1. Mexican cardinals found guilty of trying to influence federal elections, By Inés San Martín, Crux, January 25, 2022Two Mexican cardinals were found guilty of “proselytism” during last June’s election, with a court claiming they “pressured and/or induced” their religious community to vote for a particular candidate or party. The Superior Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judiciary of the Federation (TEPJF) of Mexico confirmed the sentence against Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico City and Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, the archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara. Two other priests were also found guilty. They were found guilty of transgressing the “principle of Church-State separation” recognized in Mexico’s constitution. They were charged after encouraging Catholics to vote in defense of life, family and the common good during the 2021 federal elections. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-americas/2022/01/mexican-cardinals-found-guilty-of-trying-to-influence-federal-elections___________________________________________________________ 2. Germany: 125 LGBT Catholic Church employees demand respect, By Associated Press, January 24, 2022 More than 120 employees of the Catholic Church in Germany publicly outed themselves as “queer” on Monday, saying they want to “live openly without fear” in the church and pushing demands for it to allow the blessing of same-sex couples and change its labor rules. A group of 125 people — including priests, religion teachers and administrative employees — identified themselves as backers of the initiative titled “#OutInChurch — For a church without fear.”  “The #OutInChurch initiative demands … to change the church’s labor law in such a way that a life in accordance with one’s own sexual orientation and gender identity, also in a partnership or civil marriage, does not lead to exclusion from tasks and offices nor to dismissal,” supporters of the initiative wrote. The German Bishops’ Conference welcomed the initiative, according to dpa. “I would like to welcome this on behalf of the German Bishops’ Conference as a sign that we are working to ensure that such a climate of freedom from fear must prevail and arise in our church,” Aachen Bishop Helmut Dieser said on the sidelines of consultations of the Bishops’ Conference Permanent Council in Würzburg. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2022/01/germany-125-lgbt-catholic-church-employees-demand-respect___________________________________________________________ 3. A Faithful Way to Learn, By Naomi Schaefer Riley, The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion What kind of child does well in school? The answer is hardly surprising: one who has respect for authority, an ability to get along with fellow students, a stable family, exposure to responsible adults and a feeling of hope. These days, in the U.S., such characteristics are more often found among middle- and upper-class children than among less-well-off students. What if there were one particular element in a child’s experience that could foster such characteristics in everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status? In “God, Grades, and Graduation,” Ilana Horwitz suggests that religion can play such a role. Of course, nothing is simple, and Ms. Horwitz’s analysis is anything but reductive or unnuanced. But she finds a rich store of data to support such a claim in the National Study of Youth and Religion, a large-scale longitudinal survey run by the University of Notre Dame. Young people who are “abiders”—that is, who are active in religious communities and who have adopted their family’s faith as their own—“are likely to have an academic advantage because religion and schools are complementary institutions.” In particular, “adolescents who thrive in one institution are likely to thrive in the other.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/god-grades-and-graduation-review-a-faithful-way-to-learn-11643066145?___________________________________________________________ 4. 20 Years Later, an Occasion for Reparation and Rectification: Reflections on the Poisonous Sex-Abuse Scandal, The crisis in the Catholic Church burst into the public consciousness two decades ago., By Father Roger Landry, National Catholic Register, January 25, 2022, Opinion As we mark the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the toxic avalanche of revelations about decades of clergy sexual abuse of minors in Boston and beyond, two headlines are clear. The first is the unfathomable scope of what had happened and remained hidden prior to that apocalypse: tens of thousands of victims, thousands of clerical molesters, hundreds of bishops and senior chancery officials who had covered up the abuse and transferred the abusers, and the entrenched culture of corruption that enabled all of it.  The second is far more hopeful. It’s that the evils exposed in 2002 have proven to be reserved, for the most part, to well before 2002.  Twenty years into the rebuilding process, it’s also time to address its by now obvious imperfections. When the U.S. bishops convened in Dallas in 2002 to draft their “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” and its accompanying norms, they did so under panic and pressure from the press, lawsuits and furious faithful.  One was the bishops’ failure to hold themselves accountable to the charter and norms, something that has thankfully been remedied by Pope Francis’ 2019 apostolic letter Vos Estis Lux Mundi, precipitated by the scandalous disclosures about abuse committed by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The biggest problem regards justice toward accused priests, to ensure they don’t become scapegoated victims of false accusations. The original understanding of the undefined term “credible” regarding allegations was absurdly low: It meant that the charge was not patently “impossible,” that the priest wasn’t already dead when the abuse took place, and that the allegation involved a who, what, when and where. If the priest had a rock-solid alibi and sterling character with youth, if the accuser had a reputation for chronic dishonesty, if the details were incoherent and contradictory, it really didn’t matter. The priest was removed for the length of an inexcusably glacial investigation, a press release published, the presumption of innocence given lip service and his reputation effectively ruined.  Some bishops and review boards have tried to invent an undefined term — “substantiated” — to get beyond the concerns with the word “credible,” but after too many false accusations, now is the time to ensure that the procedures are fair toward both accuser and accused and rightly foster a swift and just outcome.  It’s also time to address courageously the real causes of the crisis, the most prominent of which was a widespread culture of episcopal tolerance toward priestly sexual sins with adults, within an even wider tolerance among the faithful toward the vices of the sexual revolution. If the clergy aren’t held accountable to keeping the Ten Commandments, then no one should be surprised if the forces of hell lead them to transgress further boundaries and commit sins that cry out to heaven. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/20-years-later-an-occasion-for-reparation-and-rectification-reflections-on-the-poisonous-sex-abuse-scandal___________________________________________________________ 5. Archbishop Cordileone: ‘The Solution to Building a Culture of Life is Being True Christians’, ‘The new secular religion of our own time takes on this practice in an almost sacramental way: indeed, abortion has become, for them, their blessed sacrament, what they hold most sacred, the doctrine and practice upon which their whole belief system is built.’, By Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, National Catholic Register, January 24, 2022, Opinion There is an old saying, a question really, that is a sort of a self-assessment of faith, a way of gauging where one is at in terms of walking with the Lord Jesus: “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Just what is that evidence? The readings we just heard proclaimed in our Mass today give us the answer: the Beatitudes.  A simplistic way of looking at the Beatitudes might see them merely as a list of efforts with corresponding rewards.  But that’s not really the point.  It is better to see the Beatitudes as the hallmarks of the Christian life, very similar to what St. James tells us about true wisdom, and its opposite, false wisdom.   The false wisdom, he says, is not from above but earthly; he calls it unspiritual, and most notably, demonic.  What are the signs of this demonic influence?  Jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, and “every foul practice” – that is to say, all that is evil and wrong.  In our own time, this has all become a sort of religion of its own, one that takes the form of a hyper-aggressive, anti-Christian kind of a secularism.  This is all around us nowadays, and this kind of secularism has all the marks of a religion: infallible dogmas, rituals, saints, creedal statements and condemnation of heretical teachings along with punishment of the heretics who hold them and dare to speak them in public, index of forbidden books, even sacraments.  On this last point this new religion mirrors the pagan, which is to say demonic, religions of the ancient biblical world, religious practices to which even God’s Chosen People succumbed.  The new secular religion of our own time takes on this practice in an almost sacramental way: indeed, abortion has become, for them, their blessed sacrament, what they hold most sacred, the doctrine and practice upon which their whole belief system is built.  That is why we see such visceral and violent reaction to any even minimal regulation of abortion in the law, regulations that even those who believe it should be kept legal would see as reasonable, such as informed consent and parental consent.  It should come as no surprise that the first to challenge the Texas Heartbeat Bill was the Satanic Temple, and precisely on the grounds of deprivation of religious liberty: they need abortion to carry out their religious rituals.  The true Christian is the one who lives according to true wisdom and so is on the path to lasting happiness, a path which is walked by means of the virtues, both the natural and the theological virtues.  And God gives us the help that we need, above all the grace of the sacramental life of the Church.  We have the real Blessed Sacrament.  How much of the desecration of human life we witness in our time is due to a loss of the sense of the sacred, even that which is most sacred, the Blessed Sacrament?  Do we do all possible to respect the integrity of the Blessed Sacrament and avoid its desecration by receiving reverently and worthily, always giving God our best in worship?  May God grant us the grace to live this way, in accordance with His plan, so that, if we ever are arrested for being Christians, there will be plenty of evidence to convict us.  Then we will be able to rejoice and be glad, for a pure conscience wins the day, and God will grant us a great reward in His heavenly Kingdom of eternal light, rest and peace. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/archbishop-cordileone-the-solution-to-building-a-culture-of-life-is-being-true-christians___________________________________________________________

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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