1. Divided US Catholic bishops will debate Communion policy, By David Crary, Associated Press, May 27, 2021
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to devote part of its national meeting next month to the sensitive issue of which Catholics are worthy of receiving Communion, despite calls for a delay.
Dozens of bishops had requested the USCCB president, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, postpone the debate until a later meeting, when they could meet in person rather than virtually. But prompt action is being sought by some conservative bishops who want to signal that President Joe Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should not receive Communion.
The conservatives are now heartened, as Gomez confirmed in a memo Saturday that the topic is on the agenda of the June meeting.
2. Biden’s Silence on Abortion Rights at a Key Moment Worries Liberals, By Lisa Lerer, The New York Times, May 27, 2021, 5:00 AM
State legislatures have introduced more than 500 restrictions on abortion over the past four months. The Supreme Court plans to take up a case that could weaken or even overturn the constitutional right to abortion enshrined nearly a half-century ago in Roe v. Wade.
And as reproductive rights advocates sound alarms about what they see as an existential threat to abortion rights, many worry that the leader they helped elect is not meeting the moment.
Despite the urgency felt by much of his party, President Biden has said little about abortion publicly while in office. In fact, he hasn’t said the word itself — an avoidance so noticeable that one women’s health group has created a website tracking his reluctance, DidBidenSayAbortionYet.org.
Many activists fear that Mr. Biden’s personal discomfort with the issue is keeping him from leading the Democratic Party into a more offensive position on abortion rights, both through more aggressive policymaking and leveraging the agenda-setting power of the presidency.

3. USCCB president explains how planned discussion on Eucharist was set, By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service, May 27, 2021
After receiving an unprecedented letter from 67 bishops appealing for a delay in a discussion during the bishops’ upcoming spring general assembly on whether to prepare a teaching document on the reception of Communion, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president explained in a memo the procedure followed in bringing the question to a vote during the June 16-18 virtual meeting.
The back-and-forth messages follow an increasingly public debate among the bishops about Catholic politicians who support keeping abortion legal and whether they should be denied access to the Eucharist.
4. If this is Vatican reform, some are wondering what’s really changed, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, May 27, 2021, Opinion
The conclusion many Italians in and around the Vatican have already drawn about Pope Francis’s reform is that it’s a Gattopardesca reform, meaning one in which lots of things change so the fundamentals can remain the same, and the start of this week has done little to convince them otherwise.
Obviously, there’s still time for the real fruits of the reform to blossom. For now, however, the harvest looks meager enough that some can’t help wondering if there was ever any real intention to grow a new crop.
5. Succeeding Cardinal Sarah, Pope Francis Names Archbishop Arthur Roche as Vatican’s New Liturgy Chief, By Courtney Mares, National Catholic Register, May 27, 2021
Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Arthur Roche on Thursday as the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Archbishop Roche, the current secretary for the congregation, succeeds Cardinal Robert Sarah, who served as its prefect for six years until the pope accepted his retirement in February.
The Vatican announced the English archbishop’s appointment on May 27 along with the nomination of Italian Bishop Vittorio Francesco Viola of Tortona as the congregation’s secretary and Spanish Monsignor Aurelio García Marcías as under-secretary.
6. Proposal to decriminalize abortion prompts debate in Malta, By Kevin Schembri Orland, Associated Press, May 27, 2021
A proposal to decriminalize abortion in Malta has stirred up a polarized debate on an issue long considered taboo in the country with the strictest abortion laws in the European Union.
Independent lawmaker Marlene Farrugia caught many by surprise this month when she presented a bill in Parliament calling for the removal of paragraphs in the criminal code that make it a crime punishable by up to three years in prison to have an abortion or assist a woman in having one.

The Catholic island nation has liberalized some laws in recent years, legalizing divorce 10 years ago and same-sex marriage in 2017.
7. Abortion fight puts renewed focus on Biden’s Catholicism, By Morgan Chalfant And Amie Parnes, The Hill, May 26, 2021, 6:00 AM
President Biden’s Catholic faith is a fundamental part of his identity that he has not shied from sharing with the public in his first months as president.
But Biden’s support for abortion rights has put the second Catholic president in U.S. history at odds with some leaders of the Catholic Church, as well as some of its voters. That tension will be on display in the coming months, particularly as campaigning for the 2022 midterm elections begins to heat up.
Democrats are angling to make abortion a top issue ahead of the midterms after the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving a Mississippi law that could weaken the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade nearly half a century ago.

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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