born alive during the process of an abortion deserve compassionate care and medical attention — just the same as any other newborn baby.”  Members voted 220 to 210 on Wednesday to pass the act, also known as H.R. 26. All 210 who voted against it were Democrats. Only one Democrat voted “yes” to the bill: Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas. Another Democrat, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, voted “present.” The act requires medical care for babies who survive attempted abortions. It promises “to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

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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