TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 61 – Ryan Anderson On SCOTUS, Dr. Alveda King And Father Roger Landry On Protesting On Both Knees

On this week’s Conversations with Consequences, Dr. Grazie Christie is joined by TCA colleague Ashley McGuire and Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation with a clear analysis of the recent SCOTUS ruling and why we should be concerned about some very troubling implications. Dr. Alveda King also joins to share what her uncle, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would’ve thought of the recent protests and riots amid the tragic death of George Floyd. We also hear from Father Roger Landry and his call for all of us, as Catholics, to be protesting on both knees.

1. Advocates hope exception applies in private school case, By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, June 19, 2020, Pg. A6

Religious liberty advocates are expressing cautious optimism over an upcoming Supreme Court decision on the “ministerial exception” to employment laws, after the high court acknowledged a potential religious defense this week in ruling that employers cannot discriminate against their LGBTQ workers.

Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at the religious liberty law firm Becket, pointed out that the majority opinion and both dissenting opinions in Monday’s ruling noted “the ministerial exception and one of them specifically mentioned the Our Lady of Guadalupe case.”

In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, Becket is representing two California churches that did not renew the contracts of lay teachers by declaring them to be “ministers” whose employment is exempt from governmental protections. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case by telephone in May.

The court is expected to release its ruling in Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru before adjourning for the summer.

2. An African-American Saint for Our Time: Augustus Tolton was born into slavery, became a priest, and ministered to the poor, By John J. Miller, The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2020, Pg. A15, Opinion

Born into slavery on a Missouri farm in 1854, Tolton grew up to become America’s first black Catholic priest. He attended seminary abroad because none in the U.S. would take him. Leaving for Italy in 1880, he thought he never would return to his native country.

The archdiocese of Chicago took up the cause for his canonization a decade ago. Last year Pope Francis declared Tolton “venerable,” meaning he led a life of heroic virtue and is one step closer to sainthood. As racial turmoil divides the U.S., Tolton’s cause may gain momentum.

“We ask Tolton’s intercession for the healing of our nation as he sought in his own priesthood to bring white and black together but suffered indignities in that effort,” Bishop Perry says. At a time when it feels as if America could use a miracle or two, Father Augustus Tolton may be the saint it needs.

Mr. Miller is director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College.

3. Loss of Catholic schools would be an ‘American tragedy,’ says archbishop, By Catholic News Service, June 19, 2020

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said June 16 that his recent virtual message to 2020 graduates — posted on YouTube and shared on social media — is “a sign of these unusual times” amid the coronavirus.

He said his prayer is that the class of 2020 “will be remembered as a heroic generation that used the gifts of a Catholic education to love and serve and build a better world at a time of national distress, when society had been turned upside down by a deadly pandemic and faced widespread uncertainty about the future.”

But he is praying for something else, too, he said: “that we can act to sustain the schools they graduated from, because right now Catholic schools are facing enormous challenges.”

Gomez, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the comments in his weekly column, “Voices,” in Angelus News, the multimedia news platform of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

He urged support for government aid to help to keep Catholic schools open.

4. US religious liberty commission recommends ‘binding agreement’ with Pakistan to halt abuses, By Catholic News Agency, June 18, 2020, 3:01 PM

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report Tuesday recommending a “binding agreement” between the United States and Pakistan, with the goal of encouraging Pakistan to improve its treatment of religious minorities.

Laws against blasphemy in Muslim-majority Pakistan have led to death sentences for many religious minorities, and the extrajudicial killing by mobs of many more accused of blasphemy.

This includes Servant of God Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic politician from Pakistan who the Taliban killed in 2011.

The US State Department has designated Pakistan a “country of particular concern” since 2018 for its record on religious freedom violations.

USCIRF— which makes policy recommendations but does not create laws— recommended that the US set defined, concrete benchmarks for Pakistan to provide “greater clarity to a path off the CPC list and help improve religious freedom conditions, especially for the country’s religious minorities.”

Such a “binding agreement” to encourage countries to take steps to get off the CPC list has been used only once, which the US entered into with Vietnam in 2005 and which led to Vietnam’s removal from the list.

5. Emeritus Pope Benedict in Germany to be with ailing brother, By Frances D’Emilio and Geir Moulson, Associated Press, June 18, 2020, 9:26 AM

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI traveled to his native Germany on Thursday to be by his brother’s sickbed and will stay there as long as necessary, the Vatican said.

Benedict, 93, arrived in Regensburg, where his 96-year-old brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, lives and was the long-time choirmaster.

6. Racism in any form is intolerable, Vatican official says at U.N. hearing, By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, June 18, 2020

Speaking at a special U.N. discussion about racism and police brutality, a Vatican official repeated Pope Francis’ recent remarks: “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”

Speaking about demonstrations in the United States following the killing of George Floyd by police, Pope Francis also said, “At the same time, we have to recognize that violence is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.”

Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican’s permanent observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva, shared the pope’s words June 18 as the U.N. Human Rights Council held an “urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful protests.”

7. US Catholic bishops praise Supreme Court DACA decision, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, June 18, 2020, 10:55 AM

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference (USCCB) praised the Supreme Court on Thursday for a decision that keeps the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program intact — for now.

“First, to DACA youth, through today’s decision and beyond, we will continue to accompany you and your families. You are a vital part of our Church and our community of faith. We are with you,” said USCCB president Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and the USCCB’s migration committee chair in a June 18 statement. ___________________________________________________________

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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