1. If You Want ‘Inclusion,’ I’ve Got a List, By Timothy Dolan, The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2023, Pg. A15, Opinion I am proud that my country and my church are both committed to the noble ideal of inclusion. Everyone should feel loved and respected. All people must share in all rights. We couldn’t dare to claim to be “one nation under God” if it were otherwise. Yet society and the church are falling short of this noble ideal. By accepting one dominant cultural narrative that presumes to define those who are “excluded,” we are ignoring those who don’t tidily fit into the prevailing cultural story line. Want some examples? • Moms and dads in lifelong, life-giving marriage, cherishing a large number of children, who are routinely ridiculed and regularly stereotyped as threatening to the planet. • Fragile unborn babies, who have no legal protection in most states, with all of us forced to pay for the taking of their lives.  • Immigrants who came to this country eager to work in the belief that America was a sanctuary but who can’t get a labor permit and are treated with scorn.  • Cops who face danger daily, who see their colleagues killed and wounded, their resources shrinking, and the criminals they apprehend released in an hour.  These good people tell us they are also marginalized and excluded. Rarely do I find them bitter, angry or judgmental. They, too, want a society that is inclusive—not merely for the groups now chic to defend, but for all. Cardinal Dolan is Roman Catholic archbishop of New York. https://www.wsj.com/articles/if-you-want-inclusion-ive-got-a-list-archbishop-archdiocese-new-york-edi-unborn-children-euthanasia-social-justice-immigrant-d2bada09__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis at 10 years: He has made his mark, but early hope has faded, By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post, March 12, 2023, 7:30 AM Early in Pope Francis’s pontificate, the sense of expectation was enormous. He spoke simply and powerfully. He eschewed the typical trappings of papal luxury. He was seen as an outsider and a natural reformer. He stirred some trepidation among conservatives, but not enough to override the global adulation. “The People’s Pope,” Time magazine called him, naming him person of the year in 2013. On Monday, it will be 10 years since Francis was elected pope. In that time, he has retained many of his personal hallmarks, and he has altered the Catholic Church in important and potentially enduring ways, including by making pillars out of issues such as migration and the environment. But the sense of possibility has diminished, replaced by greater discontent. Conservative opposition has intensified. Just as important, Francis has also faced criticism from the church’s left, a flank led by Germany, where some leaders say he hasn’t gone far enough in remaking an institution in crisis.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/12/pope-francis-decade-anniversary/__________________________________________________________ 3. Argentina’s initial fervor for Pope Francis has faded, By Almudena Calatrava and DÉbora Rey, Associated Press, March 12, 2023, 1:59 AM When Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis, much of his home country celebrated as if it had just won a soccer World Cup championship. A decade later, the first Latin American leader of the Catholic Church generates divided opinions and much less fervor.  Even without coming to Argentina, Francis has found himself at the center of the constant fighting between those who support the populist policies of Kirchnerism — the center-left current of Peronism, led by Vice President and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015) — and those who back center-right former President Mauricio Macri (2015-2019).  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/11/francis-pope-anniversary-argentina-bergoglio/0b5b1aa2-c08c-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Nicaragua proposes suspending Vatican ties after comments, By Gabriela Selser and Frances D’emilio, Associated Press, March 12, 2023, 7:03 PM Nicaragua ’s government said Sunday it has proposed suspending relations with the Vatican days after Pope Francis reportedly compared President Daniel Ortega’s administration to a communist or Nazi dictatorship amid a crackdown on the Catholic Church in the Central American country.  Pope Francis had remained largely silent on the issue, apparently not wanting to inflame tensions, but in a March 10 interview with Argentine media outlet Infobae he called Ortega’s government a “rude dictatorship” led by an “unbalanced” president. In Nicaragua “we have a bishop in prison, a very serious and capable man, who wanted to give his testimony and did not accept exile,” Francis said, referring to Álvarez. “It is something from outside of what we are living, as if it were a communist dictatorship in 1917 or a Hitlerian one in 1935.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/12/nicaragua-pope-francis-vatican-suspend/0c258654-c12a-11ed-82a7-6a87555c1878_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. President Newsom Strikes Again, By The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2023, Pg. A12, Editorial Gavin Newsom said he doesn’t plan to run for President in 2024, but the California Governor already seems to think he can dictate policy in the other 49 states. Consider his decision this week to punish Walgreens for complying with other state abortion laws. “California won’t be doing business with @walgreens—or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” Mr. Newsom tweeted on Monday. Walgreens isn’t bowing to extremists. It’s trying to navigate a complicated legal and political thicket after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last summer turned abortion regulation back to the states.  Businesses make themselves targets when they take positions on political issues, but they don’t deserve to be attacked for trying to comply with state and federal laws. This distinction is lost on Mr. Newsom, who wants to impose California’s values on the rest of America. He’s also banned travel by state employees to states with religious liberty protections. Maybe he hopes that bullying businesses and other states will distract from California’s problems. It’s no wonder so many businesses are leaving the state. https://www.wsj.com/articles/gavin-newsom-walgreens-mifepristone-abortion-laws-california-be33e62c__________________________________________________________ 6. Must God Have a Gender in Our Prayers?, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2023, Pg. C3, Opinion A bishop of the Church of England said last month that it has been studying whether to allow the use of non-gendered language for God in worship, a practice that a growing number of other churches have adopted over the last several decades. The question is part of a larger debate over how far religious traditions should adapt to the changing values of the wider culture. “There are two religions within the Church of England vying for supremacy…two fundamentally opposed conceptions of God,” said the Rev. Lee Gatiss, director of the Church Society, a group that promotes traditional teaching. “One is the God of the Bible, as traditionally understood by believers throughout the centuries and all over the world. The other is a flexible God who changes depending on the spirit of the age.”  https://www.wsj.com/articles/must-god-have-a-gender-in-our-prayers-97be84ae__________________________________________________________  7. Pope Francis at 10 years: A reformer’s learning curve, plans, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, March 11, 2023, 2:22 AM So much for a short pontificate. Pope Francis celebrates the 10th anniversary of his election Monday, far outpacing the “two or three” years he once envisioned for his papacy and showing no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, with an agenda full of problems and plans and no longer encumbered by the shadow of Pope Benedict XVI, Francis, 86, has backed off from talking about retiring and recently described the papacy as a job for life. History’s first Latin American pope already has made his mark and could have even more impact in the years to come. Yet a decade ago, the Argentine Jesuit was so convinced he wouldn’t be elected as pope that he nearly missed the final vote as he chatted with a fellow cardinal outside the Sistine Chapel.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/11/pope-francis-vatican-anniversary-abuse-lgbt/7e157628-bfdd-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Michigan bishops warn new protections for gender, orientation may target religion, By John Lavenburg, Crux, March 11, 2023 Catholic leaders in Michigan fear that a new amendment to the state’s civil rights law could end up targeting religious organizations that uphold traditional beliefs on marriage and gender roles. Earlier this week, the Michigan House of Representatives passed an amendment to the state’s Civil Rights Act that includes protections for individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The Michigan Senate previously passed the amendment on March 1 (23-15). It now goes to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has said she will sign it.  A spokesperson for the Michigan Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s bishops on matters of public policy, warned that the amendment may augur new discrimination against religious groups. “We are disappointed that the House did not include language to protect religious organizations from discrimination even though every state in the country has done so when amending their civil rights laws,” said Tom Hickson, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy, in a March 9 statement.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/03/michigan-bishops-warn-new-protections-for-gender-orientation-may-target-religion__________________________________________________________ 9. Pope Francis: Gender ideology is ‘one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations’ today, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, March 11, 2023, 5:20 AM Pope Francis has said that gender ideology is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” today. In an interview with journalist Elisabetta Piqué for the Argentine daily newspaper La Nación, Pope Francis explained the reasoning behind his strong statement. “Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” Francis said in the interview published on the evening of March 10. “Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women,” he added.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253845/pope-francis-gender-ideology-is-one-of-the-most-dangerous-ideological-colonizations-today__________________________________________________________ 10. German church reform assembly calls for same-sex blessings, By Associated Press, March 10, 2023, 11:38 AM A meeting between Germany’s Catholic bishops and lay representatives agreed Friday to call for the church to approve blessings of same-sex unions. The three-day gathering, which is part of the “Synodal Path” launched in 2019 in response to the sex abuse crisis that has rocked the church in Germany and many other countries, brings together more than 200 representatives of Catholic life in Germany. A majority of 176 participants voted in favor of same-sex blessings starting from March 2026. Fourteen participants voted against them, while 12 abstained. Crucially, the necessary two-thirds backing of the 67 German bishops was also reached, the news agency dpa reported. Many congregations already perform such ceremonies, but these aren’t formally approved by the Catholic Church, a position the Vatican restated in 2021.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/10/germany-samesex-blessings-catholic-church-bishops/f4298718-bf61-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 11. Maryland House OKs abortion rights constitutional amendment, By Brian Witte, Associated Press, March 10, 2023, 1:42 PM The Maryland House voted Friday to enshrine the right to abortion in the state Constitution, one of several steps lawmakers are taking this legislative session to protect abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. The House voted 99-37 for the constitutional amendment, which also is advancing in the state Senate. If the measure passes the General Assembly, voters would have a chance to approve it in November 2024.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/10/maryland-abortion-rights-constitutional-amendment/42c72680-bf73-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 12. Florida abortion ban could have impact beyond the state, By Geoff Mulvihill and Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press, March 10, 2023, 11:20 AM Less than a year after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, an expected GOP presidential contender, signed a ban on abortions after the 15-week mark of pregnancy, he’s showing support for an even stricter ban introduced this week by state lawmakers. His position could have implications on the availability of abortion not only in Florida but across the South – and also figure into the 2024 presidential race.  The deeper ban, proposed as Florida’s legislative session opened on Tuesday, would make it a crime to provide an abortion past six weeks’ gestational age. There would be an exception to save the life of the woman and exceptions in the case of pregnancy caused by rape or incest until 15 weeks of pregnancy. In those cases, the woman would have to provide documentation such as a medical record, restraining order or police report.  With bans on abortion at all stages of pregnancy in nearby Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi and a ban on terminating pregnancies in Georgia after cardiac activity can be detected — around six weeks – Florida has become a haven for people in the region seeking abortions. A ban at the gestational age of six weeks would mean fewer women traveling to Florida for abortions and more looking at going even further away, to places including North Carolina and Illinois.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/10/abortion-ban-florida-desantis-six-weeks/de87733c-bf59-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html__________________________________________________________ 13. Praying for Pope Francis, This is the best way to mark his 10th anniversary., By Father Roger Landry, National Catholic Register, March 10, 2023, Opinion Ten years ago this Monday, March 13, at 8:22pm Rome time, the 266th Peter walked out for the first time onto the Balcony of Blessing in the center of the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. After greeting us, he led us in prayer for the recently retired Pope Benedict XVI. Before he gave us his customary first blessing as the new Bishop of Rome, he asked us a “favor.” He humbly implored, “I ask you to pray to the Lord, that he will bless me,” and he bowed his head in silence as those in a hushed St. Peter’s Square and across the world quietly prayed for him. After giving us his blessing, he thanked us, wished us a good night, and repeated the petition, “Pray for me.” He has been insistently asking us to pray for him ever since, in every language he can utter the phrase, at the end of almost every encounter. To pray for Pope Francis is the best way to mark his 10th anniversary. Prayer is what Catholics ought always to do first and do best.  To pray for the pope does not mean one approves of every decision he’s made or even the general direction of the papacy. Pope Francis himself humbly recognizes his “many limitations,” “problems” and sins; and in various pre-papal and papal interviews, he has candidly admitted that his first take on many decisions is often erroneous. And so praying for the Pope is not inconsistent with sincere concerns, for example, over the way he is handling various crises in the Church, responding to certain scandals, or handling liturgical matters. It doesn’t imply one agrees with the wisdom of everything he’s said, written or done. It doesn’t mean one deems prudent every curial, episcopal or cardinalatial appointment. Prayers aren’t supposed to come just from cheerleaders, after all, but from every loyal spiritual son and daughter, and the more honest concerns people have, the more frequently and fervently they should pray.  https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/praying-for-pope-francis__________________________________________________________ 14. French church abuse victims get reparations, and recognition, By Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press, March 10, 2023  Like other victims of child abuse by priests, 52-year-old Stéphane said getting an official recognition from France’s Catholic Church of what happened is helping him get better, at last. Stéphane is among 201 victims granted financial or other reparations from the church so far under a process launched last year by an independent French body leading a nationwide effort to address decades of long-hidden, widespread abuse. Hundreds of other people are awaiting review of their cases. Reparations also may include non-financial support. Requests have included help for victims to write down their stories, organizing meetings with local church representatives, or installing a plaque in memory of victims. The head of the Independent National Authority for Recognition and Reparation, or INIRR, is also supporting a demand to change the name of a plaza named after an archbishop who actively covered up sexual abuse.  https://apnews.com/article/france-catholic-church-sexual-abuse-c97ae78dd47426956b42d8d62f8103c2__________________________________________________________ 15. Feminists in Latin America attack Catholic churches on International Women’s Day, By Abel Camasca, Catholic News Agency, March 10, 2023, 4:30 PM Various marches were held on March 8 for International Women’s Day in Latin America. Some feminist groups, however, used the occasion to vandalize Catholic churches and public buildings. Mexico was one of the countries where the most violence took place. In the country’s capital, Mexico City, protesters attacked the metropolitan cathedral located in Constitution Plaza. Faced with the fences protecting the church, they opted to tear down a nearby traffic light. In images shared by local media, several women can be seen hitting part of the fence attempting to destroy it, while the police try to disperse them by firing tear gas. In Puebla, about 80 miles southeast of Mexico City, local feminists tried to destroy the angel statues that sit on top of the fence in front of the cathedral. City hall was also hit with graffiti and vandalism.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253844/feminists-in-latin-america-attack-catholic-churches-on-international-women-s-day__________________________________________________________ 16. Journalists at EWTN/Franciscan conference discuss media bias in the internet age, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, March 10, 2023, 4:30 PM “What is the nature of journalism? What are we getting right and what are we getting wrong?” Father Dave Pivonka, the president of Franciscan University, inquired during the opening speech at a conference jointly hosted by EWTN News and Franciscan University Friday. Three speakers who work in the journalism industry — Carl Cannon from RealClearPolitics, Mary Margaret Olohan from The Daily Signal, and Clemente Lisi, a former newspaper editor and current journalism professor at King’s College — delved into those questions in a Friday morning panel discussion. The conference is being held at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., from Friday, March 10 through Saturday, March 11.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253843/they-go-into-journalism-because-they-want-to-be-activists-ewtnfranciscan-conference-right-to-abortion__________________________________________________________ 17. Pope Francis discusses revising priestly celibacy in new interview, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, March 10, 2023, 5:45 AM In a new interview, Pope Francis has discussed the possibility of revising the Western discipline of priestly celibacy. “There is no contradiction for a priest to marry. Celibacy in the Western Church is a temporary prescription: I do not know if it is settled in one way or another, but it is temporary in this sense,” Pope Francis said in an interview published on March 10. “It is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is forever, whether you like it or not. Whether you leave or not is another matter, but it is forever. On the other hand, celibacy is a discipline.” When asked by the Argentine journalist Daniel Hadad if celibacy “could be reviewed,” Pope Francis responded: “Yes, yes. In fact, everyone in the Eastern Church is married. Or those who want to. There they make a choice. Before ordination there is the choice to marry or to be celibate,” according to a transcript provided by Infobae.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253834/pope-francis-discusses-revising-priestly-celibacy-in-new-interview__________________________________________________________

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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