1. Pro-life laws advance in Iowa, Mississippi, Tennessee, By Catholic News Agency, June 25, 2020, 4:00 AM

Three state legislatures have passed new restrictions on abortion: a heartbeat-based abortion ban in Tennessee; a 24-hour waiting period on abortion in Iowa; and a ban on abortion due to race, sex or genetic anomaly of the unborn child in Mississippi.


2. Vatican says don’t deny disabled people the sacraments, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, June 25, 2020

In a set of updated guidelines for catechesis released Thursday, the Vatican weighed in on what has long been a debate among theologians, insisting that the Church’s sacraments are a gift, and as such, they cannot be denied to disabled people.

“People with disabilities are called to the fullness of sacramental life, even in the presence of serious disturbances,” the new guidelines said, insisting that “The sacraments are gifts of God and the liturgy, which even before being understood rationally, ask to be lived: therefore, no one can deny the sacraments to people with disabilities.”

“People with intellectual disabilities live the relationship with God in the immediacy of their situation and it is necessary and dignified to accompany them in the life of faith,” they said, insisting that catechists must find new ways to teach the faith, with distinct language and methods attuned to the needs of the disabled.


3. Secularist group in Spain urges anti-Catholic language be added to child protection law, By Inés San Martín, Crux, June 25, 2020

A Spanish association that advocates for a secular Europe is calling for proposed legislation on the protection of children to specifically target the Catholic Church, claiming that it has “for years protected” child abuse.

“The Catholic Church is an institution that has protected for years in its internal regulations the so-called pontifical secret in cases of child abuse and the sexual abuse of minors,” says the campaign of Europa Laica.

They argue this is “a moral debt that the Catholic Church, and the public authorities that affirmed it, have to the thousands of children who have been humiliated for years.”


4. ‘I cannot remain silent’: Madison Catholic bishop condemns destruction of religious statues, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, June 24, 2020, 4:08 PM

As rioters across the United States target statues depicting historical figures, the Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday denounced that destruction, along with calls to destroy some depictions of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgina Mary.

“Should certain statues be placed in museums or storage? Perhaps. Should we let a group of vandals make those decisions for us? No,” Bishop Donald Hying of Madison said in a June 23 letter.

“If we allow the commemorative and visual history of our nation to be destroyed by random groups in the current moment of anger, how will we ever learn from that history? Does toppling and vandalizing a statue of George Washington because he owned slaves, really serve our country and our collective memory?”


5. President of German Catholic Women’s Federation confirms support for Planned Parenthood, By Catholic News Agency, June 24, 2020, 3:25 PM

The president of the leading Catholic women’s organization in Germany has declared her support for “reproductive rights” – including, “as a last, terrible resort” abortion – and for an initiative supported by the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Maria Flachsbarth has been president of the German Catholic Women’s Federation (KDFB) since 2011. The Catholic mother of two and member of parliament for the Christian Democratic Union is also a member of the Central Committee of German Catholics, the lay organization coordinating the controversial “Synodal Process” with the German bishops’ conference.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (No. 2271).

To date, no German bishop has publicly commented.


6. New Hong Kong laws will have ‘no effect’ on religious freedom says cardinal, By Catholic News Agency, June 24, 2020, 2:05 PM

Cardinal John Tong Hon, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Hong Kong, has rejected concerns that new security and sedition laws for the province pose a risk to religious freedom.

“I personally believe that the National Security Law will have no effect on religious freedom, because Article 32 of the Basic Law guarantees that we have freedom of religion, and we can also openly preach and hold religious ceremonies, and participate in religious activities,” Tong Hon told the diocesan newspaper Kung Kao Po this week.

Tong Hon’s predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Zen has expressed serious concerns with the new security laws, and especially the manner in which they were imposed on Hong Kong by the mainland government.

Speaking to CNA in late May, Zen said that he worries that the new laws will be used to subvert the freedom of religion that Hong Kongers currently enjoy.


7. Pope Francis: In life’s ups and downs, make prayer your constant, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, June 24, 2020, 5:00 AM

King David is an example of being consistent in prayer no matter what life throws at you or what good or bad you do, Pope Francis said during his general audience Wednesday.

Prayer “is able to ensure the relationship with God, who is the true Companion of man’s journey, in the midst of the many hardships of life: good or bad,” the pope said June 24.

“But always prayer: ‘Thank you, Lord. I’m afraid, Lord. Help me, Lord. Forgive me, Lord.’”


8. Cancel Culture Comes for the Catholic Church, By Casey Chalk, Crisis Magazine, June 25, 2020, Opinion

Mobs in California in the last several days have torn down multiple statues of Saint Junípero Serra, a Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded nine Spanish missions across the state in the eighteenth century. He was canonized in 2015. Statues of Christopher Columbus are also being toppled across the country. The largest Catholic fraternal organization in the United States, which made $185,652,989 in charitable donations and performed 75 million hours of community service in 2017, claims Columbus, a devout Catholic with a complicated history, as their namesake. The cancel culture is coming for the Catholic Church, and it is coming quickly.

Over the last several years, as demands have increased for the removal of statues and the renaming of buildings, monuments, schools, and federally-managed sites, I have tried my best to listen to and consider the arguments. Some calls, I thought, seemed like no-brainers. Why, indeed, should there be anything honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, a prominent early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and a historically verified war criminal who mercilessly murdered black soldiers? Though Fort Bragg has a storied history, why, indeed, should the base, which trains some of the very best of the American military, be named after a Confederate general who was widely considered a terrible battlefield commander, and who was hated by his own men?

The argumentum ad racism, which in addition to being an ad hominem, is also historically unfair when used in a way that condemns past generations while absolving our own. By our contemporary standards, most political leaders in our nation’s history could be called “racists” for one reason or another. This argument evinces what C. S. Lewis labeled “chronological snobbery,” whereby our current culture judges all previous generations according to our historically and culturally conditioned sense of morality, pretending that we, somehow, have a miraculous monopoly on the truth. As commentator David Marcus recently noted, future generations may “condemn us for the luxuries we enjoy off the backs of foreign workers in slave-like conditions.” Or, if the pro-life movement succeeds, they may view Americans’ spineless references to abortion as someone else’s “choice” as horrific (as well they should!).

In 1844, Protestant nativist rioters in Philadelphia attacked Catholics and their churches. Ecclesial leadership organized fraternal Catholic organizations to defend the churches with force of arms. More than 175 years later, it seems possible that priests and bishops may soon have to call on the Knights of Columbus to do the same, in order to prevent woke mobs from vandalizing or destroying our parishes. Writing at The Federalist, Catholic David Marcus (a Catholic) says that conservatives who have sought to pacify the mob by accepting the removal of “racist” public art are cowards. For the mob, “It was never about the Confederacy, or slavery, or racism. It was always about destroying the very concept of America and replacing it with a Marxist utopia. That’s who you decided to compromise with.”

I hope Marcus is wrong, but I increasingly suspect that he’s right. Was it foolish and naive to think this damnatio memoriae—the “condemnation of memory”—would remain purely about politics and history, and not direct its energies at the Catholic Church? Liberal, mainstream America: call this despicable anti-Catholicism what it is, and prove Marcus wrong. For God’s sake.


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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