1. U.S. bishops again urge House members to restore Hyde to spending bill, By Julie Asher, Catholic News Service, July 14, 2021
The House Committee on Appropriations is poised to mark up “the most extreme pro-abortion appropriations bill we have seen” because it excludes the 46-year-old Hyde Amendment and other long-standing bipartisan provisions that prevent tax money from being spent on abortion, two U.S. bishops’ committee chairmen said July 13.
If the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill is marked up as, it is “effectively mandating health care professionals to participate in abortion, and forcing American citizens to pay for abortion with their tax dollars,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.
The cardinal is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty and Archbishop Naumann is chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
2. Despite Vatican protest, anti-homophobia bill survives hurdles in Italian senate, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, July 14, 2021
In the first open debate in the Italian legislature of a controversial anti-homophobia bill following an unprecedented complaint from the Vatican on grounds of religious freedom, the bill survived two significant hurdles in the senate Tuesday and could be voted into law as early as next week.
In a July 13 Senate assembly, lawmakers fiercely debated the so-called “ddl Zan,” with rightwing politicians pushing for it to be returned to the Senate Justice Committee for modification, and leftist parties arguing that after eight months of deliberation, with the bill having been approved by the House in February, voting should proceed as scheduled.
3. Pope Francis returns to Vatican 10 days after surgery, By Nicole Winfield, Domenico Stinellis and Gianfranco Stara, Associated Press, July 14, 2021, 7:27 AM
Pope Francis was discharged from a Rome hospital and returned home to the Vatican on Wednesday, 10 days after undergoing surgery to remove half his colon.
4. Democrat says panel should also monitor U.S., By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, July 14, 2021, Pg. A2
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) should compare how the United States performs against international standards, Rep. Jim McGovern, Massachusetts Democrat, said Tuesday.
Such a change would require amending the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act the created the body, however.

Current USCIRF chair Nadine Maenza said this would make the bipartisan human rights panel a “political” body that would lose influence.
5. Trump religious freedom ambassador launches international religious freedom meeting, By Jack Jenkins, Religion News Service, July 13, 2021, 8:03 PM
Sam Brownback, former U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom in the Trump administration, helped launch a conference on international religious freedom in the nation’s capital on Tuesday (July 13), bringing together an array of faith and political leaders with the goal of tackling discrimination around the globe.
The three-day IRF Summit 2021 “is about relationship-building,” Brownback told Religion News Service. “We really need to have civil society and religious leaders building relationships to stand up for each other’s religious freedom.”
Brownback touted the conference’s relatively diverse group of presenters, which includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (via video), and sponsors, such as the National Council of Churches and HIAS, a Jewish refugee group that sued the Trump administration in 2019. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, both Democrats, are listed with two Republicans, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, as honorary congressional co-chairs of the privately funded event.

While Brownback said it’s too early to give President Joe Biden an overall grade on religious freedom, he expressed frustration with the president’s decision to “walk away” from an “Unalienable Rights Commission” created by Pompeo, which argued that freedom of religion and right to property were the two most important rights.
Current Secretary of State Antony Blinken derided the commission’s findings in March, declaring, “There is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others.” He also criticized his predecessor’s work, alleging that defenders of human rights “only heard silence” from the United States in recent years.
6. Pope Appoints Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich the Synod’s New Relator General, By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, July 13, 2021
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, a Jesuit who has expressed his support for Germany’s “Synodal Path” and advocates greater lay and youth involvement in the Church, will be the relator general for the 2023 Synod of Bishops on Synodality.
Pope Francis appointed the cardinal on July 8, making the 62-year-old archbishop of Luxembourg the chief coordinator of the 2021-2023 synod whose theme is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”

But perhaps most notable have been Cardinal Hollerich’s recent comments on the German bishops’ controversial “Synodal Path,” the direction of which has been criticized by, among others, German Cardinals Gerhard Müller, Walter Kasper and Rainer Woelki, as well as by senior Church leaders in Rome, including Pope Francis himself. In a 2020 interview with KNA, Cardinal Hollerich did not speak of any doctrinal concerns with the “Synodal Path,” but rather said he had “great respect for daring to ask very big questions,” which, he added, “must also be asked.”
He recognized the difficulties of bishops from different countries agreeing on, for example, the blessing of same-sex unions (he was speaking before the definitive “No” given by the Vatican in March regarding this matter). “The Churches often think too nationally in relation to the situation in their respective country,” he said. “They need to share more.”
Asked what he thought were the most important questions being discussed in the “Synodal Path,” Cardinal Hollerich replied, “The position of women in the Church: I am not saying that they have to become priestesses; I just don’t know. But I am open to it. It is clear, however, that the current situation is not enough. One must see and notice that women have a say in the Church.”

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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