TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 204 – Archbishop Borys Gudziak on Ukraine & Mary Hasson Talks Gender Ideology After his moving testimony at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast this week, we revisit with Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as the war marks 1 year since the Russian invasion. Mary Hasson of the Person and Identity Project also joins breaking down what’s really at stake when it comes to gender ideology infiltrating our schools–and what Catholics can do about it. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Apostasy in Germany’s Catholic Church, By George Weigel, The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2023, Pg. A13, Opinion Institutional Catholicism in Germany has for the past three years been treading der Synodale Weg, the “Synodal Way”: a self-constituted, radical form of church legislative assembly that, while including the German bishops, was composed primarily of lay Catholics. That pathway reached its terminus on March 10, when the Synodal Way approved a series of resolutions that would fundamentally alter the structure of authority in the German church by circumscribing the bishops’ governing power. At the same time, the Synodal Way decided by overwhelming majorities—including a majority of bishops—to rewrite the Catholic Church’s sexual ethic and sacramental practice by authorizing the formal, liturgical blessing of same-sex unions and calling for women to be admitted to holy orders.  As the Synodal Way, which some in Rome call the “Suicidal Way,” drew the attention of Catholics world-wide, many said that German Catholicism was heading into “schism”—an institutional rupture with Rome. … What is unfolding in Germany is different—akin to the 16th-century Lutheran Reformation: apostasy. To be an apostate is to deny the truth of what the New Testament author of the Letter of Jude called “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”  The crisis the German church is provoking in Catholicism isn’t only doctrinal and theological—it’s practical and will likely have dramatic consequences. Thanks to the church tax, the German Church is immensely wealthy. To its credit, it has put great amounts of that wealth to work in supporting young churches in the Third World. Sub-Saharan Africa is Catholicism’s greatest growth area, due in part to institutional German Catholic philanthropy. Yet the African church has no interest whatever in the woke cultural and sexual agenda of the Synodal Way. So when that agenda helps define the next papal conclave and the world Synod of Bishops that will meet in Rome in October, expect drama and irony, as bishops from Catholicism’s most vibrant young churches challenge the representatives of the country whose philanthropy helped raise up new Catholic leaders who see no point in emulating moribund liberal Protestantism. Mr. Weigel is a distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author, most recently, of “To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II.” 2. California bill to protect doctors who mail abortion pills, By Adam Beam, Associated Press, March 17, 2023, 1:27 AM Doctors in California who mail abortion pills to people in other states would be protected from prosecution under a new bill to be unveiled Friday in the state Legislature. The bill would not let California extradite doctors who are facing charges in another state for providing abortion medication. It would also shield doctors from having to pay fines. And it would let California doctors sue anyone who tries to stop them from providing abortions. The bill would only protect doctors who are in California. If a doctor left California to provide an abortion to someone in another state, that doctor would not be protected. It also would not protect patients in other states who receive the medication. 3. Harris rips lawmakers who place limits on abortion, By Jeff Mordock, The Washington Times, March 17, 2023, Pg. A5 Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday called state Republican lawmakers who want to put restrictions on abortion “immoral.”  “It’s immoral,” she said. “Let’s be clear on this issue: one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree that the government should not be telling her or any individual what to do with their bodies. Let them make that decision.” … 4. Pope sought to lose ‘as little as possible’ in London deal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, March 16, 2023, 3:12 PM Pope Francis gave clear indications to get out of a disastrous London real estate deal by saying the Vatican must “start over and lose as little money as possible,” an exit strategy that eventually involved paying off a broker 15 million euros, the Holy See’s No. 3 official told a court Thursday. Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, the “substitute” in the secretariat of state, was the highest-ranking witness to be questioned by defense attorneys for 10 people on trial for alleged financial crimes involving the London property and related dealings. His testimony was eagerly sought by the defense, given that he oversaw the final phase of the London deal in 2018-2019 as well as the negotiations with the broker, Gianluigi Torzi. Prosecutors have accused Torzi of extorting the Holy See for the 15 million euros in exchange for ownership of the building, charges he denies. The nine other defendants have similarly denied wrongdoing. 5. Vatican unveils new ethnographic display of Rwanda screens, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, March 16, 2023, 4:39 PM The Vatican Museums officially reopened its African and American ethnographic collections Thursday by showcasing intricately restored Rwandan raffia screens that were sent by Catholic missionaries to the Vatican for a 1925 exhibit.  The Vatican has long insisted that the basis of its ethnographic collection stemmed from “gifts” to Pope Pius XI, who in 1925 staged a huge exhibit in the Vatican gardens to celebrate the church’s global reach, its missionaries and the lives of the Indigenous peoples they evangelized. Catholic missionaries around the globe sent him artifacts, but some researchers today question whether Indigenous peoples were really able to consent to such “gifts” given the power dynamics of the time. The informational labels on the new exhibits emphasize the Vatican’s view. The Canada label, for example, reads: “There is a long tradition of gifts sent by the Indigenous peoples of Canada to the popes,” noting that a headdress in the exhibit was given to Francis during his 2022 trip to Canada by Chief Wilton Littlechild. 6. Maryland Senate votes to ease path for child sex abuse victims to sue, The final vote came as Maryland’s attorney general prepares to release a four-year investigation of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, a report detailing 600 victims of clergy sexual abuse over 80 years, By Erin Cox, The Washington Post, March 16, 2023, 11:33 AM After years of impeding similar proposals, the Maryland Senate on Thursday passed a bill erasing the time limits that once barred many child sex abuse victims from suing institutions that harbored their attackers. Although the bill is all but certain to clear the House of Delegates and become law, lawmakers are already bracing for a court fight over whether the measure is constitutional. A complicated provision inserted into an earlier law aimed at easing the path for victims to sue as adults might have granted immunity that lawmakers can’t legally strip away. Proponents of the bill pushed forward on principle and the hope courts will side with them because the moment’s stakes are high. Maryland’s attorney general is simultaneously preparing to release findings of a four-year grand jury probe of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore’s handling of child sex abuse complaints over the past 80 years.  Six years ago, lawmakers raised the statute of limitations from age 25 to 38, only to discover two years later that language inserted in the law might forever bar older claims. That so-called “statute of repose,” wiped away liability for abuse that occurred for anyone older than 38 at the time the 2017 law passed. It has raised questions on whether it is constitutional to strip away those protections after they’d been granted. 7. Michigan adds LGBTQ protections to anti-discrimination law, By Joey Cappelletti, Associated Press, March 16, 2023, 5:50 PM Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Thursday codifying LGBTQ protections into the state’s civil rights law, permanently outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the state. The legislation follows a state Supreme Court ruling last year that the Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and education on the basis of sex, extended to sexual orientation as well. Whitmer’s signature Thursday ensures that the high court’s ruling cannot be reversed in the future and goes one step further in extending protections to include gender identity or expression.  The Michigan House and Senate passed the LGBTQ protections earlier this month with the large majority of Republicans voting in opposition, claiming that it could infringe on religious groups’ rights. 8. New Mexico gov. signs bill overriding local abortion bans, By Morgan Lee, Associated Press, March 16, 2023, 7:30 PM New Mexico’s governor signed an abortion-rights bill Thursday that overrides local ordinances aimed at limiting access to abortion procedures and medications. Reproductive health clinics in New Mexico offer abortion procedures to patients from states, including Texas, with strict abortion bans. The new law also aims to ensure access to gender affirming healthcare related to distress over gender identity that doesn’t match a person’s assigned sex. New Mexico has one of the country’s most liberal abortion access laws, but two counties and three cities in eastern New Mexico have recently adopted abortion restrictions that reflect deep-seated opposition to offering the procedure. The bill signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham overrides those local ordinances. 9. Abortion ban injunction upheld by N. Dakota Supreme Court, By James MacPherson and Trisha Ahmed, Associated Press, March 16, 2023 The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a state abortion ban will remain blocked while a lawsuit over its constitutionality proceeds. The ban was designed to take effect once the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But a district judge had put it on hold this summer while the Red River Women’s Clinic (RRWC) pursued a lawsuit arguing the state constitution protected a right to an abortion. “While the regulation of abortion is within the authority of the legislature under the North Dakota Constitution, RRWC has demonstrated likely success on the merits that there is a fundamental right to an abortion in the limited instances of life-saving and health-preserving circumstances, and the statute is not narrowly tailored to satisfy strict scrutiny,” Chief Justice Jon J. Jensen wrote in the ruling. The law — one of many abortion-restricting measures passed by state legislatures in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe — includes exceptions to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape or incest. 10. NY diocese facing flood of lawsuits files for bankruptcy, By Michael Hill, Associated Press, March 15, 2023 The embattled Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany became the latest diocese in New York to seek bankruptcy protection Wednesday as it faces hundreds of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger announced the Chapter 11 filing after months of negotiations between the upstate New York diocese and lawyers representing plaintiffs over a potential settlement. The Albany diocese, like others in the state, is dealing with a deluge of lawsuits dating to when New York temporarily suspended the statute of limitations to give victims of childhood abuse the ability to pursue even decades-old allegations against clergy members, teachers, Boy Scout leaders and others.

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.