1. IRS recognizes Vatican’s steps to prevent fraud, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, June 3, 2021, 6:00 AM
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has listed Vatican City State among the countries that meet its international standards for customer due diligence.
With the IRS approval of the Holy See and Vatican City State’s “know-your-customer rules,” the tax body recognizes the steps put in place by the Vatican to verify customers’ identities and risk profiles.
These procedures are a critical part of enforcing anti-money laundering rules and preventing fraud.
2. U.S. Church leaders welcome changes to canon law on sexual abuse, By John Lavenburg, Crux, June 3, 2021
Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth considers recent revisions by Pope Francis to the Code of Canon Law the “most profound step so far” in the Church’s fight against sexual abuse.
The long-awaited changes to Book VI of the Code of Canon Law were announced by the Vatican on Tuesday, and deals with “Penal Sanctions in the Church.” It includes both substantive changes to the law – like expanding the category of abusers to include non-ordained religious and laypeople, more explicit descriptions of sexual abuse crimes, and the addition of “grooming” as a crime – and also the codification of current practices.

“I think it will help not only bring healing to victims, but also prevent future abuse from taking place,” Olson, who serves on the U.S. Bishops Conference Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, told Crux. “I think it gives us the power of law to free us up to act more clearly as we should act in keeping with the morality of the gospel.”
3. California to pay $2M church legal fees over virus closures, By Brian Melley, Associated Press, June 2, 2021
The state of California has agreed not to impose greater coronavirus restrictions on church gatherings than it does on retail establishments in a pair of settlements that provide more than $2 million in fees to lawyers who challenged the rules as a violation of religious freedom.
A deal approved Tuesday by a federal judge comes after lawyers for a San Diego-area Pentecostal church took their challenge against the state to the U.S. Supreme Court three times and won.
The settlement includes a permanent injunction in line with Supreme Court rulings that found restrictions on houses of worship cannot exceed those on retail businesses, attorney Paul Jonna said.
4. Court affirms tuition for students at religious school, By Kathy Mccormack, Associated Press, June 2, 2021
A federal appeals court on Wednesday explained its decision to stop Vermont from excluding tuition funding for students who attend a religious school, saying a lower court ruling from earlier this year did not go far enough to accomplish that.
The opinion followed an injunction granted by the 2nd Circuit in February against the state, and in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that said states can’t cut religious schools from programs that send public money to private education.
The appeals court had issued its injunction on behalf of four Catholic high school students, their parents, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.
The case deals with a voucher program that allows students in communities that don’t have schools or are not part of supervisory unions to attend schools of their choice, including approved private institutions. The students applied for tuition reimbursement at the Catholic high school, but were denied on the ground that the school is a religiously affiliated school.
5. Springfield Diocese expands child sex abuse list, By Associated Press, June 2, 2021
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield on Wednesday added 40 names to its list of church employees who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct involving a child.
The new names are in addition to 21 names already on the diocese’s website.
The names were added based on an expanded definition of what constitutes a credible allegation as determined by the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop William Byrne said at a news conference.
6. Canadian minister says pope needs to apologize to Indigenous, By Rob Gillies, Associated Press, June 2, 2021
Canada’s Indigenous services minister said Wednesday that Pope Francis needs to issue a formal apology for the role the Catholic Church played in Canada’s residential school system, days after the remains of 215 children were located at what was once the country’s largest such school.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government also pledged again to support efforts to find more unmarked graves at the former residential schools for Indigenous students – institutions that held Indigenous children taken from families across the nation.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops announced in 2018 that the pope could not personally apologize for residential schools, even though he has not shied away from recognizing injustices faced by Indigenous people around the world.
“I think it is shameful that it hasn’t been done to date,” Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said.
“There is a responsibility that lies squarely on the shoulders” on the Catholic bishops of Canada, he added.
7. Uyghur exiles describe forced abortions, torture in Xinjiang, By Ayse Wieting, Associated Press, June 2, 2021
Three Uyghurs who fled from China to Turkey have described forced abortions and torture by Chinese authorities in China’s far western Xinjiang region, ahead of giving testimony to a people’s tribunal in London that is investigating if Beijing’s actions against ethnic Uyghurs amount to genocide.
The three witnesses include a woman who said she was forced into an abortion at 6 1/2 months pregnant, a former doctor who spoke of draconian birth control policies, and a former detainee who alleged he was “tortured day and night” by Chinese soldiers while he was imprisoned in the remote border region.
They spoke to The Associated Press of their experiences before testifying by video link to the independent U.K. tribunal, which is expected to draw dozens of witnesses when it opens four days of hearings on Friday.
The tribunal, which does not have U.K. government backing, will be chaired by prominent human rights lawyer Geoffrey Nice, who led the prosecution of ex-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and worked with the International Criminal Court.
8. U.S. bishop, ex-Irish president among those addressing LGBTQ Catholics for Pride Month, By John Lavenburg, Crux, June 2, 2021
Bishop John Stowe of Lexington offered words of support and a blessing to LGBTQ Catholics alongside other advocates on a Zoom call Monday night, reminding them that “God desires a deep and intimate relationship with each of you.”
“May God, the source of life and love fill you with the job of knowing your great dignity and worth as God’s child who is created with love and filled with blessings from the first moment of your existence,” said Stowe in a video message.
The online prayer service hosted by DignityUSA – an organization that has advocated for LGBTQ Catholics for over 50 years – was attended by more than 200 LGBTQ Catholics from across the United States and Canada in honor of the start of pride month.

Stowe was the only U.S. bishop to address the event. Others that offered supportive messages include Mary McAleese, the former president of Ireland and a canon lawyer, and Dr. Miguel Díaz, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under the Obama administration.
9. Australian state moves to cancel Catholic cemeteries, By The Pillar, June 2, 2021
The Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, has launched a petition opposing a new government plan to bring all cemeteries under state control, which would end the Church’s role in caring for the graves of Catholics in New South Wales.
“This decision will end the involvement of faith groups in the management and operation of cemeteries in favor of a secular government run bureaucracy,” Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP, told his priests in a May 27 letter.
“This will bring to an end more than 150 years of the Church’s role in burying the dead, upkeep of graves and support to grieving families.”

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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