TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 203 – ‘Santiago: The Camino Within’ & Ashley McGuire On Chris Rock + Women’s History Month A new movie in theaters March 28 follows pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago, sharing their stories and the radiance that will be revealed at the conclusion of their journeys. Led by Bishop Donald Hying, director Erin Berghouse discusses Santiago: The Camino Within, inviting us all to consider our own personal pilgrimage this Lent. Ashley McGuire also joins in discussing Chris Rock’s viral moment calling out the reality of abortion–and true feminine genius as companies mark Women’s History Month by honoring men… Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. What to Make of the Asbury Revival, By D.G. Hart, The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2023, Pg. A13, Opinion Revivals used to divide American Protestants. From the First Great Awakening in the 18th century to the Billy Graham crusades in the 20th, some thought the unusual religious gatherings were the works of God, some insisted they were driven by emotional manipulation, and others saw in them mixtures of both. The recent episode at Asbury University—a Methodist institution in Wilmore, Ky., where students lingered in prayer for two weeks after a chapel service—has received only praise. Even Cardinal Timothy Dolan said he wished Roman Catholics approached Lent as zealously as Asbury’s students worshipped Jesus. This is a different phase of church history. A seminary professor encouraged the Atlantic’s overwhelmingly liberal readers to take encouragement that students asked Tucker Carlson not to cover the revival. The reason? “Students have chosen hiddenness and simplicity, selfless hospitality, and a relentless hunger for Jesus.”  Archbishop Dolan’s comparison of the Asbury revival with the liturgical season of Lent is an apt one. Lent may have its virtues, but many of its American practitioners have turned it into an excuse to boast on social media about their capacity for low-level acts of self-deprivation. Revivalism may produce some good, too, but can it be a mass vehicle for spiritual exhibitionism? Probably. Other tough questions: Are the emotional highs of revivals healthy? Can they endure the disappointments of life? What if a slow, steady growth in faith, as Nevin thought best, is a more reliable path to Christian maturity? The most fervent proponents of revivalism won’t appreciate these queries. Perhaps they can spend some time on the anxious bench and formulate sober answers. Mr. Hart teaches history at Hillsdale College and is author of “From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism.” 2. Contentious German church reform assembly opens last meeting, By Geir Moulson, Associated Press, March 9, 2023 Germany’s Catholic bishops and lay representatives gathered on Thursday for the final meeting of a potentially groundbreaking reform assembly that has been marked by tensions between liberalizers and conservatives and is drawing increasingly open opposition from the Vatican. The German process, dubbed the “Synodal Path,” was launched in 2019 in response to the sex abuse crisis that has rocked the church in Germany and many other countries and has been a major factor in large numbers of people leaving the church. The synodal assembly, meeting in Frankfurt from Thursday through Saturday, brings together more than 200 representatives of Catholic life in Germany. Its fifth and final gathering is expected to discuss proposals that involve blessings by priests for same-sex couples, female deacons and a role for the faithful in choosing bishops, among other things. Any decisions, however, need the approval of two-thirds of the 67 German bishops — and that may prove a high bar in view of internal divisions and increasingly strident criticism from the Vatican. The lack of such approval meant that the Synodal Path’s last assembly in September failed to approve a text calling for a liberalization of sexual teaching, despite 82% overall backing. 3. Catholic group spent millions on app data that tracked gay priests, A group of philanthropists poured money into a Denver nonprofit that obtained dating and hookup app data and shared it with bishops around the country, a Post investigation has found, By Michelle Boorstein and Heather Kelly, The Washington Post, March 9, 2023, 8:52 AM A group of conservative Colorado Catholics has spent millions of dollars to buy mobile app tracking data that identified priests who used gay dating and hookup apps and then shared it with bishops around the country. The secretive effort was the work of a Denver nonprofit called Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal, whose trustees are philanthropists Mark Bauman, John Martin and Tim Reichert, according to public records, an audio recording of the nonprofit’s president discussing its mission and other documents. The use of data is emblematic of a new surveillance frontier in which private individuals can potentially track other Americans’ locations and activities using commercially available information. No U.S. data privacy laws prohibit the sale of this data. The project’s aim, according to tax records, is to “empower the church to carry out its mission” by giving bishops “evidence-based resources” with which to identify weaknesses in how they train priests. 4. Fear, anxiety follow Nicaraguan faith leaders into exile, By Maria Teresa Hernandez, Associated Press, March 9, 2023, 9:15 AM For two hours each afternoon, the Catholic priest listens to confessions behind a glass wall where anyone nearby can spot him. Yet that visibility is deceptive; he yearns to keep his name and exact whereabouts a secret to the outside world. He began hearing confessions within a few days after recently fleeing to Costa Rica from Nicaragua, where the government has imprisoned religious leaders, activists and numerous outspoken critics of President Daniel Ortega. The priest agreed to an interview on condition his name and new home base be withheld. He fears for his loved ones, who still live in Nicaragua, and hopes they’ll be safe as long as he remains discreet. He is not alone. Many priests and nuns in exile worry about reprisal from Ortega and fear going public with their stories.  A human rights organization, Nicaragua Nunca Más, estimates that more than 50 religious leaders have fled since 2018, when a social security reform triggered massive protests. Last year, two congregations of nuns – including from the Missionaries of Charity order founded by Mother Teresa – were expelled. Other church personnel — including priests, seminarians and lay staff members, were among the 222 Nicaraguans released from detention and forcibly expelled to the United States on Feb. 9. 5. France moves to put abortion rights in constitution as U.S. curbs access, By Ellen Francis and Rick Noack, The Washington Post, March 9, 2023, 9:54 AM Months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, France is moving toward enshrining abortion rights in its constitution. French President Emmanuel Macron said this would send “a universal message of solidarity to all women who today see this right violated.” “I hope the strength of this message today helps us change our constitution to enshrine the freedom of women to have recourse to abortion … to ensure that nothing can hinder nor unravel what will be irreversible,” he said Wednesday. The decision to overturn Roe has mobilized abortion rights advocates in countries around the world, including proponents of protecting abortion access through the constitution in France. 6. Colorado Democrats to bolster haven against abortion bans, By Jesse Bedayn, Associated Press, March 9, 2023, 7:26 PM Colorado lawmakers are looking to strengthen the state’s role as a safe haven for abortion rights in a region largely dominated by conservative states that have restricted the practice since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Democratic lawmakers announced at a Thursday news conference that three bills will be introduced to expand abortion access. The measures have a strong chance with the Legislature and governor’s office both under Democratic control and reflect how states like Colorado and California are proactively trying to enshrine abortion rights protections as several neighboring red states go the opposite direction. One bill would crack down on anti-abortion centers — which are known to market themselves as abortion clinics but instead attempt to steer people away from terminating a pregnancy — by outlawing “deceptive practices.” Another proposal would legally shield people who seek out abortions, and those who provide them, from investigations and prosecution in other states — including protections from responding to subpoenas or having to assist in interstate investigations. The third bill would ensure that health insurance in Colorado offers accessible coverage for abortions. 7. Nicaraguan govt shutters Catholic universities, aid agency, Amid ongoing persecution, the Nicaraguan government has closed two Catholic universities and Caritas Nicaragua., By Edgar Beltrán, The Pillar, March 9, 2023, 12:41 PM The Nicaraguan government announced on Tuesday that it has seized the assets of two Catholic universities and of Caritas Nicaragua, and effectively shuttered their operations by rescinding their legal status in the country. The announcement comes amid an ongoing push against the Church by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, which has included the expulsion of religious communities, priests, and a papal delegate from the country, and the imprisonment of Bishop Rolando Álvarez on charges of anti-government activity.

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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