1. Pope Francis fuels new speculation on future of pontificate, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, June 6, 2022 Pope Francis added fuel to rumors about the future of his pontificate by announcing he would visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, one of the few pontiffs who resigned before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013. Italian and Catholic media have been rife with unsourced speculation that the 85-year-old Francis might be planning to follow in Benedict’s footsteps, given his increased mobility problems that have forced him to use a wheelchair for the last month. Those rumors gained steam last week when Francis announced a consistory to create 21 new cardinals scheduled for Aug. 27.  https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/06/pope-francis-fuels-new-speculation-on-future-of-pontificate___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope prays for victims, country after church attack in Nigeria, By Inés San Martín, Crux, June 5, 2022 Pope Francis expressed his concern Sunday for a deadly shooting at a Catholic church in Nigeria on the feast of Pentecost that left somewhere between 25 and 50 people dead; the attackers kidnapped a priest and several others, as well. The pope said he was praying for “the victims and the country.” “While the details of what happened are clarified, Pope Francis is praying for the victims and the country, sorrowfully struck in a moment of celebration, and entrusts both to the Lord, so that he sends His Spirit to console them,” a Vatican statement said. On Sunday, in the town of Owo in southwest Nigeria, an unknown number of armed men entered St Francis church during morning Mass. They fired into the congregation, then kidnapped a priest and some other churchgoers, witnesses said. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-africa/2022/06/pope-prays-for-victims-country-after-church-attack-in-nigeria__________________________________________________________ 3. US report faults Nicaragua for severe violations of religious freedom, By Inés San Martín, Crux, June 4, 2022 Nicaragua belongs on a “special watch list” for having engaged in, or tolerated, severe violations of religious freedom, according to the latest religious freedom report from the U.S. State Department. The 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom was presented June 2, with a special focus on how the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega has intensified persecution, harassment, death threats, and attacks against Catholic leaders in Nicaragua. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-americas/2022/06/us-report-faults-nicaragua-for-severe-violations-of-religious-freedom__________________________________________________________ 4. AP-NORC poll details rift between lay Catholics and bishops, By David Crary, Associated Press, June 3, 2022, 11:04 AM The hardline stances of many conservative Catholic bishops in the U.S. are not shared by a majority of lay Catholics. Most of them say abortion should be legal, favor greater inclusion of LGBT people, and oppose the denial of Communion for politicians who support abortion rights, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll, conducted in mid-May, shows a clear gap between the prevalent views of American Catholics, and some recent high-profile actions taken by the church’s leaders.  Beyond the bishops/laity rift, the poll highlighted other challenges facing the church, which is the largest denomination in the U.S. For example, 68% of Catholics reported attending religious services once a month or less. Compared to five years ago, 37% said they were now attending less often; 14% said they were attending more often. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ap-norc-poll-details-rift-between-lay-catholics-and-bishops/2022/06/03/7e165654-e34e-11ec-ae64-6b23e5155b62_story.html___________________________________________________________ 5. New York Legislators Fail to Advance Constitutional Amendment on Abortion for Now, The Democratic-controlled Legislature passed sweeping gun-control measures as session ends, By Jimmy Vielkind, The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2022, 3:36 PM New York lawmakers enacted a series of measures to strengthen the state’s gun control laws at the end of their annual session but failed to reach agreement on amending the state Constitution to fortify abortion rights. Members of the state Senate adjourned early Friday without voting on a proposed Equality Amendment that would prohibit governmental discrimination against people based on a number of categories. That list would have included pregnancy outcome, as well as race, sexual orientation and gender expression.  Democrats who control the state government said the proposed amendment would provide an additional layer of protection. Sponsors of the amendment said they believed it had the votes to pass, but it stalled over last-minute objections by religious organizations. Groups including the New York State Catholic Conference pointed out that the amendment didn’t list religion or creed as among its protected characteristics, which could create conflict with other areas of the Constitution that guarantee freedom of worship. https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-legislators-fail-to-advance-constitutional-amendment-on-abortion-for-now-11654284495?___________________________________________________________ 6. State Barriers to Abortion—Regardless of Roe v. Wade, A patchwork of U.S. state laws makes abortion less accessible for some women, no matter what the Supreme Court decides regarding the 1973 case, By Kara Dapena, The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2022, 9:00 AM A leaked draft opinion indicates that the Supreme Court might be prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, the precedent that established federal constitutional protections for abortion rights nearly 50 years ago. But states have already instituted barriers, enacting 1,380 abortion restrictions since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Of those, 46% were enacted after 2010, though not all are in effect. States enacted 89 new abortion restrictions in 2011 when the number of states where Republicans had control of the governorship, state senate and state house jumped from nine to 22 after the midterm elections. Nearly every state where new restrictions were enacted in 2011 were governed by Republican governors and state legislatures. Among Republican voters, 57% support overturning Roe, while 89% of Democrats oppose, according to the latest WSJ-NORC poll. If Roe were overturned, 22 states have laws that could ban all or most abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a policy group that supports abortion rights and tracks national abortion statistics. https://www.wsj.com/articles/state-barrier-abortion-roe-v-wade-11654170644?__________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican asks for suspension of ordinations in French diocese, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, June 3, 2022, 11:00 AM The Vatican has asked a diocese in southern France to suspend its ordinations of priests and deacons scheduled for this month after a “fraternal visit” of the diocese. Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon announced June 2 that the suspension was requested due to “questions that certain Roman dicasteries were asking about the restructuring of the seminary and the policy of welcoming people to the diocese.”  Rey, known for his support of the traditional Latin Mass, said that he has already spoken with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and other offices of the Roman curia about the questions raised by the visitation.  After the promulgation of Traditionis custodes, the motu proprio issued by Pope Francis in 2021 which restricted Masses celebrated in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, Rey highlighted the concerns of a number of priests and communities present in his diocese who offered Mass according to the old rite.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251447/vatican-asks-suspension-of-ordinations-in-french-diocese___________________________________________________________ 8. Pregnancy resource center vandalized in DC, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, June 3, 2022, 2:21 PM A pregnancy resource center in Washington, D.C., was vandalized with red paint and graffiti this week. The incident is the latest in a string of attacks on pro-life organizations and Catholic church buildings. Photos of the June 3 vandalism show a splash of red paint covering the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center’s white door. On the brick outer building, the words “Jane says revenge” are written in black spray paint.   Attacks on pro-life centers and Catholic churches increased after the May 2 leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which suggests that justices are preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251449/pregnancy-resource-center-vandalized-in-dc__________________________________________________________

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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