1. Church Says China Broke Agreement, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2022, Pg. A9 The Vatican accused China of violating a power-sharing agreement on the appointment of bishops, expressing growing frustration over its relationship with Beijing as China seeks to tighten control of religion. Chinese officials installed a Catholic bishop as leader of a diocese unrecognized by Rome, the Vatican said in a statement Saturday, adding that the move broke a 2018 agreement and the spirit of dialogue between the two parties.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/vatican-says-china-broke-agreement-on-bishops-11669480974__________________________________________________________ 2. Amid Scandals and Politics, Poland’s Youths Lose Faith in Catholic Church, The Polish church is in a deep crisis, as its authority is sapped by cascading sexual abuse scandals and as more people grow wary of its perceived alliance with the country’s right-wing government., By Andrew Higgins, The New York Times, November 28, 2022, 3:00 AM report issued last November by C.B.O.S., a government-funded polling agencyfound that only 23 percent of Poles under 25 regularly go to church, a third the level of three decades ago. The Catholic Information Agency reported that only 20 percent of young people now disapprove of sex before marriage. The primate of the Polish church, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, deplored what he called a “devastating” decline in religious practice among younger Poles.  Compared with most other European countries, Poland is still a bastion of faith, with nearly 94 percent of the population identifying as Catholic, according to the Central Statistical Office. The church, deeply implanted in society thanks to its more than 33,000 priests in 10,382 parishes, is also closely aligned with the Polish government. Dominated since 2015 by Law and Justice, the government has delivered changes dear to the church: a near total ban on abortion, a ban on Sunday shopping, the expanded use of a law banning “blasphemy” and a drive to root out what it denounces as “L.G.B.T. ideology.”  Rural areas have largely avoided this collapse.  But even there, disillusionment with the church over its handling of predatory priests bubbled below the display of devotion.  A big factor in the Polish church’s failure to tackle sexual abuse, according to Professor Kobylinski, is the legacy of Communist rule, during which accusations of rape and molestation against priests were routinely dismissed as fabrications spread by secret police agents dedicated to atheism. To defend itself against the state, he added, the church developed a “culture of omertà,” or silence.  https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/28/world/europe/poland-catholic-church-youth.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Francis Defends His Stance on Ukraine War, The pontiff stressed the importance of diplomacy in dealing with Russia and China, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2022, 6:00 AM Pope Francis defended his practice of not naming Russia as the aggressor in Ukraine, saying that his condemnation of Moscow has been clear even though not explicit. The pope, speaking to a U.S. Catholic magazine, emphasized the value of diplomacy in the Vatican’s approach to the Ukraine war, as well as in regard to China. “When I speak about Ukraine, I speak of a people who are martyred. If you have a martyred people, you have someone who martyrs them,” the pope told America magazine in an interview published Monday. “It is well known whom I am condemning. It is not necessary that I put a name and surname.” “Why do I not name Putin? Because it is not necessary,” the pope said. “Everyone knows my stance, with Putin or without Putin.”  https://www.wsj.com/articles/pope-francis-defends-his-stance-on-ukraine-war-11669633201__________________________________________________________ 4. Detroit Bishop Calls for Penitential Advent After Passage of Michigan Abortion Initiative, Archbishop Vignernon calls on Michigan Catholics to spend the first two weeks of Advent doing penance following the passage of a constitutional amendment to allow abortion on demand., By Catholic News Agency, November 27, 2022 The archbishop of Detroit is calling on Michigan Catholics to spend the first two weeks of Advent doing penance following the passage of a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to allow abortion on demand. Archbishop Allen Vigneron addressed a letter to all parishioners the day after Proposition 3 passed with 56.7% of the vote. “Abortion is now legal in Michigan at an unprecedented level, and millions of lives are at stake. We must pray and ask God for his mercy upon us for allowing this evil to happen in our state,” Archbishop Vigneron wrote.  In his letter, Archbishop Vigneron also underlined the importance of offering pregnant women in need help during times of crisis.  He singled out the Walking With Moms in Need initiative and Project Rachel as two important ministries that help pregnant women, mothers and children, and those who have been harmed by abortion.  https://www.ncregister.com/cna/detroit-bishop-calls-for-penitential-advent-after-passage-of-michigan-abortion-initiative__________________________________________________________ 5. Cardinal Sarah: ‘Religious liberty is under threat in the West, too’, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, November 27, 2022, 8:00 AM Christians in the West should not take religious liberty and freedom of worship for granted, Cardinal Robert Sarah said in a recent interview with EWTN News. “Threats against religious liberty take many forms. Countless martyrs continue to die for the faith around the world,” the 77-year-old Sarah said. “But religious liberty is under threat in the West, too.” “It is not often an overt threat, or hatred of the faith,” he added, but an “implicit bias against Christianity.”  He criticized what he called the wide acceptance of “draconian restrictions” on Mass attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We cannot forget this: The Eucharist is the source and the summit of a Christian life,” he stressed. “Adaptation,” he continued, “is necessary at times. We’ll face more pandemics and other emergencies, and there will be debate concerning how best to address this in relation to the celebration of the Eucharist. This is good. Liberal democracy requires debate, but never can the importance of our worship of God be forgotten or neglected in the course of debate. Liberal democracy must not forget God.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252904/cardinal-sarah-religious-liberty-is-under-threat-in-the-west-too__________________________________________________________ 6. Vatican Tells Catholics to Make ‘Faith-Consistent’ Investments, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2022, Pg. B11 The Vatican called on Catholic institutions and believers around the world to avoid investing their money in companies that produce fossil fuels, violent videogames and drugs that induce abortion, among other products. The Vatican’s first-ever guidelines on “faith-consistent investing,” released on Friday, are the highest-level effort so far to direct investments in accordance with Catholic teaching. They call for “proactive positive investing” in industries such as renewable energy and microfinance. The guidelines, which are based on Catholic principles including social solidarity and human rights, also reflect the priorities of Pope Francis, who has made protection of the environment and economic justice signature causes of his pontificate. Cardinal Peter Turkson, who oversaw development of the guidelines, described them as a “wake-up call” to the many dioceses and institutions that haven’t developed their own rules on which financial investments are inappropriate. He stressed that the Vatican guidelines are advisory and that investment decisions lie with the officials in charge of particular institutions.  Cardinal Turkson and Father Finn said the guidelines don’t necessarily mean Catholic institutions or individuals should divest from companies in the problematic areas, but the guidelines call on shareholders to engage when possible with management in order to shape company policy in accordance with Catholic values and the emission reduction goals of the Paris agreement.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/vatican-tells-catholics-how-to-make-faith-consistent-investments-11669402185__________________________________________________________ 7. The Baseless Attacks on Catholic Hospitals, By Ashley E. McGuire, National Review, November 25, 2022, 6:30 AM, Opinion Catholic hospitals ministering to the neediest on the margins of society are the latest targets of ideological attacks from the abortion lobby and its allies. The fearmongering fantasies of those carrying water for the abortion industry say that the prevalence of Catholic hospital systems will somehow endanger women’s health. They will keep repeating this lie until they run out of air. In fact, smearing Catholic hospitals is part of a thinly veiled attempt to force Catholic health-care workers to violate their religious beliefs and ultimately to shut Catholic hospitals down. “I don’t want your god in charge of my health care,” was the title of one hateful piece maliciously accusing Catholic hospitals of establishing “a Commonwealth of Religious Deference, where . . . citizens can be denied basic services as long as someone has decided that’s the way God wants it.” Another recent piece, titled “Spread of Catholic hospitals limits reproductive care across the U.S.,” claims that “their ascendancy has broad implications for the evolving national battle over reproductive rights beyond abortion,” and regurgitates the bald-faced lie that Catholic religious beliefs about abortion translate to “limited treatment options for obstetric care during miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.” The president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association was quick to respond in a letter, stating that not only do “Catholic health clinicians provide medically indicated treatment, even if it poses a threat to the unborn child or might result in the unintended death of the child” when there is a pregnancy emergency, they are “both clinically and ethically required” to do so. In other words, the ethical principles guiding Catholic hospitals in no way compromise women’s health, as elective abortion is never part of medically indicated care.  The Catholic hospital system stands in the void, acting as the largest nongovernmental, nonprofit provider of health care to low-income women. Furthermore, larger Catholic health systems reinvest a significant portion of their funding — as high as 20 percent — back into the community and health-care services for the poor. For-profit hospitals, by contrast, reinvest an average of 1 percent of their earnings back into health-care charity. And then there are the nearly 1 million low-income Americans, one-fourth of them children, aided annually by the work of Catholic Charities that provides health services like dental clinics, psychiatric care, and addiction counseling. The reason Catholic hospitals and health services are so prevalent in places where secular options are not is that their deepest motivation is to meet the needs of those who would otherwise go without. The abortion lobby, meanwhile, reveals its motivations in its readiness to cut off health-care access to millions of the poorest Americans over abortion. Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association and the author of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female. https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/11/the-baseless-attacks-on-catholic-hospitals/__________________________________________________________ 8. Hong Kong court convicts Cardinal Zen, 5 others over fund, By Kanis Leung, Associated Press, November 25, 2022, 1:31 AM A 90-year-old Roman Catholic cardinal and five others in Hong Kong were fined after being found guilty Friday of failing to register a now-defunct fund that aimed to help people arrested in the widespread protests three years ago. Cardinal Joseph Zen, a retired bishop and a vocal democracy advocate of the city, arrived at court in a black outfit and used a walking stick. He was first arrested in May on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces under a Beijing-imposed National Security Law. His arrest sent shockwaves through the Catholic community, although the Vatican only stated it was monitoring the development of the situation closely. While Zen and other activists at the trial have not yet been charged with national security-related charges, they were charged with failing to properly register the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pay medical and legal fees for arrested protesters beginning in 2019. It ceased operations in October 2021.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hong-kong-court-convicts-cardinal-zen-5-others-over-fund/2022/11/24/9ee4b3ae-6c7d-11ed-8619-0b92f0565592_story.html__________________________________________________________ 9France takes 1st step to add abortion right to constitution, By Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press, November 24, 2022 Lawmakers in France’s lower house of parliament on Thursday adopted a bill to enshrine abortion rights in the country’s constitution, the first step in a lengthy and uncertain legislative battle prompted by the rollback of abortion rights in the United States. The measure was approved with 337 lawmakers voting for and 32 against in the 557-member National Assembly. To be added into the constitution, any measure must be first approved by majorities in the National Assembly and the upper house, the Senate, and then in a nationwide referendum.  https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-europe-france-constitutions-4f7ff2bd897bd2608a5d42100b0099d3__________________________________________________________ 10. Vatican court hears secret recording of pope on hostage fees, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, November 24, 2022, 3:05 PM The Vatican tribunal weighing a financial fraud case heard from an unusual witness Thursday, when a secret recording of Pope Francis was played to the court about the Holy See’s payments to free a nun held hostage by al-Qaida-linked militants.  The broadcast of the pope’s own voice in the courtroom marked a surreal new chapter in a trial that has already seen plenty of twists as Vatican judges try to determine who, if anyone, is criminally responsible for losing tens of millions of euros in Holy See assets. Vatican prosecutors introduced the recording into evidence Thursday, saying it was part of a trove of material recently obtained from Italian financial police who are investigating a Sardinian charity linked to Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a onetime close Francis collaborator who is one of the 10 defendants in the Vatican trial.  While the recording cast a questionable light on Becciu for having secretly recorded the pope, it substantiated claims by Becciu and other defendants that Francis was indeed familiar with, and in some cases approved, some of the expenditures that are at issue in the trial. There is no provision in the Vatican law for the pope to be interrogated during a criminal trial, but defense lawyers have said they want to ask him what he knows about the various financial decisions, and said the audio recording bolstered their argument that the pope’s testimony is critical to the trial. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/vatican-court-hears-secret-recording-of-pope-on-hostage-fees/2022/11/24/7fdef4c2-6c25-11ed-8619-0b92f0565592_story.html__________________________________________________________ 11. Vatican publishes cardinals’ critiques of German ‘synodal way’, The cardinals’ reports were delivered to the German bishops on the last day of their ad limina visit to Rome., By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, November 24, 2022, 11:29 AM The Vatican released on Thursday a far-reaching critique of the “synodal way” delivered by senior officials to German bishops. L’Osservatore Romano published on Nov. 24 the theological reports prepared by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, and Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. The cardinals presented their reports to Germany’s bishops on Nov. 18, the last day of their ad limina visit to Rome, at an “interdicasterial meeting” in the auditorium of the Augustinianum Patristic Institute, near St. Peter’s Square.  In his approximately 1,500-word intervention, Cardinal Ouellet began by praising the German bishops for the seriousness of their response to an abuse crisis that has shaken the country’s Catholics and led to a mass exodus of Church members. But he said that the synodal way’s proposals raised “serious difficulties from an anthropological, pastoral, and ecclesiological point of view,” referring to criticisms that they could lead to schism. The Canadian cardinal said he understood that German bishops were not seeking a break with the universal Church, but were making “concessions” under “very strong cultural and media pressure.” “It is striking, however, that the agenda of a limited group of theologians from a few decades ago has suddenly become the majority proposal of the German episcopate: abolition of compulsory celibacy, ordination of viri probati, access of women to the ordained ministry, moral re-evaluation of homosexuality, structural and functional limitation of hierarchical power, reflections on sexuality inspired by gender theory, major proposed changes to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc,” he said. “‘What happened?’ and ‘Where have we ended up?’ many believers and observers ask in astonishment. It is difficult to avoid the impression that the extremely serious matter of the abuse cases has been exploited to push through other ideas not directly related to it.”He added that the synodal way appeared to seek the “transformation of the Church” and “not only pastoral innovations in the moral or dogmatic field,” arguing that this “hurts the communion of the Church because it sows doubt and confusion among the people of God.” https://www.pillarcatholic.com/vatican-publishes-cardinals-critiques-of-german-synodal-way/__________________________________________________________ 12. After Dobbs: A Thanksgiving for the Brave Love of Adoption, Being asked to be the mother of another woman’s child is the greatest gift I have ever received, By Leigh Snead, National Catholic Register, November 23, 2022, Opinion We received the call this past March. After eight months of actively waiting, my husband and I had come to terms with fact that maybe a fourth child just wasn’t God’s plan for us. We agreed that we had been blessed beyond all measure by our three adopted sons. But then the call came. A fourth adoption was very much possible. A birth mother had chosen us to be the parents of her child. Her little boy — our little boy — was born just three weeks later. And, so, almost exactly 11 years after the birth of our twin sons, we became a family of six, with four beautiful sons, ages 6 months to 17 years old. We are so thankful. It wasn’t long before something else, nearly as incredible, happened. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs case. Exactly three months after the birth of our new, sweet baby boy — the wondrously made fruit of an unplanned and undesired pregnancy — the law would now permit the nation’s political branches to protect our tiniest, most vulnerable brothers and sisters. The pro-life cause has always been dear to our hearts, as Catholics, as Americans, as human beings. In both our personal and professional lives, my husband and I have worked to protect the lives of the unborn — and to love and care for their mothers. We were overjoyed to see Roe’s unlimited abortion license overturned in the Dobbs case. We’re already seeing what this can mean on the ground. In Texas, for example, restrictive abortion legislation has led to fewer abortions and more babies born (and no reported spike in maternal deaths). How that will affect the numbers of babies placed for adoption remains to be seen. But if we can promote adoption as a good and empowering choice for mothers to make when they’re unable or unwilling to welcome a child, they will certainly rise.  So this Thanksgiving I give thanks for my boys and their birth mothers’ brave love. I thank God for the love and support our family and friends have showered upon us and our boys through our adoption journey. I’m grateful for the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, and I pray that when faced with an unplanned, unwanted or crisis pregnancy, women will choose life for their babies and see adoption as an empowering choice. I pray, too, that a waiting mother’s empty arms will soon be holding a baby of her own. Leigh Fitzpatrick Snead is a fellow for The Catholic Association. She is a writer, editor, speaker and mother of four whose work engages questions of popular culture, motherhood, family, and the Church. She serves on the Executive Board of Human Life Action, a project of National Committee for a Human Life Amendment. Leigh lives with her husband Carter and four sons in Granger, Indiana. https://www.ncregister.com/blog/after-dobbs-a-thanksgiving-for-the-brave-love-of-adoption__________________________________________________________ 13. After midterms, states weighing abortion protections, bans, By Amy Forliti and Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press, November 23, 2022 Democrats hope to use their newfound political control in some states to guarantee that women have access to abortion, while some GOP strongholds may temper their efforts to deepen restrictions after poorer-than-expected results in the midterms. Even after their gains this month, Democrats lack the power to codify abortion rights into federal law. That puts the abortion debate squarely on the states to navigate and rework the patchwork of laws that have been in place since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. There will still be a patchwork of policies: In Minnesota, Democrats are planning to add the right to abortion into state law. In the GOP stronghold of Florida, leaders are talking about more restrictions but haven’t settled on a plan. In Pennsylvania, pickups for Democrats mean they can likely stop Republicans from adding anti-abortion language to the state constitution, and in divided states such as Wisconsin, a legislative stalemate remains. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-minnesota-government-and-politics-dfd82ea258e2f8544bb09cea83cabf07__________________________________________________________ 14. Georgia high court reinstates ban on abortions after 6 weeks, By Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press, November 23, 2022 The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the state’s ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, abruptly ending access to later abortions that had resumed days earlier. In a one-page order, the justices put a lower court ruling overturning the ban on hold while they consider an appeal. Doctors who had resumed providing abortions after six weeks had to immediately stop. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-georgia-atlanta-government-and-politics-2684684dc929966c1647094883cda2f8__________________________________________________________ 15. Pope Francis IDs successor to conservative Providence bishop, By David Klepper, Associated Press, November 23, 2022, 11:57 AM Pope Francis has named a Catholic priest from New York to succeed Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin when the conservative cleric retires, potentially next year. Tobin held a press conference Wednesday morning at the cathedral in Providence to announce the changes. He said the transition is meant to ensure his replacement is ready to go when he retires. The Most Reverend Richard G. Henning is the new coadjutor bishop of Providence with a right of succession. When he does take over, Henning will replace a religious leader whose conservative stance on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage had prompted backlash.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/pope-francis-ids-successor-to-conservative-providence-bishop/2022/11/23/d4f1a626-6b49-11ed-8619-0b92f0565592_story.html__________________________________________________________ 16. Becciu ‘coulda-been-pope’ lawsuit dismissed, An Italian court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Cardinal Angelo Becciu which alleged that unfavorable media coverage cost him his chance to be pope., By The Pillar, November 23, 2022, 12:13 PM An Italian court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Cardinal Angelo Becciu which alleged that unfavorable media coverage cost him his chance to be pope. After recent legal setbacks in two lawsuits, the cardinal is ordered to pay thousands in damages and court costs. Italian journalists reported Wednesday that Becciu’s lawsuit against Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso has been dismissed in a civil court of Sanssari, in Sardinia. A judge ordered the cardinal to pay the magazine’s legal costs. Becciu filed suit against L’Espresso in November 2020, weeks after he was sacked from his curial positions by Pope Francis and ordered to resign his rights as a cardinal. The cardinal’s lawsuit claimed L’Espresso’s coverage of the financial scandal at the Secretariat of State had contributed unfairly to the pope’s decision to fire Becciu, damaged his reputation, and cost Becciu the chance of being elected pope in a future conclave. The cardinal had sought 10 million euros in damages from the publication. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/becciu-loses-coulda-been-pope-lawsuit/__________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.