1. Joe Biden and the Bishops after 100 Days, By Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, May 3, 2021, Opinion
To what shall we compare the first 100 days of our “devout” Catholic president? In an unforgettable moment, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, said after a trip to Asia that at present, “those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.” In a similar vein, there are  American Catholics who think that President Biden – despite a welter of “respectful disagreements” with the Church (i.e., abortion, sex, conscience rights, religious liberty, and players to be named later) – was “preaching Catholic social teaching” when he spoke to Congress last week.
The Chinese Communists and the Biden Administration talk – a lot – about the common good and national unity. What they mean by those terms, of course, is another thing. For all the differences between them, they have both shown themselves quite willing to ride roughshod over Catholics – unity and tolerance be damned – in pursuit of radical, party-driven social agendas.
The American bishops, thus, find themselves at a crossroads. To let things go on as they have in only the first three months of a presidential term would give the impression that they’re just fine with a self-proclaimed “devout” Catholic politician acting this way.
A large majority of bishops are not. They sense that there’s more at stake than political issues.
Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., and currently serves as the St. John Henry Newman Visiting Chair in Catholic Studies at Thomas More College.
2. Pelosi’s Archbishop in SF says no to communion for pro-choice Catholics, By John Lavenburg, Crux, May 2, 2021
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has become the latest American bishop to advocate barring Catholic public figures who support abortion rights from communion, as debate on the topic continues to grow since President Joe Biden, the country’s second Catholic president and a pro-choice Democrat, took office.
Cordileone’s letter is also significant because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another pro-choice Catholic Democrat, resides in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
“Our responsibility to the rest of the Catholic community is to assure them that the Church of Jesus Christ does take most seriously her mission to care for ‘the least of these,’ as Our Lord has commanded us, and to correct Catholics who erroneously, and sometimes stubbornly, promote abortion,” wrote Cordileone.
3. Taking a ‘wait and see’ stance on Pope’s latest blow for accountability, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, May 2, 2021, Opinion
In effect, the amendment – published in the form of a motu proprio, meaning a change to church law under the pope’s personal authority – allows the Vatican’s regular civil courts to try cases against cardinals and bishops. Previously, had a cardinal or a bishop been charged with a civil crime under the laws of the Vatican City State, the case would have had to be heard by the Vatican’s Supreme Court, presided over by a cardinal.
The move eliminates a traditional privilege enjoyed by senior prelates of being judged only by their own, subjecting them to the same legal process as any other defendant, although the pontiff still has to approve any such trial in advance. It’s being spun both as Francis’s latest blow against clericalism, and a signal of his determination to fight crime and corruption in his own ranks.

Before getting terribly excited, however, there are at least three reasons to take a “wait and see” attitude.
The first is the “cleaner and the poor box” problem, which is that, in many cases, the people responsible for what’s now understood as corruption honestly don’t think they’re doing anything wrong.

Second, a legal process is only as good as the will to use it, and it remains to be seen if Becciu or anyone else in a senior position actually will be indicted and tried. Heretofore, the typical practice has been to charge laity and lower-level clerics while insulating the higher-ups from blame – in some cases, declining even to summon them as witnesses, let alone defendants.

Third, there’s the question of whether the lay-led lower tribunals of the Vatican legal system will be more inclined to be tough on cardinals and bishops than a court presided over by a fellow Prince of the Church. If anything, experience suggests most laity likely to get important jobs inside the Vatican tend to be deferential to church authority, and to give prelates a generous benefit of the doubt.
Of course, all reforms can be frustratingly piecemeal and slow, and even the most sweeping and successful, at some point, probably at some point seemed promising but unproven. Time will tell whether that’s the case with Francis’s latest innovation – or whether, as has happened so often in the past in the Vatican, this turns out be another case of everything appearing to change so that, in reality, everything can remain the same.
4. Papal Foundation announces $9m in grants for charitable projects, By Catholic News Agency, May 2, 2021, 10:00 AM
The Papal Foundation announced April 28 they will be distributing $9.2 million in grants to dioceses in 64 countries in the coming year.
This year’s grants will finance the construction and repair of church and school buildings, environmental initiatives and the education of children in need, among other projects. The organization cited Pope Francis’ call earlier this year to rebuild church buildings in the Middle East as a guiding factor in this year’s grants.
The Philadelphia-based Papal Foundation’s mission is to serve the Holy Father and the Roman Catholic Church through “faith, energy, and financial resources.”
“The Holy Father has identified urgencies throughout the world, and The Papal Foundation is committed to working diligently to address his priorities to house, educate, heal, and feed individuals in need,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley, chairman of The Papal Foundation Board of Trustees, in a statement provided to CNA.
5. One Hundred Days in, Joe Biden Has Failed to Heed His Faith’s Call for Unity, By Grazie Pozo Christie, National Review, April 30, 2021, 11:19 AM, Opinion
President Joe Biden’s inaugural address, with its soaring phrases and stirring moments, eloquently laid out challenges facing our country and proposed unity as the solution. Watching his speech that January day, I dared to be hopeful. True unity is an American ideal, and indispensable because of our ethnic, ideological, and religious diversity. Given today’s division and rancor we need it more than ever. Perhaps here was someone — a fellow Catholic — who could bridge our difficult divides on the strength of the beautifully articulated, central tenet of our Christian religion: All men and women are created by a God whose love sustains our existence and who demands that we love each other as he has loved us.
That was 100 days ago. During that time, so many of the early actions he has taken have not built bridges but deepened chasms, and this is especially true of those that defy the core ideals of our faith.

These are but a handful of the ways President Biden has failed to live up to his call for unity. Sadly, he has chosen to follow the dictates of the loud activist wing of his party, and not the dictates of his faith or even of good sense. These first 100 days have dashed my hopes, and those of other Catholics once moved by calls to unity and the image of a well-thumbed rosary in an old man’s hand.
Grazie Pozo Christie is a policy adviser for The Catholic Association.
6. County to pay $1.1M to settle church’s religious bias claims, By Associated Press, April 30, 2021, 12:08 PM
Baltimore County has agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve a religious discrimination lawsuit over a county board’s denial of a church’s expansion plan.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the county and Hunt Valley Baptist Church reached the March 31 settlement after a federal judge in Baltimore upheld a ruling that the county violated a federal law that protects religious institutions from discrimination in zoning.
The church sued in 2017 after a county appeals board denied its plan to build a larger facility.
7. Top Kansas court upholds law barring ‘wrongful birth’ suits, By John Hanna, Associated Press, April 30, 2021, 7:21 PM
Kansas’ highest court on Friday upheld a law barring so-called wrongful birth lawsuits against doctors, in a case in which a couple sued because they weren’t told of serious fetal defects until after an abortion could have been obtained.
The state Supreme Court ruled against the parents of a girl born with a severe brain abnormality who said they would have opted for an abortion had they known of their daughter’s medical problems months before her May 2014 birth.
The Republican-controlled Legislature and then-GOP Gov. Sam Brownback passed the law against wrongful birth lawsuits in 2013 at the urging of abortion opponents.
8. New bishop of Biden’s hometown mum on Communion question, By Nicole Winfield and Luis Andres Henao, Associated Press, April 30, 2021
The newly appointed bishop of Joe Biden’s home diocese in Delaware said Friday he would gladly speak with the president about his views on abortion but did not say whether he would allow him to continue receiving Communion, as his predecessor has.
During a news conference in which retiring Wilmington Bishop Francis Malooly introduced Monsignor William Koenig to his new flock, Koenig said he was open to having a conversation with the president on the issue and that as a bishop, he is called to teach “the fullness and the beauty of the Catholic faith.”
9. Santa Fe archdiocese to sell over 700 properties amid mounting abuse settlements, By Catholic News Agency, April 30, 2021, 6:00 PM
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe intends to sell over 700 properties by year’s end to help pay for settlements to sexual abuse survivors, an examination of court records has found.
An examination of court records by the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper found that the diocese has sold at least six properties over the past year and intends to sell 732 more by late July.
Those first six sales generated $7.5 million for the diocese, the records show. According to the AP, among the buildings sold were several surrounding a Carmelite Monastery in Santa Fe.

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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