1. The Ungovernable Catholic Church, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, July 27, 2021, 5:00 AM, Opinion
The latest dramatic move by Pope Francis — his recent order abrogating the right of Roman Catholic priests to say their church’s traditional Latin Mass — fits neatly within a historical analogy that’s useful for understanding the larger drama of Catholicism: Namely, the church since the 1960s has been reliving the experience of France after 1789, with the arc of revolution and counterrevolution embodied in each successive pope.

In a similar way, if the changes and reversals of the Francis era are breaking a particular narrative beloved of Catholic conservatives, in which the Roman pontiff guides the church through late-modern controversies with near-infallible wisdom, that breakage doesn’t tell us where the church will end up 50 years or 100 years from now. The failure of the restoration is not the final victory of the revolution; it is only a sign of total uncertainty about what now lies ahead.

In the divisions of the church, the pressure toward traditionalist and progressive extremes, both Latin Massgoers and German Protestantizers recognize the fact of Catholic decline. Both believe the other’s vision would break the church in order to save it. Both have weaknesses and very different sorts of strength. The outcome of their struggle is — as good Catholics know — somehow foreordained. But more than at any other point in my lifetime, neither past analogies nor present trends supply much clarity about the church’s future, and the better part of wisdom is to simply say, “God knows.”
2. U.S. abortion policy shouldn’t emulate China or North Korea. We should be more like Europe, By Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan and Angelina B. Nguyen, USA Today, July 27, 2021, Opinion
What do most European nations have in common with Mississippi? Commonsense limitations on elective abortion performed in the second and third trimesters.
Surprised? While American elites often look to Europe for social policy guidance, a new study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute shows 47 out of 50 European nations limit elective abortion at or before 15 weeks of gestation. In the United States, 0 out of 50 states have enforceable limits on abortion at 15 weeks.
So, who is following the policy example from Europe – pro-life legislators in Mississippi, or politicians in Washington who support abortion on demand until term?

Advocates of Mississippi’s law and the law itself are far from radical – rather, it’s Roe v. Wade and its legal progeny that are truly outdated and out of touch.
Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan (@cantdon) is president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, where Angelina B. Nguyen is an associate scholar.
3. Vatican Tries Cardinal in Test of Pope’s Transparency Drive, Scandal over London real-estate purchase using pope’s charitable funds led to charges against Cardinal Giovanni Becciu and nine others, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2021, 6:23 AM
Cardinal Giovanni Becciu, once one of the most powerful men in the Vatican, went on trial Tuesday for embezzlement and other alleged crimes, as a scandal that has posed one of the biggest tests of Pope Francis’s pontificate spilled out into the open.
It is the first time that a cardinal has gone on trial in Vatican City’s criminal court.
The focus of the prosecutors’ case is the Vatican’s investment in a costly piece of London real estate that they say was a culpably reckless use of church funds earmarked for charity. They say that the Vatican lost tens of millions of dollars on the investment.
The trial of Cardinal Becciu and nine others will serve for many as a test of the pope’s overhauls aimed at bringing more transparency to the Vatican’s finances and of the Vatican justice system’s ability to enforce accountability in its highest ranks.
4. Benedict XVI laments lack of faith in German Catholic officialdom, By Elise Ann Allen, July 27, 2021
In a rare lengthy interview with a German newspaper, retired pope Benedict XVI reflected on his 70 years as a priest and lamented what he said is an increasing institutionalization of the Catholic Church in Germany, making it a functional entity rather than the living body of Christ.
5. Pope to UN forum: Hunger is ‘crime’ violating basic rights, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, July 26, 2021, 2:13 PM
Pope Francis on Monday decried as criminal the existence of hunger in a world which can produce enough food for all, building on a warning from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that climate change and conflict are a consequence and driver of poverty and income inequality.
Guterres told a meeting in Rome via video message that the world’s food system generates a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. That same system is responsible for as much as 80% of biodiversity loss, he lamented in a video message.

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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