1. Bishops Split on Abortion Politics, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2022, Pg. A6 U.S. Catholic bishops meeting in San Diego for a weeklong spiritual retreat starting Monday will try to rebuild unity after a polarizing debate over whether to deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights. Among the proposed retreat topics, according to a memo sent to bishops, are “community and fraternity among the bishops,” “unity and mutual support among bishops,” polarization in the country and the church, and unity with Pope Francis. No relationship better epitomizes the divide within the U.S. bishops’ conference today than that between the retreat’s host, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, and his former boss, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco. In their disagreements and their intertwined biographies, the two California bishops personify divisions between progressive and conservative wings of the U.S. episcopate under Pope Francis.  Differences between the bishops extend to liturgy. After Pope Francis last year instructed bishops around the world to restrict celebration of the traditional Latin Mass, saying it had become a source of division, Bishop McElroy reduced the number of churches offering the Latin Mass in his diocese. Archbishop Cordileone, who sometimes celebrates the Latin Mass himself, didn’t restrict it and affirmed its value as a model of reverent worship. Their most prominent area of disagreement is over how church leaders should deal with the politics of abortion. Bishop McElroy has criticized a statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, supported by Archbishop Cordileone, that “the threat of abortion is our pre-eminent priority.” The bishop has argued that, while opposing abortion is of the highest importance, the statement is out of keeping with Pope Francis’s teaching that other social issues such as climate change and race are equally weighty. The decision by Pope Francis to name the San Diego bishop to the College of Cardinals has been seen as the latest sign that he wants the U.S. episcopate to assume a more progressive orientation. https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-california-bishops-personify-catholic-divide-over-politics-of-abortion-11655038801?___________________________________________________________ 2. Nigerian Catholic bishop to Irish president: Church massacre not linked to climate change, By Catholic News Agency, June 13, 2022, 4:42 AM Attributing violence against Nigeria’s Christians to climate change is “incorrect and far-fetched,” according to the bishop of a diocese where at least 40 people were murdered at a Pentecost Sunday Mass. Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of Ondo was responding to a statement issued by Irish president Michael D. Higgins after the June 5 massacre at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, southwestern Nigeria. Higgins condemned the attack on June 7, but appeared to link it to “the consequences of climate change.” “While thanking the Honorable Mr. Higgins for joining others to condemn the attack and offering his sympathy to the victims, his reasons for this gruesome massacre are incorrect and far-fetched,” Arogundade said in a message dated June 10.  Arogundade’s comments were echoed by the British Catholic human rights campaigner David Alton. Alton, an independent member of the House of Lords, the upper house of the U.K. parliament, lamented that the suffering of Nigerians had provoked “little interest” in the mainstream media. “And it is striking how quickly politicians and commentators trot out the same discredited banal narrative that the drivers for such carnage are climate change and lack of resources,” he wrote on his website on June 12. “They say that the causes are ‘complicated,’ with hardly a mention of the jihadist ideology that is behind the endless atrocities of ISIS and Boko Haram.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251527/nigerian-catholic-bishop-to-irish-president-pentecost-sunday-church-massacre-not-linked-to-climate-change___________________________________________________________ 3. ‘Bracing for a long season of debate’: What faith leaders say as US waits for abortion ruling, By USA Today, June 12, 2022, 5:11 PM The looming decision in the Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has sparked debate across the nation. It also is being closely watched in communities of faith where, as in America, there are differing views on abortion. USA TODAY Opinion reached out to multiple faith leaders for their perspectives on what they hope for in the upcoming Supreme Court decision and how their beliefs inform their views on Roe v. Wade. Here’s a sampling of some of the responses: ‘Hoping for a sound decision’ As a physician, I daily witness the endearing humanity and perfect liveliness of unborn children. They are my patients, just as their mothers are. Advancements in science since Roe was decided in 1973, especially in imaging technologies like ultrasound and in neonatal care, have shone an ever-brighter spotlight on these littlest patients we serve. We can see with growing clarity that they are, in fact, living people, and as such, we are increasingly filled with compassion and sympathy for them. These feelings square beautifully with the Christian faith, founded on the revolutionary idea that all human beings are made in the image of God, equal in dignity and equally deserving of respect – no matter their stage in life or their dependency on another. As a Catholic who is committed to this noble idea, and as a doctor who daily marvels at the delicate beauty of my fetal patients, I am hoping for a sound decision from the Supreme Court. The end of Roe may be the beginning, I hope, of a more welcoming and inclusive America, where struggling would-be mothers and their beloved children are given the love, support and protection they deserve. — Grazie Pozo Christie, M.D., senior fellow with The Catholic Association https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2022/06/12/dobbs-abortion-ruling-faith-leaders-religion/9886519002/___________________________________________________________ 4. Uvalde Bishop Makes Impassioned Plea for Gun Laws, By Rick Rojas and Josh Peck, The New York Times, June 12, 2022, Pg. A26 Since the attack, the archbishop, whose vast domain of roughly 796,000 Catholics includes Uvalde, has emerged as one of the most visible and vocal gun control advocates in South Texas.In over a decade as the archbishop in San Antonio, Mr. García-Siller — a native of San Luis Potosi, in central Mexico — has developed a reputation for speaking out on social issues, particularly in support of undocumented immigrants. He also rankled conservatives in 2019 after a gunman targeting Latinos opened fire in a Walmart in El Paso, issuing a call on Twitter for President Donald J. Trump to “stop racism, starting with yourself.” (He later deleted the post and apologized for criticizing an individual instead of focusing on the larger issue.)  A contingent of conservative Catholics argues that the church’s teachings, including on self-defense and preserving the common good, justify owning and carrying a gun.  Scholars and other Catholics say the influence of church leaders has diminished in recent years, eroded by institutional failures in responding to sex abuse and a societal shift away from traditional religious worship. By taking such an firm position on guns, Archbishop García-Siller is testing the sway he has among his flock. But beyond that, the response to the archbishop shows the vast spectrum of opinions now coexisting inside the Catholic Church. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/11/us/uvalde-archbishop-gun-reform.html__________________________________________________________ 5. A test in Virginia of the right to remain silent, By Becky Dummermuth and Adam MacLeod, The Washington Post, June 12, 2022, Pg. C4, Opinion We Americans have historically held the right to free speech dear. We call it to mind often and pride ourselves in its robust protections. Few of us ever think of its companion: the right to silence. But, as Peter Vlaming learned, the right to silence is just as critical to freedom as its noisier counterpart. Vlaming was a well-loved French teacher at West Point High School in West Point, Va. When a transgender student started identifying as male, Vlaming used the student’s newly chosen name. But, given his religious convictions, he avoided either male or female pronouns in class. Eventually, the superintendent said Vlaming could teach only if he would use the student’s preferred pronouns. Unwilling to compromise his beliefs, Vlaming was fired — not for what he said but for what he didn’t say. Claiming, among other things, violations of his rights to free speech and freedom of religion under the Virginia Constitution, Vlaming sued the school district. After he lost in the trial court, the Virginia Supreme Court agreed to hear his appeal. Recently, First Liberty Institute submitted a friend-of-court brief on behalf of the Center for Religion, Culture and Democracy and 18 scholars. The brief argues that the right to silence is fundamental to our legal system and promotes freedom of expression and freedom of religion.  Vlaming is not facing imprisonment, torture or death, as did those who refused to speak in medieval times. But he faces a school district that seems equally as determined to crush what it deems to be heresy. Today, many face the threat of losing their careers and professional reputations for refusing to parrot the popular orthodoxy. The right to silence is capable of protecting Americans from these threats, just as it has protected minority views and opinions for centuries. Becky Dummermuth is counsel for First Liberty Institute. Adam MacLeod is a research fellow at the Center for Religion, Culture and Democracy. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/10/test-virginia-right-remain-silent/___________________________________________________________ 6. In Russia, a Christian religion is punished, over and over again, By The Washington Post, June 11, 2022, 8:00 AM, Editorial The headlines are full of stories about threats to democracy around the world and in the United States. Despots are on the rise, endangering freedom of speech, assembly and religion. But what is it really like to live under such conditions? A new decision by the European Court of Human Rights paints a depressing picture of the experiences of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, who have been severely punished for their beliefs.  The European court’s ruling will probably have only symbolic impact; Russia has been ejected from the council in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, although it remains bound by the European Convention on Human Rights until Sept. 16. The Russian parliament has passed legislation ending the court’s jurisdiction. But the ruling is a testament to what happens when innocent people are stripped of their rights and dignity by a police state. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/11/russia-punish-jehovah-witnesses/___________________________________________________________ 7. 190 attacks against Church in Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega since 2018, report says, By Catholic News Agency, June 10, 2022, 2:45 PM In less than four years, the Catholic Church in Nicaragua has been the target of 190 attacks and desecrations, including a fire in the Managua Cathedral, as well as police harassment and persecution of bishops and priests under the regime of Daniel Ortega, the country’s president, a new investigative report shows. The report, “Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church? (2018-2022),” by attorney Martha Patricia Molina Montenegro, a member of the Pro-Transparency and Anti-Corruption Observatory, notes that “the role of the Catholic Church has been fundamental in the crisis of human rights violations that Nicaragua is facing.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251515/attacks-against-church-in-nicaragua-daniel-ortega___________________________________________________________ 8. Pro-life pregnancy centers in Alaska and Washington state defaced with pro-abortion graffiti, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, June 10, 2022, 4:07 PM Pro-life pregnancy centers in both Anchorage, Alaska and Vancouver, Washington were defaced with pro-abortion graffiti last week. Alaska Watchman, a conservative news website, reported that the Anchorage vandalism occurred June 2 around 1:30 a.m. at Community Pregnancy Center. A staff member reportedly found nails placed facing upwards in a crack in the clinic parking lot, in addition to the spray-painted graffiti. Glass in the clinic’s front door was also reportedly broken. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251516/pro-life-pregnancy-centers-in-alaska-and-washington-state-defaced-with-pro-abortion-graffiti___________________________________________________________

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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