TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 119 – Mike Aquilina talks on Church’s original social justice struggle & Pablo Kay speaks on Catholic journalism

Dr. Grazie Christie speaks with Mike Aquilina about what he calls the Church’s original social justice struggle–examining the long history of abortion–and how Catholics have always led the way in condemning the atrocious act. Editor-in-Chief of Angelus News Pablo Kay also joins with a look at Catholic journalism and the heavy work of informing the Faithful about issues that impact our lives today, especially fighting against the currents of secularism.


1. Former Cardinal McCarrick Is Charged, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021, Pg. A3

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, once one of the most powerful leaders in the U.S. Catholic Church, was charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy in Massachusetts in 1974. Mr. McCarrick, 91 years old, was charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery in a criminal complaint issued in District Court in Dedham, Mass., on Wednesday. He is the first current or former U.S. cardinal to be charged with sex crimes. “We will look forward to addressing this case in the courtroom,” Barry Coburn, a lawyer for Mr. McCarrick, said in a statement.

Mr. McCarrick was defrocked in 2019 after he was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors and sexual misconduct with adults in a trial at the Vatican.


2. The Burning of Canada’s Churches, By Paul Tuns, The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021, Pg. A13, Houses of Worship

It has been a difficult summer for Canada’s Christians. Over five days in late June, four Catholic churches and an Anglican church were burned to the ground, the first churches to be set ablaze or vandalized to begin a summer of such desecration. Suspicious fires then broke out across the country. In all, at least 56 churches have been set aflame or vandalized, according to the True North Centre, which is mapping attacks on churches.

This is unquestionably a crisis, but you wouldn’t think it from observing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response. Although the first suspected arson happened June 21, he didn’t speak out on the issue until July 1. Worse, after dozens of the incidents across seven different provinces and territories, there has been only one arrest. “Am I wrong,” asked Aaron Wudrick of the Macdonald- Laurier Institute, “or have more people been arrested in Canada this year for going inside a church to worship than for burning one down?”

The provincial leader called the attacks what they were—an apparent “hate crime targeting the Catholic community.”

The great irony is that many of the churches set ablaze were on indigenous lands serving indigenous people.


3. Has Roe v. Wade Met Its Match?, By David J. Garrow, The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021, Pg. A15, Opinion

No finer or more important brief has been submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in many decades than the one Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart filed last Thursday in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the abortion case the justices will hear in the fall. Dobbs is the most important challenge to Roe v. Wade (1973) since Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), in which the court upheld Roe’s “essential holding” 5-4. Thanks to Mr. Stewart’s handiwork, Roe’s status is more fragile than ever.

A Stanford Law School graduate who clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, Mr. Stewart is most immediately targeting the court’s 48-year reliance on fetal viability (approximately 24 weeks of pregnancy) as the decisive point prior to which state efforts to prohibit abortions are voided. Mr. Stewart argues that “a viability rule has no constitutional basis” and that “even if the ‘liberty’ secured by” the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause does “protect some right to abortion, nothing in constitutional history or tradition supports tying such a right to viability.”


4. McCarrick, ousted cardinal, is charged with sex assault, By Sarah Pulliam Bailey, The Washington Post, July 30, 2021, Pg. A1

Defrocked Catholic cardinal Theodore McCarrick was criminally charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in 1974, according to court documents obtained by The Washington Post. The charges make McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, D.C., the highest-ranking Catholic official in the country to face criminal charges for alleged sex abuse.


5. Web designer to appeal lawsuit to refuse same-sex customers, Plans to take case to Supreme Court sparked by Colorado baker, By Mark A Kellner, The Washington Times, July 30, 2021, Pg. A6

A Colorado web designer is taking her challenge of the state’s anti-discrimination law to the U.S. Supreme Court, now that a federal appellate court has rejected her lawsuit claiming religious liberty in denying service to same-sex wedding couples.

Lorie Smith, owner of the web design firm 303creative, says the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit will not stymie her efforts to avoid the hassles endured by a Colorado baker who refused to bake same-sex wedding cakes.


6. Mass and Memory, By Martin Mosebach, First Things, July 30, 2021

In Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis has given a command. He does this at a time when papal authority is unraveling as never before. The Church has long since advanced to an ungovernable stage. But the pope battles on. He abandons his dearest principles—“listening,” “tenderness,” “mercy”—that refuse to judge or give orders. Pope Francis is roused by something that troubles him: the tradition of the Church.

The limited breathing room that the pope’s predecessors granted to liturgical tradition is no longer occupied only by senile nostalgics. The Traditional Latin Mass also attracts young people, who have discovered and learned to love the “buried treasure in the field,” as Pope Benedict called the old liturgy. In Pope Francis’s eyes, this is so serious that it must be suppressed.

Perhaps the Mass is not what most concerns the pope. Francis appears to sympathize with the “hermeneutic of rupture”—that theological school that asserts that with the Second Vatican Council the Church broke with her tradition. If that is true, then indeed every celebration of the traditional liturgy must be prevented. For as long as the old Latin Mass is celebrated in any garage, the memory of the previous two thousand years will not have been extinguished.

This memory, however, cannot be rooted out by the blunt exercise of papal legal positivism. It will return again and again, and will be the criterion by which the Church of the future will have to measure itself.


7. Religious sisters work to combat root causes of human trafficking, By Ngala Killian Chimtom, Crux, July 30, 2021

This year’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is being observed July 30 under the theme, Victims’ Voices Lead The Way.

It’s a theme that highlights the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking.

Ahead of this year’s event, Talitha Kum – the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons – has launched its Care Against Trafficking campaign.

Our experience on the ground shows that long-term, care-centered approaches can reduce the risk of survivors being re-trafficked and exploited again,” said Sister Yvonne Clémence Bambara, Talitha Kum’s regional coordinator for Africa.


8. House Democrats Vote for Unlimited Taxpayer Funding of Abortion for Medicaid Recipients, By John McCormack, National Review Online, July 29, 2021, 5:51 PM

On Thursday, for the first time in 45 years, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to provide taxpayer funding of elective abortions for Medicaid recipients.

Since 1976, regardless of partisan control of Congress, every appropriations bill funding Medicaid that passed the House included the Hyde amendment, which bars federal funding of abortion except in rare circumstances. The last time such an appropriations bill came to the floor of the House without the Hyde amendment was in 1993, when Democrats held 258 seats in the lower chamber. Despite the large Democratic majority, there were still enough moderates in the party to add the Hyde amendment — modified at the time to restore federal funding in cases of rape and incest — before final passage.

Democrats now have a slim House majority — holding just 220 seats — but pro-life Democrats have effectively gone extinct in the House. The appropriations bill killing off the Hyde amendment passed the House on a 219-208 vote on Thursday, and a “motion to recommit” offered by Republicans that would have sent the bill back to committee so the Hyde amendment could be added failed on a 217-208 party-line vote.


9. Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio Places New Burden on Bishops, Particularly on Cardinal Gregory, By Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Catholic Register, July 29, 2021

Being a bishop is not easy. Being the Pope’s man in Washington, D.C., is more difficult still. And the recent liturgical changes have added to the challenges.

Just ask Cardinal Wilton Gregory, who in June took the lead in attempting to delay the U.S. bishops’ discussion of a document on the Holy Eucharist, especially in regard to the extreme pro-abortion policies of some Catholic politicians. But if one such, the president of Argentina, receives Holy Communion at the Vatican, some would expect the Pope’s man in Washington has to see to it that President Joe Biden does so in D.C.

Cardinal Gregory’s job was made more difficult with the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes, the motu proprio of Pope Francis that gives local bishops the authority and encouragement to restrict celebration of the “extraordinary form” (EF) of the Roman Rite, often called the “traditional Latin Mass.”

A solemn pontifical Mass of the extraordinary form was scheduled for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Aug. 14, the vigil of the Assumption. The celebrant was to have been Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, a retired papal nuncio. Reports are that it has been canceled because Cardinal Gregory did not give permission for it to proceed.


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