1. China criticizes pope over comment on Uighur Muslim minority, By Associated Press, November 24, 2020, 4:38 AM

China criticized Pope Francis on Tuesday over a passage in his new book in which he mentions suffering by China’s Uighur Muslim minority group.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Francis’ remarks had “no factual basis at all.”

“People of all ethnic groups enjoy the full rights of survival, development, and freedom of religious belief,” Zhao said at a daily briefing.

Zhao made no mention of the camps in which more than 1 million Uighurs and members of other Chinese Muslim minority groups have been held.

In his new book “Let Us Dream,” due Dec. 1, Francis listed the “poor Uighurs” among examples of groups persecuted for their faith.


2. Buffalo Diocese Is Accused Of Coverup, By Ian Lovett and Deanna Paul, The Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2020, Pg. A3

New York’s attorney general on Monday sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, accusing church officials of covering up decades of sexual abuse of children.

The lawsuit also names as defendants Bishop Emeritus Richard J. Malone and former Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, who it accuses of using procedural maneuvers for years to shield priests accused of abusing minors from repercussions. Instead of reporting the allegations to law enforcement or church officials, the suit says the bishops classified dozens of accused priests as “unassignable,” permitting them to retire or take medical leave while staying on the diocese’s payroll.

Such steps would violate the Dallas Charter, a document signed in 2002 by Catholic bishops, including Bishops Malone and Grosz. The protocols were designed to prevent coverups of sexual abuse in the church.


3. Pope Francis Meeting with athletes centered on social justice efforts amid U.S. unrest, By Chico Harlan, The Washington Post, November 24, 2020, Pg. A1

In a meeting initiated by the Vatican, Pope Francis on Monday hosted a group of NBA players to hear about their social justice activism at a time of deep polarization in the United States.

The meeting, with five players who have been vocal on such matters as White privilege and police violence, offers a glimpse into what aspects of U.S. society the pontiff thinks are most important. The meeting also shows the reach of sports activism in the United States, where athletes, many of them Black, have become some of the highest-profile proponents for social change.


4. Bitter Taste of Hypocrisy Lingers After Newsom’s Meal, By Ashley McGuire, Real Clear Politics, November 24, 2020, Opinion

At this point, who hasn’t seen the photos of the governor of the most populous state in the country — with some of the most severe COVID restrictions to be found — sipping wine and dining maskless, crammed around a table with a dozen or so elites at arguably the most famous and hoity-toity restaurant in America? 

The in-your-face elitism of it all would make Marie Antoinette blush, never mind the fact that the restaurant is called French Laundry. It’s too much.  

It’s a level of hypocrisy that, even in today’s world of pandemic contradictions from the top, is hard to take.

His dinner party happened just days after he enacted severe Thanksgiving measures on the state’s hoi polloi relating to “social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place.” He required that families limit celebrations to two hours, outdoors, with everyone masked and those gathered be from no more than three households. Compare that to his indoor dinner party at a $350-per-plate restaurant with more than a dozen people, all from different households, wearing no masks and standing/sitting inches apart.  

“But more serious than Turkey Day crackdowns has been the California governor’s unrelenting restrictions on a different kind of “social situation” that bears constitutional protections: religious worship. Newsom has maintained some of the most severe indoor and outdoor limitations in the country, with services limited in one part of the state as late as October to just 12 people outdoors. This prompted lawsuits and efforts from the highest levels of Catholic leadership to “free the Mass,” with bishops merely asking for the same standards as restaurants like French Laundry.

Most recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Newsom’s restrictions. In his dissent, Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain wrote, “At present, in 18 counties in California — home to more than 15 million residents and including its most populous county, Los Angeles — indoor religious worship services are completely prohibited.”  

In essence, Judge O’Scannlain was arguing that you cannot restrict attendance at the Lord’s Supper more severely than attendance at your friend’s French Laundry supper and use “global pandemic” as your excuse.

The state is well within its rights to enact reasonable restrictions during a major health crisis to protect the safety of all. Many people have been dutifully complying, even when those restrictions aren’t reasonable, for eight months now. But when Newsom fights the faithful in their pleas to safely worship with one hand and feeds himself, quite literally, in a glorious act of self-righteous hypocrisy, with the other, he does more than undermine the efforts to protect health and safety that he purportedly leads. He undermines public confidence in the rule of law itself, the damaging effects of which will extend far beyond this pandemic.  

Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association and the author of “Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female.” Follow her on Twitter: @AshMcG


5. Some bishops seek common ground, not confrontation, with Biden, Will the new working group hinder relationship with the second Catholic president?, By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter, November 24, 2020

After a relatively uneventful virtual semiannual meeting, the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference surprised some of his fellow bishops in the final minutes of their assembly last week with a cliffhanger: Catholic President-elect Joe Biden’s stance on abortion causes confusion, said Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, as he announced the formation of a working group to examine what this would mean for the bishops’ conference.

Biden’s support for legal abortion is well known, as is Catholic teaching against it. Some bishops are concerned that, by choosing to focus on the disagreements rather than areas of shared cause, the posture of the bishops’ conference toward the second Catholic president in U.S. history could damage possible collaboration on a range of issues where they believe there is common ground.


6. Pope book backs George Floyd protests, blasts virus skeptic, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, November 23, 2020, 10:05 AM

In “Let Us Dream,” Francis also criticizes populist politicians who whip up rallies in ways reminiscent of the 1930s, and the hypocrisy of “rigid” conservative Catholics who support them. But he also criticizes the forceful downing of historic statues during protests for racial equality this year as a misguided attempt to “purify the past.”

The 150-page book, due out Dec. 1, was ghost-written by Francis’ English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh, and at times the prose and emphasis seems almost more Ivereigh’s than Francis.’


7. Cardinal Becciu launches second defamation lawsuit since resignation, By Catholic News Agency, November 23, 2020, 2:00 PM

Cardinal Angelo Becciu is launching a second defamation lawsuit in relation to “offensive” media reports surrounding the events that led to his resignation from the rights of a cardinal, his lawyer told CNA Nov. 23.

The latest lawsuit involves statements made by an Italian woman, Geneviève Ciferri Putignani, to the Italian newspaper “La Verita,” published Nov. 22, in which Putignani alleged that Becciu accused her of plotting against him, while swearing and invoking the names of God and the pope  — a claim the cardinal strongly rejects.


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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