1. How Willing Are We to Defend the Victims of Religious Persecution Worldwide?, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, July 20, 2021, Opinion
“If you were put on trial because of your faith, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” This is a question every person of faith should ask themselves. For a growing number of people, the first part of the question is no longer hypothetical. Religious persecution is spreading across the globe. How willing are we — as people of faith and as a country — to defend its victims?
In the middle of July, hundreds of people gathered together in our nation’s capital, and many more were connected virtually, to discuss religious freedom. The International Religious Freedom Summit wasn’t partisan: Its organizers represented a bipartisan group of American leaders and politicians. Participants came from a variety of faith traditions. This was not a gathering of Washington insiders. The persecuted were also invited. 

It’s time to remind ourselves that the cause of international religious freedom is a foreign-policy priority for the United States, thanks to the unanimous passage of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) in 1998.

Secretary of State Blinken told the participants of the IRF Summit that President Biden will soon announce his nominee to replace Brownback.… Fresh atrocities are being committed every day; there is no time to waste.
Andrea Picciotti-Bayer is a legal analyst for EWTN News.
2. Diocese responds after state senator says he was denied Communion, By Kate Scanlon, Catholic News Agency, July 19, 2021, 2:30 PM
After a New Mexico state senator said he was denied Communion this weekend because of a political matter, his diocese responded that it had privately warned him he should not approach for Communion, due to his obstinate support for a pro-abortion bill.
In a tweet on Saturday, July 17, New Mexico state Sen. Joe Cervantes (D) wrote he “was denied communion last night by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces and based on my political office.”
“My new parish priest has indicated he will do the same after the last was run off,” Cervantes added. “Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis.” The senator represents New Mexico’s 31st district, around Las Cruces.
In response, Christopher Velasquez, director of communications for the Diocese of Las Cruces, told CNA on Monday that it is “unfortunate that a pastoral issue with a member of the local church be publicized.”

He noted that both Cervantes’ pastor and Bishop Peter Baldacchino reached out to Cervantes privately, in regards to his support for a pro-abortion bill that was signed into law earlier this year.

“He [Cervantes] was contacted multiple times prior, letting him know that if he voted for Senate Bill 10, he should not present himself for communion.”
3. Thousands gather in California for unveiling of Lady of La Vang shrine, By Alejandra Molina, Religion News Service, July 19, 2021, 5:23 PM
Tran was one of an estimated 8,000 people who came Saturday (July 17) to attend the unveiling of what is the first major stand-alone shrine to the La Vang virgin in the United States.
Our Lady of La Vang is said to have appeared in a remote rainforest in the late 1700s to a group of Catholics fleeing persecution in Vietnam. She became a centerpiece of Catholic faith in the country, and, after the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 — when more than a million Vietnamese became refugees — her intercession was credited with sparing the lives of her devotees.

The $12.6-million, 12-foot-high statue, located at the Catholic Diocese of Orange’s Christ Cathedral, was built to be a gathering place for the 100,000 Vietnamese-American Catholics in the diocese. More than 5,000 people from across the country and the world donated to make the statue possible.
4. Investigation: Los Angeles city illegally kept funds destined to Catholic Schools, By Ann Rodgers, Angelus News, July 19, 2021, 11:43 PM
In a decision that could restore millions of dollars to Catholic schools, the state of California has ruled that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) violated federal law in ways that slashed assistance for academically struggling students in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (ADLA).
The 58-page “investigation report,” issued June 25 by the California Department of Education gives LAUSD 60 days to establish “timely and meaningful consultation” with the archdiocese and to rectify any errors in calculating student need. It orders LAUSD to “Provide the agreed-upon services to eligible archdiocesan students beginning by the start of the 2021-2022 school year.”
The archdiocese filed a complaint in September 2019, after LAUSD blocked all but 17 of more than 100 previously eligible Catholic schools from receiving federal Title I funds, which assist underperforming students with math, English and counseling. The report called LAUSD’s action “egregious.”
5. Cardinal Müller critiques Pope Francis’ ‘harsh’ response to extraordinary form, compared to German Synodal Way, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, July 19, 2021, 4:00 PM
The former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has critiqued the Pope Francis’ recent restrictions on extraordinary form Masses as “harsh” compared to his modest response to the “massive attacks on the unity of the Church” posed by the Synodal Way in Germany.
Gerhard Cardinal Müller authored an analysis July 19 of Traditionis custodes, Pope Francis’ July 16 motu proprio on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970.

The German cardinal highlighted that many teachings of the Second Vatican Council are “being heretically denied in open contradiction to Vatican II by a majority of German bishops and lay functionaries (even if disguised under pastoral phrases).”
“Here we have a threat to the unity of the Church in revealed faith, reminiscent of the size of the Protestant secession from Rome in the sixteenth century,” he said.
“Given the disproportion between the relatively modest response to the massive attacks on the unity of the church in the German ‘Synodal Way’ (as well as in other pseudo-reforms) and the harsh disciplining of the old ritual minority, the image of the misguided fire brigade comes to mind, which – instead of saving the blazing house – instead first saves the small barn next to it.”

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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