1. New rules in China target unregistered Catholic, Protestant churches.

By Michael Sainsbury, Catholic News Service, January 8, 2020

The Chinese government has targeted unregistered Catholic and Protestant churches with a new expansion of rules and regulations governing religious organizations.

It will institute another raft of laws covering 41 religion-related topics Feb. 1, two years after the implementation of another set of restrictive laws for religious groups in the country.

Observers have noted that, if widely implemented, Article 34 of the Chinese Communist Party paper – published in late December – would apply direct pressure on unregistered churches.

It would cover “all matters involving money and finances. In practice, every significant move by a religious community should be submitted to authorities and carried out only if approved,” according to AsiaNews, a Rome-based missionary news agency.

As many as 50 percent of China’s estimated 10 million to 12 million Catholics worship in communities not registered with the Chinese government.


2. “Don’t bite!” Pope negotiates papal kiss after controversy.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, January 8, 2020, 7:49 AM

Pope Francis cautiously waded back into the crowds on Wednesday after video of him swatting away the hand of a pilgrim who grabbed him went viral and sparked a papal apology.

Francis gingerly agreed to a nun’s request for a kiss on the cheek, but said he would only approach her if she didn’t bite.

Francis’ caution was perhaps a reflection that he was still rattled by the New Year’s Eve hand-grab incident, as well as a reflection of a well-founded concern about the enthusiasm of religious sisters, who tend to go a bit wild when near the pope.


3. Pope prays for Australians, expresses solidarity amid fires.

By Associated Press, January 8, 2020, 5:35 AM

Pope Francis is asking for prayers for Australia as it copes with devastating fires and expressed his solidarity with the country’s people.

The fires, which have been blazing since September, have killed 26 people, destroyed 2,000 homes and scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland. They have been fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record.


4. CNN settles libel lawsuit with Covington Catholic student.

By Paul Farhi, The Washington Post, January 7, 2020, 7:32 PM

CNN agreed to settle a libel lawsuit filed by the family of a Covington, Ky., teenager who gained national attention during an encounter with a Native American activist on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington last year.

The network said on Tuesday that it settled the suit with the family of Nicholas Sandmann, but neither side disclosed the terms of their agreement.

The settlement is the first to grow out of a flurry of lawsuits against news organizations filed by the family following the episode in January 2019. The Sandmanns sued The Washington Post for $250 million in February, and later sued NBC and CNN for $275 million for their reporting.


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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