1. Pope grants German archbishop faulted over abuse ‘time out’, By Associated Press, March 30, 2021
Pope Francis has granted a “time out” to a German archbishop who offered his resignation after being faulted for his handling of allegations of sexual abuse in his previous diocese, church authorities said Monday.
Hamburg Archbishop Stefan Hesse’s offer on March 18 followed the release of a report commissioned by his counterpart in Cologne which found 75 cases in which high-ranking officials neglected their duties in such cases. They were criticized, for example, for failing to follow up on or report cases of abuse, not sanctioning perpetrators or not caring for victims.
Hesse, previously a senior official in the Cologne archdiocese, was faulted for 11 cases of neglecting his duty. He conceded that he had made “mistakes” in the past, and said he very much regretted if he caused new suffering to victims or their relatives “through my action or omission.”
2. Pope sends letter to infamous WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, March 30, 2021
On Palm Sunday, Julian Assange, the Australian founder of WikiLeaks who made headlines in 2010 for publishing thousands of confidential US diplomatic documents, received a personal letter from Pope Francis.
In a March 28 tweet, Assange’s partner Stella Moris said that “after a hard night, Julian woke up this morning to a kind, personal message from Pope Francis @pontifex delivered to his cell door by the prison priest.”
“Our family wishes to express our gratitude to the many Catholics and other Christians campaigning for his freedom,” Moris said.
3. Cardinal Schönborn: Vatican ‘no’ to same-sex blessings marked by ‘communication error’, By Catholic News Agency, March 30, 2021, 6:00 AM
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said Sunday that the Vatican’s rejection of blessings for same-sex couples was marked by a “clear communication error.”
Renewing his earlier criticism of the intervention by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Archbishop of Vienna told the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) March 28 that he was concerned by both the timing and form of the ruling.
“I wasn’t happy — neither about the timing nor about the way in which communication was being made,” he said on the discussion program “Pressestunde”.
CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported that Schönborn also expressed regret that same-sex couples felt hurt by the ruling.
4. The Equality Act Promotes Ideology Over Established Science, By Grazie Pozo Christie, News Week, March 30, 2021, 6:30 AM, Opinion
The misnamed Equality Act, or HR5, now before the Senate seems expressly tailored to concern someone like me: a woman, a mother of girls (including one by adoption) and a practicing Catholic. But it is in my role as a physician that the House-passed act gives me greatest pause. If the bill becomes law, gender ideology will wrap itself like a straitjacket around the practice of medicine.
The act could—see, for example, section 3’s prohibition on health care “discrimination” on the basis of “gender identity”—force health care workers into taking a one-size-fits-all approach to the complex phenomenon of gender dysphoria, the distressing psychological rejection of healthy male or female bodies. When it comes to the treatment of children, the legislation “affirms” what amount to radical experimental therapies. As for adults, it forces physicians and other health care workers to lay aside their commitment to “first do no harm,” strips them of their conscience rights and even threatens their religious freedom.

The act’s 31 pages of social engineering threaten to eliminate many other important things that Americans take for granted—that is, besides parental and medical conscience rights. As a woman and the mother of daughters, I’m shocked that the House would pass a bill that, if made law, would dismantle women-only spaces in jails, shelters, schools and sports teams. Simply “identifying” as a woman would allow any man access, no questions asked. A century of gains in women’s equality would be reversed. As a Catholic, I’m upset by the fact that the bill threatens houses of worship by expanding the definition of public accommodations. Woe to churches that maintain single-sex bathrooms and hosts a food pantry; plaintiffs’ lawyers will be lining up to harass them. As an adoptive parent, I’m saddened that faith-based agencies that place children only with married mothers and fathers will be drummed out of the business of finding homes for our hardest-to-place children. The Equality Act explicitly circumvents provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which were designed to protect religious minorities and ensure religious freedom for all.
However well intentioned, the Equality Act promotes radical ideology over established science, uniformity over liberty and coercion over conscience. The Senate should reject it forthwith.
Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie is a Policy Advisor for The Catholic Association (TCA) and co-host of TCA’s podcast “Conversation with Consequences.”
https://www.newsweek.com/equality-act-promotes-ideology-over-established-science-opinion-1578533 ___________________________________________________________
5. Report: Church membership among Catholics declined nearly 20% since 2000, By Catholic News Agency, March 29, 2021, 3:51 PM
The percentage of Catholics who say they are a “member” of a church has dropped by nearly 20 points since the year 2000, according to a new report by Gallup released on Monday.
Among respondents who said they were Catholic, only 58% actually said they were a member of a church. This figure is down 18 points from the 76% of Catholics who said they were a member of the Church, in a previous Gallup survey from 1998-2000.

According to the report released on Monday, overall membership in houses of worship has continued its pre-existing decline in the U.S., reaching a record-low point of 47% in the survey conducted from 2018-2020. The figure is the lowest since Gallup began its survey in 1937, when 73% of Americans identified with a church or house of worship.
6. Court to hear bid for new defense of Kentucky abortion law, By Associated Press, March 29, 2021, 11:37 AM
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from Kentucky’s attorney general, who wants to be allowed to defend a restriction on abortion rights that lower courts had struck down.
The underlying issue in the case, to be heard in the fall, is a blocked Kentucky law that abortion rights supporters say would have effectively banned a standard abortion method in the second trimester of pregnancy.
But the issue before the court is whether Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, can intervene in the case, after rulings from a trial court and appellate panel, as well as Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s decision to drop the case.
7. Arkansas Senate OKs ban on treatments for transgender youth, By Andrew Demillo, Associated Press, March 29, 2021, 7:18 PM
The Arkansas Senate on Monday approved banning gender confirming treatments for minors, sending the governor a restriction on transgender youth that has been criticized by medical and child welfare groups.
The majority Republican Senate voted 28-7 in favor of the legislation. If the bill is enacted it would be the first prohibition of its kind in the country, opponents say. The bill would prohibit doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment or surgery to minors, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.
8. Vatican punishes Polish churchmen for alleged abuse cover-up, By Associated Press, March 29, 2021, 8:42 AM
The Vatican said Monday that it is punishing a retired Polish archbishop and a bishop for their alleged roles in covering up sexual abuse committed by other clergymen.
Former Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz and former Bishop Edward Janiak of Kalisz have also been forbidden from living in their former dioceses or participating in any public religious celebrations there.
The Vatican Embassy in predominantly Roman Catholic Poland also said each of the two is being required to contribute personal money into a fund helping victims of clerical abuse.
9. Ohio Appellate Court Short-Circuits College Campus Cancel Culture, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, March 29, 2021, Opinion
Last Friday, an appellate court in Cincinnati scored a victory for conscience and for academic freedom, made possible thanks to two rights guaranteed by the First Amendment — freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

Judge Amul Thapar, writing for a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, authored a brilliant opinion that should stand as a model not only for lower courts, but also for sister circuits reviewing the insidious role of campus speech codes in forcing adoption of gender ideology.
First and foremost, Thapar made clear that “the First Amendment protects the academic speech of university professors” at state colleges and universities. Although the Supreme Court in 2006 ruled that the First Amendment does not insulate public employees speaking in their official duties from discipline, this holding didn’t apply to the situation at Shawnee.
“If professors lacked free-speech protections when teaching,” warned Thapar, “a university would wield alarming power to compel ideological conformity.” Unlike any other public workplace setting, the free and robust exchange of ideas is crucial in an academic one.

Based on the facts that Meriwether alleged (the standard when reviewing motions to dismiss), Thapar concluded that the professor stated a viable claim that his free-speech rights were violated.
Now on to the free exercise of religion. Thapar and his colleagues noted that Meriwether alleged that Shawnee officials were hostile to his religious beliefs and that the school’s “adjudication and investigation processes” were so irregular as to infer non-neutrality. “If this sounds familiar,” wrote Thapar, “it should.”

Gender ideology brooks no dissent. Indeed, even the choice of words has been weaponized. Fortunately, judges like Amul Thapar and his colleagues on the Sixth Circuit have one word for the bullying tactics college administrators used to force professor Nicholas Meriwether to speak against his conscience: unconstitutional.

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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