TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 186 – Katy Faust of Them Before Us & Dave Reinhard Talks Litany of Humility Dr. Grazie Christie discusses the importance of family and the dangers of divorce with Katy Faust of Them Before Us. We also revisit with TCA’s own editor-extraordinaire Dave Reinhard about the Litany of Humility as we all strive to live out this virtue. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily as we prepare for Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7am/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Conference sees right to worship threatened, Allies must back religious freedom, By Guy Taylor, The Washington Times, November 14, 2022, Pg. A10 The Chinese Communist Party is “at war with all faiths,” according to former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who says America and its democratic allies must “stand firmly” in promoting religious freedom as a “common human right.” Mr. Brownback, who held the post under former President Trump, made the assertions to an international conference Friday aimed at advancing freedom of faith amid attacks on religious freedom in China, North Korea, Japan, the Middle East, and elsewhere around the world.  Speakers called out the full range of religious persecution by authoritarian governments, shining a light on the plight of Tibetan Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bahais, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Yazidis and Falun Gong followers and Unificationists. 2. What Pro-Lifers Lost and Won, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, November 13, 2022, Pg. SR3, Opinion Let’s start with what the pro-life pessimists get right. Tuesday’s results confirm the anti-abortion movement’s fundamental disadvantages: While Americans are conflicted about abortion, a majority is more pro-choice than pro-life, the pro-choice side owns almost all the important cultural megaphones, and voters generally dislike sudden unsettlements of social issues. You can strategize around these problems to some extent, contrasting incremental protections for the unborn with the left’s pro-choice absolutism. But when you’re the side seeking a change in settled arrangements, voters may still choose the absolutism they know over the uncertainty of where pro-life zeal might take them. However, when abortion wasn’t directly on the ballot, many of those same voters showed no inclination to punish politicians who backed abortion restrictions.  In other words, Republicans in 2022 traded a larger margin in the House and maybe a Senate seat or two for a generational goal, the end of Roe v. Wade.  Another view, though, looks at the muddle of American opinion and sees a lot of people who would like to live in a society that protects human life in utero but think the full anti-abortion vision isn’t plausible, that in a modern society it just can’t be made to work. That’s what the pro-life movement won for itself in this election, despite its more immediate defeats: a chance, in a big part of the country, to win some of these doubters to its side. 3. The Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal continues, By The Washington Post, November 13, 2022, 7:00 AM, Editorial On his plane back to Rome from a Middle East trip recently, Pope Francis acknowledged that the Vatican faces pushback in its efforts to overhaul the Catholic Church’s habits of denial, secrecy and coverup surrounding clerical sexual abuse. “There are people within the church who still do not see clearly,” he said, adding that “not everyone has courage.” The pontiff’s delicate phrasing, and his timing, underscored the compounding damage the scandal has inflicted on the church’s moral authority and prestige. Days after Pope Francis shared those thoughts with journalists, new revelations of high-level sexual misconduct and cover-up in France shattered illusions of progress by the church toward establishing a culture of transparency and accountability in its hierarchy. That problem was crystallized in the admission by Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, who was the archbishop of Bordeaux for 18 years before he retired in 2019, that he had behaved “in a reprehensible way” with a 14-year-old girl 35 years ago when he was a parish priest.  Pope Francis’s record is mixed on the greatest scandal to envelop the church in centuries. His forthrightness on the issue is admirable, but ultimately he, and the church, will be judged on the tangible progress they have made. 4. Abortion Politics Loom Over U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Vote, The group’s elections follow controversy over how to deal with President Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2022, 9:00 AM U.S. Catholic bishops will choose a national president this week in elections that will help shape their public policy agenda and hence their relations with Washington—and the Vatican—over the next three years. The outcome is likely to signal that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is holding its annual fall assembly Nov. 14-17 in Baltimore, will continue to give priority to opposition to abortion over other issues on which it is active, including poverty and migration, rather than take its cues from Pope Francis. The pope has spoken out strongly against abortion yet given greater emphasis to other issues, including social and economic justice and the environment, and he has taken a more conciliatory approach than the USCCB leadership to President Biden, a practicing Catholic who supports abortion rights. All U.S. bishops agree that abortion is wrong and should be illegal, but disagree over whether abortion should outrank other concerns and how to deal with Catholic politicians who dissent from the church’s teaching. Most of the 10 bishops on the ballot for USCCB president this week would be likely, based on their records, to pursue the current leadership’s line on both matters.  The bishops could signal a shift in their approach to abortion politics if they elect Archbishop Paul Etienne of Seattle, who was one of a minority of bishops who last year opposed the drafting of guidelines on Communion for Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. He argued that such a statement would inappropriately enmesh the Eucharist with politics.  The bishops could show support for the pope’s wider agenda by electing Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, who oversaw the USCCB’s contribution to the ongoing global synod, a consultation with clergy and laypeople that the pope inaugurated last year. 5. Pope lunches with poor, denounces ‘sirens of populism’, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, November 13, 2022, 3:20 PM Pope Francis ate lunch with hundreds of refugees, poor and homeless people on Sunday as he called for a renewed commitment to helping society’s weakest and denounced the “sirens of populism” that drown out their cries for help. Francis celebrated the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Poor by inviting an estimated 1,300 poor people into the Vatican for a special Mass and luncheon. Children threw their arms around his neck as he sat at one of dozens of tables set up in the Vatican audience hall. 6. Rejecting the Logic of Politics in the Church, Unlike a political community, the unity of the Church is not our own effort. It is a work of God, who guaranteed that the gates of hell would never prevail against it., By National Catholic Register, November 12, 2022, Editorial This year, midterm elections were followed a week later by the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops’ general assembly, during which the bishops were set to elect a new conference president and several other officers. The juxtaposition of the two elections provides an important opportunity to reflect upon the differences between worldly politics and ecclesial communion — and the danger of allowing the logic of the former to inform our participation in the latter. This is especially a threat today, when our culture is dominated by electoral politics, which are increasingly characterized by partisan brinkmanship and zero-sum contests over power. This kind of political warfare offers a mode for thinking about all forms of community and relationships, and if we’re not vigilant, it can begin to characterize the way we understand and live out our belonging to the Church.  This isn’t a denial that the Church is political, in a sense, because it must organize itself in its human dimensions. Nor does it preclude us from believing certain clerics are better equipped to lead the Church than others, or from making judgments about what processes and ideas are harmful to the life of the Church. Instead, Cardinal Ratzinger criticizes a more fundamental attitude that reduces our belonging to the Church and the way we operate within it to a principle of personal choice. “We have difficulty understanding faith [other] than as a decision for a cause that I like and to which I therefore wish to lend my support,” he writes. The problem, though, is that the Church then becomes ours instead of Christ’s. This attitude underlies approaches to reforming the Church that accommodate it to the times and the will of the world, which is certainly a present concern.  Because if, through the Church, we truly belong to Christ, then we do not need to look to politics as our salvation, nor as something to be feared and avoided. Instead, we can enter into it with the humility and freedom of the children of God. 7. The Church of the Sexual Revolution, Today’s theological fault lines mostly concern matters of earthly morality., By Carl R. Trueman, The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion  Churches are increasingly in the middle of cultural and moral controversies. Mr. Oliver’s denomination has dramatically fragmented over issues of sexuality, with many congregations leaving to join the Global Methodist Church, a new denomination founded in 2022 as a conservative alternative. The Catholic Church is being torn apart, too. The Synodal Path in Germany, an ongoing national consultation of bishops and laity, has pressed for progressive changes in doctrine and discipline. Traditional Catholics distrust Pope Francis’s Synod on Synodality, a global listening effort, as a project to surreptitiously change church teaching, which has seemingly over-represented the input of disaffected laity. The same applies to religious schools. Last year a priest at the University of Notre Dame wore a Pride stole while attending a “Coming Out Day Celebration” sponsored by PrismND, the university’s “official LGBTQ+ undergraduate student organization.” The school’s student newspaper, the Irish Rover, recently reported that a faculty member was openly offering support to students seeking abortions. … And where there are no open conflicts, such as at Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution, that often means progressives have foreclosed debate.  The message of these events is clear: The terms of belonging to civil society have changed. In the early 20th century, debates about Christian orthodoxy took place within an America where the basic elements of Christian moral teaching were generally accepted. Today, such thinking stands at odds with the politics of identity that dominates elite institutions. That sets the scene for external culture war and internal civil war.  Mr. Trueman is a professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. 8. Peter Kilpatrick installed as new Catholic University president, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, November 11, 2022, 5:46 PM Peter K. Kilpatrick was formally installed as the 16th president of The Catholic University of America on Friday during a solemn but joyful ceremony where he emphasized the importance of dialogue and love while announcing an ambitious plan for the school’s growth. “Within 10 years, we need to be a university of 10,000 students, undergraduate and graduate,” he said, his words echoing throughout the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. “Our nation and our world needs the students that we deliver to them: bright, enthusiastic, committed, and knowing themselves and how to love each other.”  Kilpatrick, a Catholic convert, succeeds John Garvey, who led the school for 12 years. The 65-year-old chemical engineer served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology from 2018 to 2022. Before that, he was a professor and dean at the University of Notre Dame and was a longtime faculty member at North Carolina State University. 9. Vatican opens preliminary abuse probe into French cardinal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, November 11, 2022 The Vatican said Friday it has decided to launch a preliminary sex abuse investigation into a prominent French cardinal after he admitted to having behaved in a “reprehensible way” with a 14-year-old girl 35 years ago. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said a search was under way to find a lead investigator with the “necessary autonomy, impartiality and experience.” Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, the retired archbishop of Bordeaux and a former president of the French bishops’ conference, confessed to the abuse in a letter last week while French bishops were meeting at their annual assembly in Lourdes. The revelation further sparked outrage within the French Catholic Church, which has been reeling over revelations of decades of abuse and cover-ups detailed in a groundbreaking report last year. Marseille prosecutors announced this week they had opened an investigation into Ricard for alleged “aggravated sexual assault” but that “no complaint” had yet been filed against the cardinal. 10. Midterms reinforce Christian voter trends on abortion, GOP, By David Crary, Peter Smith, Nuha Dolby, Associated Press, November 11, 2022 In the midterm elections, evangelical Christians across the nation reconfirmed their allegiance to conservative candidates and causes, while Catholic voters once again showed how closely divided they are — even on abortion. On a successful, high-profile ballot measure in the battleground state of Michigan, proposing to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, Catholic voters split about evenly, according to AP VoteCast, an expansive survey of more than 94,000 voters across the country. In Kentucky, a reliably Republican state, voters rejected a GOP-backed ballot measure aimed at denying any state constitutional protections for abortion. Among those voting No were 60% of Catholic voters, according to VoteCast.  In Wisconsin, Catholic voters slightly favored Republicans in those two races. In Pennsylvania, Catholics were slightly more likely to have voted for the Republican loser in the Senate race, Mehmet Oz, but more likely to vote for the Democratic winner in the governor’s race, Josh Shapiro. Oz is Muslim and Shapiro is Jewish. In Arizona, Catholic voters were evenly divided between the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, while about 60% backed Democrat Mark Kelly, seeking re-election to the Senate. 11. Pope Francis meets with Father James Martin at Vatican, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, November 11, 2022, 5:24 AM Pope Francis received Father James Martin, SJ, in a private audience in the apostolic palace inside the Vatican on Friday. In a tweet published after the encounter, Father Martin wrote he was “was deeply grateful to meet with Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace this morning for 45 minutes.” The conversation covered “the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties, of LGBTQ Catholics,” Martin added, writing: “It was a warm, inspiring and encouraging meeting that I’ll never forget.“ 12. Denver Archdiocese defends gender identity policy for schools, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, November 11, 2022, 4:00 PM The Archdiocese of Denver is defending its guidance on sexual identity in Catholic schools after an article on the policy was published earlier this week in a local newspaper. A Nov. 7 Denver Post story shared and criticized the policy — which has been in place since 2019 — highlighting a section advising against the enrollment of students who reject their biological sex, especially if their parents are supportive of the student’s transition. “Ministry to students who experience same-sex attraction or gender confusion or are diagnosed with gender dysphoria, or to their families, should be carried out with charity and prudence, affirm God’s unconditional love for the person, be faithful to Church teachings, show compassion, and help students integrate their self-understanding with the truth,” the 2019 document reads. The archdiocese said in a statement to CNA that the document “was shared with administrators in 2019 to help clarify the Church’s teachings regarding gender issues in our Catholic schools. If questions come up in a school, each case will be addressed individually with the utmost care and concern for all involved.” “We don’t expect everyone to ascribe to a Catholic worldview, but we strongly reject attempts to paint our position as bigoted or unloving,” the diocesan statement reads.“It is precisely because of our love and reverence for the nature of the human person that we cannot stay quiet on this matter and must address what Pope Francis has said is the ‘ideological colonization’ taking place in our world today.” 13. Abortion rights won big. Here’s what to do next., By The Washington Post, November 10, 2022, 2:26 PM, Editorial In MichiganVermont and California, voters in Tuesday’s midterm elections overwhelmingly approved ballot initiatives that will enshrine the right to abortion in their state constitutions. In Kentucky, voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have protected the state’s near-total abortion ban from legal challenges. And in Montana, voters nixed a measure that would have criminalized health-care providers who do not make every effort to save the life of an infant “born during an attempted abortion” or after labor or Caesarean section.  Given the state ballot initiatives’ success, the natural next step is more of them. According to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, a national organization that supports progressive ballot initiatives, more than a dozen states are getting ready for campaigns to push protections for abortion rights. Yet such campaigns are expensive and time-consuming, and not every state allows them. They also would not afford protections if Congress enacted a federal abortion ban, as some Republicans have proposed. Short of an unlikely Supreme Court reversal, the best way to restore women’s reproductive rights is for Congress to codify Roe’s protections in federal law. President Biden had promised to make such legislation his top priority if two more Democrats were elected to the Senate. That is not happening, and Democrats might lose control of the House. Even before Tuesday’s rebuke, there were a handful of Republicans on Capitol Hill willing to deal on codifying Roe — but many Democrats were not interested in working on a compromise. Rather than holding out for a perfect bill, Democrats should seek bipartisan legislation that protects abortion rights as far as the politics allow. Republicans, meanwhile, should recognize that they are wrong on reproductive freedom — morally and politically. They would be wise to defuse the issue as soon as possible. 14. Montana vote adds to win streak for abortion rights backers, By Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press, November 10, 2022, 6:52 PM Abortion rights supporters secured another win Thursday as voters in Montana rejected a ballot measure that would have forced medical workers to intercede in the rare case of a baby born after an attempted abortion. The result caps a string of ballot defeats, months after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade galvanized abortion-rights voters. Michigan, California and Vermont voted to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitutions, and Kentucky voters rejected an anti-abortion amendment in a tally that echoed a similar August vote in Kansas.

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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