1. Meeting pope, Canadian Indigenous share stories, demand action, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, March 29, 2022 Survivors of Canada’s residential schools met with Pope Francis Monday to share their stories and request further action from the Catholic Church in terms of recompense, including “unfettered access” to institutional records. Inuit Elder Martha Greig, a residential school survivor and a mental health supporter, said she was “humbled and honored” to be part of the delegation as both a survivor and a mental health supporter for others. Speaking to the press after yesterday morning’s private meeting with Pope Francis, Greig said she told the pope, “There is a need for people to heal and there has to be a point of forgiveness from both parties, because if you don’t forgive it eats at you.” However, “you don’t forget.” https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/03/meeting-pope-canadian-indigenous-share-stories-demand-action___________________________________________________________ 2. Is there a global vocations crisis? A look at the numbers, By Brendan Hodge, The Pillar, March 28, 2022 While ordinations to the diocesan priesthood are on the rise in some parts of the world, they’re also falling fast in some traditionally Catholic countries. And while a “vocations crisis” might be discussed most often in the United States, where more than one-third of diocesan priests are currently in retirement, the global picture of diocesan priestly ordinations points to changing trends and dynamics in the Catholic Church. The number of priests around the world is holding steady, but the Catholic population is growing — which suggests a need for more priests, even in some of the most vibrant parts of the world.    Since 1970, the Vatican has compiled an annual handbook of Church statistics which tracks ordinations to the diocesan priesthood. The highest number of ordinations to the diocesan priesthood in the global Church since 1970 came in the decade between 2000 and 2010, when the Church ordained around 6,800 men annually as diocesan priests.   Between 1970 and 2019, the regional breakdown of diocesan priestly ordinations has changed dramatically. In 1970, Europe accounted for 55% of all the Church’s ordinations to the diocesan priesthood. By 2019, the absolute number of men ordained in Europe had dropped by nearly 50%, and Europeans made up only 23% of all ordinations — European diocesan priesthood ordinations were outnumbered by Africans, who made up 28%. The number of diocesan priests ordained in North America dropped 50% between 1970 and 2000, but has since leveled off. In Central and South America, as well as in Asia, the number of diocesan priestly ordinations increased dramatically from 1970 to 2010, but has since begun to drop. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/is-there-a-global-vocations-crisis?___________________________________________________________ 3. Polish Catholic bishops’ leader tells Pope Francis about German ‘Synodal Way’ concerns, By Catholic News Agency, March 28, 2022, 8:30 AM The president of Poland’s Catholic bishops’ conference raised his concerns about the German “Synodal Way” during a meeting with Pope Francis on Monday. The Polish bishops’ conference said in a statement after the March 28 audience that the pope distanced himself from the controversial multi-year process bringing together Germany’s bishops and laypeople. “The Holy Father was also briefed on the difficulties caused for the universal Church by the issues raised — in the words of the pope — by the so-called German ‘synodal way,’” the statement said. “Francis distances himself from this initiative.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250812/polish-catholic-bishops-leader-raises-german-synodal-way-concerns-with-pope-francis___________________________________________________________ 4. The Travail of International Religious Freedom, and of US Leadership, By Tom Farr, USCCB, March 25, 2022, Opinion In the 21st century, religious freedom is under growing pressure around the world, including in the United States. This alarming development should matter to all of us. Any assault on religious freedom is an assault on our right, given by God, to seek the truth about God and man, and to exercise our duty to live our lives in accord with that truth. To undermine religious freedom is to undermine our dignity as persons, our capacity for human and social flourishing, our quest for justice and peace, and the possibility of happiness in this life and the next. Unfortunately, despite international acknowledgement of the importance of religious freedom since World War II, and many attempts to protect it in law, scores of millions of religious people and their communities are today deprived of religious freedom. There are reasons for concern in the United States as well. The decline of religious freedom here is critically important for its own sake, but it also weakens American leadership in defending religious freedom around the world – from China to Nigeria, and from Russia to Ukraine.  The victims of violent religious persecution and invidious religious discrimination – men, women and children, each created in his image — are worthy of our concern as a matter of justice. The instability of their nations and the regions in which they are situated is important to our own national security. What might we do to help remedy these pathologies? According to the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, we should advance religious freedom in our foreign policy. In other words, the core remedy is movement by all nations, however imperfectly, toward the ideal of free exercise for everyone. That ideal has been codified in law and valued by culture in a special way in the United States, and it has served the nation imperfectly but well, supporting freedom, equality, justice, human dignity and human flourishing, and social and political harmony. But free exercise of religion, and with it the success of the American experiment in democracy, is under threat today. The stakes are high, and they do not encompass America alone. If religious freedom is lost here, it is unlikely to be retrieved anywhere else. That is why protecting religious freedom for all is so important in the 21st century. Tom Farr (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) serves as President of the Religious Freedom Institute, a non-profit that works to advance religious freedom for everyone, both as a source of individual human dignity and flourishing, and as a source of political stability, economic development, and international security. https://www.usccb.org/committees/religious-liberty/first-freedom-blog-travail-international-religious-freedom-and-us___________________________________________________________

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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