TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 216 – Chloe Cole Talks Protecting Kids from the Trans-Movement & Father Landry on Corpus Christi Sunday! Dr. Grazie Christie chats with ‘former trans-kid’ Chloe Cole about the dangers of promoting transgenderism and her desire to protect other kids from the same lies she was sold. As we mark Corpus Christi Sunday, Father Roger Landry offers an inspiring homily to prepare us especially in the year of Eucharistic Revival. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Vatican: Pope sitting up, working from an armchair after abdominal surgery, By Associated Press, June 9, 2023, 7:27 AM Pope Francis was “progressively improving” and sitting in an armchair working Friday, following surgery to remove intestinal scar tissue and repair a hernia in his abdominal wall, the Vatican said. After a restful night, Francis had breakfast and read the newspapers from his armchair, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. He quoted doctors as saying Francis’ condition was “progressively improving and the post-operative course is smooth.” 2. Preacher Built Media Empire, Ran for President, By Gareth Vipers, The Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2023, Pg. A2 Pat Robertson, the influential broadcaster, televangelist and one-time presidential candidate, has died, the Christian Broadcasting Network said. He was 93.  The Virginia-born preacher founded the Christian Broadcasting Network in 1961, building it into a media empire during his decadeslong reign. Since the network’s first broadcast, CBN expanded to more than 170 countries and territories, and has broadcast in dozens of languages, according to the network. __________________________________________________________ 3. Oklahoma Breaches the Wall Between Church and State, By David French, The New York Times, June 8, 2023, Opinion If I had to sum up the current debate within the American right, I’d describe it as a contest between liberty and authority. To what extent should the political project of the conservative movement focus on the preservation of individual and institutional freedom versus expanding the power of the state to advance conservative ends?  You can see this dispute perhaps most starkly in the state-by-state conflicts over education. To what extent should the education culture wars be resolved by liberty or by authority? The liberty side of the argument seeks greater school choice, so that parents from all income backgrounds can enjoy the kinds of choices that wealthy parents take for granted. It also respects the free speech rights of students and the academic freedom of professors, so that the state doesn’t become the final arbiter of truth. The authority side, by contrast, believes that someone’s worldview will control our schools, so it should be theirs. This is the impetus behind speech codes, which can dramatically inhibit free speech on campuses. This is the impetus behind the raft of anti-critical-race-theory laws and other educational gag orders, which attempt to tightly regulate instruction about race, gender and sexual orientation in public schools. This is one reason fights over library books are so contentious. The focus on regulating the ideas that students are exposed to is explicitly intended for the purpose of shaping their beliefs and ideology. And that brings me to the mistaken decision of the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board to approve “the nation’s first religious charter school” this week — a decision that split Oklahoma Republicans. The Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, praised the board, while the Republican attorney general, Gentner Drummond, said that board members “violated their oath in order to fund religious schools with our tax dollars.” Why the stark divide? The reason is simple: Despite widespread confusion about their status, charter schools are public schools, meaning that Oklahoma has created and sanctioned a Catholic public school in the state. It has clothed a Christian institution with state authority.  Both religious liberty and religious disestablishment are vital elements of American pluralism. Oklahoma shouldn’t discriminate against religious expression, but it must not create state religious schools. Clothing any church institution with state power is bad for the church and bad for the state. Oklahoma conservatives can and should advance their values through the exercise of liberty, not by breaching the barrier between church and state. __________________________________________________________ 4. New breed of charter school pushes limits on separation of church, state, By Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, June 8, 2023, 11:20 AM, Analysis The religious right scored a win this week when Oklahoma’s virtual charter school board approved the opening of the nation’s first religious charter school, which, if it is actually allowed to open as planned in 2024 for grades K-12, will weave Catholic doctrine into every single subject that students take. Given that charter schools are publicly funded, and public schools aren’t supposed to provide religious education (although they can teach about religion), you may wonder how this school could be given permission to exist. The decision is no surprise to people watching the way some charter schools run by right-wing organizations have been operating in recent years, pushing the boundaries of the separation of church and state embedded in the U.S. Constitution even as Supreme Court decisions have chipped away at it. Details can be found in a new report entitled “A Sharp Turn Right: A New Breed of Charter Schools Delivers the Conservative Agenda.” (See full report below.) It was written by the nonprofit Network for Public Education, a group that advocates for traditional public school districts and opposes charter schools, and has written reports in recent years chronicling waste and abuse of public funding of charter schools.The network’s newest report looks at charter schools that it says are designed to attract Christian nationalists with specific imagery and curriculum. The student bodies of these schools are largely Whiter and wealthier than in other schools — in the charter sector and in traditional public districts — and have deep connections to people within conservative Christian movements, the report says. 5. NY attorney general files lawsuit against anti-abortion group known for blocking access to clinics, By Karen Matthews, Associated Press, June 8, 2023, 4:29 PM New York’s attorney general filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday against an anti-abortion group whose members have been arrested for blocking access to health care clinics in New York and other states. The group, Red Rose Rescue, “has made it their mission to terrorize reproductive health care providers and the patients they serve,” said Attorney General Letitia James said in announcing the lawsuit against the organization and several members who she said have trespassed at suburban New York clinics, occupied waiting rooms and barricaded entrances. The lawsuit filed in federal court for the Southern District of New York seeks to prevent Red Rose members from coming within 30 feet of any reproductive health care facility in addition to civil penalties and damages. 6. Is Religion Good for Your Health?, Studying the health benefits of religious activity involves special challenges, and researchers are developing new methods to meet them, By David DeSteno, The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2023, 11:59 AM Is religion a medicine for what ails us? If we’re talking about physical and mental health, the answer has been difficult to come by. Large-scale studies have consistently shown a strong association between being religious and good health. For example, a paper published by Mayo Clinic researchers in 2001 found that people who regularly attend religious services tend to have lower rates of mortality and hospital admissions in any given period, as well as better cardiovascular function. The increase in death rates among people who never attend religious services compared with those who attend several times a week is comparable to that associated with smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.  Using data from other large-scale, longitudinal studies, VanderWeele found that religiosity improves mental health. Attending services at least weekly or meditating regularly reduces feelings of depression and increases feelings of life satisfaction and purpose, even among adolescents. The health benefits are greater for those who attend services once a week or more than for those who only attend intermittently. Ongoing surveys like these, as well as more targeted studies, show a strong link between religion and better physical and mental health. Of course, this doesn’t mean that religion should be prescribed as a medicine, either in addition to or in place of other established treatments. The choice to be spiritually active is a personal one, and religion is only one of many factors that affect health. Nonetheless, it’s time for health sciences to take religion seriously and consider what it offers the body and mind. __________________________________________________________ 7. Survey finds number of deacons at lowest level since 2011, By John Lavenburg, Crux, June 9, 2023 A new survey from the U.S. Bishops’ Conference and Georgetown University shows that the number of permanent deacons in active ministry in the U.S. last year is the lowest since 2011, which “is [a trend] in keeping with the slow decline of the diaconate over the past several years.” The survey, “A Portrait of the Permanent Diaconate in 2022,” found that there are an estimated 13,695 permanent deacons in active ministry. The figure is about 1,000 less than the average number of permanent deacons in active ministry since 2011 – about 14, 635. __________________________________________________________ 8. Congress must act against online child exploitation, U.S. bishops say, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, June 8, 2023, 8:50 AM Congress must act to help prevent the exposure of children to online pornography and to combat online exploitation and abuse of children and other vulnerable people, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said Wednesday. “Online child exploitation threatens the safety and well-being of our young people and destroys families and communities,” four leading bishops of the USCCB said in a June 7 letter to members of Congress. “The ability of a child to grow into adulthood in peace and security is both a human right and a demand of the common good: The dignity of the human person requires protections for our young people so that they may flourish as they mature.” __________________________________________________________

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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