1. Vatican letter on pope’s civil union remarks assures doctrine unchanged, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, November 2, 2020
A letter sent from the Vatican to bishops’ conferences around the world seeking to explain the Pope Francis’s recent remarks on civil unions has argued that the pope’s words taken out of context and that his position does not constitute a change in Church teaching on the issue.
Released in late October, the documentary “Francesco” by Russian filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky includes a 20-second clip of the pope saying homosexual individuals “have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.”
“You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” the pope says in the clip.

Although several bishops’ conferences have confirmed receiving the letter, it was unsigned and was not printed on official letterhead, which officials in these bishops’ conferences found strange for a document from the Secretariat of State.
It is unknown who ordered the letter to be written, who sent it, if Pope Francis is aware, and if, as the letter claims, it was in fact the pope who asked that a clarification be made.
2. French churches honor Nice attack victims; 6 detained, By Angela Charlton, Associated Press, November 2, 2020
Churches around France held Sunday services honoring three people killed in an Islamic extremist attack at Notre Dame Basilica in the city of Nice that pushed the country into high security alert, while police questioned six suspects in the case.
Nice Archbishop Andre Marceau was preparing for a special nighttime service in the basilica to purify it following Thursday’s fatal knife attack, and then to pay homage to the victims and to mark All Saints’ Day, when many Christians around the world honor the dead.
Priests in the Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris and elsewhere in France mentioned the attack during their All Saints’ services, which were exceptionally allowed to go ahead despite a new monthlong virus lockdown that started Friday in France. Riot police or other security forces were stationed at some prominent religious sites.
3. A new proclamation, The Equality Proclamation gives Black women and children targeted by abortion industry protection under law, By Alveda King, The Washington Times, November 2, 2020, Pg. B1, Opinion
On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln first signed the Emancipation Proclamation, formally ending chattel slavery, which had reduced human beings to mere property. Yet, despite this presidential public policy change, we still see vestiges of that vile institution in the way Black women and their unborn children are treated today.

On Sept. 22, 2020, 158 years to the day of Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation, it was my privilege to join with other Black Leaders of the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Alliance (PRENDA) gathered in Montgomery, Alabama, to issue and sign another proclamation specifically for equality.
The Equality Proclamation is written and declared in the spirit of the Emancipation Proclamation. It focuses on giving Black women and children targeted by the abortion industry’s discriminatory practices equal protection under the law, and is a document every American of conscience can embrace, especially in this day when the tragedy of racial division seems so thrust upon us.
Alveda King is the niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who once pastored the now historic Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and began his quest for civil rights in Montgomery, Alabama, two blocks from the Old Union Station room where Black citizens were once required to enter and segregate and where the Equality Proclamation was signed by Black leaders on Sept. 22, 2020.
4. US priest who founded Knights of Columbus is beatified, By Associated Press, October 31, 2020, 6:31 PM
The late Connecticut priest who founded the Knights of Columbus moved a step closer to possible sainthood with his beatification Saturday, as authorized by Pope Francis.
The celebration for the Rev. Michael McGivney at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford included the reading of a letter from Francis and the unveiling of a tapestry featuring McGivney’s portrait.
5. Pope Francis, 83, shrugs off mask mandates, By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post, October 31, 2020, Pg. A14
Pope Francis indeed has a mask. It’s unadorned and white, just a shade paler than his papal cassock.
But he almost never wears it.

Whatever his motivations — Francis hasn’t said — the maskless pope has become an emblem for the risks facing the Roman Catholic Church, at a time when the virus is spreading rapidly across Europe.
6. Orthodox priest shot at church in France, motive unknown, By Jamey Keaten and Angela Charlton, Associated Press, October 31, 2020, 12:52 PM
A Greek Orthodox priest was shot Saturday while he was closing his church in the French city of Lyon, and authorities locked down part of the city to hunt for the assailant, authorities said.

The reason for the shooting was unclear. It happened two days after an Islamic extremist knife attack at a Catholic church in the French city of Nice that killed three people, and amid ongoing geopolitical tensions caricatures mocking the Muslim Prophet Muhammad published in satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
7. Biden says Catholic faith guides policies but gets hit on abortion, religious freedom, By Caleb Parke, Fox News, October 31, 2020
Joe Biden is touting his Catholic faith as groups are hitting him on issues held near and dear to the faithful and opposed by the church, including religious freedom for nuns and abortion.
In an op-ed for the Christian Post, Biden wrote that his Catholic faith guides his policies, including wearing masks to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, rooting out systemic racism, ending the “evil of poverty,” welcoming immigrants, and doing “everything in our power to ensure that all God’s children have the hope and future they so rightfully deserve.”

Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association — which has endorsed President Trump’s re-election — told Fox News Biden’s candidacy has been confusing to Catholic voters “who believe that being Catholic is more than just another label.”
“Joe Biden has campaigned on his Catholic faith while promising policies that contradict Catholic teaching and even threatening the Little Sisters of the Poor,” McGuire said. “The Bishops Conference has warned of the devastating consequences of the Equality Act for religious liberty and for girls and women but Joe Biden supports it.”

Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, a conservative political advocacy group, said Biden “has put himself on a collision course with the Catholic Church by promising to pass the Equality Act in the first 100 days of his presidency.”
“Biden’s aggressive support of the Act, together with his extreme abortion position, opposition to school choice, and pledge to restart the war on the Little Sisters makes clear his Catholic faith will be readily sacrificed at the altar of political expediency,” Burch added. “Come Tuesday, Catholics must understand the existential threat posed by a Biden-Harris ticket. Donald Trump remains the best – and only – choice for Catholic voters this election.”
8. Social issues a priority for cardinal-to-be Wilton Gregory, By David Crary, Associated Press, October 30, 2020, 4:03 PM
Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, soon to become the Roman Catholic Church’s first Black cardinal from the United States, hopes the U.S. hierarchy can broaden its concept of “pro-life” so that other pressing issues can be considered top priorities along with opposition to abortion.
Gregory, in an interview Friday with The Associated Press, also endorsed proposals to include the history of Black Catholics in the U.S. as part of the curriculum in Catholic schools. Earlier this year, amid nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice, some Black Catholics said the curriculum should be more honest about the church’s past links to slavery and segregation, and more detailed in portraying how Black Catholics persevered.

Gregory was emphatic that “respect for life in the womb” should remain a top priority but said the references to it being the preeminent issue “could benefit from rephrasing.”
The current phasing “implies that other dimensions of human life can be dispensed with – and they can’t,” he said.
9. Omaha archbishop spars with Creighton theologians over abortion, election, By Christopher Whited, National Catholic Reporter, October 30, 2020
With less than one week before the election, Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, is sparring with two Creighton University professors over whether electoral politics is the best arena for combating abortion.
The two parties have exchanged crossfire in Omaha’s primary newspaper, with the archbishop blasting his piece to the archdiocese’s electronic mailing list just days before Election Day, encouraging voters to prioritize abortion at the ballot box.
In an Oct. 27 opinion piece in the Omaha World-Herald, theology professors Richard W. Miller and Todd A. Salzman argued in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, rooting their rationale in concern for the environment, which they describe as a pro-life value.

In a rare move, the city’s archbishop took to the same pages of the Omaha World Herald on Oct. 29 in response, doubling down on the priority of abortion.
“I must take exception to the argument Miller and Salzman offered, especially to Catholics, for guiding our voting decisions,” wrote Lucas.
“Catholic bishops hold that the threat of abortion remains a preeminent priority in this country because our laws and our courts so often fail to protect the basic right to life of a whole class of human persons, the unborn,” he wrote.

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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