1. Pope prays for Mexico after powerful quake, By Associated Press, June 24, 2020, 6:17 AM

Pope Francis is praying for victims of a powerful earthquake in southern Mexico.

Francis spoke off the cuff during his weekly general audience on Wednesday to express his solidarity with Mexico. Speaking in his native Spanish, Francis said: “Yesterday a violent earthquake hit the south of Mexico causing victims, injuries and enormous damage. Let’s pray for them. May the help of God and our brothers give them strength and support. Brothers and sisters, I am very close to you.”


2. Where’s the Catholic voice on the Holy Land both sides could hear?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, June 24, 2020, Opinion

The historical footnotes comes to mind in light of new, heartfelt appeal for peace in the Holy Land issued by three retired Christian church leaders in Jerusalem – Patriarch Michele Sabbah of the Catholic Church, Anglican Bishop Riah Abu El Assal and Lutheran Bishop Munib A. Younan.

In principle, the appeal is designed as a non-partisan, pastoral cri de coeur. In an effort to be even-headed, the three prelates insist both that Israel must have security and Palestine must have independence, so that the two states may live side-by-side in “peace, justice, equity and democracy.”

In reality, however, “non-political” probably is not how most Israelis will take the appeal, and therein lies the rub.

As Sabbah, El Assal and Younan note at the outset of the text, they write as “Arab Christian Palestinians,” and each word in that formula is important.

Most significantly in terms of the political optics of the situation, all three are Palestinians who thus can’t help but see the dynamics of the conflict primarily through Palestinian eyes.

If ever there were a moment in which the world needs to hear from the Church’s best minds on the Holy Land, especially figures who stand a reasonable chance of being heard by both Israel’s leadership and its public opinion, this, arguably, is it.

Ironically, the bishops’ conference arguably best positioned to be that “neutral voice” may be the US, which tends to be more sympathetic to Israel than virtually any other. Though American bishops have plenty else on their plate at the moment, perhaps a timely intervention could still make a difference.

Because, let’s face it, whatever else one may think about the declaration from the retired bishops, when they describe the status quo as a “tragedy,” that’s about as non-partisan and down the middle as any assessment could be.


3. George Weigel: ‘Catholic lite’ and Vatican finances will top next pope’s agenda, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2020, 11:00 AM

Evangelizing countries where the faith has been watered down and resolving the ongoing financial crisis in the Vatican are challenges which will extend past the reign of Pope Francis, author George Weigel said on Monday.

Weigel was discussing his new book “The Next Pope” with members of Catholic press in a webinar on June 22.

“The Church is living, vibrant, and effective in society where Catholics have embraced Catholicism in full and are joyfully living missionary discipleships,” said Weigel. In contrast, he said, places that have embraced a version of Catholicism which departs from aspects of the Church’s moral teaching, which he termed “Catholic lite,” have seen the faith have a waning influence on culture.


4. Cross and graves vandalized at Catholic university cemetery, By Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2020, 12:30 PM

A man has been arrested and charged with vandalism and assault after  swastikas were painted on the graves of several Dominican friars and a security guard was assualted at Catholic college on Monday evening.

Providence Police Department identified the man on Tuesday as 26-year-old Keveon Gomera. Gomera was charged with vandalism and assault with intent to commit a felony.

A man who believes he encountered Gomera before the assault told local NBC affiliate WJAR that Gomera was carrying a bucket of paint and accused Providence College of “being part of the slave plantations” and said he was going to light an American flag on fire.

Providence College was founded in 1917, several decades after the Emancipation Proclamation, and nearly a century after the abolition of slavery in Rhode Island.


5. Diocesan bankruptcies could require Vatican approval, Vatican official reminds bishops, By JD Flynn and Ed Condon, Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2020, 1:50 PM

The Vatican has written to the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, to remind dioceses that filing for bankruptcy could require the consent of the Holy See.

A June 15 letter from Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, to Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles notes that “In recent months, the Congregation has received news of the declaration of bankruptcy by several diocesan bishops of the United States” acting on behalf of their dioceses.

Declarations of bankruptcy, the letter said, require Vatican permission, “whenever it is foreseen that the legal proceedings could involve the alienation of temporal goods whose value exceeds” a threshold set by the U.S. bishops’ conference in 2011.


6. Justice Department: NYC pandemic rules can’t favor protests over religious services, By Catholic News Agency, June 23, 2020, 4:18 PM

New York City cannot enforce coronavirus restrictions strictly on religious gatherings and leave mass public protests untouched, leading U.S. Department of Justice officials said in a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Mayor de Blasio’s recent public statements and enforcement of COVID-19 orders have demonstrated a troubling preference for certain First Amendment rights over others,” said leading Justice Department officials June 22.

“The Justice Department is glad Mayor de Blasio will now permit greater religious exercise and will continue to monitor New York City’s reopening to ensure that New York City extends the same respect to the freedom of religion, both in terms of indoor and outdoor gatherings, as it does to the freedoms of speech and assembly.”

The statement came from Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband and U.S. Attorney General Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan. They are overseeing the U.S. Department of Justice’s monitoring of state and local policies related to the novel coronavirus epidemic.



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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