TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 188 – Walking With Moms In Need & Melissa Overmyer On From Worry To Wonder As families gather together this week for Thanksgiving looking ahead to the Advent season, the TCA team revisits with Melissa Overmyer to explore her latest book, From Worry to Wonder: A Catholic Guide to Finding Peace Through Scripture.  On the heels of the USCCB Fall meeting and Bishop Burbidge being appointed the conference’s pro-life chair, Kat Talalas and Chelsy Gomez discuss the important work of Walking with Moms in NeedFather Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Italy’s budget moves ahead without controversial bonus for church weddings, By Crux, November 22, 2022 Italy’s new right-wing government submitted a $35 billion budget plan to the country’s parliament last week, without a controversial proposal from one of the parties that compose the governing majority to subsidize marriages in the Catholic Church. As part of the discussion around the new budget, which is submitted by the government every year in the late fall, five parliamentarians from the right-wing, anti-immigrant Lega party had proposed a tax deduction of up to $20,000, payable in five annual installments of $4,000 each, for couples under the age of 35 with an income of less than $23,000 and who choose to get married in the Catholic Church. The Lega is among the conservative parties supporting the government of Italy’s new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The parliamentarians cited a sharp decline in religious weddings in Italy to justify the proposal. As recently as 1970, 98 percent of all weddings in the country were held in the Catholic Church; by 2020, on the other hand, less then half of all Italian weddings took place in the church, and one in three newborns in the county had parents who aren’t married at all.  Many Catholic commentators, meanwhile, said that the proposal also violated the church’s own Code of Canon Law – specifically, canon 1102 – according to which a marriage is invalid if it was conditioned by the promise of some future condition. Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life and is also Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, came out against the idea. “For the church, marriage is a sacrament that can’t be bought,” Paglia said. “The believer who chooses a church wedding won’t be swayed by a tax deduction.” 2. Malta proposes bill to ease EU’s strictest anti-abortion law, By Kevin Schembri Orland, Associated Press, November 21, 2022, 2:19 PM Malta’s government introduced proposed legislation Monday to ease the European Union’s strictest anti-abortion law and allow the procedure in cases where the mother’s life or health is at risk. The move comes after a headline-grabbing case involving an American tourist who miscarried and was airlifted off the Mediterranean island to get treatment. The overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Malta is the only one of the EU’s 27 nations that still prohibits abortion for any reason, with laws making it a crime punishable by up to three years in prison to have the procedure or up to four years to assist a woman in having an abortion. The law, however, is rarely enforced, with the last known case of someone being jailed dating from 1980. 3. Where does the German bishops’ trip to Rome leave their ‘synodal way’?, By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, November 21, 2022, 3:41 PM Germany’s bishops ended their ad limina visit to Rome last Friday with an unusual meeting in the auditorium of the Augustinianum Patristic Institute, near St. Peter’s Square. The gathering was billed as a “showdown” between, on one side, the majority of the German bishops who support the country’s “synodal way” and, on the other, Pope Francis and top curial officials. The synodal way is a multi-year project bringing together Germany’s bishops and lay people to discuss four main topics — power, the priesthood, women in the Church, and sexuality — amid a devastating abuse crisis. The initiative —  not to be confused with the global Synodal Process —  has repeatedly raised the hackles of curial officials. The pope was a no-show on Friday, concluding perhaps that his nearly two-hour meeting with the German bishops the day before was sufficient. photograph from Friday’s meeting showed Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and bishops’ dicastery prefect Cardinal Marc Ouellet staring down at the German bishops from a raised platform. Did that photo ⁠— which depicted the curial titans looming over tiny bishops ⁠— accurately capture the meeting’s dynamic? It’s hard to say from the communiqué released hours later. The roughly 600-word text, issued jointly by the Holy See and the German bishops’ conference, was written in the strange and sometimes impenetrable language favored by the Secretariat of State.  The joint communiqué’s second point was its “buried lede”: that the Vatican side had proposed a moratorium on the synodal way but this was “not pursued.”  Why did the Vatican call for a moratorium now, almost three years into an initiative that’s expected to end next spring? Ring-Eifel reported that German bishops’ conference chairman Bishop Georg Bätzing saw the proposal as “an attempt by the Vatican to contain a feared ‘conflagration’ which, starting from the German demands for reform, could spread to large parts of the worldwide Catholic Church.” But two obvious questions remain unanswered: Did Pope Francis support the moratorium? And why was it presented only as a request? 4. Vatican memos: Financial office risked becoming ‘a charade’, Internal Vatican documents from 2016 warned top financial departments risked “the appearance of ongoing reform, but with no real substance.”, By The Pillar, November 21, 2022, 6:54 PM Internal Vatican reports warned in 2016 that a papally-created financial reform group was in danger of becoming “a charade.” Sources also say that Cardinal Angelo Becciu authorized that year a move to drain the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy’s bank account of millions of euros overnight, in a bid to undercut the department’s independence. Confidential Vatican records show that senior members of the Vatican’s Council for the Economy were warned in 2016 that the body, set up by Pope Francis in 2014, was in danger of becoming “useful to give the appearance of ongoing reform, but with no real substance,” and that it was no longer clear “what, exactly the role of the Council for the Economy now is.” Interdepartmental memos obtained by The Pillar also warned that the annual Peter’s Pence collection was almost entirely being spent on Vatican bureaucracy because curial officials were “failing to do their jobs,” and that the decision to cancel an external audit of curial finances in 2016 was made by officials “entirely unqualified to do so.” Internal Vatican documents obtained by The Pillar also show that Libero Milone, the former auditor general of the Vatican, was investigating a series of financial irregularities at APSA, the Holy See’s sovereign wealth manager and paymaster department, including “a dangerously, highly centralised investment process and opaque portfolio management operation that breed irregularities and represent significant exposure to fraud.” Milone, who is currently attempting to sue the Vatican for wrongful dismissal, has recently complained that APSA was used to hobble his department’s budget and staffing as it uncovered financial malpractice. 5. Did the Vatican ‘snub’ German bishops over Synodal Way?, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, November 21, 2022, 10:04 AM On Saturday, a president of the German Synodal Way accused the Vatican of “snubbing” German Catholics. Irme Stetter-Karp is president of the Central Committee of German Catholics and co-president of the Synodal Way. In a statement released Nov. 19, the laywoman said that the “fundamental criticism of the Synodal Way” raised last week by the Vatican “not only snubs the German bishops, who overwhelmingly consider reforms necessary. It also disregards the impatience of many Catholics with their Church.” Sixty-three German bishops were in Rome last week for talks with Pope Francis and the Roman Curia.  A joint statement issued by the Holy See and the German Bishops’ Conference on Friday spoke of dialogue and patience — but otherwise showed there was little agreement between the Vatican and the German prelates over the process that has raised worldwide concerns and warnings of a new schism coming out of Germany. 6. Sen. Mike Lee challenges Republicans backing ‘Respect for Marriage Act’, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, November 21, 2022, 11:20 AM Sen. Mike Lee of Utah is calling on the 12 Republican senators who voted to advance the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) to adopt protections for Americans who believe marriage is between one man and one woman. “The undersigned ask that you oppose cloture [closing or ending debate] on the Respect for Marriage Act unless the Lee amendment is added to the bill,” Lee, together with 20 other Republican lawmakers, wrote Thursday. “The free exercise of religion is absolutely essential to the health of our Republic. We must have the courage to protect it.” If added to the act, the proposed Lee amendment would prohibit the federal government from discriminating against anyone who holds a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is a union between one man and one woman or is a union between two individuals. 7. Albany bishop asking to be laicized isn’t barred from publicly celebrating sacraments, as he claims, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, November 21, 2022, 4:10 PM Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany has asked the Vatican to laicize him, claiming that Church policy prohibits him from publicly exercising his priestly functions while he is under investigation for sexual abuse allegations. However, the Albany Diocese clarified Monday that Hubbard does retain the freedom to publicly celebrate the sacraments but has voluntarily stopped doing so. “We would like to correct a point in some reports that said there is a diocesan policy that forbids an accused bishop from sacramental ministry,” the diocese said in a statement. “A diocesan bishop may regulate, that is, limit, circumscribe, or ban exercise within his diocese of any or all sacramental ministries. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger [the current bishop of Albany] has done so in some cases, but in the case of Bishop Hubbard, it is he alone who voluntarily removed himself from any public celebration of sacraments,” the diocese’s statement 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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