1. The Christian Martyrs of Nigeria, Why did the Biden administration lift its designation as a country of concern?, By David Curry, The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2022, Pg. A15, Opinion As Christians in Owo, Nigeria, gathered to celebrate Pentecost on Sunday, gunmen burst into St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and began shooting. Eyewitness reports suggest at least 50 parishioners, including young children, were killed.  My organization, Open Doors USA, ranks the countries that are most hostile to Christians. Nigeria is seventh on the list. Though the country places few restrictions on worship, it ranks first for the total number of Christians killed for their faith. Our most recent annual report documented the killing of 4,650 Christians in Nigeria in 2021, more than one every two hours. The violence shows no signs of abating this year. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, to which I was recently appointed, has recommended since 2009 that Nigeria be added to the U.S. government’s “Country of Particular Concern” list. The list is an important tool for identifying the worst violators of religious freedom across the globe. In December 2020, the Trump administration heeded that advice. The following year, however, the Biden administration reversed the decision without explanation. In fact, it removed Nigeria from the list hours before Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in the country for official meetings.  Mr. Biden has the opportunity to send a clear signal that the U.S. won’t stand by as the innocent faithful are persecuted. He should make the redesignation and enforce sanctions without delay. Mr. Curry is president and CEO of Open Doors USA and a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-persecution-of-nigeria-christians-owo-shooting-designation-state-religious-freedom-11654630844?___________________________________________________________ 2. Religion is not overpowering our politics, By Hugh Hewitt, The Washington Post, June 8, 2022, 7:00 AM, Opinion The dissolution of the dominant Protestant culture in the 1960s and 1970s is long past debating. America is less faithful but far more political. The average voter by contrast concerns himself or herself with the country’s political leadership, and very few take their voting cues from any pulpit — if any are to be had. That isn’t “The Way.” And it never has been in my 66 years. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/08/religion-in-politics-is-overstated/___________________________________________________________ 3. U.S. bishops urge prayer during Religious Freedom Week to combat abortion, church vandalism, By Maisy Sullivan, Catholic News Agency, June 8, 2022, 5:18 AM Amid attacks on Catholic churches and other security concerns surrounding a looming Supreme Court abortion case, the U.S. bishops are inviting Catholics to turn to prayer. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will observe Religious Freedom Week June 22-29 by encouraging Catholics to pray, reflect, and act to promote religious freedom. This year, the bishops are focusing on promoting a culture of life, with the theme “Life and Dignity for All.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251483/us-bishops-religious-freedom-week-prayer-church-vandalism___________________________________________________________ 4. DHS warns that ‘faith-based institutions’ could be targeted amid ‘heightened threat environment’, By Catholic News Agency, June 8, 2022, 6:00 AM The Department of Homeland Security warned on Tuesday that “faith-based institutions” could be potential targets amid a “heightened threat environment” in the United States. The DHS alert followed an unconfirmed report that it had notified Catholic bishops of “credible threats” if Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, is overturned. In a June 7 bulletin from the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), the department responsible for public security said: “In the coming months, DHS expects the threat environment to become more dynamic as several high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251485/dhs-warns-that-faith-based-institutions-could-be-targeted-amid-heightened-threat-environment___________________________________________________________ 5. Priests back bishop attacked in media for defending life and the family, By Walter Sanchez Silva, Catholic News Agency, June 8, 2022, 3:00 AM Several Catholic priests have expressed their support for a Spanish bishop after he was attacked in the media following a homily in which he reminded Catholics that they have a duty to defend life and the family. At the Mass for Pentecost Sunday and in honor of the Virgin of El Rocío, a much-loved Marian devotion in Andalusia, Bishop Santiago Gómez Sierra of Huelva encouraged Catholics to vote for those who share Christian values in the June 22 regional parliamentary elections. ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, reported that Bishop Gómez then read guidelines that the bishops of Andalusia offered on June 1 for Catholics voting in the upcoming election. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251481/spanish-catholic-priests-back-bishop-attacked-in-media-for-defending-life-and-the-family___________________________________________________________ 6. Head of Order of Malta dies unexpectedly, By The Pillar, June 7, 2022 The Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ Marco Luzzago, has died, the order confirmed June 7. Fra’ Marco was the senior governing figure of the thousand-year-old religious order. An official communique from the order’s Grand Magistry in Rome announced the death of Fra’ Marco “with great sorrow” Tuesday morning. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/head-of-order-of-malta-dies-unexpectedly?s=r__________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican bank reports $19 million profit in 2021, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, June 7, 2022, 10:30 AM The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican bank, announced on Tuesday that it had recorded a profit of around $19 million in 2021. The $19 million net profit is down from $44 million in 2020 and $46 million in 2019. In its annual report, published on June 7, the IOR emphasized its dedication to managing clients’ financial assets according to Catholic values and principles. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251474/vatican-bank-s-annual-report-records-19-dollars-million-profit__________________________________________________________ 8. Catholic lawmakers who backed Colorado’s abortion law should refrain from Communion, state’s bishops say, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, June 7, 2022, 3:15 PM Catholic lawmakers in Colorado who voted for an extreme abortion bill that stripped all rights from the unborn child should refrain from receiving Holy Communion, the state’s four Catholic bishops have said in a letter. Voting for the Reproductive Health and Equity Act (RHEA) was “participating in a gravely sinful action because it facilitates the killing of innocent unborn babies,” said a letter to lawmakers from the state’s Catholic bishops. Catholic politicians who have voted for the legislation “have very likely placed themselves outside of the communion of the Church,” said the letter, signed by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, Bishop Stephen J. Berg of Pueblo, Bishop James Golka of Colorado Springs, and Auxiliary Bishop Jorge H. Rodriguez. Religion News Service published the first report about the letter. The full text of the letter is available here. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251479/colorado-bishops-say-lawmakers-who-backed-states-abortion-law-should-refrain-from-communion___________________________________________________________ 9. Windows smashed, pro-abortion messages tagged on NC pro-life pregnancy clinic, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, June 7, 2022, 3:46 PM A pro-life pregnancy center in Asheville, North Carolina, had its windows smashed and its building defaced with pro-abortion messaging late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. According to Asheville Police, officers discovered red spray paint on the Mountain Area Pregnancy Services building with the words “No forced birth” and “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you!” Multiple windows were broken and an anarchist symbol was left on the front of the building, said police, who are calling the damage a vandalism and are seeking the perpetrator. The police said that a forensic team found blood on a broken window, which suggests the perpetrator may have been injured. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251480/vandalism-pro-life-pregnancy-center-north-carolina___________________________________________________________

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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