1. Even the Bible Is Full of Flawed Characters: The destruction of monuments only impoverishes our sense of history, By Timothy Dolan, The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2020, Pg. A13, Opinion

Defacing, tearing down and hiding statutes and portraits is today’s version of Puritan book-burning. Our children need to know their country’s past, its normative figures and their virtues and vices. That’s how we learn and pass on our story. Is there any more effective way to comprehend America’s history of racism than reading “Huckleberry Finn” or one of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, works of literature now ominously on the chopping block?

The same is true of the church I love and am honored to serve. Yes, there are scandalous parts of our history, and countless episodes when popes, bishops, priests and others—including some who are now saints—didn’t act as they should have.

God forbid we’d go through a cultural revolution as China did five decades ago. Beware those who want to purify memories and present a tidy—and inaccurate—history. And who’s to say which statues, portraits, books and dedications are spared?

If literature that depicts prejudice, or words or scenes that are today rightly abhorred, is to be banned, I don’t know if even the Bible can survive. If we only honor perfect, saintly people of the past, I guess I’m left with only the cross. And some people would ban that.

As a historian by training, I want to remember the good and the bad, and recall with gratitude how even people who have an undeniable dark side can let light prevail and leave the world better. I want to keep bringing classes of schoolchildren to view such monuments, and to explain to them how even such giants in our history had crimes, unjust acts and plain poor judgment mixed in with the good we honor.

Cardinal Dolan is archbishop of New York


2. China forces birth control on Uighurs to suppress population, By Associated Press, June 29, 2020, 12:08 AM

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children.

While individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known, according to an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, family members and a former detention camp instructor. The campaign over the past four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of “demographic genocide.”

The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/china-forces-birth-control-on-muslims-to-suppress-population/2020/06/29/1fe4bb22-b9be-11ea-97c1-6cf116ffe26c_story.html ___________________________________________________________

3. Catholic officials defend statue of St. Louis’ namesake, By Associated Press, June 29, 2020

Catholic officials say protesters calling for the removal of a statue of St. Louis’s namesake should consider all that the imperfect man did to help the poor and the sick.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis said in a statement Sunday that King Louis IX is “an example of an imperfect man who strived to live a life modeled after the life of Jesus Christ.”

“For St. Louisans, he is a model for how we should care for our fellow citizen, and a namesake with whom we should be proud to identify. The sword on his statue is not raised for warfare, but rather is held with the blade down—a symbol of peace,” the statement said.

https://cruxnow.com/ap/2020/06/catholic-officials-defend-statue-of-st-louis-namesake/ ___________________________________________________________

4. Three bogus objections to thinking about the next pope, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, June 28, 2020, Opinion

Here, I want to address three common objections that arise anytime the conversation turns to the next pope.

To cut to the chase, they’re all bunk.

First, it’s often objected that to speculate about a future pope while the current pope is still alive is disrespectful and disloyal, even tantamount to a political attack on the pope’s leadership.

If you believe the direction of the Catholic Church matters, no single figure has more impact on setting a direction than the pope, and therefore the choice of who occupies the office is monumentally important. The last thing you want is for the cardinals who will make that choice – and the lone certainty here is that one day, they will have to make it – to be poorly informed about their alternatives.

Second, there’s the standard refrain that speculating about the next pope is futile, since nobody knows what’s going to happen. Many cite the old Italian saw, “he who enters a conclave as a pope exits a cardinal,” to accent the unpredictability of the process.

Again, obviously it’s true that surprises are always possible.

The real point, however, is that if we were to take the possibility of surprise as a reason not to think about the future, there would be no crop forecasts, no economic projections, no models for the progression of a disease – for that matter, there wouldn’t even be weather reports.

Finally, there’s the pious objection that talking about a conclave in human terms – politics, rival camps, clashing perspectives and priorities, and so on – betrays a deficit of faith, because the Church believes the selection of a pope occurs under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In truth, it’s the failure to factor in those human elements that betokens a lack of faith, or at least understanding of the faith, because we’re Catholics, not Docetists. The Catholic understanding, as famously articulated by Aquinas, is gratia non tollit naturam, sed perficit, meaning “grace does not eliminate nature but perfects it.”


5. Montana man arrested after toppling religious monument, By Associated Press, June 28, 2020, 6:59 PM

Police in northwestern Montana say a man was arrested on a felony criminal mischief charge after he pulled down a Ten Commandments monument using a chain and pickup truck.

The 30-year-old Columbia Falls man reportedly wrapped a chain around the religious monument on the Flathead County courthouse grounds on Saturday. He then attached the chain to his truck and pulled the monument into the street, the Kalispell Police Department told NBC Montana.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/montana-man-arrested-after-toppling-religious-monument/2020/06/28/f8e8d38a-b992-11ea-97c1-6cf116ffe26c_story.html ___________________________________________________________

6. Catholic clergy sex abuse claims spiked in 2019, By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, June 27, 2020, Pg. B2

The number of allegations of Catholic clergy sex abuse of minors more than quadrupled in 2019 compared to the average in the previous five years, U.S. church officials reported this week, in part the result of new church-run compensation programs for victims as well as survivors driven to come forward by several major clerical abuse scandals.

Thirty-seven of the 4,434 allegations came from people who were minors during the time period the report covered — eight of which the church-run bodies deemed substantiated, according to the report. In recent years, that’s about average for substantiated, past-year claims. There are about 37,000 diocesan and religious order priests in the country.

The complaints the church deemed credible were analyzed further by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, a church-affiliated research center on the Catholic Church. CARA found that of those whose time frame could be determined, 57 percent of credible allegations that came in 2019 happened before 1975, 41 percent between 1975 and 1999, and 2 percent since 2000, the report said.


7. Victorian politician calls for inquiry into investigation of Cardinal Pell, By Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2020, 2:02 PM

A member of the Parliament of Victoria has urged that there be an inquiry into the treatment of Cardinal George Pell by the state’s police and judiciary, months after Australia’s High Court unanimously overturned his conviction for five alleged counts of sexual abuse.

Bernie Finn, a member of the Victorian Legislative Council from the Liberal Party, said June 18 that “the integrity of the justice system in this state is very much on trial.”

“There are major questions that are desperately in need of answers. I would like to see an inquiry that is at arm’s length from Victoria Police, arm’s length from the judiciary and arm’s length from the government.”

Finn asked that Jill Hennessey, Attorney-General of Victoria, launch an investigation into former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Graham Ashton and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to discover “how we can avoid trial by media in future, how did the Court of Appeal get it so very wrong and how could an innocent man in this day and age in Victoria be jailed in the way that Cardinal Pell was”.

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/victorian-politician-calls-for-inquiry-into-investigation-of-cardinal-pell-31583 ___________________________________________________________

8. Tennessee’s new pro-life legislation ‘designed to stand up to court challenges’, By Kate Scanlon, Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2020, 6:01 AM

Tennessee’s new pro-life legislation is “designed to stand up to court challenges,” State Rep. Susan Lynn (R), a sponsor of the bill, said Thursday.

Speaking during an interview on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly Friday, Lynn said that Tennessee lawmakers anticipated a legal challenge to the bill, so they used a “ladder approach,” of multiple limits, so if the court strikes down the heartbeat ban portion, the remaining bans will remain in place.

Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill last week that contains multiple restrictions on abortion, including banning the procedure after both six and twenty weeks, banning abortions based on the race or sex of an unborn child, and a ban based on a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.


9. Pope Francis ‘appreciates’ the ‘Synodal Way,’ says German bishop after private audience, By Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2020, 11:30 AM

Pope Francis “appreciates” the German Church’s “Synodal Way,” the president of the German bishops’ conference said after meeting with the pope Saturday.

Referring to a 28-page letter that Pope Francis wrote last year to German Catholics, Bätzing said: “With his letter to the pilgrim people of God of the Church in Germany in June 2019, he encouraged and gave indications. He will continue to accompany us attentively.”

The pope’s letter was prompted by the German bishops’ decision to launch a two-year “Synodal Way,” bringing together lay people and bishops to discuss four main topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.

The German bishops initially said that the process would end with a series of “binding” votes — raising concerns at the Vatican that the resolutions might challenge the Church’s teaching and discipline.


10. Coronavirus relief must benefit private schools equitably, US Education Department says, By Catholic News Agency, June 26, 2020, 6:01 PM

Federal coronavirus aid to private schools is now enforceable by law, the U.S. Department of Education has said, following concerns that Catholic and other non-public schools were being excluded from sufficient epidemic relief funds to support protective equipment for students and teachers, cleaning, training in remote education, and distance education tools.

“The CARES Act is a special, pandemic-related appropriation to benefit all American students, teachers, and families impacted by coronavirus,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said June 25. “There is nothing in the law Congress passed that would allow districts to discriminate against children and teachers based on private school attendance and employment.”


11. Judge blocks 25% capacity rule for religious services in NY, By Karen Matthews, Associated Press, June 26, 2020, 3:01 AM

A federal judge on Friday blocked New York state from enforcing coronavirus restrictions limiting indoor religious gatherings to 25% capacity when other types of gatherings are limited to 50%.

Judge Gary Sharpe enjoined Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Attorney General Letitia James from enforcing some of the capacity restrictions put in place by executive order to contain the spread of the virus.

The New York State Catholic Conference said New York bishops were not involved in the lawsuit. But spokesman Dennis Poust said he anticipated that “our churches will continue to voluntarily follow state guidelines as a matter of prudential judgment.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/judge-blocks-25percent-capacity-rule-for-religious-services-in-ny/2020/06/26/669969ea-b7df-11ea-9a1d-d3db1cbe07ce_story.html ___________________________________________________________

12. Catholic bishops of Uruguay oppose assisted suicide bill, By Catholic News Agency, June 26, 2020, 4:44 PM

The Catholic bishops of Uruguay have spoken out against a bill that would allow for assisted suicide, calling it “homicide carried out in a clinical context.

“It is not ethically acceptable to cause the death of a patient, not even to avoid pain and suffering, even if he expressly requests it,” the Uruguayan Bishops’ Conference said in a document presented a June 19 press conference.

“Neither the patient, nor the medical staff, nor family members have the authority to decide on or cause a person’s death,” they said

The document was prepared by a team of experts, led by Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Jourdan of Montevideo, who is also a medical doctor, in response to the bill introduced in the legislature in March.


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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