1. Australia’s High Court to hear Pell abuse appeal Wednesday.

By Rod McGuirk, Associated Press, March 10, 2020

The most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse will take his appeal to Australia’s highest court on Wednesday in potentially his last bid to clear his name.

The court will effectively hear Pell’s appeal in its entirety before they technically decide whether they will even hear his appeal.

They could decide he does not have permission to appeal, he has permission to appeal but the appeal is denied, or he has permission to appeal and the appeal is upheld.

The judges could also send Pell’s appeal back to the Victoria Court of Appeals to be reheard by another three judges.


2. Towards a Catholic Politics.

By Jeffrey Cimmino, Crisis Magazine, March 10, 2020

A recent survey commissioned by EWTN News shed light on political fragmentation among American Catholics. Reading through the poll prompts the question of whether a unified Catholic politics is possible.

Declan Leary recently lamented in these pages that American Catholics apparently “have no interest strong enough to transcend party bonds and operate politically as Catholics,” and thus reshape the nation’s political landscape. And, mincing no words, Matthew Walther wrote a piece for The Week several years ago in which he argued, “It is impossible to reconcile Catholic orthodoxy — the immortal teachings of the church that have not changed but only developed, like a musical theme, since the death of the last apostle — with the platforms of either major political party.”

My purpose here is not to categorize the varieties of anti-status quo Catholicism. Nor do I intend to argue for one party over another as a more suitable home for Catholics. My point is that the Church offers a framework for discussing the human person and society that can serve as consensus-building language in politics.

Put differently, Catholicizing politics demands neither theocracy nor agreement on the particulars of economic relationships; rather, it means Catholics working to steer the discussion about social ills in the context of human dignity and creation in God’s image.

Jeffrey Cimmino is a Senior Contributor at Crisis. He has previously worked for The Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon, and National Review


3. Protestors seek female ordination during Women’s Day march in New York.

By Christopher White, Crux, March 10, 2020

Churches may have been emptier than usual this past weekend due to fears related to the coronavirus – but according to a group of demonstrators in Manhattan, the Catholic Church’s unwillingness to expand the priesthood to women has led to a decades-in-the-making clearing out of its pews.

A small, but merry band of protestors – made up of a dozen women, two men, and a dog – marched just under a mile on Sunday from the headquarters of the United Nations along New York’s East River to the steps of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue calling for “Equal Rites and Equal Rights,” through the end of the all male hierarchy.

Both the route and the day were intentional, according Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), noting it was meant “to demonstrate that women have rights in the world that stop at the doors of our churches.”

The date, March 8, was International Women’s Day, a time when the international community recognizes the contributions of women around the globe – something these protestors say has particular limitations in the Catholic Church.


4. Justice Department highlights state-level religious freedom violations.

By Matt Hadro, Catholic Association, March 9, 2020, 5:00 PM

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is targeting state and local government violations of religious freedom, a senior DOJ official told reporters on Monday.

“Attorney General Barr is particularly interested in religious freedom, and religious liberty issues,” said Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, on Monday.

There are still “violations of free exercise of religion protections” by state and local governments, he said, expressing his hope that with “very aggressive enforcement by the Justice Department of religious freedom protections that the public will understand that the Department of Justice takes religious freedom very seriously, zealously, and vigorously.”

Dreiband spoke with reporters on Monday in a DOJ briefing on religious freedom.


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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