1. Pope, at French military cemetery, appeals for end to arms production, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, November 2, 2021

Pope Francis on All Souls Day celebrated Mass at a French military cemetery, repeating his frequent appeals for an end to war and the arms trade, and urging attendees to never stop moving forward on the journey of life.

Speaking to faithful attending his Mass at the French military cemetery in Rome, the pope said, “Today, the sermon needs to be looking at the tombs, (people who) died for France.”

Noting that many of the graves belong to unknown soldiers, he said some of the soldiers died “with names, some without, but these tombs are messages of peace: Stop, brothers and sisters, stop weapons manufacturers, stop.”


2. Cardinal Müller: Protecting human life at all stages is more important than ever, By Ann Carey, Crux, November 2, 2021

In an Oct. 27 address at the University of Notre Dame, Cardinal Gerhard Müller stressed the importance of proclaiming the human dignity of every person, from conception until natural death.

This proclamation is particularly necessary in “a secularized society that has surrendered to relativism and thus to the destruction of ethics,” he told an audience of Notre Dame faculty, staff and students.

The cardinal is the former prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, serving in the post from 2012 to 2017.


3. Senators mark 1st anniversary of declaration rejecting push to declare abortion an ‘international right’, By Catholic News Agency, November 2, 2021

U.S. senators have celebrated the first anniversary of a declaration affirming that there is “no international right to abortion.”

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced a concurrent resolution on Oct. 28 marking a year since the launch of the Geneva Consensus Declaration on Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family.

The resolution had 14 cosponsors in the Senate and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced a companion resolution in the House with 29 cosponsors.

The Geneva Consensus Declaration was signed on Oct. 22, 2020, by 32 countries. Other nations have since endorsed the declaration, but the United States has withdrawn its support.

The declaration states “that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of states to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies.”

In a letter dated Feb. 12, 2021, the United States Mission to the United Nations announced that the U.S. had “rescinded its co-sponsorship and endorsement” of the declaration.

The letter said: “Upon reviewing the declaration, we have reservations that aspects of the document are not consistent with our current administration’s policies, including those relating to women’s health, LGBTQI equality, and gender equality.”


4. What Biden’s account hath wrought, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, November 2, 2021, Opinion

Pope Francis apparently called Biden a good Catholic, and then Biden asked voters to protect the moral evil of abortion.

Whatever one thinks about the fracas over Biden and “Eucharistic coherence” among the U.S. bishops, it is easy to understand why that juxtaposition seemed especially galling to those Catholics working to end legal protection for abortion — in line with the Church’s teaching on the subject.

Of course, no one knows what Pope Francis said to Biden behind closed doors on Friday. We know what Biden says he heard, and there are reasons to think it is not what Pope Francis actually said.

But we also know the Holy See will almost certainly not clarify what happened. Consider that the Holy See has not spoken out about a genocide in western China, or the Catholic-led fight for human rights in Hong Kong, seemingly to preserve its tenuous diplomatic relationship with Beijing.

In short, the weekend’s game of papal-presidential telephone has contributed to an existing crisis of morale for some Catholics — including the priests and bishops trying to find a faithful and sensible via media between the contempt for the pontiff expressed in some corners of the Church, and his unquestioned lionization in others. For Catholics who think neither approach is healthy, the middle road feels increasingly narrow.

President Biden may have intended to give a faithful account of his meeting with Pope Francis on Friday. Or he might have wanted to ice the U.S. bishops who have been critical of Catholic politicians like him and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At his most calculating, he may have wanted to throw a bit of chaos into USCCB deliberations on the Eucharistic coherence document.

Whatever his intention, it is unlikely that Biden’s actual goal was to discourage any cadre of Catholics trying to live out their faith — but, at least by early reactions — that seems to be what he has accomplished.


5. Supreme Court won’t hear case involving transgender rights, By Associated PressNovember 1, 2021, 10:10 AM

The Supreme Court is declining to wade into a case involving transgender rights and leaving in place a lower court decision against a Catholic hospital that wouldn’t allow a transgender man to have a hysterectomy there.

The high court turned away the case Monday without comment, as is typical. Three conservative justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch — said they would have heard the case.

Mercy San Juan Medical Center near Sacramento declined to allow the procedure to be performed at its facility saying it was an “elective sterilization” that violated the hospital’s ethical and religious obligations.


6. In win for Anglican nuns, Supreme Court orders new scrutiny for New York mandatory abortion coverage, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, November 1, 2021, 3:56 PM

Foes of mandatory coverage of abortion in New York State insurance law will have another hearing after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a New York state court to reconsider their decision. The law’s narrow religious exemption wrongly disqualifies many religious groups which object to providing abortion, critics said.

A group of Anglican nuns is among the objectors.

The Anglican sisters are part of a coalition of religious groups challenging the New York State mandate requiring employers to cover abortions in their health plans. They are represented by attorneys from the religious freedom legal group Becket and the law firm Jones Day.


7. Pope, Cardinal Parolin call for concrete action at COP26 summit, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, November 1, 2021

As the U.N. Climate Change Conference began, Pope Francis urged world leaders to take action in stemming the adverse effects of climate change.

Addressing pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 31 for his Sunday Angelus address, the pope called on Christians to pray “so that the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor might be heard.”

As world leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, for the conference, also known as COP26, he also said he hoped it “might provide efficacious responses, offering concrete hope to future generations.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, was leading the Holy See delegation to the COP26 summit.

In an interview Oct. 30 with Vatican News, Parolin said the need to address climate change is a “cultural challenge to promote the common good and a change of outlook that will set human dignity at the center of every action.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a need for a “change of direction” in addressing the climate crisis by strengthening “the covenant between human beings and the natural environment, with particular concern for the most vulnerable peoples,” he said.


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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