TCA Podcast

“Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 47 –  Catholic Counselor Dr. Greg Popcak of EWTN’s More to Life

Catholic family counselor Dr. Gregory Popcak of EWTN radio’s More to Life  joins the Catholic Association’s Dr. Grazie Christie and Andrea Picciotti-Bayer in a new episode of Conversations with Consequences.  Dr. Popcak discusses mental illness and what our Catholic response should be including issues revolving around depression, pornography addiction, the opioid crisis, and much more!

1. After Roman churches shuttered, Pope says People of God shouldn’t be left alone.

By Crux, March 13, 2020

Speaking the day after the Diocese of Rome announced the closure of all churches in the city until April 3, even for private prayer, Pope Francis on Friday morning warned that “drastic measures aren’t always good” and prayed that pastors will find ways not to leave the People of God alone.

2. The dilemma facing religious leaders: When to close the doors during a pandemic.

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey, The Washington Post, March 13, 2020, 5:00 AM

Religious leaders across the nation took dramatic measures this week to cancel weekend gatherings while others told their members they will still hold services.

Jaka said mosque leaders checked with interfaith leaders and found that several across traditions were canceling services as well, including Virginia and DC-area Episcopal churches, Catholic churches in Washington and several synagogues. As religious leaders traded information with each other about their plans, each leader grappled with challenges, including whether they can help “flatten the curve” and keep the coronavirus from spreading faster, or do they risk abandoning people who might need them?

3. Thoughts on China-Vatican diplomacy.

By George Weigel, Catholic Weekly, March 13, 2020, Opinion

Perserverance on a difficult but noble path is a virtue. Stubbornness when confronted by irrefutable evidence of a grave mistake is a vice. The latter would seem an apt characterisation of a letter sent on Ash Wednesday to the entire College of Cardinals by its new Dean, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re.

In that letter — his first official act as Dean — Cardinal Re reprimands the redoubtable Cardinal Joseph Zen, SDB, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, for his criticisms of the agreement the Vatican made with the People’s Republic of China in 2018.

The bloom is off the Chinese rose just about everywhere in the world. So it is more than disturbing that the Holy See should be doubling down on what everyone (except those directly involved in cutting it) thinks is a very bad deal: bad, because it allows the Chinese Communist Party to nominate candidates for bishop, which the Holy See can then approve or reject.

Why is the bloom off the Chinese rose? Why are China and its “model” no longer lauded in the global commentariat? The initial Chinese mishandling (and worse) of COVID-19, the coronavirus, has had an impact.

Before anyone had heard of COVID-19, however, there was mounting concern about the intentions and brutality of the Chinese communist regime: about its herding Uighurs into concentration camps; about its assaults on religious communities, including the defacing and demolition of Catholic churches after the accord with the Holy See was signed; about its aggressive military moves in the South China Sea; about its creation of an Orwellian internal security apparatus through facial-recognition technology; about its ranking the Chinese citizenry according to their political reliability (meaning their acquiescence to what  the Chinese Communist Party dictates); about its international espionage, often conducted behind the cover of putatively independent technology companies like Huawei; about its relentless digital attacks on Taiwan; and about the global Chinese “Belt-and-Road” initiative, which financially shackles Third World countries to the Beijing regime.

Yet nary a public word has been spoken by Vatican diplomacy about any of this.

What is most disturbing about Cardinal Re’s letter, however, is its claim that the 2018 Vatican-China agreement is in continuity with the diplomacy of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

To my understanding, that is simply not right — or at best, it’s a distortion of the historical record in service to defending what can’t be defended on the merits.

Both popes declined to accept any such arrangement, not only because it contradicted the teaching of Vatican II in its Decree on the Pastoral Office of the Bishops in the Church and Canon 377.5 of the Code of Canon Law, but because they knew that that concession would weaken the Church’s evangelical mission in China.

Cardinal Re’s letter laments that the path forward for the Catholic Church in China is difficult and complex. Who could doubt it?

That path is not made easier, however, by making unbecoming concessions to thugs — or by calling out fellow-cardinals who challenge the 2018 Vatican-China deal because it does precisely that.

George Weigel is the Distinguished Senior Fellow and William Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Centre in Washington

4. Utah passes new abortion rules as Legislature wraps up.

By Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press, March 12, 2020, 10:35 PM

Utah lawmakers passed new regulations on abortion this year, including a measure approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature Thursday that would ban most abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

5. All churches in Rome closed until April 3 as part of coronavirus lockdown.

By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, March 12, 2020

As the Italian government on Thursday rolled out a new set of sweeping restrictions to curb the country’s coronavirus outbreak, the Diocese of Rome issued their own directive announcing the closure of all churches, even for private prayer, until April 3.

“Until Friday, 3 April, 2020, access to parochial and non-parochial churches of the Diocese of Rome, open to the public, and more generally to religious buildings of any kind open to the public, is forbidden to all the faithful,” said a March 12 statement from Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Vicar of Rome.

6. Colorado will replace Columbus Day with Cabrini Day, the first paid state holiday recognizing a woman in the US.

By Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, March 11, 2020, 4:47 PM

Colorado passed legislation Tuesday to replace Columbus Day with Cabrini Day because bill sponsors say it doesn’t represent their community members.

The first Monday of October will now honor Frances Xavier Cabrini, who according to the bill, is the woman responsible for creating 67 schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States and South and Central America throughout her lifetime.

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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