1. Erdogan’s foul play, Turkey is teaming up with Azerbaijan to punish Armenia, By Sam Brownback and Michael Rubin, The Washington Times, July 18, 2023, Pg. B4, Opinion As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan begins his third decade in power, he has solidified his place as Turkey’s second-most consequential leader after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the republic a century ago. With the opposition disempowered if not in disarray, Mr. Erdogan now seeks to fulfill his lifelong ambition: the complete and permanent reversal of Ataturk’s legacy of modern reforms. American and European officials who believe, with the election in the rearview mirror, that they can return to business as usual with Turkey are dangerously mistaken. The issues that concern Mr. Erdogan most are neither interest rates at home nor Swedish NATO accession abroad, but rather laying the groundwork for the renewal of an Islamic state if not formal caliphate.  The latest foul play by Mr. Erdogan involves Armenia, the world’s oldest Christian nation. As Mr. Erdogan seeks to extend the reach of the Turkic and Islamic world from Turkey’s border with Greece and Bulgaria to China, Armenia, a country just slightly larger than Maryland, stands in his way. Today, Mr. Erdogan believes he has found his moment to reverse this geopolitical inconvenience. The Turks tried more than a century ago, wiping away more than a million Armenians in a genocide Adolf Hitler cited as an inspiration for the Holocaust.  The U.S. presence at Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base should not be a “get out of jail free” card for Mr. Erdogan. Alternatives exist in Romania and Greece. It is time to pull the plug on Incirlik. Most importantly, the United States must focus on the forest and not the trees. Religious freedom and democracy are not chits to negotiate away to win an agreement that will not last a month. Standing on principle is not diplomatic inconvenience; sometimes, it is the wisest diplomacy of all. Sam Brownback is a former U.S. senator, governor, and ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom. Michael Rubin is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/jul/17/erdogans-foul-play-turkey-is-teaming-up-with-azerb/__________________________________________________________ 2. Francis’s man in America says of U.S. bishops: ‘They love the Pope’, By John Lavenburg, Crux, July 18, 2023, Interview On a rainy Sunday a week after French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the pope’s ambassador to the United States, was named a cardinal by Pope Francis, he found himself doing what he said he holds most important – sharing the life of the Catholic faithful where they are.  Having served as Francis’s envoy in the United States for seven years now, Pierre said there’s “a lot of exaggeration” about perceived tensions between the American bishops and his boss. “People like to create divisions and say bishops don’t like the pope, and this is not true,” he said. “They love the pope.”  What follows is more from the Crux conversation with Pierre, touching on the synod, national eucharistic revival, the U.S. Catholic Church and the perceived disconnect between the U.S. bishops and Pope Francis. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/07/franciss-man-in-america-says-of-u-s-bishops-they-love-the-pope__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Benedict’s ex-secretary won’t get a permanent job in his new German archdiocese, By Associated Press, July 17, 2023, 9:59 AMThe longtime secretary to the late Pope Benedict XVI won’t be given a permanent job in the German archdiocese where he has settled, but will lead regular services at Freiburg’s cathedral and can take on “individual assignments” such as confirmations, church authorities said Monday. The Vatican announced last month that Pope Francis had fired Archbishop Georg Gaenswein from his Vatican job and ordered him to return to his diocese of origin, Freiburg in southwestern Germany, without a new assignment. It was the final chapter in a falling-out that culminated with a tell-all memoir by Gaenswein that was highly critical of Francis. Freiburg Archbishop Stephan Burger held a meeting with Gaenswein after his return to Germany, Burger’s archdiocese said in a brief statement posted on its website Monday. It said that Gaenswein won’t get a job in the archbishop’s office or take on any “permanent, fixed activity for the archdiocese.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/17/germany-pope-benedict-secretary-gaenswein-freiburg/2b24ed54-24aa-11ee-9201-826e5bb78fa1_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Cardinal says the pope’s visit to Mongolia’s tiny Catholic community will show his dedication, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 17, 2023, 9:30 PM The young cardinal in charge of Mongolia’s tiny Catholic community said Monday that Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to a country with just 1,450 Catholics is evidence of his willingness to travel to the farthest corners of the globe to minister to even a handful of the faithful. Italian Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, who has been a missionary in Mongolia for two decades, spoke to reporters after delivering a speech on how Catholic missionaries “whisper” the Gospel there in hopes of spreading the faith, simply and quietly and in one-on-one relationships.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/17/vatican-pope-mongolia-cardinal-china/968cf4c2-24ca-11ee-9201-826e5bb78fa1_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Biden to meet with pope’s Ukraine peace envoy, with the plight of children top of cardinal’s agenda, By Nicole Winfield and Zeke Miller, Associated Press, July 17, 2023, 4:20 PM U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis’ peace envoy Tuesday as part of the Holy See’s peace and humanitarian initiatives for Ukraine, with the plight of Ukrainian children taken to Russia topping the agenda, the White House and Vatican said Monday. Cardinal Matteo Zuppi is visiting Washington through Wednesday, a trip that follows his recent mission to Moscow and an earlier stop in Kyiv, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed Biden would meet with Zuppi on Tuesday to “discuss the widespread suffering caused by Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.” In a statement, Jean-Pierre said they would also “discuss efforts by the United States and Holy See to provide humanitarian aid to those affected, and the Papal See’s focus on repatriating Ukrainian children forcibly deported by Russian officials.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/17/russia-ukraine-war-peace-pope-vatican/4904dc6e-2494-11ee-9201-826e5bb78fa1_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Roman Catholic diocese in northern New York announces bankruptcy filing amid sexual abuse lawsuits, By Associated Press, July 17, 2023, 12:07 PM The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg in northern New York said Monday that it was filing for bankruptcy protection as it faces more than 100 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse. The diocese, like others in the state, is dealing with lawsuits dating to when New York temporarily suspended the statute of limitations to give victims of childhood abuse the ability to pursue even decades-old allegations against clergy members, teachers, Boy Scout leaders and others. Bishop of Ogdensburg Terry R. LaValley said there were 124 cases pending against the diocese, with claims dating from the 1940s through the 1990s.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/07/17/catholic-sex-abuse-new-york-bankruptcy/fcd88250-24bb-11ee-9201-826e5bb78fa1_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Montgomery parents want an opt-out on sexuality, gender education restored, By Zainab Chaudry, The Washington Post, July 17, 2023, 6:00 AM, Opinion For years, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has allowed families and students to “opt out” of courses about sensitive and intimate topics related to family life, sex, gender and reproductive health. This same approach has been taken by thousands of public schools throughout the country — in liberal towns such as Portland, Ore., and conservative states such as Texas. Schools planning to teach students these topics inform parents of what subjects they plan to cover, the materials they intend to use, when those discussions will occur and how to opt out of the instruction. Maryland is no different. State law requires sex education courses but permits parents to keep their children out of those classes. This is perhaps why MCPS implemented an opt-out option when it began requiring K-12 reading and English classes to incorporate books and discussion guides meant to spark teacher-led conversations about family life, sex, gender and related topics that sex education courses would normally address. The opt-out option worked well, ensuring families who wanted their children to learn about such topics at school could do so while respecting the preferences of parents who felt otherwise. However, MCPS abruptly changed course this year and declared that “students and families may not choose to opt out of engaging with any instructional materials.” This change was announced absent any transparent process and without public input. This inflexible approach was a colossal mistake. Canceling the opt-out option has significantly eroded families’ trust in the school system, prompted widespread alarm, sparked unnecessary public controversy and fueled a false narrative that a clash of communities is inevitable.  Throughout the country, students can generally opt out of instructional content for religious reasons. It is part of an effort to be transparent about sensitive topics and assure families that they will remain at the helm of their children’s upbringing. But opt-outs are not just a religious accommodation. In many schools, families can opt out out for any reason. Every student is different, and what is appropriate for one child is not necessarily appropriate for every other child that age. And particular circumstances known only to a child’s parents — a recent incident of abuse, for example — might require a particularly thoughtful approach to discussions and lessons.  Zainab Chaudry is director of the Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/17/montgomery-parents-want-opt-out-sexuality-education/__________________________________________________________ 8. ‘The growth of Catholic theology’ – Pope Francis’ doctrinal chief speaks, By Edgar Beltrán, The Pillar, July 17, 2023, 5:28 PM, InterviewEarlier this month, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez as prefect of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith. The archbishop, an Argentine, had been since 2018 the Archbishop of La Plata, and was before that the rector of Argentina’s Catholic University — a role to which he was appointed by then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. Widely regarded as the author of the 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Fernandez has long been a close collaborator of the pope. Since his July 1 appointment, Fernandez has made waves — because of comments on the possibility of same-sex liturgical blessings, his handling of abuse allegations, and because of “Heal me with your mouth,” a 1995 book the archbishop wrote on the subject of kissing. Amid those waves, Pope Francis named Fernandez a cardinal July 9 — he will officially join the College of Cardinals in late September. In an interview by email July 17, Fernandez offered his assessment of the moral landscape, and discussed his mandate in the Church, and his sense of the place and moment of Catholic theology.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/the-growth-of-catholic-theology-pope__________________________________________________________ 9. Iraq’s president revokes recognition of Catholic leader, By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency, July 17, 2023, 2:40 PM Cardinal Louis Sako, patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, announced Saturday that he is withdrawing from his seat in Baghdad after Iraqi President Abdul Rashid revoked a decree recognizing him as head of the Christian Church in Iraq. Sako said he will be taking up residence in a monastery in Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq, where he will continue to lead the Chaldean Church.   In a statement issued July 15, Sako called the president’s action — which calls into question his ability to control Church assets in the country — “unprecedented” and “unfair.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254822/iraq-s-president-revokes-recognition-of-catholic-leader__________________________________________________________

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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