TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 213 – Mark Brumley on Word of Life & Father Ben Kiely Talks Saving Christianity in Iraq! With gender ideology infiltrating the culture and classroom, Mark Brumley of Ignatius Press joins to discuss the ongoing threats and the success of the Word of Life catechetical program that parents and educators are raving about–given its integration of Christian anthropology. As this year marks 20 years since the Iraq war, Father Benedict Kiely discusses the dire situation on the ground for Christians in the region and what Archbishop Bashar Warda calls a ‘silent persecution.’ Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for Pentecost Sunday reminding us of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Russia acknowledges Vatican peace initiative, says no steps yet for a mission to Moscow, By Paolo Santalucia and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 26, 2023, 7:23 AM Russia on Friday indicated that it views Pope Francis’ Ukraine peace initiative positively, but stressed that there are no immediate plans for a Vatican mission to Moscow. The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry to the state RIA Novosti agency was the first public acknowledgment by Moscow of the pope’s move. It followed the Vatican’s weekend announcement that a veteran of the Catholic Church’s peace mediation initiatives, Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, had been tapped by Francis as his envoy. “We acknowledge the Holy See’s sincere desire to promote the peace process,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, according to RIA Novosti. “At the same time, no practical steps have been taken by the Vatican side to organize the trip to Moscow.” 2. Chicago cardinal defends compensation plan, urges info on abusers after Illinois abuse report, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 25, 2023, 5:39 PM The archbishop of Chicago urged the Illinois attorney general on Thursday to provide information about newly uncovered cases of clergy sexual abuse that were included in a statewide investigative report, saying he would gladly add the names on his list of credibly accused priests if the claims were substantiated. In his first interview since the report was released Tuesday, Cardinal Blase Cupich expressed surprise that the 125 new cases involved some priests he had never heard of. He voiced dismay that the attorney general’s office hadn’t forwarded the new claims to the archdiocese to look into, as it had done during the five-year investigation. “We thought we had that kind of relationship with the attorney general and so are disappointed that we’re hearing these for the first time,” Cupich said.  Cupich said he would be willing to refuse to let priests of noncompliant orders work in his archdiocese, as recommended by the report, though he said he’d “rather use the carrot than the stick, because we do need these religious orders.” On another recommendation from the report, however, Cupich was more defensive. Raoul’s investigators called for an independent mediation and compensation process for victims similar to what the archdioceses of Los Angeles and New York have established. The report argues that third-party process gives victims a “confidential non-adversarial place outside of the control of the diocese to be heard and to be financially compensated for the trauma inflicted on them.” Cupich said he didn’t want to outsource the compensation process because that would deprive the church of the chance to provide pastoral care to victims. He said he would continue with the process he has had in place for years. 3. Texas lawmakers approve allowing public schools to hire chaplains to counsel students, By Jim Vertuno, Associated Press, May 25, 2023, 1:18 PM Texas would allow public schools to use campus safety money to hire chaplains to counsel students under a bill approved this week by state lawmakers and sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The measure approved on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 students and two teachers, comes amid a push by the Republican-majority Legislature to open the door for more religion in public schools. Supporters of the bill say the chaplains can provide critical counseling to help prevent school shootings by addressing student mental health, and address other problems such as drug use. 4. South Carolina governor signs 6-week abortion bill into law, By Sydney Kashiwagi and Rebekah Riess, CNN, May 25, 2023, 7:49 PM South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday signed a bill into law that will limit most abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. South Carolina now joins a list of Republican-led states that have championed sweeping abortion restrictions in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. The entire US South, with the exception of Virginia, has moved to significantly curtail abortion rights in the past year. “With my signature, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is now law and will begin saving the lives of unborn children immediately,” McMaster, a Republican, said in a statement. “This is a great day for life in South Carolina, but the fight is not over. We stand ready to defend this legislation against any challenges and are confident we will succeed. The right to life must be preserved, and we will do everything we can to protect it.” 5. ‘Anti-Catholicism cannot go unanswered’ – Cordileone challenges charges on Serra vandalism case, By The Pillar, May 25, 2023, 3:21 PM San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote to local prosecutors Wednesday, telling them he is “disturbed but not surprised” at a decision to downgrade the prosecution of five people who desecrated a statue of St. Junipero Serra in 2020. The letter preceded a May 25 decision to change the charges against the five, who destroyed the statue on the grounds of St Raphael Mission Church during a protest on October 12, 2020, to a misdemeanor instead of a felony offense.  In a May 24 letter to Marin County prosecutors, the archbishop argued that the actions of the five clearly amounted to a felony offense. And while the district attorney’s office has said that the defendants had participated in a restorative justice program, Cordileone said the archdiocese was frozen out of that process. In his letter to prosecutors, the archbishop said that if the same kind of offense had been committed against another religious congregation or group, it would almost certainly have been prosecuted as a hate crime. 6. Chilean bishop: Court ruling on sexual orientation training harms independence of Church, By Diego Lopez Marina, Catholic News Agency, May 25, 2023, 4:30 PM A Catholic bishop and Alliance Defending Freedom have criticized the 2022 ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on the Pavez Pavez vs. Chile case for proposing controversial nondiscrimination “training” regarding sexual orientation that could threaten the country’s religious denominations. The court gave Chile, and indirectly the Church, two years to comply. ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, recently interviewed Juan Ignacio González Errázuriz, the bishop of San Bernardo, Chile, where the controversy originated, to learn how the Church is dealing with the case. The prelate said the ruling handed down on April 20, 2022, against the Chilean state “implies that the independence of the Church or religious denominations is disavowed, and that is very serious and absolutely unacceptable.” “The ruling jeopardizes the independence and autonomy of a religious denomination to fulfill its own purpose,” he pointed out. In its decision, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the Chilean state had discriminated against Sandra Pavez Pavez because of her sexual orientation. The Church did not renew her accreditation to teach religion because she was maintaining a same-sex relationship.

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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