1. Ailing Pope Francis meets with European rabbis and condemns antisemitism, terrorism, war, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, November 6, 2023, 7:57 AM Pope Francis met with European rabbis on Monday and decried antisemitism, war and terrorism in a written speech he declined to read, saying he wasn’t feeling well. Francis told the rabbis during the audience in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace that he was very happy to receive them, but added: “I’m not feeling well, and so I prefer not to read the speech but give it to you, so you can take it with you.” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope “has a bit of a cold and a long day of audiences.’’ The 86-year-old pontiff ”preferred to greet the European rabbis individually, and that’s why he handed over his speech.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/06/pope-francis-health-rabbis-antisemitism/00d2b7a6-7c94-11ee-b5cc-66c30a3bbb91_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. Head of China’s state-backed Catholic church will visit Hong Kong as ties with Vatican are strained, By Kanis Leung, Associated Press, November 4, 2023, 7:33 AM The leader of China’s Communist Party-sponsored version of the Catholic church will visit Hong Kong this month at the invitation of the city’s pope-appointed Roman Catholic cardinal, fostering dialogue as China-Vatican relations remain strained. Joseph Li, the state-appointed archbishop of Beijing, will take a five-day trip to Hong Kong starting Nov. 14 at the invitation of the city’s newly appointed cardinal Stephen Chow, according to a statement from the Hong Kong diocese. Chow made the invitation during his landmark trip to Beijing in April — the first visit to the Chinese capital by the city’s bishop in nearly three decades — in a symbolic gesture that experts said could strengthen the fragile relationship between China and the Vatican. During Li’s visit, he will meet with Chow and “different diocesan offices to promote exchanges and interactions between the two dioceses,” the statement said, without elaborating.  Francis in September insisted that the Vatican’s relations with China were going well but said work must still be done to show Beijing that the Catholic Church isn’t beholden to a foreign power. The 2018 agreement has been harshly criticized by Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, who was detained in May last year on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces under a Beijing-imposed national security law that jailed or silenced many activists. He was released on bail and has yet to be formally charged, but he and five others were fined in a separate case last November for failing to register a now-defunct fund set up to help arrested protesters.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/03/hong-kong-beijing-bishop-visit-vatican/1fc3a598-7a79-11ee-97dd-7a173b1bd730_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. New Jersey Demands That ‘God’s Square Mile’ Open on Sundays, By Rachel Chiu, The Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2023, Pg. A11, Opinion A religious nonprofit has owned Ocean Grove, a stretch of beach and adjacent property, for more than 150 years. During that time, it’s been the Methodist community’s policy to close the beach on Sunday. In the 1980s the group relaxed that policy, opening Ocean Grove’s beaches at noon on Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It’s the only patch of the roughly 130-mile Jersey Shore that’s off limits to bathers on summer Sunday mornings. Now state officials are looking to strip the community of its religious tradition and force the beaches open. On Oct. 12 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ordered the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association to stop closing its beach on Sunday mornings or face fines of up to $25,000 a day. State officials gave the association a month to request a hearing. Since beach season is over and any changes won’t take effect until next year, it is unclear why the state sees this as an urgent matter. Michael Badger, the organization’s president, attributes it to antireligious sentiment.  The Sunday closure policy has been in place for more than a century. Anyone familiar with Ocean Grove recognizes its unique Christian character. The welcome sign says “God’s Square Mile at the Jersey Shore.” The Great Auditorium in the town’s center features a prominent cross. These traditions define Ocean Grove and preserve its connection to its camp-meeting origins. Ultimately, forcing open the beaches is a frivolous pursuit: If New Jersey officials successfully compel Ocean Grove to grant beach access on Sunday mornings, they won’t be giving the general public any rights it expected to have. Following the logic from the Oregon case, customs take “from no man anything which he has had a legitimate reason to regard as exclusively his.” Beachgoers who choose to come to Ocean Grove know what they’re getting. The town’s history and character are worth preserving and ought to be considered in tandem with the state’s interest in greater beach access. Ms. Chiu is a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum and a Young Voices contributor. https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-jersey-demands-that-gods-square-mile-open-on-sundays-religious-practice-0c932f0e__________________________________________________________ 4. Pope Francis looks at ‘synodal reforms’ to papal election process, By The Pillar, November 4, 2023, 2:37 PM Pope Francis has delegated Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda to develop draft revisions to the papal election process, in light of the approach to dialogue used during the synod on synodality, according to sources close to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. In a move that could see questions raised by members of the Church’s College of Cardinals, the pope has reportedly asked his senior ranking canon lawyer to develop possible amendments to Universi dominici gregis, Pope St. John Paul II’s 1996 apostolic constitution governing the events surrounding the death of a pope, and the election of his successor in a conclave.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/pope-francis-looks-at-synodal-reforms__________________________________________________________ 5. German bishop asks pastors to bless same-sex couples, By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, November 3, 2023, 4:12 PM A German bishop issued a letter Thursday asking pastors in his diocese to bless same-sex couples. Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann said in the Nov. 2 letter to priests, deacons, and lay pastoral workers that the blessings — which he also extended to remarried couples — could take place in churches in the Diocese of Speyer. “The ceremony must differ from a church wedding ceremony in terms of words and signs and should explicitly reinforce the love, commitment, and mutual responsibility in the couple’s relationship as an act of blessing,” he wrote in the 1,000-word letter. Local Catholic media said that Wiesemann was the first German bishop to make such an appeal, though other prelates have stressed previously that pastors will face no sanctions for blessing same-sex and remarried couples in their dioceses. Wiesemann, who has led the diocese in southwest Germany since 2008, said he was issuing the invitation after 93% of participants in the country’s controversial “synodal way” endorsed a document calling for “blessing ceremonies for couples who love each other.”  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/german-bishop-asks-pastors-to-bless__________________________________________________________

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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