1. Catholics divided as bishops examine Biden’s abortion stance, By David Crary, Associated Press, November 19, 2020
Catholics split almost evenly in supporting Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the presidential election. Now they’re sharply divided over a declaration by the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the president-elect’s support for abortion rights presents the church with a “difficult and complex situation.”

 Some experts said it’s possible the group will discuss whether Biden — a practicing Catholic — should be barred from partaking in Holy Communion.
Catholic pro-life activists hope the bishops follow through with tough words and action, making clear that Catholic politicians who support abortion are in breach of church teaching.

But others criticized the USCCB as setting the stage for potential conflict with the president-elect just days after he received a congratulatory call from Pope Francis. Biden said he hopes to work with the pontiff on issues such as climate change, poverty and immigration.
2. Catholic bishop says he’ll comply with Vatican inquiry, By Associated Press, November 19, 2020
A California-based Roman Catholic bishop confirmed Wednesday that he is under investigation by the Vatican for his handling of abuse and misconduct cases in his former diocese in the Las Cruces area of southern New Mexico.
In an online statement, Bishop Oscar Cantú confirmed a report from the Catholic News Agency about an investigation.
“I support the Vos Estis protocols to ensure the accountability of bishops and to bring justice and healing to victims/survivors,” Cantú said in reference to procedures established in 2019 to combat sexual abuse and improve accountability among leadership. “I intend to cooperate fully with any inquiry.”
3. Argentina president presents bill to decriminalize abortion, By Catholic News Service, November 19, 2020
Argentine President Alberto Fernández sent a bill to Congress to decriminalize abortion, despite Catholic objections.
In anticipation of the abortion bill being proposed, Argentina’s bishops blasted the president’s plans for decriminalization as “untenable and inappropriate” — both on ethical grounds and the timing during a pandemic.
Fernández presented the bill Nov. 17 and said via video “that the state must accompany women in their maternal projects.” That included “caring for the lives of those who decide to interrupt their pregnancy,” he added.
4. Massachusetts bishops urge state Senate to reject measure to expand abortion, By Catholic News Service, November 19, 2020
The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts Nov. 17 urged the state Senate to reject a budget amendment that would allow girls as young as 16 to get an abortion with the consent of a guardian or a court.
It would remove the current requirement in the law for girls under 18 to get parental consent for an abortion.
The proposed amendment also would allow abortions to be performed for the full term of a pregnancy under certain circumstances, such as the unborn baby being diagnosed with a “fatal birth defect” or condition.
“Abortion at any time, from the moment of conception to birth, is in direct conflict with Catholic teaching and must be opposed,” the bishops said.
5. ‘Economy of Francis’ event to showcase papal vision for global economic shakeup, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, November 19, 2020
Historians say that Franciscan lending institutions in the 14th century, the montes pietatis, were a predecessor to modern banking and formed the foundation for today’s economy. Today, a pope named Francis is once again invoking the spirit of the Saint of Assisi, this time in an effort to reform the post-modern economy from the bottom up.
A long-outspoken critic of market capitalism and neoliberalism, Pope Francis offered a clear picture of his vision for global economics in a post-pandemic world in his recent encyclical Fratelli Tutti, which, among other things, criticized nationalist populism and argued in favor of multilateral accords.

One of the founders of Liberation Theology in Latin America, Boff left the Franciscan order and the priesthood in the 1990s after a years-long throwdown with the Vatican over what they viewed as his Marxist interpretation of Liberation Theology. He is still a well-known left-wing figure in Brazil, and has had a lengthy career teaching ethics, ecology, theology and philosophy a several universities throughout South America and Europe. In the past, he has praised the leadership of Pope Francis, who in December 2018 sent a letter to Boff for his 80th birthday.

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who heads the integral human development office, will open the event.
After Turkson, renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs will give the first keynote speech on the topic, “Perfecting Joy: Three proposals to let life flourish.” Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Sachs for nearly 30 years has advised the Vatican under three popes on economic affairs.
Though he is known to be at odds with the Church on issues such as contraception and population control, Sachs has been a key player in crafting tone-setting papal documents such as St. John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus and Pope Francis’s 2015 eco-encyclical, Laudato Si.
6. Cardinal Becciu seeks damages over ‘groundless’ Italian media reports, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, November 18, 2020, 9:30 AM
Cardinal Angelo Becciu said Wednesday he is taking legal action against an Italian media outlet for publishing “unfounded accusations” against him.
In the Nov. 18 statement, the former senior Vatican official again denied reports that he had used Church funds to benefit family members, or that he had attempted to influence the outcome of a sex abuse trial against Cardinal George Pell in Australia last year.
7. City repeals noise rule on only Mississippi abortion clinic, By Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press, November 18, 2020, 12:59 PM
Mississippi’s capital city has repealed a year-old local law that sought to restrict noise levels outside the state’s only abortion clinic by limiting amplified sound and banning protesters from approaching patients without their permission.
A group that sued the city of Jackson said the repeal is a victory for free speech, while the clinic’s owner sharply criticized the city for not protecting patients and clinic employees from harassment.

The lawsuit said the ordinance unconstitutionally limited speech rights as people tried to persuade women not to end pregnancies.

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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