1. Catholic Schools Deserve to Be Flourishing, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York have been open for in-person instruction five days a week since September, By Michael J. Deegan, May 17, 2021, Pg. A18, Letter to the Editor
Regarding “Catholic School Enrollment Plunges” (U.S. News, May 11): The global pandemic clearly took its toll on families and children across the country and in every kind of school. However, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York have been open for in-person instruction five days a week since September, and our dedicated professional educators are even more committed today to ensure every family has the opportunity to access the high-quality education and spiritual enrichment that Catholic schools offer young minds. During this pandemic, our Catholic schools have become the envy of the nation and model to government schools on how to safely and effectively remain open in service to the educational community.
Michael J. Deegan is Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York
2. Pope urges peace, unity during special Mass for Myanmar, By Associated Press, May 17, 2021
Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass for the people of Myanmar following the country’s military takeover, praying Sunday for peace, unity and for God to “set us free from evil’s power.”
A few hundred people, many of them students and religious sisters from Myanmar, joined Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica for the service, which followed his earlier appeals for an end to violence in the Asian nation.
3. If Xavier Becerra loves abortion too much to enforce existing law, then he should resign, By The Washington Examiner, May 16, 2021, 12:01 AM, Editorial
We already knew Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is dedicated to abortion. Now, we see that his radicalism makes him unwilling to enforce the laws he has sworn to uphold.
If he won’t enforce duly passed laws restricting abortion, Becerra should leave office.

Judging from an exchange he had with Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida at a Wednesday virtual hearing, Becerra is unwilling even to admit that such laws exist, much less enforce them.
Bilirakis asked if Becerra agrees that partial-birth abortion is illegal. The “partial-birth” term is common parlance for a procedure in which a nearly full-term baby is partially removed from the woman’s body, only to have its skull crushed and then be gruesomely disposed of. That method of abortion was outlawed by congressional act in 2003. Becerra is well aware of this because he was in Congress then and voted against the law.
This law was later upheld by the Supreme Court, so Becerra must enforce it as constitutional legislation.

In sum, Becerra evaded the question. When Bilirakis asked again for clarification, Becerra resorted to flat untruths. “There is no law,” he said, “dealing specifically with the term ‘partial-birth abortion.’” That must be news for Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which passed in 2003 over Becerra’s objection. It couldn’t possibly be any more “specific” than that.

Becerra’s dodge is unacceptable. Members of Congress should send him a follow-up question, under oath, that is simple and direct: “The 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Act is the law of the land, and it was confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart. Will you enforce the ban on the procedure as specifically defined in that act?”
The only acceptable answer would come in one word: “Yes.”
If Becerra cannot give that answer and follow through with action, he should resign. And if he will not resign, he should be impeached for refusal to do his sworn duty under the Constitution.
4. Pope Francis: Children’s deaths in Israel-Gaza conflict ‘terrible and unacceptable’, By Catholic News Agency, May 16, 2021, 6:31 AM
Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal Sunday for an end to surging violence in the Holy Land.
Speaking after the recitation of the Regina Coeli May 16, the pope expressed alarm at the Israel-Gaza conflict which has left more than 100 people dead, many of them children.
He said: “In these days, violent armed clashes between the Gaza Strip and Israel have taken hold, and risk degenerating into a spiral of death and destruction. Numerous people have been injured, and many innocents have died.”
“Among them there are also children, and this is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that one does not want to build the future, but wants to destroy it.”
5. US climate envoy Kerry meets with pope on climate crisis, By Associated Press, May 15, 2021, 1:08 PM
John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, met privately with Pope Francis on Saturday, afterward calling the pope a “compelling moral authority on the subject of the climate crisis” who has been “ahead of the curve.”
The former U.S. Secretary of State told Vatican News that the pope’s embrace of climate issues “hopefully can push people to greater ambition to get the job done.”
Kerry is visiting European capitals to strengthen cooperation on climate change ahead of the next round of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow this November.
6. The Vatican has a commission for healthcare facilities, but there is little trace of it, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, May 15, 2021, 3:00 AM
In 2015, facing scandals in the healthcare sector, Pope Francis established a Pontifical Commission for the Activities of the Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector. The board of the Commission was renewed in June 2020. However, there is no trace of the Commission in the Annuario Pontificio.
The absence of the commission is striking, especially considering it has a dedicated page on the Vatican website. Even so, it is not among the organs listed in the Roman Curia page on the Vatican website.
The commission was designed as an organ of the Roman Curia, attached to the Secretariat of State and its regulations. The commission’s objective was to control and supervise how the health facilities managed by religious congregations manage money and assets.
The Ccmmission was established in 2015, following a series of scandals that affected some Catholic healthcare facilities.
7. Calls mount for Chicago-area religious orders to publish lists of members credibly accused of abuse, By Catholic News Agency, May 14, 2021, 10:29 AM
Recent reporting from the Chicago Sun-Times has highlighted several religious orders active in Chicago that have not yet released lists of members credibly accused of sexual abuse, despite the archbishop’s request that they do so.
Two of those religious orders told CNA that they are in the process of compiling lists, and are considering how to make them public in a manner that respects both victims and clerics who have died.
Blase Cardinal Cupich of Chicago in 2018 requested that religious orders active in his local Church release lists of members credibly accused of sexual abuse.
8. German Catholic bishops’ leader: ecumenical event ‘not about intercommunion’, By Catholic News Agency, May 14, 2021, 7:00 AM
The head of the German Catholic bishops has said that a major ecumenical event on Saturday is “not about intercommunion.”
Bishop Georg Bätzing, chairman of the German bishops’ conference, insisted that church services attended by both Catholics and Protestants on the evening of May 15 would be “ecumenically sensitive.”
He made the comments in a May 11 interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA ahead of the third Ecumenical Church Congress in Frankfurt on May 13-16.
The event has provoked anxiety at the Vatican over concerns that the congress might promote a controversial proposal for a “Eucharistic meal fellowship” between Catholics and Protestants.
9. Pope Francis Asks Society Which it Values More: Children or Money, By Hannah Brockhaus, National Catholic Register, May 14, 2021
Pope Francis urged Europeans on Friday to reflect on what they treasure, and whether they consider children to be the valuable gift they are.
Speaking at “The General State of the Birth Rate” event in Rome May 14, he said, “there is a phrase from the Gospel that can help anyone, even those who do not believe, to guide their choices.”
“Jesus says: ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart also be.’”
“Where is our treasure, the treasure of our society?” he asked. “In children or finances? What draws us, the family or revenue?”

The country faces a demographic crisis, as experts predict that the already low European fertility rate will be further affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has already hit the Italian economy especially hard.

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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