TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 269 – Tim Moriarty Talks Jesus Thirsts & A New Maternity Home In Miami!
With the success of Hermanos de la Calle, a non-profit working indefatigably to help rescue the homeless from the streets of Miami, Narciso Muñoz tells us about his new project: working to help pregnant mothers in need with Hearts for Life, a maternity home opening soon in the Sunshine state. And with the smashing box-office success of Jesus Thirsts, executive producer Tim Moriarty joins with a glimpse at this amazing film stirring hearts about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily as he journeys along the Euharistic Pilgrimage. Catch the show every Saturday at 5pmET on EWTN radio!
1. How Pope Francis became the AI ethicist for world leaders and tech titans, Francis on Friday became the first pope to address G-7 leaders, joining a summit session dedicated to artificial intelligence., By Anthony Faiola, Cat Zakrzewski and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post, June 14, 2024, 9:57 AM
Pope Francis is an octogenarian who says he cannot use a computer, but on a February afternoon in 2019, a top diplomat of American Big Tech entered the papal residence seeking guidance on the ethics of a gestating technology: artificial intelligence.
Microsoft President Brad Smith and the pope discussed the rapid development of the technology, Smith recounted in an interview with The Washington Post, and Francis appeared to grasp its risks. As Smith departed, the pope uttered a warning. “Keep your humanity,” he urged, as he held Smith’s wrist.
In the five years since that meeting, AI has become unavoidable — as the pope himself found out last year when viral images of him in a Balenciaga puffer jacket heralded a new era of deepfakes. And as the technology has proliferated, the Vatican has positioned itself as the conscience of companies like Microsoft and emerged as a surprisingly influential voice in the debate over AI’s global governance.
In southern Italy on Friday, Francis became the first pope to address a Group of Seven forum of world leaders, delivering a moral treatise on the “cognitive-industrial revolution” represented by AI, as he sought to elevate the topic in the same manner he did climate change.

The G-7 leaders — with the Vatican’s support — were set to unveil a badge of honor of sorts: a new label for companies that agree to safely and ethically develop AI tools, according to a person familiar with the G-7 discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the plan in advance of its release. The label will amount to a “voluntary” commitment, backed up by a monitoring and reporting system.
2. Catholic bishops apologize for church’s role operating Indian boarding schools, In Friday vote, church leaders cite a “history of trauma” inflicted on Native Americans, including generations of children removed from their families to be forcibly assimilated., By Sari Horwitz and Dana Hedgpeth, The Washington Post, June 14, 2024, 10:40 AM
U.S. Catholic bishops issued a formal apology Friday morning for the church’s role in inflicting a “history of trauma” on Native Americans, including at church-run Indian boarding schools where a Washington Post investigation published last month documented pervasive sexual abuse by priests.
The vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which establishes policies and norms for the church in the United States, represents the most direct expression of regret to date by church officials for past participation in a systematic effort by the U.S. government to forcibly assimilate Native Americans into White society. By a 181-2 vote, the bishops approved a document, called “Keeping Christ’s Sacred Promise: A Pastoral Framework for Indigenous Ministry.” Three people abstained.
3. Pope Francis meets more than 100 comedians at the Vatican: ‘You also make God smile’, Before flying to Italy’s southern Puglia region to meet world leaders at the Group of Seven summit, Pope Francis hosted a very different audience at the Vatican celebrating the importance of humor, By Giada Zampano, Associated Press, June 14, 2024, 9:08 PM
Before flying to Italy’s southern Puglia region to meet world leaders at the Group of Seven summit, Pope Francis hosted a very different audience at the Vatican on Friday celebrating the importance of humor.
The pontiff welcomed more than 100 comedians from 15 nations, including U.S. celebrities Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien.
“In the midst of so much gloomy news, immersed as we are in many social and even personal emergencies, you have the power to spread peace and smiles,” Francis told the comedians.
“You unite people, because laughter is contagious,” he continued, asking jokingly, “Please pray for me: for, not against!”
Francis pointed out that in the creation, “Divine wisdom practiced your art for the benefit of none other than God himself, the first spectator in history,” with God delighting in the works that he had made.
4. U.S. bishops’ pro-life chair on opposition to abortion pill: It’s ‘because we love women’, By Zelda Caldwell, Catholic News Agency, June 14, 2024, 5:00 AM
The head of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ pro-life committee on Thursday expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the abortion pill to continue to be available, citing the health risks involved for women as well as concern for the life of the unborn. 
The high court’s unanimous decision on Thursday found that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to sue the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which had issued the regulations that made the abortion pill widely available.
“We know it was a procedural ruling, and we did not speak to the ultimate legality of the abortion pill, but it’s still very disappointing because now the abortion pill remains very available,” Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, told CNA.

As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Burbidge had issued a call for Catholics to pray for the nation’s highest court to side with the pro-life medical groups challenging the FDA’s regulation.
5. Angry Catholics Wanted to Burn the Church. He Came to Save It., In a cold, remote corner of northern Quebec, a sexual abuse scandal pushed a church to the edge. The Rev. Gérard Tsatselam, from Cameroon, must comfort the afflicted to bring it back., By Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times, June 13, 2024
The Rev. Gérard Tsatselam boarded the ferryboat and settled in his usual place, on a reclining seat, at the back of a cold, unlit room that would have been packed in summer. Uneasy, he sat shrouded in his large, black coat as high winter winds delayed the boat’s arrival in the village where he was trying to save the church.
Except for a quick stopover for a funeral, he had not visited his parish — in Unamen Shipu, an Indigenous reserve on the frigid, isolated coast of northeastern Quebec — in months. Mold had invaded the presbytery and left him scrambling for lodging on each visit.
Another reason behind his unease was the enduring fallout from the accusations of sexual and other abuse by a predecessor, a Belgian priest. Though the transgressions dated back decades, during what Father Gérard called the Roman Catholic Church’s “colonial” era, dealing with the parishioners’ anger and distrust had fallen to him — a priest and missionary from the Central African nation of Cameroon.
Father Gérard had been Unamen Shipu’s priest for four years, and his predecessor long dead, when the accusations were leveled in 2017.
“The moment they came out, the dynamics changed,” he had said before boarding. “There’s a before and an after.”
He had watched, helplessly, as most of his parishioners broke with the church.
Now, returning to Unamen Shipu, Father Gérard planned to comfort his dwindling flock and restore the faith of those who had left. He would try to assuage the rage that had fueled threats to burn down the presbytery and to cast his predecessor’s body into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
“It’s a complex terrain,” Father Gérard said. “People are still Christian. They’re religious, they believe, they still have faith. But they’re really hurting a lot.”

Father Gérard is 43, a soft-spoken man of medium build, whose closely shaved head emphasizes his expressive eyes. He was born and raised in northern Cameroon, in a region conquered in the 19th century by Muslim invaders belonging to the Fula people, one of the dominant ethnic groups in western Africa. After World War II, priests from the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate from France arrived and sought those who had resisted converting to Islam, like Father Gérard’s family.
“For us, Christianity was seen more as a religion that liberated us from the domination of Muslim invaders,” Father Gérard said, explaining what drew him to begin studying for the priesthood in his 20s.
When Oblate priests from Canada came looking for recruits to replenish their aging ranks, he jumped at the chance.
Over the years, le Père Gérard has become a well-known and respected figure in this remote corner of Quebec, crisscrossing it by ferryboat, plane and snowmobile, his possessions stuffed in a hockey bag. He arrived from Cameroon in 2012 as an idealistic priest in his early 30s with little knowledge of Canada’s entangled history with Indigenous people, part of a wave of African priests who began coming to Quebec to make up for a shortage of local ones.
Their arrival coincided with a nationwide reckoning over Canada’s brutal treatment of generations of Indigenous people, including by the Catholic Church and at church-run boarding schools. As the church lost its authority in still deeply religious Indigenous communities, who better to heal the historic wounds than priests from Africa, a continent broken apart by colonialism? Though Father Gérard would never say so explicitly, African priests like himself were in a singular position in relation to the Indigenous population — free of the weight of the nation’s history and colonialism in a way that no Canadian or European priest could ever be.
6. Senate Republicans Block Bill Protecting IVF, Democrats’ measure aimed to protect in vitro fertilization and ensure it was covered under health insurance for federal employees, By Owen Tucker-Smith, The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2024, 3:30 PM
Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill protecting in vitro fertilization, while also working to reassure constituents that they supported access to the popular fertility treatment, underscoring how reproductive health issues have become a political vulnerability for GOP lawmakers.
The vote was 48 to 47, with Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska siding with Democrats in backing the bill. The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance under Senate rules. 
Democrats said the IVF protections were needed to head off fresh challenges to the procedure. The vote comes just a day after the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant group in the country, voted to oppose the practice, which involves implanting embryos in a woman’s uterus. Earlier this year, Alabama’s highest court found that frozen embryos can be considered children under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act, prompting the state legislature to step in to clarify IVF was legal.
The Senate Democrats’ bill aimed to protect in vitro fertilization and ensure it is covered under health insurance for federal employees, among other measures meant to expand access. Republicans accused Democrats of drafting overly broad legislation designed to score political points and scare voters. Ahead of the vote, all 49 Senate Republicans signed a letter backing IVF.
7. The Supreme Court and the Abortion Pill, Whatever happened to that ‘Christian Nationalist’ majority?, By The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2024, 5:46 PM, Editorial
Perhaps you’ve read that the Supreme Court is riven by deep political and personal divisions. Well, on Thursday the Justices issued two unanimous and important decisions that defy the media caricature while affirming core judicial principles.
In FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the Justices rejected a challenge by pro-life doctors to Food and Drug Administration regulations that expanded access to the abortion pill mifepristone. So much for the left’s denunciations of the Court as “Christian Nationalist.”
Pro-life doctors argued the FDA’s easing of dispensing rules on mifepristone in 2016 and 2021 were arbitrary and capricious. Yet as Justice Brett Kavanaugh explains for the Court, the doctors failed to satisfy the “bedrock constitutional requirement” of legal standing.

What the rulings really show, again, is that the current Court majority is putting the law first, even if it means a policy defeat for their political beliefs. The critics were wrong—again.
8. Biden presses to keep reproductive rights in G-7 agreement, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni sought to eliminate a statement in the communiqué backing abortion rights., By Tyler Pager, Anthony Faiola and Matt Viser, The Washington Post, June 13, 2024, 4:21 PM
President Biden, whose reelection campaign is centered on mobilizing voters on abortion rights, has been waging a behind-the-scenes battle here to ensure that abortion access and reproductive rights are part of a global agreement among the world’s leading democracies.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, a hard-line conservative, has been intent on changing language that was included in last year’s Group of Seven communiqué to exclude mentions of abortion or reproductive rights, according to officials familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters.
But Biden, along with the leaders of France, Germany and Canada, pushed for its inclusion, and Biden threatened to not sign the document if it was not included, the officials said. The debate over the communiqué became a major sticking point, with negotiations lasting until 2 a.m. for several nights over the past week, and the reproductive rights language did not get resolved until the very end, according to one of the officials involved.
Under a tentative agreement, this year’s language will not explicitly mention the word abortion, which Meloni may count as a win. However, it will restate the G-7’s endorsement of last year’s agreement, which did use that term. It will also say that the G-7 leaders support universal health-care access for women, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health rights.
Biden’s aides said the explicit reiteration of support for last year’s communiqué — issued when the leaders met in Hiroshima, Japan — will amount to a broad international embrace of abortion rights.

Another factor is the presence of Pope Francis at the G-7, marking the first time a pontiff has attended the event, although his aides said he would not seek to influence the language of the communiqué.
A senior Vatican official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue, said, “The pope wouldn’t make such an ask.” But he suggested that Francis’s presence might have inspired the Italians to take a firmer position in illustrating their alignment with the Vatican’s antiabortion stance.
9. We are witnessing a war on women, How can the religious right, a movement that calls itself pro-life, take a stance against IVF?, By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, June 13, 2024, 5:43 PM, Opinion
For the religious right, erasing the constitutional right to abortion was just the beginning. They are coming after all our reproductive rights and freedoms, every single one of them, and the only way to stop them is with our votes.

How can the religious right, a movement that calls itself pro-life, take a stance against a procedure that creates life? The answer lies in the concept of fetal personhood — in this case, embryonic personhood. That is clearly where the zealots who seek “The Handmaid’s Tale” control over women’s bodies are headed, now that the obstacle of Roe v. Wade no longer stands in their way.
In February, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the frozen embryos created during the IVF process are “children,” and that the embryos are therefore protected under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. Because an IVF attempt often does not result in a pregnancy and must be tried again, more embryos are created than used in the end. Doctors who intentionally or accidentally destroyed even one of those surplus embryos were suddenly vulnerable to being charged with killing a child, so Alabama’s IVF clinics quickly shut down.
Alabama’s Republican-controlled state legislature and Republican governor quickly enacted legislation to shield IVF doctors from legal liability. But the court’s ruling stands — and was hailed Monday at the Southern Baptist Convention’s meeting as the “catalyst” for the new anti-IVF policy.

Most Americans, by a decisive margin, believe a woman should have the intrinsic right to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy. Similarly, polls tell us that Americans, by an overwhelming margin, believe IVF is morally acceptable and a godsend. Most of us believe these are private decisions to be made by individuals, not legislators or judges.
This is clearly a majority view, but not a consensus view. Mohler speaks for a minority that believes all abortion, from the moment of conception, is murder. And the Republican Party fights — sometimes nervously — as this uncompromising minority’s champion.
So, with public opinion against them, antiabortion activists are already waging the next battle: to give embryos full personhood rights and protections. They are coming hard after IVF. They failed Thursday to get the high court to restrict safe and legal abortion drugs, but they surely will try again. They might even attempt an assault on contraception.
This is, simply, a forever war. Remain vigilant because there is no end in sight.
10. The continued political march of abortion rights, As the Supreme Court declines to limit access to mifepristone, some striking new data shows Americans trending even more toward abortion rights., By Aaron Blake, The Washington Post, June 13, 2024, 4:44 PM
The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling Thursday rejecting an effort to limit access to the abortion pill mifepristone is unlikely to reverberate too much politically.
The impact would have been greater if the court had gone the other way, by restricting something Americans support nearly 2-to-1. Such a decision would have come just two years after the court’s highly unpopular decision overturning Roe v. Wade and could have set off a whole new backlash.

Gallup has for years asked voters whether they had a litmus test regarding abortion rights. Basically, the question is whether you demand a candidate share either your support for abortion rights or your antiabortion views to earn your vote.
And its latest survey shows the country continuing to trend toward demanding support for abortion rights.
Fully 23 percent of voters support abortion rights and demand candidates who do the same, compared with just 8 percent who say the same about opposing abortion rights.
That’s not only a reversal from where things stood for a quarter-century before Roe fell in 2022 — for that entire time, opposing abortion rights was more of a litmus test. It’s also actually a bigger gap now than it was even in 2022 and 2023.
In both of those years, the percentage of voters demanding support for abortion rights outpaced those demanding opposition by seven points; the gap has widened to 15 points.

Fox News polling in Arizona and Florida showed remarkable levels of support for adding abortion rights to those states’ constitutions — 70 percent in Arizona and 69 percent in Florida. In both states, even Trump supporters and Republicans leaned in favor of the ballot measures.
Those surveys come on top of others showing the measures leading by wide margins, as well.
11. After ruling, the future of abortion pills rests with Biden or Trump, Antiabortion advocates hope Trump endorses restrictions after the Supreme Court refused to limit access to a key abortion drug., By Caroline Kitchener and Michael Scherer, The Washington Post, June 13, 2024, 5:24 PM
The Supreme Court’s decision Thursday not to impose restrictions on a key abortion drug, while a victory for abortion rights advocates, crystallizes the stakes of the next presidential election for access nationwide.
Because a president has enormous power to influence federal agencies that oversee abortion policy, a potential Trump administration could unilaterally choose to do what the Supreme Court did not: impose strict restrictions on mifepristone, one of two drugs used in over 60 percent of abortions — or even move to take the drug off the market entirely.
“This decision means the ball is squarely in the next administration’s court,” said Roger Severino, who oversees abortion policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation and led abortion-related initiatives in the Department of Health and Human Services under Trump. “It’s up to the next administration to restore some semblance of safety to this largely unregulated regime of chemical abortion.”
12. Bishops request USCCB study after transgender hermit announcement, By The Pillar, June 13, 2024, 5:49 PM
Several U.S. bishops have requested that the USCCB canonical affairs committee provide guidance and direction on issues raised by the case of a diocesan hermit who publicly identified last month as transgender.
According to sources close to the conference, a group of bishops requested ahead of this week’s USCCB plenary assembly in Louisville, Kentucky that conference president Archbishop Timothy Broglio commission the canon law committee to discuss and give direction on transgender identity in religious life.
“Bishops asked [Broglio] to give all of this to canonical affairs because no one has said anything [about it]. This announcement was made, and now no one knows if the Holy See is going eventually to address it,” one senior source told The Pillar.

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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