1. Elizabeth Warren Smears Pro-Life Charities, By Christopher Bell, The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2022, Pg. A13, Opinion Sen. Elizabeth Warren last week called for the federal government to “crack down” on crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes such as Good Counsel, the one I founded in New Jersey in 1985. In the 37 years I’ve been working with homeless women, pregnant mothers and babies, I’ve seen how the media smears the pro-life movement. They say we don’t care about women. They say we love children only before they’re born and, in Ms. Warren’s words, that we “mislead and deceive” women into having babies they don’t want. She may believe that, but it isn’t true. At Good Counsel, like many similar organizations throughout the country, we take in any pregnant woman in need. Most come from broken or dysfunctional homes and have nowhere else to go. They are welcome to stay with us for a year or longer. During that time, we help them develop child-rearing skills. We also provide budgeting and vocational assistance, nutritional advice and tips for a healthy lifestyle. Many women choose to work or go back to school. Our staff babysits—free of charge—while new moms begin to build a résumé. We do everything we can to help connect women to resources and support.  Want to talk about deception? Many of the women who come to us have been told—by doctors, high-school counselors and social-service organizations—that abortion is their only option. They are told that having a baby means they’ll never finish school and won’t have a career. None of this is true, but I hear it every day.  Ms. Warren is welcome to visit Good Counsel anytime she wants. I think she will see that we don’t mislead or deceive anyone. We stick to the truth, delivered with compassion and mercy. Mr. Bell is co-founder and president of Good Counsel Homes. https://www.wsj.com/articles/elizabeth-warren-smears-pro-life-charities-mothers-maternity-homes-children-baby-pregnancy-center-11657053639?__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope’s envoy is joyfully welcomed by faithful in South Sudan, By Deng Machol, Associated Press, July 5, 2022, 12:42 PM Hundreds of people braved a scorching sun Tuesday to welcome Pope Francis’ envoy to South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where many were disappointed last month when the pontiff canceled a trip to this East African country. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, was received by religious leaders, government officials, and hundreds of who sang and danced upon his arrival. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/popes-envoy-is-joyfully-welcomed-by-faithful-in-south-sudan/2022/07/05/75157408-fc81-11ec-b39d-71309168014b_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Judge won’t block law banning most Mississippi abortions, By Emily Wagster Pettus, Anthony Izaguirre and Kevin Mcgill, Associated Press, July 5, 2022, 6:21 PM As attorneys argued about abortion laws across the South on Tuesday, a Mississippi judge rejected a request by the state’s only abortion clinic to temporarily block a law that would ban most abortions. Without other developments in the Mississippi lawsuit, the clinic will close at the end of business Wednesday and the state law will take effect Thursday. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-set-to-hear-challenge-of-mississippi-abortion-law/2022/07/05/ac04eebe-fc66-11ec-b39d-71309168014b_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Hong Kong missionary head reportedly warned Chinese repression could worsen, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, July 5, 2022, 4:00 PM A Catholic priest overseeing missionaries serving in Hong Kong reportedly told the missionaries that they should prepare for a much more difficult future, as the Chinese government tightens control over the exercise of religion in Hong Kong. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251723/hong-kong-missionary-head-reportedly-warned-chinese-repression-could-worsen__________________________________________________________ 5. The price of Pope Francis’ long view on China, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, July 5, 2022 Pope Francis praised the progress of Vatican relations with China and predicted the renewal of the controversial deal between the Holy See and Beijing this week, in a newly released Vatican interview.  But the pope’s words come amid sustained criticism of the agreement’s practical implementation, and as new reports surface that Church institutions are bracing for a crackdown in Hong Kong, raising questions about the Vatican’s diplomatic strategy with the Chinese government.  While the text of the agreement has not been published, it allowed for the Chinese Communist Party to exercise a voice in the appointment of bishops for the mainland, in exchange for bringing the state-sponsored, schismatic church, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association into communion with Rome. The deal was also meant to provide some measure of legal protection for the underground Church in China. Since then, the episcopal appointment process for China has not become notably smoother — dozens of mainland sees remain vacant. Commenting on the appointment process to Reuters, Francis said the naming of new bishops for China “is going slowly, but they are being appointed.” Who actually is making the final decision on those appointments remains unclear, however. Several of the most recent bishop have been consecrated and installed under government supervision, and announced by Communist Party authorities, without any prior announcement or acknowledgement from the Vatican, fueling reports that Rome was forced to agree to the appointments after the fact.  While the Vatican’s Secretariat of State issued unsigned guidance in 2019, stating that “the Holy See understands and respects the choice of those who, in conscience, decide that they are unable to register under the current conditions,” bishops and priests who refuse to register have been subject to a campaign of harassment, arrest and detention, with some bishops disappearing altogether. Asked about the ongoing persecution of Chinese Catholics, Francis told Reuters that the Church does face “the same situation in every region of the country” and the level of hostility to Catholics often “depends on local leaders.” However, last year, the mainland government issued strict new regulations on Communist Party oversight of religion in the country, including the appointment and registration of Catholic clergy — making no reference to Vatican involvement in the process.  If the Vatican’s China deal has yielded questionable progress for the Church in China, it has also created complications for Rome on the diplomatic field.   If the Holy See has concluded that it has, essentially, no diplomatic leverage to deploy with Beijing after four years of the Vatican-China deal, it isn’t clear what has been gained from the arrangement.  One senior diplomatic official told The Pillar that within the Secretariat of State it was generally acknowledged that the Vatican-China deal was a “failure,” but one they were committed to because of Francis’ personal support for the project.  Reopening the Holy See’s embassy in Beijing, closed since the Communist government formally expelled the Church in 1949, has been a long-treasured goal of the Secretariat of State, and the path appears increasingly clear for that goal to be achieved. One of the chief impediments to full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and China is that the Holy See has full diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, Taiwan, though, for decades, its mission there has been headed by a chargé d’affaires.  Last month, the holder of that position, Msgr. Araldo Catalan, was transferred to become the new apostolic nuncio to Rwanda. Just days later, Msgr. Javier Herrera Corona was reassigned to become the papal ambassador to Congo. Corona had led the Holy See’s diplomatic mission in Hong Kong, which moved its archives off-island to the Philippines more than a year ago, following security concerns and repeated cyber attacks. While the Vatican has dismissed reports that the reassignments could be part of the Vatican gearing up towards a more formal diplomatic relationship with the mainland as “speculation,” neither of the officials has yet to be replaced. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/pope-francis-long-view-on-china-has__________________________________________________________ 6. Today’s Fight For Religious Freedom, By Thomas F. Farr, First Things, July 5, 2022 Why should you and I, regardless of our religious or political beliefs, support religious freedom for everyone, everywhere? Because human beings must have the freedom to be religious.  And yet millions of human beings remain subject to violent, sometimes deadly, religious persecution and discrimination. They are paying a profound cost for their religious consciences. We  must fight for them. We must fight, for example, for the Muslims of China.  Unfortunately, we are also seeing a retreat from religious liberty in Western democracies.  In many Western democracies, including the United States, ancient moral truths on the sacredness of human life, on marriage and sexuality, and on the natural distinctions between men and women are being labeled by those with power as irrational, bigoted, and untrue.  Unfortunately, this problem has also entered American foreign policy. The State Department is demanding that nations with traditional moral beliefs either accept contemporary Western views of sexual morality, or risk losing life-saving aid and life-changing investment. This is the opposite of advancing religious freedom for all. Pope Francis has rightly called it “ideological colonization.” It is an assault on human dignity. It disrespects and disregards the religious conscience that lies at the heart of religious freedom. It is unworthy of our nation and any nation that purports to defend justice, human equality, and human freedom. A society that affords all its citizens full religious freedom generates good things for everyone. So let us stand as one in fighting for religious freedom, especially those of us blessed to live in democratic nations. Thomas F. Farr is president of the Religious Freedom Institute. This essay is adapted from a speech delivered at the 2022 International Religious Freedom Summit. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2022/07/todays-fight-for-religious-freedom__________________________________________________________

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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