1. Why Francis won’t be the chaplain of BRICS, just as Pius XII wasn’t of NATO, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, May 25, 2023, Opinion Once upon a time, journalists informally dubbed Pope Pius XII the “chaplain of NATO” for his fervent anti-Communism, and his consequent support of the Western alliance in the early days of the Cold War. Those days, famously, are long gone under Pope Francis. History’s first pope from the global south might more credibly be branded the “chaplain of BRICS,” meaning the budding economic and strategic alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, especially given how his line on Ukraine and that of Brasilia, New Delhi and Beijing all broadly align. Except, just as with Pius XII, such phraseology may have obvious media cachet, but it conceals at least as much as it reveals.  If the question is whether Pope Francis right now, this minute, is favorable to the diplomatic initiatives of Lula and the BRICS nations on Ukraine, the answer is yes. If the question is whether Francis will be a reliable source of support for the BRICS alliance going forward, however … well, Lula probably would be well advised not to bet the farm on it.https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2023/05/why-francis-wont-be-the-chaplain-of-brics-just-as-pius-xii-wasnt-of-nato__________________________________________________________ 2. The Dodgers Promote Anti-Catholicism, By National Review, May 24, 2023, 6:30 AM, Editorial When businesses celebrate various identity groups among their customers and employees, it can easily descend into cloying and opportunistic pandering. But it is mostly harmless, in the way that drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s Day or wearing plastic sombreros on Cinco de Mayo is harmless.  The same cannot be said of Pride Month (previously Pride Week). It has increasingly become a tool of forced conformity for the purpose of isolating dissenters from LGBTQ+ ideology — especially religious believers — and either compelling their submission or punishing them for standing on their conscience. The sports world has become an especially visible arena for this dynamic, as witnessed last year when National Hockey League commentators threw a fit at Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers for declining, without fuss or comment, to publicly wear a Pride jersey. For standing his ground on the tenets of his Orthodox faith without comment, Provorov had an NHL Network analyst calling for him to be sent back to Russia. The Los Angeles Dodgers have now added another sin to corporate Pride: openly celebrating and honoring anti-Catholicism. The controversy arises from “LGBTQ+ Pride Night” at Dodger Stadium, scheduled for June 16. Not content merely to invite gay and transgender fans to celebrate in their own individual way, the Dodgers proposed to give a “Community Hero Award” to a group calling itself the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” The “Sisters” are “queer and trans” drag queens whose shtick is to dress up as Roman Catholic nuns and mock them and their faith in ways that range from the lewd to the sacrilegious.  When there was a public outcry against the Dodgers’ choice of honorees, the team belatedly recognized the problem and retracted the award. But to the event’s promoters, one cannot be baptized in the LGBTQ+ faith halfway. The Los Angeles LGBT Center threatened to pull out of the evening and called on the Dodgers to cancel “Pride Night” if it did not genuflect to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. In a garish display of cowardice, the Dodgers reversed course again, grovelingly apologized, and indicated that the award would go forward. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles blasted the about-face, saying that “the decision to honor a group that clearly mocks the Catholic faith and makes light of the sincere and holy vocations of our women religious who are an integral part of our Church is what has caused disappointment, concern, anger, and dismay from our Catholic community.”  The Dodgers have a long and deep connection with their Catholic fans, dating back to when they were in Brooklyn and fans prayed for Gil Hodges. … Never before has that connection been anything but harmonious with the franchise’s history of real inclusivity, from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier to the team introducing the game’s first Mexican and Japanese pitching stars. But Pride Night is not about diversity; it is about choosing ideological sides. The Dodgers have chosen theirs against Catholic fans and Catholic employees of their team. This is an insult and a betrayal, and should be received as such. https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/05/the-dodgers-promote-anti-catholicism/__________________________________________________________  3. Bolivia’s Catholic Church acknowledges being ‘deaf’ to sex abuse victims, By Carlos Valdez, Associated Press, May 24, 2023, 9:51 PM Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Bolivia acknowledged Wednesday that the church had been deaf to the suffering of victims of sexual abuse, commenting as a pedophilia scandal involving priests is rocking the country. In a statement, the Andean nation’s Catholic bishops said that “as a church, we are facing a painful moment … because we are certain that we have been directly or indirectly involved in the deep pain caused to innocent victims.” The statement comes amid the fallout from the case involving a late Spanish Jesuit priest, Alfonso Pedrajas. According to a private diary accessed by the Spanish newspaper El País, Pedrajas allegedly abused dozens of minors in Catholic boarding schools in Bolivia in the 1970s and 1980s. He died of cancer in 2009. Earlier this week, Jordi Bertemeu, one of the Vatican’s top sex crimes investigators, arrived in Bolivia.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/05/24/bolivia-catholic-bishops-pedrajas-abuse/9f414934-fa9e-11ed-bafc-bf50205661da_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Climate activists tell Vatican court they never intended to hurt ancient statue in glue protest, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 24, 2023, 12:49 PM Two environmental activists told the Vatican’s criminal court on Wednesday they never intended to damage an ancient statue in the Vatican Museums when they glued their hands to its marble base, in one of a series of flash protests across Europe to draw attention to climate change. The activists, Guido Viero and Ester Goffi, are on trial in the Vatican City State, accused of aggravated damage and face up to three years in prison and some 3,000 euros ($3,227) in fines, according to the Last Generation environmental group. A third defendant who filmed the protest, Laura Zorzini, is accused of failing to follow police orders but was not in the courtroom Wednesday. On Aug. 18, Viero and Goffi entered the Vatican Museums and glued their hands to the base of Laocoon statue, one of the most important ancient statues in the collection that is believed to date from the 1st century B.C., and hung up a banner reading: “Last Generation: No gas and no carbon.” After their hands were unglued, they were arrested and subsequently charged by Vatican prosecutors.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/05/24/vatican-climate-glue-protest-museum/f494c01a-fa52-11ed-bafc-bf50205661da_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Haley commits to federal abortion ban but says it’s unlikely without more Republicans in Congress, By Holly Ramer and Meg Kinnard, Associated Press, May 24, 2023, 3:18 PM Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Wednesday pledged to sign a federal ban on abortion but noted that passing one would be highly unlikely without more Republicans in Congress. Although Haley didn’t say how many weeks a federal ban should encompass, her commitment to signing one is the most specific she has been on the issue during her presidential campaign. The former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said “no one has been honest” about how difficult a ban could be to achieve, in a closely divided federal government.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/05/24/nikki-haley-abortion-president-republican-2024/3b8dceb2-fa4e-11ed-bafc-bf50205661da_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Belgian Bishop Bonny: Our Decision to Bless Same-Sex Unions Is “Not Going Against the Pope”, Despite a statement by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith rejecting support for same-sex blessings, the bishop has inferred based on personal conversations with the Holy Father that he’s supportive., By Edward Pentin, Catholic News Agency, May 19, 2023, 9:25 AM The bishop of Antwerp, Belgium, said that because Pope Francis has not voiced his opposition specifically to the Flemish bishops’ decision to bless same-sex unions, he has taken that as tacit approval for their action. Bishop Johan Bonny said in a May 17 interview with Katholisch.de that he had had “two conversations” with Francis from which he inferred he knew that he and his brother bishops were “not going against the Pope.” The Flemish ordinary said he was not allowed to share the precise contents of those conversations, but stressed that knowing the Pope’s stance was “very important for me and for the other bishops in Flanders.”  Bishop Bonny and the other Flemish bishops of Belgium introduced a blessing for same-sex couples in September 2022, publishing a handout containing a suggested liturgy and prayers and basing their argument on Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation on the 2014-2015 Synod on the Family, Amoris Laetitia.  Asked if undertaking same-sex blessings gave him a conflict of conscience as he was going against a definitive 2021 Vatican ruling that the Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions, Bishop Bonny replied, “No, because it is about the Pope. Not every man in Rome is pope.”  .https://www.ncregister.com/blog/bishop-bonny-same-sex-unions__________________________________________________________

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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