TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 65 – Montse Alvarado Talks Scotus Wins & Mary Fiorito On The Cancel Culture!On this week’s Conversations with Consequences, Dr. Grazie Christie and TCA colleague Maureen Ferguson are joined by Montse Alvarado, Executive Director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, celebrating TWO big wins at the Supreme Court–the Little Sisters of the Poor–and Catholic schools–we also take a look at the upcoming 2020 election and what is at stake when it comes to religious liberty.

After a Catholic mission was set ablaze in California and stories of statues of Mary being vandalized, Mary Fiorito of the Ethics and the Public Policy Center also joins with a look at this growing ‘cancel culture’ and our response as Catholics to this new era of mob-rule. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Mass! Make sure to tune in every Saturday at 5pm ET on EWTN radio!

1. A Paradox for the Next Pope, By George Weigel, The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2020, Pg. A13, Opinion

Pope Francis will be 84 in December. Speculation about his successor has been under way since his election—as it always is—but the next conclave appears set to defy conventional wisdom again.

Yet if the outcome of the next conclave is unclear, the challenges confronting the next pope aren’t. Two stand out.

Francis’ successor must build on the work of his predecessors and end the world-wide crisis of clerical sexual abuse.

Then there is the reform of the Vatican itself. By the end of this year, the Holy See may be in a severe financial crisis because of incompetent investment management, self-dealing, nepotism and a lack of transparency.

Beyond serious managerial issues, there is an even greater challenge for the next pope: the challenge of faith itself.

The vibrant parts of the Catholic Church today are those in which men and women, embracing the church’s teachings in full and measuring their discipleship by their effectiveness in inviting others to meet Jesus Christ, are living as joyful, attractive missionaries of the Gospel.

The dying parts of the church—notably in Central and Northwestern Europe—are those that take a Catholic Lite approach to belief and practice, because they are no longer confident that Catholicism offers the world important religious and spiritual truths. The next pope must find ways to help those moribund local churches rediscover the adventure of Christian faith amid the siren songs, or even threats, of aggressive secularism.

The past 50 years should have taught the Catholic Church that the only Catholicism with a future is Catholicism in full.

Mr. Weigel is author of “The Next Pope: The Office of Peter and a Church in Mission,” just out from Ignatius Press.

2. Vatican’s charitable arm warns against double pandemic: COVID-19 and hunger, By Inés San Martín, Crux, July 17, 2020

Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican’s charitable organization, joined Pope Francis in his call for the debt forgiveness for the poorest countries, while condemning the fact that for many regions “there are two pandemics,”  COVID-19  and hunger.

“Two major crises require immediate and determined action by people of goodwill, leaders and all members of the human community,” said Aloysius John, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis.

First of all, international debt “often paid by the sweat and fatigue of the poorest in these countries.” Second, the economic sanctions in the Middle East, particularly Syria, that has had a domino effect on neighboring nations, including Lebanon, that is hosting millions of Syrian refugees.

3. Vatican says bishops should report sex abuse to police, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 16, 2020, 9:13 AM

The Vatican told bishops around the world on Thursday they should report cases of clergy sex crimes to police even when not legally bound to do so, in its latest effort to compel church leaders to protect minors from predator priests.

The Vatican issued a long-awaited manual for bishops and religious superiors on conducting in-house investigations into allegations of priests who rape and molest minors and vulnerable adults. While the Vatican has had detailed canonical norms in place for two decades, the laws continue to be ignored by some bishops, particularly in the developing world and even Catholic strongholds like Poland.

While the manual doesn’t have the force of a new law, it goes beyond the current Vatican policy about cooperating with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and police

4. Religious freedom is ‘foremost’ in unalienable rights, US commission reports, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, July 16, 2020, 3:00 PM

A draft report from an advisory body to the U.S. State Department on human rights says that religious freedom is “foremost” among human rights.

“Foremost among the unalienable rights that government is established to secure, from the founders’ point of view, are property rights and religious liberty,” stated the draft report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, released on July 16.

“A political society that destroys the possibility of either loses its legitimacy.”

The commission was established last July by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced that Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, would lead it.

Pompeo explained the need for the commission on Thursday, noting that an increase in the number of recognized human rights presents “risks of collision” between rights claims, as well as “risks of trivializing core American values.” In his time at the State Department, he said, as cables from around the world came in he realized officials were discussing rights in ways that were “deeply inconsistent.”

5. Notre Dame study examines ‘everyday’ Americans’ attitudes toward abortion, By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service, July 16, 2020

Americans participating in a study of attitudes toward abortion said they do not typically discuss it, find the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” inadequate, and generally do not consider abortion a “desirable good” for society, according to a University of Notre Dame study.

The study also reported that participants believe abortion is intimately personal rather than a political issue as often portrayed in public discussions. ___________________________________________________________

6. Pro-lifers decry government silence on Ireland abortion rate, By Catholic News Agency, July 16, 2020, 4:14 PM

Pro-life advocates are calling on the Irish government to respond to statistics indicating a “shocking” level of abortions performed in the first year following the legalization of the procedure in the country.

A total of 6,666 abortions were performed in Ireland in the first year following the repeal of the country’s pro-life Eighth Amendment, according to official figures released Tuesday. More than 98% were elective abortions, with both the mother and baby healthy at the time of the abortion.

The figures were met with a strong response from pro-life groups, who noted that advocates of repealing the Eighth Amendment had promised that if legalized, abortion would be rare and only performed when necessary.

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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