1. The Trump-Biden Inkblots, By Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2020, Pg. A13, Opinion

We’ve spent two months talking about almost nothing but the policing of inner-city neighborhoods. But for my money, no public issue more clearly defines the overlooked stakes in this election than the future of educational achievement in the big urban school systems spread across the U.S.

Let’s put those stakes in the language of the moment. It’s indisputable that black lives matter, and the black lives most at risk are the young men and women living in the nation’s poorest urban neighborhoods, attending the worst-performing public schools in the U.S.

If Joe Biden wins on the basis of his current policy course, those young black lives will have next to no chance of their schools improving in the next four years. This version of the Democratic Party laid out its schools road map in the recent Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force, which proposes both to reinforce the public-school status quo and suppress its competition from charter schools and private schools.


2. How Joe Biden’s Catholic roots have shaped his public life, Campaign hopes Biden’s personal story and faith will offer stark moral contrast to Trump, By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter, July 30, 2020

Biden credits those Catholic roots — which first took seed in parishes and parochial schools in Pennsylvania and Delaware — with teaching him the importance of the human dignity of all people, a core principle of Catholic social teaching. They also shaped his understanding of solidarity, especially with the poor and the working class, which he regularly cites when talking about job security and economic policy.

Most importantly, his is also a faith that has been tested by personal loss of an enormous magnitude and one that has come into conflict with Democratic policy positions, forcing him to change and evolve along the way to keep up with shifting uniform stances within the party.

“The contrast Joe Biden has to offer,” Wear continued, is that he “isn’t looking to see what faith can do for him. His life has been looking to see how he can serve out of, in part, a motivation of faith.”

Such a contrast may not be enough to win over some religious voters who singularly focus on abortion, nor may it appease those who are skeptical of his denials that he sexually assaulted a former Senate staffer.

Over the years, Biden’s abortion stance has increasingly liberalized. In a 1974 interview, he said, “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.”

But as the pro-choice platform became Democratic Party orthodoxy, Biden shifted.

This position has evoked the ire of some Catholic bishops and Catholics like Carr who have criticized Biden for falling in line with the “extremism” of the Democratic Party’s position on abortion.


3. Vatican cardinal invites German bishops to discuss parish instruction, By Catholic News Agency, July 30, 2020, 5:45 AM

A Vatican cardinal has invited German bishops to Rome to discuss their criticisms of a new instruction on parishes.

Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, said July 29 that he would be happy to receive the bishops in order to “remove doubts and perplexity,” the German Catholic news agency KNA reported.

Stella said that the meeting could take place “in due course” if the bishops wished to present their objections to the instruction, issued by his congregation July 20. He reportedly declined to respond to specific criticisms ahead of the potential meeting.

He made the comments after several German bishops sharply criticized the document, “The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church,” which underlined that according to canon law only priests can direct the pastoral care of parishes.


4. Catholic Schools Are Worth Saving, By Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Seán O’Malley and Archbishop José H. Gómez, National Catholic Register, July 29, 2020, Opinion

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court corrected an historic injustice, rooted in anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic bigotry, that, for more than 100 years, has denied students in religious schools the same opportunities as government-school students.

The landmark ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue will greatly expand school-choice options, especially for low-income and minority families. It could not have come at a more crucial moment. 

With Congress now back in session to consider next steps to sustain Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic, helping tuition-paying families keep their Catholic and other non-government schools open this fall must be part of the larger, urgently needed plan to sustain our nation. Doing so is right for parents, children and their devoted teachers who depend on these schools.

Students and families for generations have benefited from Catholic schools, which have benefited America as a whole. This is now in serious jeopardy, as another sad legacy of the coronavirus pandemic.

Urgent action by President Donald Trump and Congress to meet the needs of Catholic and other school families will preserve this important education option for generations to come and prevent added financial burdens on our government school systems.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the archbishop of New York; Cardinal Seán O’Malley is the archbishop of Boston; Archbishop José Gómez is the archbishop of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


5. Vatican’s Academy for Life rejects charge its COVID doc isn’t Christian, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, July 29, 2020

Facing criticism that its recent document on the coronavirus pandemic lacks a Christian perspective and vocabulary, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life came to its own defense Wednesday, issuing a statement insisting it was trying to communicate “in a way accessible to all.”

“We want to enter human situations, reading them in the light of faith, and in a way that speaks to the widest possible audience, to believers and non-believers, to all men and women ‘of good will’,” the statement said.

The statement came in the form of a letter to the editor addressed to the Italian news outlet La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (“New Daily Compass”), led by veteran Italian journalist Riccardo Cascioli. The outlet carried an editorial July 28 critical of the academy’s document.

“The new document of the Pontifical Academy for Life regarding COVID-19 is embarrassing,” it said. “It says nothing, nothing about life and nothing Catholic. It asks for conversion to the environment and solidarity, completely excluding the religious dimension. It’s a document that will be very pleasing to many world leaders.”

Issued on July 22, the document was titled ‘Humana Communitas’ in the Age of Pandemic: Untimely Meditations on Life’s Rebirth.”

(The phrase “untimely meditations” is a reference to a collection of essays published under that title by the German existentialist Friedrich Nietzsche. That choice also elicited criticism in some quarters, suggesting it betrayed a “nihilist” perspective.)

The academy’s document presents greed and exploitation of the planet as root causes of the pandemic, what it refers to as “a symptom of our earth’s malaise and our failure to care.” It also voices concern that fallout from the coronavirus may exacerbate already existing economic inequities.


6. U.S. ambassador for religious liberty warns Vatican: China can’t be trusted, By Charles Collins, Crux, July 29, 2020

Vatican officials should think twice about dealing with the Chinese government, according to Trump’s top official for religious liberty.

Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Freedom, made his comments after it was revealed Chinese state-backed hackers had targeted the Vatican and Hong Kong-based Catholic entities ahead of talks on the renewal of a 2018 agreement on the appointment of bishops in the Communist country.

“I would really hope that the Vatican would look at this and see what they are dealing with,” Brownback told Crux on Wednesday.


7. Mexican Supreme Court rejects effort to expand abortion nationally, By Catholic News Agency, July 29, 2020, 2:45 PM

The first bench of the Mexican Supreme Court on July 29 overturned a lower court’s ruling that could have opened the door to legalized abortion throughout the country.

In a 4-1 ruling, the panel of justices rejected a lower court’s attempt to require the state of Veracruz to legalize abortion. Supreme Court Justice Juan Luis González Alcántara Carrancá cast the sole vote in favor of upholding the lower court ruling.


8. Joe Biden endorsed by pro-abortion NARAL, By Catholic News Agency, July 29, 2020, 12:30 PM

The abortion-rights group NARAL has  endorsed Joe Biden for president, just over a year after the group issued a scathing statement demanding he reverse his support for the Hyde Amendment.

“NARAL Pro-Choice America and our 2.5 million members are committed to powering Vice President Biden to victory this November and working with his administration to protect and expand access to abortion care and birth control,” said a statement from NARAL President Ilyse Hogue announcing the endorsement on July 27.


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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