1. Pope Francis: Visiting the sick is a Christian imperative, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, January 4, 2022, 5:05 AM In a message ahead of the World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis reminded Catholics that caring for the ill and infirm is not the calling of a few, but part of every Christian’s mission to show mercy. “I would like to remind everyone that closeness to the sick and their pastoral care is not only the task of certain specifically designated ministers; visiting the sick is an invitation that Christ addresses to all his disciples,” the pope said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250009/pope-francis-visiting-the-sick-is-a-christian-imperative___________________________________________________________ 2. English cardinal grateful to be honored by queen in annual New Year’s list, By Luke Coppen, Catholic News Agency, January 4, 2022, 3:31 AM A cardinal said on Monday that he was grateful to be honored by Queen Elizabeth II in the British monarch’s annual New Year’s list. Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald, a former president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, was made an OBE — or Officer of the Order of the British Empire — by the queen on Dec. 31 for “for services to Interfaith and Interchurch Partnership.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250007/english-cardinal-grateful-to-be-honored-by-queen-in-annual-new-year-s-list___________________________________________________________ 3. How a Liberal Foundation Bankrolled Abortion Pills in the Name of Population Control, By Collin Anderson, Free Beacon, January 4, 2022, 5:00 AM Roughly a decade before his death in 1996, tech titan David Packard issued a controversial directive to his children. Skyrocketing birth rates, the Hewlett-Packard cofounder wrote, could one day cause “utter chaos for humanity.” As a result, Packard asserted, his multibillion-dollar foundation must hold one priority above all others: population control.  His liberal offspring took the billionaire’s desire to curb population growth as a jumping off point. While the foundation is unbound legally to honor Packard’s policy wishes, they found a way to embrace his views and pursue their own liberal activism—through expanded abortion access, a mission toward which they devoted nearly $350 million in the last five years alone, according to a review of the foundation’s financial disclosures.  In 2017, the Packard Foundation gave $1,000,000 to the Reproductive Freedom Project, a division of the American Civil Liberties Union that works to “ensure that all in our society have access to” abortion. That year, Reproductive Freedom Project attorneys sued the FDA to challenge its abortion pill restrictions, which required patients to receive abortion pills in person from specialty clinics. Months later, in 2018, the foundation invested $500,000 in GenBioPro. The Nevada-based private company makes the generic form of mifepristone, an oral drug used to cause an abortion. It invested an additional $1.5 million in GenBioPro in 2019, the same year the company’s generic abortion pill received FDA approval and hit the market. At the same time, the foundation spent millions of dollars on political campaigns promoting increased access to abortion pills.  GenBioPro, which did not return a request for comment on its relationship with the Packard Foundation, will undoubtedly benefit from the decision. In the FDA’s online explainer of its new abortion pill regulations, the agency noted that GenBioPro’s generic pill “can be safely substituted for” the brand-name version of the drug, Mifeprex. The Packard Foundation also helped bring Mifeprex to market, providing its manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, with a $14 million loan in 1996.  The foundation declined to comment on its GenBioPro investment specifically. https://freebeacon.com/democrats/how-a-liberal-foundation-peddled-abortion-pills-in-the-name-of-population-control/___________________________________________________________4. Abortion providers go back to Supreme Court in long-shot bid to challenge Texas abortion law, By Ariane de Vogue, CNN, January 3, 2022, 6:43 PM Abortion providers on Monday asked the Supreme Court to require a conservative federal appeals court to return their challenge to Texas’ six-week abortion ban to a district court judge who previously ruled in their favor. The long-shot bid on the part of the providers is their latest attempt to revive their challenge to the law, four months after it was allowed to take effect, bringing to a halt abortions in the country’s second largest state.  The current dispute centers on whether the appeals court should immediately return what is left of the providers’ case to a district court judge who has expressed deep skepticism over the law, or whether the case can remain in the conservative leaning 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals for proceedings that could take months to resolve, further delaying the providers’ case. https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/03/politics/texas-abortion-providers-supreme-court/index.html___________________________________________________________ 5. Five predictions for Pope Francis and the Vatican in 2022, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, January 4, 2022, Opinion 1. The ‘trial of the century’ collapses under its own weight  2. The Synod on Synodality becomes a lightning rod  In the spring and summer of 2022, dioceses in various parts of the world will report the results of their consultations with priests, religious and laity, and most of that material will become public knowledge. As it rolls in, some Catholics are going to have issues with the content – perhaps especially because the diocesan bishops most gung-ho about the synod are Pope Francis loyalists, so the first phase may elicit largely “progressive” input.  3. There will be a Sant Gallen Group of the center-right Famously, this informal group of influential center-left prelates, inspired by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan, was named for the Swiss diocese where they held their initial sessions in the late 1990s. At various points the lineup included figures such as Cardinals Godfried Danneels of Belgium, Walter Kasper and Karl Lehmann of Germny, and Cormac Murphy O’Connor in the UK. The idea was to talk strategy for what would happen after the long reign of Pope John Paul II, ideally to find someone who could lead the church in a more progressive direction. The group more or less fell apart after the conclave of 2005, but several participants later played leading roles in the conclave of 2013 that produced Pope Francis. I don’t know if there already is a Sant Gallen Group for center-right prelates, but if there isn’t, I’m sure there will be soon.  4. More bishops will fall It may be difficult to believe that there are still Catholic bishops in power anywhere in the world still vulnerable to disclosures regarding clerical sexual abuse, either mismanagement of charges against others or accusations regarding their own personal conduct. Yet the reality is that the Catholic Church likely may still be nearer the beginning of this crisis than the end.  5. The U.S. is again a headache for Pope Francis Since he was elected as President of the U.S. Bishops Conference in 2019, the perception has been that Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has led the conference in a somewhat more conservative direction that the tone being set by Francis. Gomez’s term is up in November 2022, so the bishops will have to elect a successor, and whatever they do will be read as a referendum of where they stand now vis-à-vis Francis. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/01/five-predictions-for-pope-francis-and-the-vatican-in-2022___________________________________________________________ 6. Liturgical discipline: It’s about the people, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, January 1, 2022, 7:58 AM, Opinion On Christmas Day, Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich issued new policies tightening restrictions on the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy, in light of recent guidance from the Vatican on Pope Francis’ motu proprio Traditiones custodes. The Chicago policy, which was highlighted by official Vatican media, says its aim is “communion” and fostering “the link between the way we worship and what we believe.” After its promulgation, some commentators have noted prominent instances of novelty or abuses inserted into the Ordinary Form of the liturgy in different places, including the Archdiocese of Chicago.  On Christmas Eve, the parish of St. Sabina celebrated a Mass featuring a light show, jazz musicians, and a number of departures from the liturgical texts for the Ordinary Form of the Mass by the celebrant — including deviations from the approved texts for the words of consecration. It was not a liturgy, some Catholic commentators have argued, which appears to embody what Cupich has said he wants to see in the archdiocese, namely the“full acceptance of the liturgical books.” So will the cardinal crack down? To date, there has been no comment from the chancery, and the chances of a response are not high. Some Catholics in Chicago are likely to say silence at St. Sabina is a kind of proof that Cupich’s policy on the Extraordinary Form isn’t actually about fostering unity, or promoting the dignity of the Ordinary Form. Some will infer a kind of tacit approval for the liturgical departures modeled by the parish. But while there might be reasonable grounds to ask if liturgical discipline only applies in one direction, there could be a more practical reality in play as well: the cardinal’s pragmatic assessment of who will listen to him, and who will not.  But, as other bishops wrestle with Rome’s latest guidance on how to implement Traditiones custodes, they might well take a leaf out of Cupich’s book — even as they go in another direction. The cardinal’s policy re-emphasized the principle that the diocesan bishop is “the moderator, promoter, and guardian of all liturgical life,” and claimed that the pope has “returned competency to the local bishop for the regulation of the use of the liturgical forms.” Many bishops might decide that serving liturgical and ecclesiological communion in their own dioceses, and implementing the pope’s preference for more integration of traditionalist liturgical communities into ordinary parish life, is best done by first ensuring proper adherence to the approved liturgical texts by everyone, before acting to suppress any ongoing Extraordinary Form usage. If they do, they could reasonably claim they are acting with the same intentions as Cupich, but in a manner best suited to their own flock’s needs. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/liturgical-discipline-its-about-the___________________________________________________________

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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