1. Cuomo Unveils Statue of Mother Cabrini in New York City, Bronze statue honors Italian immigrant who became first naturalized American citizen to be canonized, By Katie Honan, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2020, Pg. A10A
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo helped unveil a new statue Monday to honor Mother Cabrini, a popular Roman Catholic saint who was at the center of a controversy last year over a New York City initiative to build statues honoring famous women.
The Mother Cabrini statue, which was paid for by the state, was installed in Battery Park, a state-owned public space at the bottom tip of Manhattan.

Mr. Cuomo announced the plan for the statue at last year’s Columbus Day parade, after weeks of criticism surrounding a city program to build more statues for women. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, headed the program, which was called She Built NYC and asked New Yorkers to submit nominations for statues.
Mother Cabrini, who is known as the patron saint of immigrants and died in 1917, garnered the most nominations but wasn’t selected in the first round of statues.

Mr. de Blasio, who like the governor is also Italian-American, said last year it was a “manufactured controversy.” His spokesman declined to comment Monday. The mayor was out of town in Massachusetts and didn’t attend the ceremony.
2. GOP hopes Barrett hearings will switch election to Trump-friendly ground, By W. James Antle III, The Washington Examiner, October 13, 2020, 6:30 AM
Republicans are hopeful that this week’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will help them turn the page on President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and other news that has left the party behind in the polls.

“Democrats on the Judiciary Committee this morning revealed their support for activist judges who read rights like a right to late-term abortion into the Constitution,” said Maureen Ferguson, a senior fellow with the Catholic Association, in a statement. “Sen. Whitehouse specifically praised Justice Ginsburg’s defense of late-term, partial-birth abortion in the Gonzales vs. Carhart case — the 2007 Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. A partial-birth abortion is a gruesome procedure.”
3. Pope meets Pell: ‘Vindication’ yes, ‘resurgence’ not so fast, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 13, 2020, Opinion
After having been freed from jail in April when Australia’s High Court ruled unanimously he never should have been convicted of child sexual abuse in the first place, and after watching his erstwhile Vatican archenemy not just fall but plummet from grace last month, Cardinal George Pell completed his comeback tour Monday with a half-hour audience with Pope Francis.
When Pell left Rome in 2017 to return to Australia to face those abuse charges his future seemed bleak, while that of his nemesis, then-Archbishop Angelo Becciu, seemed almost unlimited. Becciu was as the height of his power as the sostituto, the pope’s Chief of Staff, having wrested control of the Vatican’s financial reform away from Pell and centralizing it largely in his own hands.

So, is Pell back? More likely than not, it depends on what you mean by “back.”
His Monday tête-à-tête with Pope Francis clearly means that his exoneration on abuse charges is complete, at least as far as Francis and his team are concerned. If there were any lingering doubt about his guilt, not only would he not have gotten a half-hour with the pope, but Vatican News wouldn’t have published a lengthy piece that ended with the subhead, “The Holy See welcomes the acquittal.”

Some, however, wonder if Pell is “back” in another sense, meaning a return to power in the Vatican, finally being able to finish what he started as Francis’s “tip of the spear” for financial reform in 2014.
A resurgence in that sense is much less likely, for a variety of reasons.
First, there’s no job available right now.

Second, there’s no indication Francis has changed his mind on a couple of crucial points which caused him to trim Pell’s wings and return control to the Secretariat of State three years ago.

None of this is to say that Pell can’t become the elder statesman of Vatican financial reform, playing a sort of éminence grise role. He obviously knows where many of the bodies are buried, and anybody currently charged with financial responsibility in the Vatican would be crazy not to want his advice.
4. Pope warmly greets redeemed Cardinal Pell after abuse trial, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 12, 2020, 7:36 AM
Pope Francis met Monday with Cardinal George Pell and thanked him for his witness, warmly welcoming him for a private audience in the Apostolic Palace after the cardinal’s sex abuse conviction and acquittal in Australia.
The Vatican released photos and a brief video clip of the meeting, a clear sign that both the pope and Pell wanted the reception to be widely seen. In it, Francis is heard saying “Good to see you” and “more than a year” — an apparent reference to the 13 months that the 79-year-old Pell spent in prison.
5. Charismatic Group Comes Into Focus, By Francis X. Rocca and Lindsay Wise, The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2020, Pg. A4
As Washington, D.C., prepares for Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing to begin Monday, her faith has emerged a key point of appeal to supporters. Democrats say they intend to treat it more cautiously than in her last judicial confirmation three years ago.
Ms. Barrett is a member of a small, largely Catholic charismatic group called People of Praise. She would be the sixth Catholic on the current Supreme Court, and the first known to practice charismatic Christianity, which emphasizes devotion to the Holy Spirit and the reality of miracles in everyday life.

Charismatic Catholicism shares many characteristics with Pentecostal Christianity. Members of the two movements number 644 million globally, up from 58 million in 1970, according to the World Christian Database. Of the 244 million Christians in the U.S., 65 million are charismatics or Pentecostals.

A handful of Catholic priests have been members over the years, including a bishop who currently sits on the Vatican body that oversees charismatic movements.
6. Vatican putting 2 priests on trial accused of abuse, coverup, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 12, 2020, 12:59 PM
Two priests are going on trial in the Vatican’s criminal tribunal this week, one accused of sexually abusing an altar boy who served at papal Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica, and the other accused of covering it up.
The trial, confirmed Monday by the Holy See press office, marks the first known time that the Vatican has criminally prosecuted a case of sexual abuse that allegedly occurred within its walls.
The proceedings starting Thursday were forced on the Holy See after victims and a whistleblower went public in 2017. Their stories undermined Pope Francis’ pledges of “zero tolerance” for abuse because the alleged crimes occurred in his own backyard and had gone unpunished for years.
7. Judge rules DC COVID restrictions ‘substantially burden’ religious freedom, By Catholic News Agency, October 12, 2020, 5:00 PM
A Protestant church suing the District of Columbia over coronavirus restrictions held an outdoor service on Sunday, following a court injunction permitting the socially-distanced service.
Capitol Hill Baptist Church, which is one of the largest in Washington, DC, sued the district in September, saying that it unfairly targeted religious institutions by capping outdoor gatherings at 100 people, but permitting larger gatherings for other purposes.

In a ruling issued Friday, Judge Trevor McFadden of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said that Washington, D.C.’s pandemic reopening restrictions do “substantially burden the church’s exercise of religion” and that “the District has failed to offer evidence at this stage showing that it has a compelling interest in preventing the church from meeting outdoors with appropriate precautions, or that this prohibition is the least-restrictive means to achieve its interest.”
8. Mexican president asks Pope Francis for conquest apology, By Associated Press, October 11, 2020
Mexico’s president published an open letter to Pope Francis Saturday calling on the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for abuses of Indigenous peoples during the conquest of Mexico in the 1500s.
In the letter, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also asks the pope to lend Mexico ancient pre-Hispanic Mexican or colonial-era documents.
“The Catholic Church, the Spanish monarchy and the Mexican government should make a public apology for the offensive atrocities that Indigenous people suffered,” the letter states.
9. No ‘dogma’: Democrats walk tightrope on Barrett’s faith, By Mary Clare Jalonick and Elana Schor, Associated Press, October 11, 2020
“The dogma lives loudly within you.”

Feinstein’s 2017 remarks as she questioned Barrett — then a nominee for an appeals court — about the influence of Barrett’s Catholic faith on her judicial views sparked bipartisan backlash, contributing to the former law professor’s quick rise as a conservative judicial star.
 The nomination poses a politically risky test for lawmakers as they try to probe Barrett’s views on issues of abortion, health care access and gay marriage without running afoul of the Constitution’s prohibition against a religious test for public officials.

Democratic leaders have pledged to focus their questioning elsewhere — particularly on the Affordable Care Act, which is being challenged before the court next month, and Barrett’s stance on the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
10. In dizzying saga, one thing’s clear: Becciu served at Pope’s pleasure, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 11, 2020, Opinion
White House staffers are “at will” employees, meaning they can be fired without a substantive reason. The underlying philosophy is that a leader’s ability to shape his or her own team is crucial to the ability to implement their agenda.

Among critics of the way Pope Francis has handled the situation, it’s been said the pope acted improperly because Becciu hasn’t yet been charged with any crime nor convicted of one. The only logical answer to that objection, which Vatican spokesmen up to this point perhaps have been too refined to speak out loud, is, “So what?”
As Becciu himself would have been the first to tell you not so long ago, Vatican personnel serve at the pleasure of the pope, and, for that matter, so do cardinals. It’s extremely simple: If he wants you to stay, you stay; if we wants you to go, you go.
Maybe it’s a reflection of Italy’s labyrinth labor laws, which make it almost metaphysically impossible ever to fire anyone for anything, that people here seem to regard losing a job as tantamount to being sent to jail. Yet the fact remains, one has both a natural and legal right to freedom until found guilty of a crime, but there’s no such right to a job, above all not in the world’s last absolute monarchy.

In the midst of all that, perhaps it’s reassuring to be able to identify one fixed point of fact, so here it is: A pope doesn’t need anyone’s permission to fire a member of his own staff, and he certainly doesn’t have to wait until that person has been found guilty by a court of law.
Whether Becciu is really a “sacrificial victim,” as his former lawyer suggested, may be a matter of opinion, at least until we have hard proof of either innocence or guilt. Whether Becciu or anyone else is entitled to a Vatican job without the pope’s say-so, however, just isn’t.
11. Pope in TED talk: Earth cannot be squeezed ‘like an orange’, By Associated Press, October 10, 2020, 4:34 PM
Pope Francis on Saturday issued an urgent call to action to defend the planet and help the poor in his second TED talk.
The pontiff, known for his affinity for social media and technology, said in a videotaped message to a TED conference on climate change that the coronavirus pandemic had put a focus on the social-environmental challenge facing the globe.

Francis laid out three paths of action: promoting education about the environment “based on scientific data and an ethical approach,” assuring drinking water and an adequate food supply through sustainable agriculture and promoting the transformation from fossil fuels to clean energy sources.

He called on investors to exclude companies that do not taking into account the environment, as have many faith-based organizations already have.
12. Vatican amends financial law amid Moneyval inspection, By Catholic News Agency, October 10, 2020, 6:15 AM
The Vatican unveiled changes to a landmark law on transparency, supervision, and financial intelligence Saturday, saying that the move would strengthen oversight of financial flows.
The Holy See press office published the text of a decree Oct. 10 by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, amending the 2013 law.
The changes came amid a two-week on-site inspection of the Holy See and Vatican City by Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering watchdog.
13. Vatican to UN: cancel debts to help poor nations overcome pandemic, By Catholic News Agency, October 9, 2020, 1:00 PM
A Vatican representative called Wednesday for the cancelation of the debt of poor countries facing a “triple economic shock” as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said Oct. 7 that debt repayments and the pandemic have forced governments to “divert scarce national resources from fundamental programs of education, health and infrastructure to debt payments.”
14. Court allows NY virus restrictions ahead of Jewish holidays, By Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press, October 9, 2020, 5:49 PM
A federal judge refused Friday to block New York’s plan to temporarily limit the size of religious gatherings in COVID-19 hot spots.
U.S. District Judge Judge Kiyo Matsumoto issued the ruling after an emergency hearing in a lawsuit brought by rabbis and synagogues, arguing the restrictions were unconstitutional. They had sought to have enforcement delayed until at least after Jewish holy days this weekend.
The rules limit indoor prayer services to 10 people in areas where the virus is spreading fastest. In other areas within hot spots, indoor religious services are capped at 25 people.

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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