1. German bishops apparently ignore Vatican veto, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, March 1, 2023 At the start of their spring plenary assembly, the leader of the German bishops’ conference told reporters that they are essentially ignoring a Vatican veto on a new governing body for the church in Germany, and that plans are moving ahead regardless. From Feb. 27-March 2, 62 of German’s 67 bishops will be gathered in Dresden for the springtime meeting. Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, president of the German bishops’ conference, started things off on a controversial note when on Monday, at the start of their plenary meetings, he told journalists that he had sent a letter to the Vatican responding to their earlier veto of the proposed new “Synodal Council” in Germany. According to German Catholic news site Katholisch.de, Bätzing told reporters that in his letter, he explained again what the purpose of the Synodal Council is, and what the goal is of the Synodal Committee, which is expected to be rolled out next week and is tasked with forming the Synodal Council over the next three years. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2023/03/german-bishops-apparently-ignore-vatican-veto__________________________________________________________ 2. Imagining A Heretical Cardinal, By Thomas J. Paprocki, First Things, February 28, 2023, Opinion Imagine if a cardinal of the Catholic Church were to publish an article in which he condemned “a theology of eucharistic coherence that multiplies barriers to the grace and gift of the eucharist” and stated that “unworthiness cannot be the prism of accompaniment for disciples of the God of grace and mercy.” Or what if a cardinal of the Catholic Church were to state publicly that homosexual acts are not sinful and same-sex unions should be blessed by the Church? Until recently, it would be hard to imagine any successor of the apostles making such heterodox statements. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon today to hear Catholic leaders affirm unorthodox views that, not too long ago, would have been espoused only by heretics. “Heretic” and “heresy” are strong words, which contemporary ecclesiastical politeness has softened to gentler expressions such as “our separated brethren” or “the Christian faithful who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.” But the reality is that those who are “separated” and “not in full communion” are separated and not in full communion because they reject essential truths of “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Thus, it is deeply troubling to consider the possibility that prelates holding the office of diocesan bishop in the Catholic Church may be separated or not in full communion because of heresy. Yet both the cases mentioned above would in fact involve heresy, since heresy is defined as “the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith” (canon 751 of the Code of Canon Law).  Thus a cardinal of the Catholic Church, like any other Catholic who denies settled Catholic teaching, embraces heresy, the result of which is automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church. In addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in canon 1336, such as prohibiting residence in a certain place or territory and removing “a power, office, function, right, privilege, faculty, favor, title, or insignia, even merely honorary.” Canon 1364 adds, “If contumacy of long duration or the gravity of scandal demands it, other penalties can be added, including dismissal from the clerical state.”  Only the pope can remove a cardinal from office or dismiss him from the clerical state in the case of heresy or other grave crimes. If he does not do so, the unseemly prospect arises of a cardinal, excommunicated latae sententiae due to heresy, voting in a papal conclave. We must pray that the Holy Spirit will not let this happen, and will inspire  anyone who espouses heretical views to renounce them and seek reconciliation with our Lord and his Church. Thomas J. Paprocki is bishop of Springfield, Illinois, and chairman-elect of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2023/02/imagining-a-heretical-cardinal__________________________________________________________ 3. West Virginia ‘religious freedom’ bill headed to governor, By Leah Willingham and John Raby, Associated Press, February 28, 2023, 7:54 PM A West Virginia bill described by supporters as a tool to protect religious freedom and labeled a “license to discriminate” by LGBTQ rights advocates is headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Jim Justice. The “Equal Protection for Religion Act,” wasn’t expected to receive a vote until later in the session, but the GOP-supermajority Senate suspended legislative rules in order to vote on the bill Tuesday, just a day after it had passed in the House of Delegates.  At least 23 other states have religious freedom restoration acts like the one being proposed in West Virginia. The laws are modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton, which allows federal regulations that interfere with religious beliefs to be challenged. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/west-virginia-religious-freedom-bill-headed-to-governor/2023/02/28/922fafc6-b7cb-11ed-b0df-8ca14de679ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. U.S. bishops urge senators to oppose revival of the Equal Rights Amendment, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, February 28, 2023, 2:00 PM Amid an attempt by the U.S. Senate to revive the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) — which failed in 1982 — the Catholic bishops of the United States have urged senators to vote down the proposal, citing possible threats to religious freedom as well as a likelihood that the amendment would be used to strike down pro-life laws and promote public funding for abortion.  The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Feb. 28 to discuss a resolution to revoke the original 1982 deadline for the ERA’s ratification, thus allowing it to become part of the U.S. Constitution. “Catholic teaching speaks very clearly and strongly about the equality of men and women … For the needs of those in challenging circumstances in particular, whom many of our ministries serve, we have called lawmakers to radical solidarity and offered numerous policy recommendations to provide women and their families meaningful assistance and support,” the U.S. bishops wrote in a Feb. 27 letter  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253761/us-bishops-urge-senators-to-oppose-revival-of-the-equal-rights-amendment__________________________________________________________

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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