1. As the pope heads to Portugal, he’s laying the groundwork for the church’s future and his own legacy, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, July 31, 2023, 4:14 AM When Pope Francis made the first foreign trip of his papacy, to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in 2013, he urged young people to make a “mess” in their local churches, to shake things up even if it ruffled the feathers of their bishops. As he embarks this week on another edition of World Youth Day, in Lisbon, Portugal, Francis in many ways has taken his own advice to heart. After 10 years as pope, Francis is accelerating his reform agenda and making revolutionary changes in personnel and policy that are definitely shaking things up. Unencumbered by the shadow of Pope Benedict XVI, who died seven months ago, and despite recovering from a second intestinal surgery in as many years, the 86-year-old Francis is opening a frenetic second half of the year with his Portugal visit. He seems aware that he has a limited sweet spot of time to solidify the changes he believes are necessary for the 21st century church, and is looking to the next generation of faithful and leaders to execute them.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/31/pope-portugal-vatican-climate-reform/5fa1b7b0-2f68-11ee-85dd-5c3c97d6acda_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Survey finds inflation causing decline in charitable donations, By Sean Salai, The Washington Times, July 31, 2023, Pg. A6 Rising living costs are hurting charitable donations as Americans find their pockets emptier after three years of persistently high inflation, according to a new poll. The Collage Group, a consumer research company, released a survey Friday that found just 32% of Americans said they never give to charity. But 68% of respondents agreed with the statement “I don’t think I’ll have any money to donate.” The share of adults who do not have enough for charity this year included 66% of baby boomers, 70% of Generation X respondents, 69% of millennials and 65% of Generation Z.  According to the Collage Group survey, religious organizations and charities will suffer the most from the drop in giving. Religious contributions are the most popular among Americans, with 19% of those surveyed reporting donations of money or goods in the past year.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/jul/28/survey-finds-inflation-killing-charitable-donation/__________________________________________________________ 3. Is the Biden Administration Attempting to Circumvent State Pro-Life Laws with a Healthcare Privacy Rule Change?, The administration’s proposed rule would bar states from accessing information about abortion in certain cases, generating an array of potential legal and medical issues., By Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, July 31, 2023 The Biden administration continues to get creative in its attempts to expand abortion access in a post-Roe America, where 14 states have banned most abortions and Congress is divided on the issue. One of the latest tools in the Biden administration’s “whole-of-government” approach to respond to state pro-life protections involves proposed changes by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the rules which protect patient’s private healthcare information, and a change which would prevent states from accessing information about abortion. Roger Severino, who was head of the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) under former President Donald Trump and is now vice president of domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation, told the Register that the proposed HIPAA rule change is “part of a continuing campaign of massive resistance to the Dobbs decision by the Biden administration” aimed at “upending our federal system by trying to impede law enforcement in pro-life states.” Under the proposed rule change, information on “reproductive health” would not be turned over to authorities except in certain circumstances. Critics say the changes would prevent states from enforcing pro-life protections, would be a barrier to tracking complications from abortions, and could even enable abuse and sex trafficking.  https://www.ncregister.com/news/is-the-biden-administration-attempting-to-circumvent-state-pro-life-laws-with-a-healthcare-privacy-rule-change__________________________________________________________ 4. Pope Francis calls Russia to renew Ukraine grain deal, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, July 30, 2023, 6:10 AM Pope Francis made a direct call to Russia on Sunday to renew the deal that allowed Ukraine to export grain to countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. “I appeal to my brothers, the authorities of the Russian Federation, that the Black Sea Initiative be restored and grain be transported safely,” the pope said July 30 at the end of his weekly Angelus prayer and address. The Kremlin announced July 17 that the wartime grain deal would be suspended until “the part of the Black Sea deal related to Russia is implemented.” Russia has also bombed Ukraine’s Black Sea ports since quitting the agreement. The move by Russia has sparked fears for even higher food prices and increased poverty in countries already suffering from hunger.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254941/pope-francis-calls-russia-to-renew-ukraine-grain-deal__________________________________________________________ 5. A rebounding Pope Francis adds an overnight visit to France to his busy travel schedule, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, July 29, 2023, 7:45 AMPope Francis will make a two-day trip to Marseille, France, in late September, adding to a flurry of trips the 86-year-old pontiff will soon be making only weeks after leaving hospital following abdominal surgery. Early this year, Francis had said that he would go to the port city to participate in a meeting of Mediterranean-area Catholic bishops, but until the Vatican released his schedule on Saturday for the Sept. 22-23 pilgrimage, it wasn’t clear how long he would stay.  Francis heads on Aug. 2 to Lisbon, Portugal, on a five-day trip centered around a Catholic youth jamboree. While in Portugal, he’ll make a helicopter trip to Fatima, site of a popular shrine to the Virgin Mary.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/29/pope-francis-marseille-france/64fa085c-2e05-11ee-a948-a5b8a9b62d84_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Do you believe in angels? About 7 in 10 U.S. adults do, a new AP-NORC poll shows, By Holly Meyer, Associated Press, July 29, 2023, 5:49 PMIn fact, about 7 in 10 U.S. adults say they believe in angels, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. American’s belief in angels (69%) is about on par with belief in heaven and the power of prayer, but bested by belief in God or a higher power (79%). Fewer U.S. adults believe in the devil or Satan (56%), astrology (34%), reincarnation (34%), and that physical things can have spiritual energies, such as plants, rivers or crystals (42%).  The large number of U.S. adults who say they believe in angels includes 84% of those with a religious affiliation — 94% of evangelical Protestants, 81% of mainline Protestants and 82% of Catholics — and 33% of those without one. And of those angel-believing religiously unaffiliated, that includes 2% of atheists, 25% of agnostics and 50% of those identified as “nothing in particular.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2023/07/29/religion-poll-belief-angels-devil/c544e4e4-2e09-11ee-a948-a5b8a9b62d84_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Is Vietnam the Vatican’s template for China?, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, July 29, 2023, 2:04 PM, Opinion The Holy See and the government of Vietnam announced in a July 27 joint statement that the Vatican will now have a permanent residential representative in the country. The announcement, hailed as “noteworthy progress” by both parties, marks the farthest the Vatican has come to establishing diplomatic ties with the Communist country, since the government of the reunited Vietnam broke off relations in 1975. The Holy See’s decades of patient diplomatic progress with the Vietnamese government have often been cited as a possible template for the Vatican’s approach to China, and especially the controversial 2018 deal granting Beijing a role in the appointment of bishops.  But with the Vatican-China deal being publicly violated by Beijing, is the progress in Hanoi a reason for the Holy See to stay the course with China — or is it an example of a different, better approach?  Ultimately, the key to understanding why the Vatican’s efforts appear to be working in Vietnam and not China may simply come down to relative diplomatic clout. When the president of Vietnam meets the pope, it boosts his image. When the Church reports favorable progress on religious freedom in his country, it’s indirectly good business for an economy working to broaden access to Western markets. The Holy See has no such relative upsides to offer Xi and his government. If the Vatican’s long term bet with Hanoi appears to have paid off, their gamble to reopen China increasingly looks like a called bluff. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/is-vietnam-the-vaticans-template__________________________________________________________ 8. As crews contain Europe fires, Pope Francis sounds alarm on climate threat to ‘our common home’, By Nicole Winfield and Derek Gatopoulos, Associated Press, July 28, 2023, 11:59 AM Pope Francis urged governments to do more to fight climate change and protect “our common home” as improving weather conditions Friday helped firefighters contain wildfires in Greece, Italy and other countries in southern Europe. Francis, who has been outspoken on environmental issues, sent a telegram of condolences to Greece, where wildfires killed five people over the past week, including the pilots of a water-dropping aircraft. The pope noted that successive heat waves have exacerbated the dangers of the summer fire season. He offered his prayers for firefighters and emergency personnel in particular. “(I hope) that the risks to our common home, exacerbated by the present climate crisis, will spur all people to renew their efforts to care for the gift of creation, for the sake of future generations,” Francis said.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/28/greece-europe-wildfires-ammunition-explosion/8e1d246a-2d2b-11ee-a948-a5b8a9b62d84_story.html__________________________________________________________ 9. A Notre Dame professor sues a student publication over its coverage of her abortion-rights work, By Giovanna Dell’Orto, Associated Press, July 28, 2023, 11:21 AM A University of Notre Dame professor has filed a defamation lawsuit against a student-run publication over news coverage of her abortion-rights work. The case is raising questions about press freedom and academic freedom at one of the nation’s preeminent Catholic universities. Tamara Kay’s suit, filed in May, alleges falsehoods in two articles published by The Irish Rover in the past academic year. The Rover defended its reporting as true in a motion filed earlier this month to dismiss the case, under a law meant to protect people from frivolous lawsuits over matters of public concern.  In the motion filed under Indiana’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) law, the Irish Rover argued that – as an “independent, non-profit, student publication ‘devoted to preserving the Catholic identity of Notre Dame’” – its coverage of a Notre Dame professor’s public statements and actions about abortion qualify under the law’s public interest and free speech criteria. The motion added that the stories were “at least substantially true” and “did not contain defamatory imputation.” Exhibits include a transcript of the March event and since-deleted tweets by Kay last fall referring Notre Dame colleagues to websites with information on where to find abortion providers and how to procure abortion pills.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/07/28/notre-dame-press-freedom-abortion-defamation-lawsuit/d7fe35ac-2d3e-11ee-a948-a5b8a9b62d84_story.html__________________________________________________________

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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