TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 133 – Religious Freedom Under Assault & The Ordination Of Michael Nazir-Ali As threats to religious freedom become even more aggressive to the Catholic medical community, Louis Brown of Christ Medicus Foundation joins Dr. Grazie Christie and Ashley McGuire to discuss what Catholics can do to safeguard the conscience of thousands of doctors and nurses who are being forced to treat abortion as ‘healthcare.’ And as Anglican prelate Michael Nazir-Ali was ordained a priest last weekend, Father Ben Kiely of joins to discuss how monumental this conversion truly is–and what impact his voice might have on the persecuted Church in the Middle East. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show on EWTN radio 7amET/5pmET Saturday! 1. Vatican confirms papal trip to Greece, Cyprus in December, By Associated Press, November 5, 2021, 7:52 AM Pope Francis will travel to Greece and the eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus on a five-day trip next month, the Vatican confirmed Friday. The pope will visit Larnaca, Cyprus, from Dec. 2-4, before traveling to Greece, with stops in Athens and on the island of Lesbos, from Dec. 4-6. The Vatican released no further details of the trip. The Cyprus leg had already been confirmed by Cypriot officials, who said that the pontiff will hold talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. Francis will be the second Roman Catholic pontiff ever to travel to the eastern Mediterranean island nation. 2. Pope: Church, shamed by sex abuse, must better protect kids, By Associated Press, November 4, 2021, 10:48 AM Pope Francis on Thursday called on all those who work with children, starting from the scandal-stained Catholic church, to join together in an alliance to better protect sexual and other abuse of minors. In a message to a conference in Rome about keeping children safe, Francis said the church’s own efforts are driven by “the sorrow and the shame for not having always been good custodians in protecting minors who were entrusted to our educational and social activities.” 3. Appeals court agrees city can’t ban Catholic group’s rally, By Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press, November 4, 2021, 2:05 PM A federal appeals court has upheld a judge’s ruling that Baltimore city officials cannot ban a conservative Roman Catholic media outlet from holding a rally at a city-owned pavilion during a U.S. bishops’ meeting. St. Michael’s Media Inc. signed a contract with a city vendor Thursday for its Nov. 16 prayer rally only hours after a three-judge panel from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the group’s favor late Wednesday, according to the Michigan-based media outlet’s attorney, Marc Randazza.“Baltimore hopefully learned a lesson in First Amendment law that its taxpayers now have to pay for,” Randazza told The Associated Press. Cal Harris, a spokesperson for Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, said city officials are disappointed by the 4th Circuit’s decision “and remain concerned about the potential public safety threat to Baltimore City property posed by the rally.” 4. Nebraska AG finds 258 victims of Catholic church sex abuse, By Grant Schulte, Associated Press, November 4, 2021, 4:55 AM A Nebraska attorney general’s office investigation identified 258 victims who made credible allegations of sexual abuse against 57 Catholic church officials in the state going back decades, including many that high-ranking church leaders knew about and didn’t report to the authorities, according to a report released Thursday. Prosecutors can’t charge against any current or former church officials with a crime because the statutes of limitations have expired in the vast majority of cases, Attorney General Doug Peterson said at a news conference announcing the findings. In one case where charges are still possible, Peterson said the accuser declined to participate in a prosecution. The report outlines each known case in graphic detail, stretching from the 1930s to the 2010s. More than 90% of the victims were boys, usually young teenagers who served as altar servers. 5. Cardinal Cupich faces clash of ideas and reality over Traditionis custodes, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, November 4, 2021, Opinion Cardinal Blase Cupich on Monday published an essay outlining his sense of the principles behind Traditionis custodes, Pope Francis’ limitations on celebrations of the Mass using the rubrics which preceded the Church’s liturgical changes occasioned by the Second Vatican Council. But while the cardinal’s support for the pope’s intentions was clear, Cupich’s Archdiocese of Chicago has not yet issued an implementation plan for Traditionis custodes. And how the cardinal approaches that challenge might elucidate the challenge for diocesan bishops of managing the “constant tension between ideas and realities” identified by Pope Francis in Evangelii gaudium. To be sure, the cardinal may not have meant “a break from the past” when he talked about “leaving behind” the Church’s older liturgical and catechetical expressions, but there will be some who take that as his meaning. He may be called upon to clarify that. Nevertheless, whatever challenges await Cardinal Cupich in the world of ideas, his practical challenges might be even more daunting.  Cupich has been clear that the idea of a singular liturgical form is important to the pope, and therefore to diocesan bishops. But there is also a reality: for many Catholics, the faith is tied up intimately with the experience of the Extraordinary Form. It has meaning and importance to them, because it is how they experience and encounter Christ.  To move forward, Cupich might find that gradualism is the right approach, pursued in a spirit of mutual respect, appreciation for the spiritual needs of those whom he leads, and patient commitment to authentic Christian discernment. However he approaches it, Cardinal Cupich’s implementation plan for Traditionis custodes is worth watching. The cardinal faces a clash of ideas and reality. If that clash can be resolved peacefully, in line with the principles emphasized by Pope Francis, it might be exactly the “paradigm shift” that the cardinal has been talking about. 6. US Bishops: Abortion Funding a ‘Fundamental Problem’ in Proposed Federal Budget, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, November 4, 2021 The presence of expanded taxpayer funding of abortion in the proposed federal budget is “completely unacceptable”, despite many worthy programs that help the poor and vulnerable, the U.S. bishops have said in a call to restore long-standing Hyde Amendment limits. “(I)t is completely unacceptable that the current House version of the Build Back Better Act expands taxpayer funding of abortion,” six committee heads with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a Nov. 3 letter to members of Congress. “We have been consistent in our position and reiterate that it would be a calamity if the important and life-affirming provisions in this bill were accompanied by provisions facilitating and funding the destruction of unborn human life,” they said. “No proposal to support individuals needing affordable health care coverage should compel Americans to pay for the destruction of human life through their tax dollars.” 7. Reflections on the Church and America’s New Religions, The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops articulates a constructive Christian response to the challenge posed by “woke” secular ideologies and social justice movements., By Archbishop José H. Gomez, National Catholic Register, November 4, 2021, Opinion First, I want to talk about the wider context of the global movement of secularization and de-Christianization and the impact of the pandemic. Second, I want to offer a “spiritual interpretation” of the new social justice and political identity movements in America. Finally, I want to suggest some evangelical priorities for the Church as we confront the realities of the present moment.   An elite leadership class has risen in our countries that has little interest in religion and no real attachments to the nations they live in or to local traditions or cultures. This group, which is in charge in corporations, governments, universities, the media, and in the cultural and professional establishments, wants to establish what we might call a global civilization, built on a consumer economy and guided by science, technology, humanitarian values, and technocratic ideas about organizing society. In this elite worldview, there is no need for old-fashioned belief systems and religions. In fact, as they see it, religion, especially Christianity, only gets in the way of the society they hope to build. That is important to remember. In practice, as our Popes have pointed out, secularization means “de-Christianization.” For years now, there has been a deliberate effort in Europe and America to erase the Christian roots of society and to suppress any remaining Christian influences.  Here is my thesis. I believe the best way for the Church to understand the new social justice movements is to understand them as pseudo-religions, and even replacements and rivals to traditional Christian beliefs. With the breakdown of the Judeo-Christian worldview and the rise of secularism, political belief systems based on social justice or personal identity have come to fill the space that Christian belief and practice once occupied. Whatever we call these movements — “social justice,” “wokeness,” “identity politics,” “intersectionality,” “successor ideology” — they claim to offer what religion provides. They provide people with an explanation for events and conditions in the world. They offer a sense of meaning, a purpose for living, and the feeling of belonging to a community. Even more than that, like Christianity, these new movements tell their own “story of salvation.”  Today’s critical theories and ideologies are profoundly atheistic. They deny the soul, the spiritual, transcendent dimension of human nature; or they think that it is irrelevant to human happiness. They reduce what it means to be human to essentially physical qualities — the color of our skin, our sex, our notions of gender, our ethnic background, or our position in society. No doubt that we can recognize in these movements certain elements of liberation theology, they seem to be coming from the same Marxist cultural vision. Also, these movements resemble some of the heresies that we find in Church history.  In denying God, these new movements have lost the truth about the human person. This explains their extremism, and their harsh, uncompromising, and unforgiving approach to politics.  That leads me to my final set of reflections. The question is: What is to be done? How should the Church respond to these new secular movements for social change? My answer is simple. We need to proclaim Jesus Christ. Boldly, creatively. We need to tell our story of salvation in a new way. With charity and confidence, without fear. This is the Church’s mission in every age and every cultural moment.

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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