1.  Pope Calls for Release of Hostages in Gaza, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2023, 9:10 AM Pope Francis called for the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and expressed his concern for the Palestinians in the enclave. “I continue to follow with pain and apprehension what is happening in Israel and Palestine,” the pope said in his weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. “It is the right of those who are attacked to defend themselves, but I am very worried about the total siege facing the Palestinians in Gaza, where there have also been so many innocent victims.” He added, “The Middle East has no need of war but of peace, a peace built on justice, dialogue and the courage of fraternity.” The pope on Sunday called for an end to the fighting. https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/israel-hamas-war-gaza/card/pope-calls-for-release-of-hostages-in-gaza-0jwJy46lnrvHMgEfXLTi__________________________________________________________ 2. US bishops tell people struggling with mental health: ‘You are not alone!’, By John Lavenburg, Crux, October 11, 2023 To conclude a video message announcing the U.S. Bishops’ Conference new mental health campaign, Greek Catholic Archbishop Borys Gudziak closed with a message for anyone who is themselves suffering a mental health challenge, or has a loved one in that situation: “I want you to know we are with you.” “You are a beloved daughter or son of God. We are praying for you. We love you. You are welcome in the Catholic community,” Gudziak continued. “There is hope,” he said. “Our God is a God of hope. We’re a community of hope. We hope to support you as you receive help you need, and we hope to encourage all levels of our society to redouble efforts to provide good and robust resources for everyone who needs help.” The video message was posted Oct. 6, four days ahead of the launch of a USCCB “National Catholic Mental Health Campaign” on Oct. 10, which is World Mental Health Day. In a joint campaign introduction from Gudziak and Bishop Robert Barron, three goals were outlined: “To raise awareness, to remove the stigma, and advocate that everyone who needs help should get help.”  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/10/us-bishops-tell-people-struggling-with-mental-health-you-are-not-alone__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Francis highlights St. Josephine Bakhita’s example of forgiveness, By Matthew Santucci, Catholic News Agency, October 11, 2023, 9:30 AM Speaking in his first general audience since the start of the Synod on Synodality last week, Pope Francis on Wednesday resumed his ongoing catechesis on the theme of apostolic zeal, this time focusing on the story of the Sudanese-Italian saint Josephine Bakhita, which he described as “an existential parable of forgiveness.” Born in 1869 in the region of Darfur, Josephine was sold into slavery as a young girl. She was traded between different owners and endured incredible hardship, being forcibly converted to Islam and was subjected to scarification, a process by which the skin is intentionally cut, or branded, to make a set pattern. Incidentally, her captors gave her the name Bakhita, which from the Arabic translates to “fortunata,” or fortunate.  In 1883 she was sold to Italian Vice Consul Callisto Legnani. In 1884, following the political instability that had engulfed Khartoum, they fled Sudan to Italy. She was subsequently passed to Augusto Michieli, a friend of Legnami. She first encountered Catholicism when she was entrusted to the care of Canossian Sisters in Venice.  While Micheli tried to force her back to Sudan with him, she refused. Her case went before the Italian court, which ultimately ruled that her slavery was null, given that Britain had outlawed slavery before she was sold and it was never legal in Italy. On Jan. 9,1890, as a free woman, she converted to Catholicism, and, nine years later, in 1896, made her final vows with the Canossian Sisters. Bakhita was canonized on Oct. 1, 2000, by St. Pope John Paul II and is the patron saint of Sudan and human trafficking survivors.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255647/pope-francis-st-josephine-bakhita-forgiveness__________________________________________________________ 4. At Vatican trial, the limits of prosecution as PR, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, October 10, 2023, 6:47 AM The sprawling Vatican financial scandal trial is now in its third year. But after dozens of hearings and weeks of arguments, the legal process has entered its final phase, with the prosecution having rested and lawyers for the ten defendants each now taking their turn to poke the best holes they can in the cases against their clients. In the weeks to come, some of those lawyers may find that their most defense is to attack not the facts of the case, but another target — an emerging perception that the Vatican’s prosecutors has focused on winning headlines, rather than cases. With the judges set to close proceedings and consider their verdict in just two months, it’s possible they’ll find themselves asking if Alessandro Diddi, the man making the Vatican’s case, has tailored the charges to fit the evidence, or to push a dramatic narrative aimed to justify the international attention his investigation has attracted. If they decide it’s the latter, the landmark trial could collapse into a farce, not for lack of evidence, but for an unwillingness by prosecutors to take seriously the mundane details of proving financial corruption.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/at-vatican-trial-the-limits-of-prosecution__________________________________________________________ 5. Cardinal Burke Publishes Book on Greater Reverence for the Eucharist, Widespread reception of Communion with insufficient worthiness ‘concerns me greatly,’ says the prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura., By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, October 10, 2023 Denial of sin and ignorance of confession due to poor catechesis are leading many Catholics to make sacrilegious Communions that threaten their eternal salvation, Cardinal Raymond Burke has warned. In a recent interview with the Register to discuss his new book, Respecting the Body and Blood of the Lord: When Holy Communion Should Be Denied, the prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura said it concerns him profoundly that so many Catholics receive Holy Communion with insufficient worthiness, putting their eternal salvation at risk. He also believes that “without a healthy sense of sin” and the recognition of the need for regular confession, cases of mental illness are increasing, as people believe they “can just go sailing along” in a direction of unrepented sin until they find themselves “in a terrible situation.” In his new book, the American cardinal unpacks the history and significance of the Catholic Church’s long-held teaching regarding who is sufficiently worthy, and who is not, to receive Holy Communion, especially with regards to public life. He also recalls how the Church’s teaching on the proper reception of the Eucharist is an act of pastoral charity for the faithful, individually and for one’s neighbor.  https://www.ncregister.com/interview/cardinal-burke-publishes-book-on-greater-reverence-for-the-eucharist__________________________________________________________ 6. Supreme Court preview: Religious freedom cases on the docket, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, October 10, 2023, 2:00 PM The U.S. Supreme Court during its new term will have the opportunity to reverse precedent that federal agencies have used to justify restrictions on religious liberty. Religious freedom advocates are closely watching a case the justices have agreed to take up, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, which could strip federal agencies of their ability to use broad discretion in interpreting laws. The broad discretion has led to interpretations that have restricted religious liberty in the past, such as the imposition of a contraception mandate on Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, which were ultimately ruled unconstitutional after lengthy legal battles. Court watchers are also keeping an eye on several other cases that could have an impact on religious liberty and free speech during this term if the Supreme Court decides to take them up. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255636/supreme-court-preview-religious-freedom-cases-on-the-docket__________________________________________________________

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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