TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 152 – Vice President Mike Pence On Ukraine Crisis & Edward Graham Of Samaritan’s Purse Having just arrived back from visiting the wartorn country, former Vice President Mike Pence joins Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson to discuss the dire situation in Ukraine and the heartrending stories he heard from millions fleeing their homeland in search of safety. With the great work being done by Samaritan’s Purse in providing some relief to weary refugees and medical care from field hospitals inside Ukraine, VP of Operations Edward Graham joins with an eye-witness account of the real needs being met–and what we can do to help their mission. As Pope Francis will consecrate both Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, Father Roger Landry joins with a look at what this means–and why we should all be praying the Rosary for Ukraine this Lent. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Budapest case asks: Is the Vatican’s money problem fraud, or incompetence?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, March 17, 2022, Opinion Some years ago, the Vatican decides to invest a large chunk of money buying shares in an unused property in a swanky neighborhood in a major European city. The idea was to take a property that had fallen into disuse, convert it into high-end commercial and residential real estate, and reap significant profits from rental income. Yet the deal went horribly wrong, the Vatican took a bath, and came out insisting it had been criminally defrauded. That, of course, is the story of the London deal which triggered charges by Vatican prosecutors against Becciu and the other defendants.  Yet there’s another case out there which, as it turns out, was more or less the template for the London fiasco.  [T]he Vatican gets into bed with dubious financial brokers, signs agreements they propose, and ends up taking a bath. That’s frustrating, of course, but so far, most external judges who have looked at either the London or the Budapest deals have found little criminal about them. We’ll see how things shake out when the Vatican trial resumes later this month. In the meantime, deciding what to make of all this is a glass-half-empty or half-full exercise. It is reassuring that, after long last, Pope Francis is directly challenging a Vatican culture that allowed all this to happen? Or, is it troubling that instead of directly confronting the ineptitude and lack of internal controls, the pope and his team appear bent on trying to criminalize what other courts have found to be a problem in sound financial judgment? 2. Latvia’s Foreign Minister: The Church Must Keep Its Moral Compass, Latvia is recieving refugees from Ukraine as a result of his discussion with Pope Francis, the foreign minister said., By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, March 17, 2022 Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs believes that as war rages in Europe, the Church has a fundamental task: “to keep the moral compass not to let the world lose humanity.” Rinkēvičs, who has led Latvia’s foreign ministry since 2011, was speaking during a two-day visit to the Vatican. He met with Pope Francis on March 14 and the Vatican “foreign minister” Archbishop Paul Gallagher a day later.  Rinkēvičs told CNA that his Vatican visit had been “planned for some time” before the war broke out. “I know that a foreign minister’s audience with the Pope is not usual, but we are not living in usual times,” he commented. “We had a discussion with the Holy Father about the humanitarian disaster. As a result, Latvia is receiving refugees from Ukraine, though not as many as the countries bordering Ukraine.” 3. Pope urges peace, not politics in call to Russian patriarch, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, March 16, 2022, 2:22 PM Pope Francis rejected the concept of a “just war” and stressed the need for peace in a video call Wednesday with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in the first known communication between the two Christian leaders since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.The call was all the more remarkable because Francis and Kirill have only met once — at the Havana airport in 2016 — in what was then the first encounter between a pope and Russian patriarch in over 1,000 years.  The Vatican, in its readout of the conversation, did not reference a “just peace,” and in fact quoted Francis as saying the traditional Christian concept of a “just war” was no longer possible. “Once upon a time there was also talk in our churches of a ‘holy war’ or ‘just war,’” the Vatican quoted Francis as saying. “Today we cannot speak like this. Christian awareness of the importance of peace has developed.” Francis has previously said it was permissible to use force to stop an “unjust aggression,” referring in 2014 to the U.S. military action to stop Islamist militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq. But he stressed then that such action could not become a pretext to launch an actual war, merely to stop an “unjust aggression.” “Wars are always unjust. Because those who pay are the people of God,” Francis told Kirill on Wednesday. 4. Kentucky Senate passes bill banning abortions after 15 weeks, By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press, March 16, 2022, 6:21 PM Kentucky lawmakers took another step Wednesday toward banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with an eye toward a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion rights. The bill, which won Senate passage 31-6, is modeled after a Mississippi law under review by the nation’s high court in a case that could dramatically limit abortion rights in the United States. The Kentucky measure next advances to the House. Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers.

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.