1. Xi Jinping blocks Christianity, invents communist version in China, By Jianli Yang, The Washington Times, June 2, 2021, Pg. B4, Opinion
The arrest and secret trial of four Chinese Christians for selling audio Bibles in December 2020 in Shenzhen, China is the latest illustration of how serious the communist government of China is on stamping out Christianity in its current form from the country.
The exercise, being implemented by mercilessly crushing human rights, is part of President Xi Jinping’s determined efforts to reinterpret Christianity and the Bible according to socialist and communist values.

The Wall Street Journal observed in late 2020 that Mr. Xi was wary of the growing Christian population in China. The Journal article read: “From an estimated three million believers at the end of the Cultural Revolution, the number of Protestants in China is now believed to exceed 100 million, with another 10 million to 12 million Catholics.”
Is that at the root of President Xi’s fear of Christianity? He himself is tight-lipped on the issue. His thoughts can only be interpreted through his government’s anti-Christian actions. The Wall Street Journal says this fear is not an isolated fear. China’s rulers witnessed how “the strong example of Pope John Paul II contributed to the collapse of communism in Poland.” They were aghast at the role “South Korean Christians played in that country’s transition to democracy.” In recent times, Chinese authorities were angered by the “local Christians’ prominent role in the Hong Kong democracy movement.” Mr. Xi appears determined to “correct” the wrongs in a hurry.
Jianli Yang is president and founder of Citizen Power Initiatives for China.
2. Embassy to Vatican displays pro-gay flag, By Jessica Chasmar, The Washington Times, June 2, 2021, Pg. A2
The U.S. embassy to the Vatican in Rome displayed a rainbow flag in celebration of Pride Month on Tuesday.
“The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June,” the embassy tweeted. “The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.”
3. European Parliament due to vote on ‘extreme’ abortion report, By Catholic News Agency, June 2, 2021, 4:45 AM
The European Parliament is due to vote on an “extreme” report calling on all European Union member states to allow access to abortion.
The report, presented by Croatian politician Predrag Fred Matić, also seeks the recognition of a “right to abortion” and the redefinition of conscientious objection as a “denial of medical care.”
The report was tabled May 25 for a vote at the next plenary session of the European Parliament, the EU’s law-making body, in Strasbourg, France, on June 7-10.
4. How the Pope’s canonical reform closes door on German deaconesses, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, June 1, 2021
On Tuesday morning, Pope Francis promulgated a revised Book VI of the Code of Canon Law, which contains the penal law of the Latin Church. Included within its provisions is a new, far more explicitly outlined crime on the attempted ordination of women, in what could prove to be a pointed action directed at the Church in Germany.
The revised canon 1379 provides that “both a person who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive the sacred order, incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See,” and that the one who attempts to ordain a woman “may be punished by dismissal from the clerical state.”
While this is not, strictly speaking, an innovation in the law, it makes explicit what was formerly only implied by a much broader canon, and closes the scope for a potential loophole in the language to be argued by someone attempting to confer ordination at any level on a woman.

In their repeated back-and-forth with Rome over the progress of their Synodal Way, the German bishops have developed a marked tactic of essentially ignoring orders from Rome when told not to do something.
Their gambit, largely successful to this point, has been to continue and dare the Vatican to intervene and provoke a possible breach between the Church in Germany and Rome. The revision of canon 1379 marks a clear line in the sand, with the Germans now being told what will happen should they attempt to proceed with ordaining women deacons, and, by providing for the excommunication to remain latae sententiae, effectively putting the ball in their court before the fact.
If that message was not clear enough, the canon ends by warning that clerics – which includes bishops – may also “be punished by dismissal from the clerical state.”
5. Ahead of pivotal Supreme Court decision, foster care agency mired in religious freedom fight, By Kate Scanlon, Catholic News Agency, June 1, 2021, 3:01 PM
Ahead of an anticipated ruling by the Supreme Court in a landmark foster care case, a Christian foster care agency in Kentucky says the state is forcing it to violate its religious mission.
Sunrise Children’s Services, a Kentucky-based nonprofit ministry affiliated with Kentucky Baptists, says a clause in a new state contract would force it to match children with same-sex couples, against its religious beliefs. The organization provides foster care and other services, and is licensed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a Behavioral Health Services Organization.
The Associated Press reported last week that the group won’t sign a new contract with Kentucky due to a new contract clause prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
6. Fears rise over China’s growing crackdown on Christian religious leaders, By Catholic News Service, June 1, 2021
The recent arrest of a Vatican-approved bishop, priests and seminarians in north-central China came as a shocking development, if not surprising, as religious persecution in the communist-led country has continued to intensify under President Xi Jinping.
Police arrested Bishop Joseph Zhang Weizhu of Xinxiang May 21, a day after authorities detained seven priests and an unspecified number of seminarians. They are accused of violating new regulations governing religious affairs.

The bishop has been pressured by the state for years largely because of his allegiance to the pope and refusal to join the state-aligned open church. He has been arrested several times, but was later released. The diocese has been in the custody of a government-appointed administrator since 2010.
The whereabouts of Zhang, the priests and the seminarians are unknown.

In its 2021 report, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom observed that China continues to persecute Christians and harass Catholic bishops despite the 2018 Vatican-China agreement on bishop appointments.
Under the deal, which was renewed last year, the Vatican recognized eight bishops ordained by the state without papal mandate. However, China did not recognize a number of Vatican-approved bishops, including Zhang.
“Despite the Vatican-China agreement on bishop appointments, Chinese authorities continued to harass, detain and torture underground Catholic bishops … who refuse to join the state-backed Catholic association,” the report said. “They also harassed, detained, arrested and imprisoned members of Protestant house churches who refuse to join the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement.”
7. Holy See receives permanent observer status at the WHO, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, June 1, 2021
The World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to formalize the participation of the Holy See in the World Health Organization as a nonmember state observer.
The annual assembly, which is the decision-making body of WHO, held its sessions online and at its headquarters in Geneva May 24-31.
The assembly adopted “by consensus” May 31 a resolution presented by Italy that “formalizes the participation of the Holy See in the work of the World Health Organization as a nonmember state observer,” the Vatican said in a communique June 1.

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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