1. The pope and the US auxiliaries, Where has Pope Francis appointed auxiliary bishops in the US?, By Brendan Hodge, The Pillar, March 20, 2023, 4:00 AM When historians assess the impact of a pope’s leadership on the life of the Church, they often review his public image and speeches, his engagement with political leaders, and the internal policies he promulgated, upheld, or modified. It would be easy to miss the impact of a pope’s episcopal appointments — but folly to ignore them. As any pope does, Pope Francis has shaped and directed the Church through his episcopal appointments — moves which will help chose his successor, and set direction in the Church even beyond the tenure of his pontificate. To date, Pope Francis has appointed a majority of the voting age cardinals who will select the next pope. And closer to home, much of the American episcopate now bears a Pope Francis stamp. This is particularly true of auxiliary bishops. According to data from CARA  – the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate – there were 78 active auxiliary bishops in the US during 2022. Sixty auxiliary bishops have been consecrated since the election of Pope Francis, meaning that more than 75% of auxiliary bishops were consecrated during Pope Francis’s papacy, as compared to just more than 60% of diocesan bishops.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/the-pope-and-the-auxiliaries/__________________________________________________________ 2. St. Joseph Helped Build My Family, By Nicholas Tomaino, The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2023, Pg. A15, Opinion Maddy prayed a 30-day novena to St. Joseph two years ago with a single intention in mind: that if it was his will, God give her a spouse. That exercise has a special place in Catholic tradition—not only to pray, but to do so through the intercession of those in heaven. One month later, on March 19, at its conclusion and on St. Joseph’s Day, I met Maddy as best as anyone in the pandemic could: online, for a game of chess. One year later we were engaged. Such were the makings of our devotion to a great saint. St. Joseph hadn’t always figured prominently in our lives. Nor had he for the church, who for several centuries considered him something of an afterthought: unfortunate, if understandable, treatment given that holy family. Yet with time a yearning to understand Christ’s childhood inexorably led to the quiet carpenter from Nazareth. Though he doesn’t speak a word in Scripture, St. Joseph teaches by his example—displaying the virtues of humility and obedience, revealing the nature of faithful fatherhood, and underscoring the dignity of work.  Saints are friends, not genies. In heaven, as on earth, friends don’t always get us everything we wish. But we trust them to try. And leave the rest in the hands of God. Mr. Tomaino is an assistant editorial features editor at the Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/st-joseph-helped-build-my-family-novena-solemnity-holy-family-loretto-avila-chapel-catholicism-marriage-ad7fbaf1__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Benedict XVI’s aide acknowledges criticism over memoir, By Associated Press, March 19, 2023, 3:26 PM The longtime secretary to Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged Sunday that his tell-all memoir, published in the days after Benedict’s death, had been criticized for casting Pope Francis in an unfavorable light, but insisted that some of the polemics were more about anti-Benedict prejudice than anything else. In some of his first public comments since Benedict’s Dec. 31 death, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein said he remained loyal to Francis and that he was still waiting for the pontiff to give him a new job. Gaenswein’s future has been the subject of much speculation following Benedict’s death and the publication of “Nothing But the Truth: My Life Beside Pope Benedict XVI.” In the memoir, Gaenswein charted his nearly 30 years working with Benedict, but also settled old scores, revealed palace intrigues and detailed some of the bad blood that accrued during the decade in which Benedict lived as a retired pope alongside Francis. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/19/pope-benedict-xvi-aide-georg-gaenswin-memoir/8ad22184-c688-11ed-9cc5-a58a4f6d84cd_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Perspective amid polemic over John Paul II and sex abuse, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, March 19, 2023, Opinion  Political fireworks aside, the new reports about John Paul II will have to be examined by careful historians and researchers on a case-by-case basis, and it may take some time to establish the  precise degree of responsibility that belongs to the future pope. In the meantime, three points probably are worth recalling. First, Karol Wojtyla served as the Archbishop of Krakow from 1964 to 1978, a period when reports from other countries, such as the U.S., Australia, Germany and France, suggest coincided with a statistical peak in incidents of clerical sexual abuse. There’s no a priori reason to believe Poland should be different, meaning it would be a striking anomaly if there were no such cases during Wojtyla’s 14-year tenure, especially given the size and reach of the Krakow archdiocese.  Second, as a matter of the theology of sainthood, canonizing a pope is not tantamount to declaring that his entire ecclesiastical career was free of error.  Third, as a matter of basic Christian charity, no one’s legacy should ever be reduced entirely to their worst days.  A complicated papal legacy, in other words, isn’t automatically the same thing as a tarnished halo. The challenge is to do justice both to the virtues and the vices of someone’s legacy — a balancing act which is never easy, especially when politics, media visibility and profits are all in the mix. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2023/03/perspective-amid-polemic-over-john-paul-ii-and-sex-abuse__________________________________________________________ 5. Pope promotes ‘humanitarian corridors’ for asylum-seekers, By Gianfranco Stara, Associated Press, March 18, 2023, 2:28 PM Pope Francis met Saturday with thousands of refugees and charity groups hosting them in Italy as he sought to promote legal migration routes to Europe as an alternative to smuggling operations that he said have turned the Mediterranean Sea into a “cemetery.” Francis said “humanitarian corridors,” which have operated in Italy since 2016, saved lives and helped newly arrived asylum-seekers get acclimated while church groups provided housing, education and work opportunities. “Humanitarian corridors not only aim to bring refugees to Italy and other European countries, rescuing them from situations of uncertainty, danger and endless waiting; they also work toward integration,” he said. …  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/18/vatican-refugees-migrants-pope/3f9c9938-c5b6-11ed-82a7-6a87555c1878_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Vatican closes embassy in Nicaragua after Ortega’s crackdown, By Nicole Winfield and Gabriela Selser, Associated Press, March 18, 2023, 11:08 AM The Vatican said Saturday it had closed its embassy in Nicaragua after the country’s government proposed suspending diplomatic relations, the latest episode in a yearslong crackdown on the Catholic Church by the administration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. The Vatican’s representative to Managua, Monsignor Marcel Diouf, also left the country Friday, bound for Costa Rica, a Vatican official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Vatican action came a week after the Nicaraguan government proposed suspending relations with the Holy See, and a year after Nicaragua forced the papal ambassador at the time to leave. It’s not clear what more the proposed suspension would entail in diplomatic terms.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/18/vatican-nicaragua-ortega-pope/06ce5d88-c59a-11ed-82a7-6a87555c1878_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Wyoming governor signs measure prohibiting abortion pills, By Mead Gruver, Associated Press, March 18, 2023, 3:05 PM Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has signed into law the nation’s first explicit ban on abortion pills since they became the predominant choice for abortion in the U.S. in recent years. Gordon, a Republican, signed the bill Friday night while allowing a separate measure restricting abortion to become law without his signature. The pills are already banned in 13 states that have blanket bans on all forms of abortion, and 15 states already have limited access to abortion pills. Until now, however, no state had passed a law specifically prohibiting such pills, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/17/wyoming-medication-abortion-ban-gordon/68e0d550-c540-11ed-82a7-6a87555c1878_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. 2nd Vatican official says pope OK’d ransom payments for nun, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, March 17, 2023, 12:55 PM A second high-ranking Holy See official told a Vatican court on Friday that Pope Francis had authorized spending hundreds of thousands of euros in ransom payments to try to free a nun who was kidnapped by al-Qaida-linked militants in Mali. Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, the Holy See’s No. 3, told the Vatican tribunal that he had sought, and received Francis’ approval to wire the money soon after he took up his duties as the “substitute” in the secretariat of state in late 2018. Pena Parra was answering questions for a second day Friday after being called by defense attorneys representing the 10 people on trial for a host of alleged financial crimes.  Becciu, for his part, insisted in a spontaneous declaration to the court on Friday that Francis had approved the operation and was prepared to write a statement for Becciu’s defense to that effect when they spoke by telephone on July 19, 2021, days before the trial opened. Prosecutors recently produced an exchange of letters between Becciu and Francis in the following days in which Francis refused to provide the statement. Becciu produced a letter Friday indicating Francis himself had asked Becciu to provide a draft statement, and the cardinal suggested that his subsequent refusal to sign off on it appeared to have been coached.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/17/vatican-pope-alqaida-ransom-nun-mali-court/847a8664-c4e4-11ed-82a7-6a87555c1878_story.html__________________________________________________________ 9. Communicating the Truth in a Post-Truth World, Sharing the Good News has become far more difficult in an era where feelings matter more than facts and secularized cultural elites see religion as a threat. But the Truth will always prevail., By Michael Warsaw, National Catholic Register, March 17, 2023, Opinion In 2016, at the height of the “fake news” phenomenon, the Oxford English Dictionary announced its “Word of the Year 2016”: “post-truth,” which it defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Social media are a fundamental component of this phenomenon. As anyone who spends much time on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram can attest, virtually all political, social or moral discussions there quickly degenerate into name calling, ad hominem attacks, appeals to being triggered or offended, and dismissal of a person’s arguments because of various kinds of “privilege,” “violent language,” “trigger language” or “cultural appropriation.” A recent study suggests that about one out of every four adults in the United States has shared false news, knowingly or unknowingly, with friends and others. What this tells us is that the consumers of unreliable news are not a tiny minority. Instead, unwittingly, a large percentage of the adult population actively engages in its spread. This is the media environment that helped inspire the recent conference “Journalism in a Post-Truth World,” held March 10-11 at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The result of a partnership between EWTN News and Franciscan University of Steubenville, the conference brought together journalists and consumers of news to explore the craft and field of journalism in what we all recognize is a challenging and tumultuous era. This column is based on my keynote address, “Communicating the Truth in a Post-Truth World.”  In these challenging times, amid our post-truth society, we should not allow ourselves to despair or to be discouraged. And as Catholics, we know that it is the Good News that will prevail. Just as the Church has always done in difficult times, each one of us must continue to live and to preach and to spread the truth of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Because, “You shall know the truth, and the Truth shall set you free.” https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/communicating-the-truth-in-a-post-truth-world__________________________________________________________ 10. Cardinals Müller, Burke rebuke German bishops over same-sex union blessings, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, March 17, 2023, 1:09 PM A synod of German bishops overwhelmingly approved Church blessings of same-sex unions and unions between divorced and remarried Catholics, but the move has faced harsh criticism from some members of the Catholic hierarchy who have accused the German bishops of abandoning the faith.  German Cardinal Gerhard Müller and American Cardinal Raymond Burke rebuked the German bishops and called on them to be sanctioned in an interview on EWTN’s “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo,” which aired on Thursday night, March 16.  “There must be a trial and they must be sentenced and they must be removed from their office if they are not converting themselves and they are not accepting the Catholic doctrine,” Müller said during the interview. “That is very sad that a majority of bishops voted explicitly against the revealed doctrine, and the revealed faith of the Catholic Church and of all our Christian thinking, against the Bible, the word of God in the Holy Scripture and in the apostolic tradition and in the defined doctrine of the Catholic Church,” the cardinal added.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253887/cardinals-muller-burke-rebuke-german-bishops-over-same-sex-union-blessings__________________________________________________________

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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