1. DeVos moves to roll back regulations on federal aid to religious colleges. 

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, May 11, 2018, Pg. A4

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has moved to make it easier for faith-based entities to qualify for government grants and student aid by taking aim at regulations that go too far in restricting religious participation.

Michael Galligan-Stierle, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, said the costs associated with government regulations are “an ongoing concern for ACCU members.” “Any effort by the Department of Education to reduce regulations while also protecting the First Amendment rights of faith-based colleges is encouraging,” he said in a statement. “Today’s colleges manage a steady stream of governmental regulations that can drive up costs and impede their ability to serve students.”


2. After 50 Years, a Pope’s Birth-Control Message Still Divides Catholics, Even in traditional strongholds, many ignore the prohibitions of a controversial encyclical. 

By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2018, 10:25 AM

Fifty years ago this July, Pope Paul VI promulgated his encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” which reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s traditional prohibition of artificial birth control and set off one of the most divisive debates in modern church history.

Catholics have overwhelmingly rejected the document’s teaching. A 2014 Univision poll found that large majorities of self-identified Catholics in traditional strongholds of the faith favored the use of contraceptives: 93% in Brazil, 84% in Italy and 68% in the Philippines. In the U.S., a 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that only 13% of weekly Mass-going Catholics thought contraception was morally wrong.

Yet the encyclical’s defenders insist that time has vindicated Pope Paul, who warned that contraception would “open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards,” a loss of respect for women and coercive policies of population control.

Others have inferred even wider tolerance from the pope’s emphasis on the role of personal conscience. In a lecture last December in Rome, later published in the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, the Rev. Maurizio Chiodi, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, argued that Pope Francis’ teaching on the family indicates that responsible parenthood can actually require the use of artificial birth control when natural methods are “impossible or impractical.”

The Vatican has not endorsed Father Chiodi’s interpretation, but neither has it issued a correction.

The Vatican spokesman says he knows of no plans for a speech or statement by Pope Francis on “Humanae Vitae” this year. After a half-century of controversy, such papal silence would itself be notable—and fodder for still more debate.


3. Chilean bishops in Rome for expected brow-beating from pope. 

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 10, 2018, 1:35 PM

Chilean bishops are arriving in Rome ahead of an expected brow-beating next week from Pope Francis, who says he was misled about a bishop at the center of the Chilean Church’s sex abuse scandal.

One top-ranked churchman is apparently not coming: Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, retired archbishop of Santiago who sits on Francis’ kitchen cabinet. Abuse survivors have laid much of the blame for the scandal on Errazuriz, whom they accuse of discrediting victims and covering up abuse rather than punishing pedophiles.

Francis did his about-face after receiving a 2,300-page report compiled by top Vatican investigators who traveled to Chile and interviewed 64 people — victims, priests and lay Catholics — about the scandal.


4. Taipei Archbishop Says Will Invite Pope to Visit Taiwan. 

By Reuters, May 10, 2018

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Taiwan said on Thursday that he will invite Pope Francis to visit the country for a Church congress next year, a trip that would likely infuriate China.

“No pope has ever landed in Taiwan,” Archbishop John Hung said in remarks at a reception at Taiwan’s embassy to the Vatican.

The Vatican is one of only 19 states that still recognize Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China. Beijing, which has no diplomatic relations with the Vatican, insists that if countries want relations with it they must break ties with Taiwan.