1. Pope’s peace envoy is heading to Moscow after the short-lived Wagner rebellion, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, June 27, 2023, 7:05 AM Pope Francis’ peace envoy is heading to Moscow on Wednesday in hopes of helping find “a solution to the tragic current situation” of the war in Ukraine, the Vatican said Tuesday. The two-day mission by Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, a veteran of the Catholic Church’s peace initiatives, comes as the Kremlin is reeling from the weekend armed rebellion led by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. Russia has since dropped charges against Prigozhin and others who took part in the brief rebellion. It follows Zuppi’s visit to Kyiv earlier this month, which the Vatican described as an initiative to try to find paths of peace.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/06/27/russia-ukraine-peace-envoy-cardinal-zuppi/876e3bcc-14da-11ee-9de3-ba1fa29e9bec_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Embattled Tennessee bishop resigns after priest complaints, abuse-related lawsuits, By Travis Loller and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, June 27, 2023, 8:52 AM The bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee, resigned under pressure Tuesday following allegations he mishandled sex abuse allegations and several of his priests complained about his leadership and behavior, sparking a Vatican investigation. Pope Francis accepted Bishop Richard Stika’s resignation, according to a one-line statement from the Vatican. At 65, Stika is still 10 years below the normal retirement age for bishops.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/06/27/vatican-knoxville-bishop-abuse-allegation-priest/c0cb275a-14d4-11ee-9de3-ba1fa29e9bec_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Oklahoma’s breach of the church-state line in public school is illegal, By Kate Cohen, The Washington Post, June 27, 2023, 6:00 AM, Opinion The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s recent decision to allow a Catholic archdiocese to operate a public school is both illegal and unconstitutional.  Well, as Drummond said in an interview on Tulsa public radio: “The day will turn where we’re gonna get applicants from maybe a fringe Islamic group that says, ‘We want to teach sharia law and to only young men, and we want to indoctrinate them …’ which would be anathema to a lot of Oklahomans. Or a satanic organization that says, ‘We want state funding so that we can teach the attributes of Satan.’” But you don’t have to slip down this particular slope to understand the danger of a state-funded Christian school. You can just spare a thought for gay kids. Because our nation persistently defers to religion, we have given religious institutions, including parochial schools, the right to ignore anti-discrimination laws and employment protections. They can expel students for being gay and fire teachers for getting sick. They can decline to offer admittance to transgender students and reproductive health care to their employees. Actions that would be illegal in secular settings are fine under the guise of sincerely held religious belief.  But there’s another problem: Mixing church and state in public schools means that instead of funding education, the government is funding miseducation. Don’t take it from me — take it from studies that have shown that greater exposure to religion makes children less capable of distinguishing fact from fiction.  For fun, let’s assume that teaching from a Catholic perspective would not affect the factual reliability of biology or health or history class. Even so, the school will still teach, in its theology curriculum, that God is the source of truth, beauty and human beings; that He provided a path to salvation through Jesus, who suffered, died and was resurrected; and that “human persons are destined for eternal life” but that “an individual may reject God’s invitation” and “end up in hell.” Those aren’t facts, and they shouldn’t be taught as if they were, alongside the formula for finding the circumference of a circle, the date of the Emancipation Proclamation and the life cycle of a butterfly.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/06/27/oklahoma-public-religious-school-church-state-funding/__________________________________________________________ 4. German cardinal under investigation: Allegations of perjury prompt search of archdiocese, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2023, 6:42 AM German law enforcement officials searched several buildings of the Archdiocese of Cologne on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of perjury made against the archbishop, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki. The perjury allegations revolve around the accusation that Woelki may have provided false testimony about his awareness of reports of clergy sexual abuse within the archdiocese, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language partner news agency. The investigation is focused on testimony related to the case of abuse committed by a priest who passed away in 2019. Woelki has been accused of having been informed about the case earlier than he had previously stated under oath. The search of the archdiocese’s business documents and emails is intended to determine whether the accusation of perjury against Woelki can be substantiated or refuted.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254667/german-cardinal-under-investigation-allegations-of-perjury-prompt-search-of-archdiocese __________________________________________________________ 5. Amid trans ideology dispute, Portland Archdiocese temporarily closes department of schools, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2023, 7:30 AM The Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, has temporarily shut down its Department of Catholic Schools as teachers and parents feud with Archbishop Alexander Sample about gender ideology and the use of preferred pronouns. An archdiocesan spokesperson told CNA that the archdiocese is reevaluating how to evangelize given a changing environment.  In January, Sample published guidelines on how Catholics should handle gender ideology, which included recommendations on how schools should handle transgenderism and preferred pronouns that are inconsistent with a person’s biological sex. The guidelines led to a handful of principals and teachers resigning and protests from some parents and students. The archbishop’s guidelines state that “Catholic institutions should not endorse gender identity theory nor enable any form of gender transition whether social or medical.” The guidelines further recommend that “names, pronouns, facilities use, attire, and sports participation should depend upon biological sex identity rather than self-perceived gender identity.”  Even though the archbishop’s recommendations are following guidelines set by the Vatican, he has received pushback from some members of the Catholic community in the Portland Archdiocese.  Oregon Live reported that the longtime principals of All Saints K-8 School and the Madeleine School resigned following the archbishop’s guidelines, and at least three faculty members at St. Rose School had their contracts rescinded after refusing to sign a pledge that they would uphold the guidelines.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/254668/amid-trans-dispute-portland-archdiocese-temporarily-closes-dept-of-catholic-schools __________________________________________________________ 6. The Legal Foundation of Women’s Sports Is Under Fire, By David French, The New York Times, June 26, 2023, Pg. A22  All people are created equal, and possess equal moral worth, but we are not all created the same. To protect equal opportunity, there are times when the law should recognize differences. And in the realm of athletics, if we want to both secure and continue the remarkable advances women have made in the 51 years since Congress passed Title IX, it’s important to remember that sex still matters, and sex distinctions in the law should remain. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/25/opinion/womens-sports-under-fire.html __________________________________________________________

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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