TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 82 – David Prentice On Covid Vaccines & Robert Seelig On Caring For The Dead
With COVID spikes being reported across the country and around the globe, Dr. Grazie Christie and TCA colleague Ashley McGuire speak with Dr. David Prentice of the Charlotte Lozier Institute with the big news from Pfizer this week about a possible vaccine that is 90% effective against the virus. We also mark the month of November and our beloved dead with Robert Seelig of Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services discussing how he has revitalized the Catholic funeral, allowing families to honor and grieve their loved ones, even with social-distancing and restrictions in place. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel. Tune in every Saturday at 5pm ET on EWTN radio!
1. Alito Hits Democratic Criticism of High Court, Justice Alito Responds to Liberal Critics, Says Covid-19 Is ‘Constitutional Stress Test’, The Justice spoke to Federalist Society, held virtually, By Jess BravinThe Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020, Pg. A5
“Just as the Covid restrictions have highlighted the movement toward rule by experts, litigation about those restrictions has pointed up emerging trends in the assessment of individual rights,” Justice Alito said. “This is especially evident with respect to religious liberty. It pains me to say this but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.”
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected claims by churches in California and Nevada that public-health orders capping attendance at services were discriminatory, because some other places where people gather—including casinos in Las Vegas—were permitted to admit larger numbers.
Those decisions saw Chief Justice John Roberts join four liberal justices to let the public health orders stand, over the dissent of Justice Alito and three other conservatives.

A new attendance-cap challenge, filed against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., reached the court on Thursday.
2. Covid and the Church in Delaware, Gov. Carney caves after he’s sued for targeting religious services., By The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020, pg. A14, Editorial
A pandemic doesn’t override the Constitution, and it’s a shame that preserving its liberties from politicians has often required litigation. On Wednesday Delaware Gov. John Carney settled with a pastor who went to court claiming that state emergency orders discriminated against houses of worship.
Mr. Carney had declared churches essential, but last spring he also imposed restrictions that went beyond what he required of other essential businesses. One order mandated that church services last no longer than an hour, while another stated that “there must be at least a four-hour gap between the end of one in-person service and the beginning of the next in-person service.”

Jonathan Starkey, a spokesman for Mr. Carney, says the virus “doesn’t distinguish between a church, your restaurant, or your living room.” This week’s settlement ensures the Governor won’t either. Mr. Carney agreed to treat churches neutrally, to avoid imposing restrictions applicable only to religious rituals like baptism, not to impose age limits on attendees, and not to issue mandates targeting churches or religious ministries. Praise the Lord.
3. What Gentiles Can Learn From Lord Sacks, The late British rabbi was the most gifted voice for biblical belief of our time, By Meir Soloveichik, The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020, pg. A13, Opinion
Lord Jonathan Sacks, a former chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, died Saturday at 72. When I first heard the news, my mind went to one of the least Jewish places in the world: the Vatican.
In 2014 we joined other faith leaders and theologians at a Holy See-sponsored conference on the institution of the family. Sacks’s spellbinding speech combined science, sociology and the Bible—all analyzed with the eloquence that made him famous. “The family,” he told the audience, “man, woman, and child, is not one lifestyle choice among many. It is the best means we have yet discovered for nurturing future generations and enabling children to grow in a matrix of stability and love.”
Sacks concluded that when husband and wife turn in faithfulness to one another, “we come as close as we will ever get to God himself, bringing new life into being, turning the prose of biology into the poetry of the human spirit, redeeming the darkness of the world by the radiance of love.” It was the only moment I can recall that the conference’s entire audience rose in sustained applause. In the center of what had been called Christendom, a rabbi best expressed what the West had once believed.
Rabbi Soloveichik is director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York.
4. Polish bishops defend John Paul II after McCarrick report, By Nicole Winfield and Monika Scislowska, Associated Press, November 13, 2020, 7:55 AM
Polish bishops defended St. John Paul II on Friday against evidence that he rejected reports that ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick slept with his seminarians, seeking to salvage a papal legacy that has been badly tarnished by his inaction on clergy sexual abuse.
The head of the Polish bishops conference, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, said in a statement that John Paul had been “cynically deceived” by McCarrick as well as other U.S. bishops.
It was the Polish bishops’ first response to the publication this week of the Vatican’s two-year investigation into McCarrick, which implicated John Paul and his secretary in covering up McCarrick’s sexual abuse.
5. New ‘benchmarks’ released to help seminaries deal with sexual misconduct, By John Lavenburg, Crux, November 13, 2020
When reports of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual misconduct surfaced in 2018, John Cavadini got to work.
The director of the Notre Dame McGrath Institute for Church Life wanted to figure out a way to help ensure those guilty of sexual abuse or misconduct were held accountable in the future.
Two years later, and the Institute has come out with five sexual misconduct policy benchmarks for seminaries.
The benchmarks were released Monday – a day before the Vatican released its long-awaited report detailing how McCarrick rose through the church ranks despite the decades-long rumors and allegations against him.

The five benchmarks are systematic training of seminarians, faculty and staff regarding harassment policies; internal and external reporting and investigation procedures; victim support; assessment of internal policies and consistency; and portability of standards to suit local conditions
6. Pope and Biden discuss equality, climate change and immigration, By John Lavenburg, Crux, November 12, 2020
According to a press release for the campaign of President-elect Joe Biden, Pope Francis and Biden had a phone conversation Thursday morning where they discussed working together on issues such as equality, climate change and immigration.
“The president-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’ leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world,” the statement said.
Pope Francis hasn’t publicly congratulated Biden as of Thursday afternoon. In response to a Crux question, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed that a call between Francis and Biden took place but did not comment on its contents.

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!

“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.