TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 62 – Jennifer Lahl On The Dangers Of Surrogacy & Jeanne Allen On Saving Catholic Schools

On this week’s Conversations with Consequences, Dr. Grazie Christie and TCA colleague Maureen Ferguson are joined by Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform to discuss the fate of Catholic schools as so many face closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. A longtime advocate for education reform, Jeanne offers some great advice on ways to save our parochial schools. Friend-of-the-show Dr. Mary Jo O’Sullivan also joins to discuss the dangers of surrogacy and Jennifer Lahl of the Center for Bioethics and Culture gives us her take on commercial surrogacy, a growing problem that is becoming legal in many states.

1. Archbishop warns Church in Colombia will be bankrupt by August, By Inés San Martín, Crux, June 26, 2020

A Colombian archbishop says he expects the country’s Catholic Church to go bankrupt by August due to the lack of income since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re about to explode because it’s been three months of zero income and 100 percent of expenses,” said Archbishop Luis José Rueda of Bogota, the country’s capital.

Around 90 percent of parish income comes from the collections during Sunday and weekly Masses; but religious services have been suspended since March 15 due to the pandemic.”

But for Rueda, the problem goes beyond parishes going broke: The country today has an estimated 5,000 churches, that sustain between 50,000 to 80,000 charitable efforts and social institutions, including schools, homes for the elderly, rehab centers and soup kitchens.

If the Church were to go bankrupt, all these social institutions that feed, educate and provide health care to millions in Colombia would be forced to close too.

2. DeVos vows to help private schools rocked by virus, By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, June 25, 2020, 4:00 AM

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday pledged support for private schools under the CARES Act, lamenting the closure of private academies, particularly Catholic institutions, amid the pandemic.

In brief remarks with reporters, Mrs. DeVos also said a new interim rule set to be published will ensure that private schools aren’t shut out when funds from the emergency coronavirus legislation flow to local education agencies.

“There’s nothing in the law that Congress passed that would allow districts to discriminate against children and teachers based on private school attendance and employment,” Mrs. DeVos said in a phone conference.

3. US Catholic bishops: clergy sex abuse claims tripled in 2019, By David Crary, Associated Press, June 25, 2020, 6:28 PM

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday that the church tallied 4,434 sex abuse allegations against clergy in the 2018-19 audit year, triple the number seen the previous year, with much of the increase stemming from a wave of lawsuits and claims by survivors of decades-old molestation.

In the latest annual report on clerical sex abuse, dioceses and other Catholic entities reported paying out $281.6 million during the year for costs related to allegations, including payments for cases reported in previous years.

Only 37 of the new allegations were made by people who were minors in the audit year ending June 30, 2019. Of those, eight allegations were substantiated, while most of the others were either still under investigation or had been deemed unsubstantiated.

4. Catholic group sues beach town over ban on Nativity scene, By Randall Chase, Associated Press, June 25, 2020, 2:41 PM

A Catholic fraternal organization is suing a popular Delaware beach resort in federal court over its decision to end a decadeslong practice of allowing the display of a Christmas Nativity scene on public property.

The Knights of Columbus Star of the Sea Council contends that the 2018 decision by Rehoboth Beach officials violates constitutional guarantees of free speech and the free exercise of religion.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, contends that city officials have refused to allow the Nativity scene on public property while allowing secular holiday displays, including a Santa house sponsored by the local chamber of commerce on the town’s boardwalk.

5. Pope moves against Polish bishop accused of hiding predators, By Nicole Winfield and Monika Scislowska, Associated Press, June 25, 2020, 4:01 PM

Pope Francis has ordered a Polish bishop to leave his central diocese and let someone else run it while he is under investigation for covering up cases of sexual abuse that were featured in a second clergy abuse documentary that has rocked Poland’s Catholic Church.

Francis on Thursday named the archbishop of Lodz, Grzegorz Rys, to temporarily take over as head of the Kalisz diocese.

The Vatican’s ambassador, in explaining the decision, said the current Kalisz bishop, Edward Janiak, 67, retains the title of Kalish bishop for the time being. But the explanation, posted late Thursday on the Polish bishops conference website, said Janiak must leave the territory of the diocese and can’t have any form of influence on how it is run.

6. Missouri’s only abortion clinic gets license, By Associated Press, June 25, 2020, 2:07 PM

Missouri’s health department on Thursday issued another license to the state’s only abortion clinic following a yearlong legal battle over whether the Planned Parenthood center could stay open.

The Department of Health and Senior Services last year declined to renew the clinic’s license, which meant the clinic wouldn’t have been allowed to provide abortions.

Planned Parenthood sued. After a yearlong legal battle, the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission ruled in May that the health department was wrong not to renew the clinic’s license.

7. Douthat: Cardinals should look for ‘dynamic orthodoxy’ in next pope, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, June 25, 2020, 2:10 PM

Catholic columnist Ross Douthat on Wednesday said that the eventual next conclave could produce a leader in the mould of St. John Paul II, and that expectations of a more retiring successor to the charismatic leadership of Francis may shift after months of global upheaval.

“I think the goal of the cardinals should be to find someone who embodies what you might call ‘dynamic orthodoxy’–which is to say what I think is at its best is what Pope John Paul II was able to embody,” Douthat said.

8. Catholic catechesis directory addresses gender, biological sex, and bioethics, By Catholic News Agency, June 25, 2020, 9:00 AM

Bioethics, gender identity, and biological sex are new subjects covered in the Vatican’s latest Directory for Catechesis, released Thursday. The revised directory says that new scientific developments must remain respectful of the creative will of God and human dignity.

The 300-page book, which provides universal norms for pastors and catechists in the work of evangelization, was written in continuity with the Church’s directories from 1971 and 1997, and presents Catholic teaching on issues facing contemporary society, including new bioethical problems not addressed in the earlier editions.

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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