TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 117 – Tom Farr on Religious Freedom Summit & Tim Carney Talks ‘Alienated America’ Post-Pandemic
As the International Religious Freedom Summit wrapped this week, Tom Farr, President of RFI, joins Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson, highlighting harrowing testimony given including a two-time survivor of China’s detention camps in Xinjiang. Author and political columnist Tim Carney also joins with a look at his recent book, ‘Alienated America‘ set now on the back-drop of a post-pandemic world. Father Roger Landry also offers a thought-provoking homily on this week’s Gospel! Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pm ET on EWTN radio!
1. Pope reverses Benedict, reimposes restrictions on Latin Mass, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 16, 2021, 7:39 AM
Pope Francis cracked down Friday on the spread of the old Latin Mass, reversing one of Pope Benedict XVI’s signature decisions in a major challenge to traditionalist Catholics who immediately decried it as an attack on them and the ancient liturgy.
Francis reimposed restrictions on celebrating the Latin Mass that Benedict relaxed in 2007. The pontiff said he was taking action because Benedict’s reform had become a source of division in the church and been used as a tool by Catholics opposed to the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s meetings that modernized the liturgy.
Francis issued a new law requiring individual bishops to approve celebrations of the old Mass, also called the Tridentine Mass, and requiring newly ordained priests to receive explicit permission to celebrate it from their bishops in consultation with the Vatican.
2. In latest row over anti-homophobia bill, Vatican’s the dog not barking, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, July 16, 2021, Opinion
As debate in the Italian senate becomes increasingly strident over a draft anti-homophobia law, with the outcome of an eventual vote appearing uncertain, perhaps the most striking thing from a Catholic point of view is a version of Sherlock Holmes’ “dog that didn’t bark.”
To wit, after an historic diplomatic protest by the Vatican against the bill on religious freedom grounds, which was revealed last month and which sparked a national firestorm, the Vatican’s intervention now seems to be a non-factor.

Next Tuesday is the final deadline for presenting amendments, and it’s when debate over the bill resumes. If the senate adopts substantive changes, including greater religious freedom protections along the lines requested by the Vatican and the Italian bishops, then the bill would have to go back to the lower house of parliament, where the left has a more stable majority. At that point, supporters would have to decide whether to accept a watered-down version of what they want or to reject it, knowing that probably means it won’t be passed at all.
When and if the dust finally settles, perhaps we’ll see if the dog not barking right now finally finds its voice.
3. COVID-19 takes toll on Catholic clergy in hard-hit countries, By Associated Press, July 16, 2021
The coronavirus has taken a heavy toll among Catholic priests and nuns around the world, killing hundreds of them in a handful of the hardest-hit countries alone.

In some countries, most of those lost were older and lived in nursing or retirement homes where they didn’t regularly engage in person-to-person pastoral work. Other places, though, saw a bigger hit to active clergy, accelerating a decades-old decline in the ranks that Pope Francis in 2017 called a “ hemorrhage.”

But the impact is particularly acute for a church that is experiencing a “perennial priest shortage” in most countries amid difficulties in recruiting seminarians, he added. And with Catholicism placing a greater emphasis on the role of the priest compared with some other denominations, the losses are keenly felt.
4. Cardinal Dolan emphasizes hope amid global religious persecution, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, July 16, 2021, 5:40 AM
There is reason for hope for global religious freedom, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York told an international gathering of religious and civic leaders in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
“I’m hardly alone when I get frustrated by unremitting assaults on our first freedom here at home, by groups and a government that ought to know better, and to a worse degree all over the planet,” Cardinal Dolan said in his keynote address to the closing dinner of the International Religious Freedom Summit on July 15.
He added that he draws hope from “prayer, attention to God’s Word, and the solidarity I unfailingly get from gatherings like this.”
“That religion can inspire, encourage, and foster hope in a world often thought desperate is a cause of optimism for us,” said Dolan. “As it keeps religion, and the insurance of its liberty, at the top of our agenda.”
5. Kentucky contracts with Baptist-affiliated children’s agency, By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press, July 15, 2021, 8:24 PM
Kentucky reached a contract deal Thursday to continue placing youngsters with a Baptist-affiliated children’s agency, coming after the Democratic governor’s administration removed LGBTQ anti-discrimination language that the agency steadfastly refused to sign.
The agreement continues the state’s long relationship with Sunrise Children’s Services, which provides foster care, residential and therapeutic services to children and families. It serves some of the most vulnerable children in a state with consistently some of the nation’s worst child abuse rates.
6. Connecticut diocese files for bankruptcy amid abuse claims, By Susan Haigh, Associated Press, July 15, 2021, 7:07 PM
A Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut filed for federal bankruptcy protection on Thursday to resolve dozens of lawsuits alleging the abuse of teenage students decades ago at the former Academy at Mount Saint John School, a residential treatment center for troubled youth in Deep River.
Documents filed by the Diocese of Norwich, which oversaw the facility, indicate it has $50 million to $100 million in estimated liabilities owed to 50 to 99 creditors. To date, nearly 60 former residents of the school have sued the diocese and a former bishop for damages, exceeding the diocese’s current financial ability to pay, according a statement issued by the diocese.
7. Knights of Columbus disappointed by advancement of funding bill without Hyde Amendment, By Catholic News Agency, July 15, 2021, 6:19 PM
The Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus on Thursday registered his sorrow at the advancement by the appropriations committee of the US House of Representatives of a funding bill without including the usual prohibitions on abortion funding.
According to a committee summary, the appropriations bill, which funds the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education, provides for $253.8 billion for the 2022 fiscal year, an increase of 28% from the current year. It does not include the Hyde Amendment, federal policy since 1976 that prohibits funding of most elective abortions in Medicaid.

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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