1. Vatican launches year-long celebration of Laudato Si’

By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, May 19, 2020

This week Pope Francis inaugurated “Laudato Si’ Week” at the Vatican commemorating the 5th anniversary of the publication of his eco-encyclical with the same title, opening a wider year-long commemoration of the document aimed at spurring global citizens to adopt more sustainable practices.

Speaking from the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace during his livestreamed Regina Caeli address Sunday, the pope said the coronavirus has highlighted the importance of “caring for our common home,” and voiced hope that reflections surrounding the Laudato Si’ anniversary will “help to create and strengthen constructive attitudes for the care of creation.”

He then formally inaugurated Laudato Si’ Week, set to run from May 16-24, and which is the beginning of an entire year of activities dedicated to implementing Laudato Si’, beginning May 24, 2020 and ending May 24, 2021.


2. Justice Department urged to aggressively prosecute pornography vendors.

By Kurt Jensen, Catholic News Service, May 19, 2020

A former colleague of Attorney General William Barr is backing a letter from three Catholic bishops asking Barr to aggressively pursue anti-obscenity prosecutions in the wake of increased traffic to online pornography sites with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With five a year, you’d put the porn industry out of business,” said Patrick Trueman, president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, in a May 15 interview with Catholic News Service. Trueman is a former Justice Department obscenity prosecutor.

On April 30, Archbishops Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco and Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, Oklahoma, wrote Barr to request stepped-up prosecutions.

The prelates are the chairmen, respectively, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, Domestic Justice and Human Development, and the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.


3. Vatican ties virus rethink to pope’s environmental appeal.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 18, 2020, 12:30 PM

The Vatican is marking the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical by calling for the world to map out a sustainable post-coronavirus future that considers the plight of the hungry and poor.

Francis has made protecting the planet one of the hallmarks of his papacy, and in 2015 issued a landmark encyclical, “Praised Be,” to lay out his appeal in the most authoritative teaching document a pope can pen. In it, Francis denounced the “perverse” economic model that had allowed the wealthy to exploit the poor and turn the Earth into an “immense pile of filth.”


4. French State Council Orders Religious Gathering Ban Be Lifted.

By Catholic News Agency, May 18, 2020

The French Council of State ruled Monday that a ban on religious gatherings in the country is a disproportionate response to the coronavirus pandemic, and ordered the government to lift the ban within eight days.

Religious gatherings have been prohibited in the country for eight weeks, since the country’s shelter-in-place lockdowns were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Except for funerals, a ban on indoor religious gatherings was included in the May 11 policies for the country’s reopening, even while small gatherings were permitted in other public places.


5. US coronavirus relief bill would discriminate against private schools.

By Catholic News Agency, May 18, 2020, 11:21 AM

Bishop David O’Connell of Trenton lamented Thursday that the U.S. Congress’ latest coronavirus relief bill would bar private schools’ access to financial relief.

The New Jersey Catholic Conference is encouraging Catholics to ask their senators and representatives to include aid for private school families in the stimulus.

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (Heroes) Act, H.R. 6800, passed the House May 15, but it is not expected to pass the Senate.


6. USCCB’s Catholic Communication Campaign collection set for May 23-24.

By Catholic News Service, May 18, 2020

The annual collection for the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Communication Campaign is scheduled to take place the weekend of May 23-24, coinciding with World Communications Day, which is May 24 this year.

The annual national appeal supports efforts in the United States and around the world to use the media, internet and print publications to help people connect with Christ and “spread the good news.”

“In these times, the support of the Catholic Communication Campaign is vital to help keep the faithful connected to our faith and for dioceses to communicate the Gospel through all available means,” said Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer of Atlanta, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Catholic Communication Campaign.


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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