1. Maryland’s Catholic bishops urge people of faith to act to end racism, By Mark Zimmermann, Catholic News Service, June 23, 2020

In the wake of nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality sparked by the killing of African Americans under police custody, the Catholic bishops of Maryland called on people of faith to act to end racism.

“Prayer and dialogue, alone, are not enough. We must act to bring about true change. United, we seek healing, harmony and solutions that recognize that every person has been created in the image of God and that every person possesses human dignity,” the bishops said in the June 15 letter.

Titled “Building Bridges of Understanding and Hope,” the letter was released by the Maryland Catholic Conference, the public policy arm for the state’s Catholic dioceses. It was signed by the Catholic bishops serving in dioceses whose territory includes Maryland counties, including Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory.


2. Underground bishop detained in China, By Catholic News Agency, June 22, 2020, 11:00 AM

Chinese officials reportedly arrested an elderly bishop of the underground Catholic Church last week.

Coadjutor Bishop Augustine Cui Tai of Xuanhua, 70 years old, was taken by Chinese officials to an undisclosed location according to local Catholics, UCA News reported on Sunday. Bishop Cui has been under house arrest since 2007.

During his period of house arrest, Bishop Cui has been periodically detained and released by authorities including an arrest in March of 2019 by Heibei province officials. He was released in January of 2020, and reportedly arrested again on June 19.

According to a 2019 report by AsiaNews, Cui has been repeatedly detained, and spent periods in forced labor camps, for engaging in evangelization activities without government authorization. He has also spoken out against the state-sponsored Catholic Church in China, saying it is building a Church “independent” of the Holy See.


3. Three new saints-to-be capture Pope Francis’s convictions, By Inés San Martín, Crux, June 22, 2020

Pope Francis on Friday advanced the sainthood causes of a handful of figures who, at first glance, might seem relevant only to small pockets within the Catholic Church.

Three in particular, hailing from Venezuela, Argentina and Italy, stand out: One is a layman, one a bishop and one a religious sister. All three were declared “blessed” by the pope, which is the preliminary step to sainthood. With the first two Francis recognized a miracle attributed to their intercession, while the religious sister was declared a martyr — she was killed in a satanic ritual — so no miracle was necessary.

The Vatican statement said, the new batch of “blesseds” represent South America and Europe with their “desire to serve the poor, the nation and the young.”


4. Miami archbishop to lead US Catholic bishops on religious liberty, By Catholic News Agency, June 22, 2020, 1:00 PM

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami has been appointed as the acting chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, following the death of Bishop George Murry, S.J., of Youngstown.

Bishop Murry died on June 5, following a relapse of leukemia. He was 71.

Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the USCCB, thanked Wenski for accepting the position and described him as “an energetic leader with a truly strong commitment to religious liberty and a servant’s heart for ministry.”

“Religious freedom is under stress throughout the world. Even in our Western liberal democracies, discrimination against religion in general and Catholic Christianity, in particular, is growing — albeit in perhaps more sophisticated and less violent ways,” said Wenski.


5. Austrian bishop says he launched study, but not book, on Catholic blessings for same-sex couples, By JD Flynn, Catholic News Agency, June 22, 2020, 10:00 AM

The newly elected president of the Austrian bishops’ conference has sought to clarify his role in the publication of a book that suggests how a Church blessing of same-sex couples might be “celebrated” in Catholic churches.

Archbishop Franz Lackner of Salzburg was elected last week to chair the Austrian bishops’ conference. He has been connected to a controversial book concerning the possibility of “official” liturgical blessings of homosexual unions.

While Lackner has been reported to have commissioned or even published the book, a spokesperson said June 18 that the archbishop put in motion a study project on same-sex liturgical blessings, but he did not oversee the publication of that particular text.

Other reports have suggested a more direct connection between Lackner and the text.

CNA asked Lackner’s spokesperson why the archbishop was only now attempting to clarify his involvement, given that he has been reported for months to be responsible for the book. CNA also asked whether the book has the official approval of the Austrian bishops’ conference, of which Lackner is now president, or of the conference’s liturgical commission.

The archdiocese has not yet responded.


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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