TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 267 – Holly Ordway Talks Lord Of The Rings & Emily Malloy On Embracing The Seasons
With a new Lord of the Rings series coming this summer, we discuss J.R.R. Tolkien’s great Catholic faith with Holly Ordway of Word on Fire. We also discuss the beauty of the divine as witnessed through the seasons with Emily Malloy out with a recent book by Theology of Home called Arranging the SeasonsFather Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Corpus Christi as he continues along the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage. Catch the show every Saturday at 5pmET radio!
1. Former US senator from Indiana Joe Donnelly to step down as US ambassador to the Vatican, U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and former U.S. senator from Indiana Joe Donnelly is stepping down and returning to Indiana, By Associated Press, May 30, 2024, 6:07 PM
Former U.S. senator from Indiana Joe Donnelly is stepping down as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and returning to his home state two years after assuming the role.
In a post on the social platform X on Thursday, the U.S. embassy to the Vatican confirmed Donnelly will leave the position July 8, but did not cite a reason for his departure.
2. Louisiana may soon require public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments, By Sara Cline, Associated Press, May 30, 2024, 4:20 PM
Louisiana could soon become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom — in another expansion of religion into day-to-day life by a Republican-dominated legislature.
The legislation received final approval from the state’s GOP-dominated Legislature earlier this week and is headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Jeff Landry. It mandates that a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” be required in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities.
3. Catholic doctors, ethicists criticize Pontifical Academy for Life, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, May 31, 2024, 9:47 AM
Representatives of the Australian Catholic Medical Association, with the support of several Catholic moral theologians and bioethicists, have criticized a book published by the Pontifical Academy for Life for its lack of understanding of “current science” and specific areas of medicine. 
The experts argue that the book spreads “misleading and confusing” theological and medical information that contradicts established Church teachings on contraception and assisted reproductive technologies.
The book in question, “Etica Teologica Della Vita” (ETV), covers “Theological Ethics of Life: Scripture, Tradition, and Practical Challenges.” The 528-page Italian publication is a synthesis of a seminar sponsored by the academy in 2021.
The critique, published April 23 in the Linacre Quarterly, the official journal of the Catholic Medical Association, describes contradictions between the book and established Church teachings on contraception and assisted reproductive technologies.

4. Jesuit Insider Exposes Deep Crisis Within Society of Jesus, Calls for Reform, By Catholic Vote, May 28, 2024
In an internal document leaked to the press in Spanish and English, a prominent Uruguayan Jesuit described in detail the many reasons why the Jesuits are in crisis and decline around the world and called for significant reform of the religious order founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola.
The 50-page document, whose existence was first reported in English by the Catholic News Agency, was written by Fr. Julio Fernández Techera, S.J. CatholicVote had access to the original document and has also confirmed the authenticity of the author, who completed the document in April 2022.
Fr. Fernández presents his assessment of the current situation of the Jesuits as an essay about “how I see the Society of Jesus at the beginning of the third millennium,” and explains that it is written “Ad Usum Nostrorum” (for internal use only).
The document is written in an academic and dispassionate style, and includes a preface and eight chapters in which Fernández discusses issues like “The trivialization of discernment,” “Obedience and government,” “Poverty, Confusion and ideology,” “Chastity and cura personalis,” “Religious Life,” and “Liturgy.”
“My intention is, with the grace of God our Lord, to put in writing in this paper: first, the manner of government that this Congregation of ours has. Secondly, the many and serious errors that are involved in it. Thirdly, the inconveniences that result from them. Fourth, the means that could be taken to repair them and to stop them,” Fernández writes. 

“For years,” he writes, “I have seen that the Society is without direction, without a project, and without the ability to rebuild itself and look to the coming decades with enthusiasm, purpose, and desire to serve God and our brothers and sisters in the Church.” 
“As an institution of the Church, we have been experiencing a profound decline for the last fifty-odd years,” he adds, “and there are no signs or indications that this will change unless it is recognized as such and the means to do so are put in place.”

In the following chapters of his essay, the Uruguayan Jesuit proceeds to list, with historical and anecdotal arguments, what he believes are the main reasons for the decline and crisis of his congregation.
Among them:
  • Turning Jesuit “discernment” into a justification for disunion, dissent, and a lack of religious obedience.
  • Paying lip service to religious obedience but acting in such a “democratic” manner that governance has turned into “managing decline” rather than overseeing expansion.
  • Abandoning de facto religious poverty and replacing it with “the desire for personal fulfillment, the questioning of traditional asceticism, liberal progressivism, and leftism.”
  • Disregarding accountability for chastity and abandoning the fostering of a deep spiritual life in the midst of “the crumbling moral edifice of our time, gender ideology and hedonism.”
  • Replacing the discipline and fraternity of religious life with “houses (that) are more like apostolic bachelors’ apartments than authentic communities.”
  • Giving little to no attention to the centrality of the Eucharist in personal life and a culture of constant liturgical abuse with “gestures that are more meant to entertain than to worship God.”

Readers can download and read the full document in English HERE.
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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