1. Nearly 9 in 10 Fortune 500 companies seek religious inclusion in workforce: Report, Issue has surfaced in recent Supreme Court cases, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, May 22, 2024
Nearly 86% of Fortune 500 companies are making religious inclusion part of their diversity goals — the highest percentage in five years, according to a new report by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.
Its 2024 “Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Index and Monitor” report says 429 of the Fortune 500 mention or illustrate religion as part of their commitment to diversity — more than twice the 202 firms that did in 2022 and nearly double the 219 that did last year.
How businesses acknowledge their employees’ faith has become a salient issue in recent years: The Supreme Court has issued landmark decisions protecting workers’ rights in cases about whether employees can pray at work, wear a hijab or claim a specific day of religious rest and worship. Advocates say companies are better able to recruit and retain workers when they support workers’ religious rights.

2. Knights of Columbus sues Biden administration after being denied permit to hold Memorial Day mass, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, May 22, 2024
The Knights of Columbus has asked a federal court to allow it to hold its annual Memorial Day Mass inside a national cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia, a tradition that dates back over 60 years, after being denied a permit by the National Park Service.
The motion for a temporary restraining order was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond Division) by the Knights of Columbus Petersburg Council 694, which has held a service at the Poplar Grove National Cemetery since at least the 1960s.
“The policy and the decision blocking the Knights of Columbus from continuing their long-standing religious tradition is a blatant violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” said John Moran, partner at McGuireWoods LLP in Washington, D.C.

3. Thou shalt post praying George Washington ads, federal judge tells D.C. Metro, Washington transit system’s ad rules are ‘constitutionally suspect,’ jurist states, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, May 22, 2024
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority must accept and run advertisements showing a praying George Washington, U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled Tuesday.
Metro will have to post the ads from WallBuilder Presentations, an Aledo, Texas, nonprofit group with a stated mission of educating “the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country.”
The ads showed 19th-century painter Henry Brueckner’s depiction of Washington kneeling in prayer, with a large headline, “Christian?”
Text at the bottom and a QR Code direct the audience to a website “to find out about the faith of our founders.”

4. Women’s health is so much more than abortion, Biden admin calls for unlimited access during Women’s Healthcare Week, By Olivia Gans Turner, The Washington Times, May 22, 2024, Opinion
The Biden White House issued a proclamation that declared National Women’s Health Week the week of May 12-18. Curiously, the statement called for unlimited abortion access as part of women’s health care.
Celebrating motherhood and women’s health in the same week seems logical, but the logic is twisted by the current debate about abortion. The argument that abortion is critical to women’s health is a masterful stroke of manipulation — manipulation of truth and the facts of life. Specifically, the fact that every abortion requires the death of a woman’s child, who may also be female.
Women’s health is a critical matter that is not advanced by exposing women to the risks of surgical or chemical abortion. Instead, it is a recipe for danger. Risks include damage to the cervix, hemorrhaging, uterine perforation, heart attack and breast cancer. These are only a few of the complications women have incurred over the last 50 years.

So, this is a challenge to our society. Will we work harder to make maternal health a priority that sees both mother and child in the picture, or will we allow the abortion promoters to control the conversation? There is money to be made when they convince women that abortion is in their interest. That is why they want to control the narrative and have become so clever at doing it.
Are we ready to face the fact that maternal health must be defined as a mother and her unborn child who are both in need of answers that protect and assist them? It’s 2024, and we are still far from that goal. Let’s demand better for every mother and child.
Olivia Gans Turner is president of the Virginia Society for Human Life and co-founder of Women Exploited by Abortion.
5. Invoking John Paul The Great, By George Weigel, First Things, May 22, 2024
ROME. Age certainly accelerates one’s sense of the passage of time.
Well do I remember high school classes that felt as long as Würm Glaciation, the minute hand circumambulating the clock’s perimeter at a glacial pace. Yet this past April 27, sitting in the south transept of the world’s greatest tombstone—the Papal Basilica of St. Peter’s in the Vatican—I remembered being at that exact spot at the 1996 Mass marking John Paul II’s priestly golden jubilee, and the intervening decades seem to have passed at hypersonic speed. Tempus fugit, indeed!
It was the tenth anniversary of John Paul II’s canonization, so it was also unnerving to realize that a full decennium had gone by since the man whose biography I had written was raised to the glory of the altars in company with Pope John XXIII. There were murmurings, then, that Pope Francis had contrived a double-header canonization to dilute the focus on John Paul II. To my mind, though, it was vere dignum et iustum, “truly right and just,” that the two bookends of the Second Vatican Council—the pope who summoned the Council to re-energize the Church for evangelization and the pope who gave the Council its authoritative interpretation while calling us to live Vatican II’s teaching in the “New Evangelization”—should be canonized together.        
Be that as it may, last month’s anniversary Mass was something of a grand recapitulation of the John Paul II years.
It was organized by John Paul’s longtime secretary and confidant, Stanisław Dziwisz, now the emeritus cardinal archbishop of Kraków. His episcopal motto, Sursum Corda (Lift Up Your Hearts), poignantly summarized the Polish pope’s electrifying impact on the world Church.
The principal celebrant was Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the college of cardinals and longtime sostituto of the Secretariat of State under John Paul—in effect, the papal chief of staff. At ninety years old, Cardinal Re still exudes the incandescent energy he displayed as sostituto from 1989 until 2000—although, as I reminded him at the post-Mass reception in the atrium of the Paul VI Audience Hall, “You fell asleep on my shoulder during the premier of Our God’s Brother in Kraków in June 1997!”
And there, in the first row of concelebrants, was John Paul II’s great vicar for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini: ninety-three and confined to a wheelchair, but determined to celebrate the sanctity of the man whose vision of a missionary, culture-reforming Church Ruini had worked heroically to bring to life in Rome and throughout Italy. What, I wondered (and not for the first time), would things have been like if Pope Benedict XVI had made Cardinal Ruini his Secretary of State?
One concelebrant’s presence raised eyebrows. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, then merely “Don Vincenzo,” was endlessly solicitous of John Paul II for twenty-six and a half years. Over the past decade, however, Paglia has systematically dismantled—some would say, demolished—one of the Polish pontiff’s signature initiatives: the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family at the Pontifical Lateran University, which today bears only a nominal relationship to the vibrant intellectual center that Carlo Caffarra, Stanisław Grygiel, Livio Melina, José Granados, and other distinguished scholars once created (which likely explains why the institute has so few students today).
At the end of the Mass, the concelebrating cardinals and bishops laid a floral wreath on John Paul II’s tomb, between the chapel of Michelangelo’s Pietà and the basilica’s Blessed Sacrament chapel. They then led the congregation in a prayer composed for the occasion, which beautifully captured the Christ-centeredness of an epic pontificate and evoked some of its greatest concerns:
O Saint John Paul, from Heaven’s window give us your blessing! Bless the Church, which you loved so much and courageously served along the pathways of the world, to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus. Let us hear again your powerful cry, “Open, open wide the doors to Christ!” Help us open the doors of our hearts to Jesus, so that we may be tireless missionaries of the Gospel today.
Bless the young, who were your great passion. . . . Bless the families, bless every family. You who felt Satan’s assault against this precious spark of Heaven that God kindled on earth, make us strong and courageous in defending the family . . .
Open new pathways to the Divine Mercy that Jesus made near to us in the Sacrament of Pardon, in the Most Holy Eucharist, and in the Charity that transforms us into a window of God’s Love. Amen.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.
6. Vatican wants China deal to be renewed, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, May 22, 2024
Vatican Secretary of State Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin has said both parties to a controversial deal with Chinese authorities on episcopal appointments hope that it will be renewed for a third time when it expires later this year.
Speaking to journalists on the margins of a high-profile May 21 conference on Vatican-China relations, Parolin said of the deal, “We are all interested in the agreement being renewed.”
He said the deal could be “also developed in some points,” but did not expand on what those details might be.
Parolin was a keynote speaker at a day conference titled, “100 years since the Concilium Sinense: Between history and present,” which was held Tuesday at Rome’s Pontifical Urban University, marking the 100th anniversary of the Council of Shanghai.

7. DOJ sues antiabortion groups, says patients were blocked from Ohio clinics, The Justice Department sued two antiabortion groups, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and Red Rose Rescue, claiming they blocked patients’ access to Ohio clinics in 2021., By Daniel Wu, The Washington Post, May 21, 2024, 11:59 PM
The Justice Department on Monday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two antiabortion groups and seven protesters it said wrongfully blocked patients’ access to medical care by preventing them from exiting their vehicles, filling waiting rooms and surrounding Ohio abortion clinics during 2021 protests.
Protesters organized by the nonprofit Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and Red Rose Rescue, an affiliated group, occupied the waiting room of the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center on June 4, 2021, according to the lawsuit. The groups allegedly encouraged patients to not have abortions, then filled the waiting room and refused to leave, drawing a police response. The next day, protesters surrounded the Bedford Heights Surgery Center, lay in front of the clinic’s entrance and stood in front of a patient’s car door to prevent them from exiting, the lawsuit alleged.
The protests led to appointment delays at the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center and caused the Bedford Heights Surgery Center to close for the day, according to the lawsuit. Some protesters were found guilty of trespassing in municipal court.

8. A Christian group allows Sunday morning access to a New Jersey beach it closed to honor God, People will soon be allowed onto the beach on Sunday mornings in one Jersey Shore community where the sand has been closed for generations to honor God, By Wayne Parry, Associated Press, May 21, 2024, 10:50 AM
A Christian religious group that has closed its beaches on Sunday mornings for generations to honor God is relenting temporarily, allowing beachgoers onto the sand while it fights a court case with New Jersey over whose rules are paramount.
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist group that established a Christian seaside retreat at the Jersey Shore in 1869, says it will allow people onto the beach on Sunday mornings while the case plays out.
The association has asked for an emergency ruling halting action by the Department of Environmental Protection to enforce beach access laws that New Jersey says Ocean Grove is violating. The agency threatened fines of $25,000 per day.
“For 155 years, we have closed our beach on Sunday mornings to honor God — a core pillar of this community since the founding of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association,” the group’s statement says. “We are challenging this order to preserve our property rights and religious freedom.”

9. Retired judge finds no reliable evidence against Quebec cardinal; purported victim declines to talk, A retired Canadian judge says he hasn’t been able to find any reliable evidence of alleged sexual misconduct by the archbishop of Quebec, By Nicole Winfield and Rob Gillies, Associated Press, May 21, 2024, 2:30 PM
A retired Canadian judge said Tuesday he couldn’t find any reliable evidence of sexual misconduct by the archbishop of Quebec, after the purported victim refused to cooperate with his investigation and the cardinal strongly denied the claim.
Pope Francis had tasked André Denis, a retired judge of the Superior Court of Québec, to conduct a preliminary investigation for the Catholic Church into claims against Archbishop Gérald Lacroix that surfaced in January.
The allegations were contained in an amended class-action lawsuit filed in Canadian court against 100 current and former church personnel of the archdiocese.
Denis’ investigation has no bearing on that lawsuit and concerns only the church’s handling of the allegations, since the Vatican has its own procedures to deal with misconduct claims against clergy. The Vatican said Tuesday that based on Denis’ report, it planned no canonical trial against Lacroix, 66.

10. UK plans to end gender ideology in schools, set age-based sex education rules, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, May 21, 2024
The United Kingdom’s Department of Education intends to prohibit the promotion of gender ideology within public schools, set age-based guidelines for sex education, and protect parental rights, according to proposed guidance for schools.
A proposed update to Relationships, Sex, and Health Education (RSHE) lesson guidance, which is now undergoing an eight-week public comment period, would prohibit schools from teaching that “gender is a spectrum.” Rather, if asked about gender identity, schools would need to “teach the facts about biological sex” and could not present alternative views about gender as being facts. 
“Material suggesting that someone’s gender is determined by their interests or clothing choices should not be used as it risks leading pupils who do not comply with sex stereotypes to question their gender when they might not have done so otherwise,” the proposed guidance reads. 
The proposal states that “schools should not teach about the broader concept of gender identity” and calls the concept “a highly contested and complex subject.” The proposal adds that schools “should be clear that an individual must be 18 before they can legally reassign their gender.” For students under the age of 18, it states “a child’s legal sex will always be the same as their biological sex and, at school, boys cannot be legally classified as girls or vice versa.”

11. Why Cuba is getting worse for the Catholic Church, By Edgar Beltrán, The Pillar, May 21, 2024
It is almost a cliché in Latin America that whenever a leftist government is elected, people ask if the country will become the “next Cuba.” But with persecution of the island nation’s Catholic Church increasing, it might be more apt for Catholics to ask if Cuba is becoming the “next Nicaragua.”
As the economic crisis in the country worsens and protests against the regime increase, government pressure on the Catholic Church grows, despite a progressive increase in freedom of worship in the last three decades.
Priests have denounced government threats and intimidation, Holy Week processions have been banned and several Catholic activists have been imprisoned or exiled from the country.

While government repression of the Church was reduced in recent years, it never actually completely ended.
For example, members of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), such as Yandier García Labrada, have been imprisoned for their protests against the regime.
The MCL is a political movement inspired by Catholic social teaching. Its former leader, Oswaldo Payá, died in an alleged traffic accident in 2012, but the Inter-American Court of Human Rights blamed the Cuban regime for his death.
Additionally, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights reported almost 1,000 violations of religious freedom in Cuba in 2023, mostly against the Catholic Church, including arbitrary arrests and harassment of people to prevent them from attending religious events.
In fact, although publicly relations between the Vatican and Cuba remain cordial, Cuba seems to listen to Pope Francis less and less.

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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