1. Founders gambled on virtue prevailing over passions, Constitution relies on individuals’ ability to restrain and govern themselves, By William P. Barr, The Washington Times, October 14, 2020, Pg. A6, Opinion
In his renowned 1785 pamphlet “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” James Madison described religious liberty as not only “a right towards men” but also “a duty towards the Creator,” and a “duty … precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”
In other words, our Founders and the extraordinary documents they created did not just guarantee freedom of religion for citizens of this new nation. They also assumed a certain, basic obligation on the part of those free citizens to the higher power from which their rights and freedoms derived.

Men are subject to powerful passions and appetites and, if unrestrained, are capable of ruthlessly riding roughshod over their neighbors and the community at large.
No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity.
But, if you rely on the coercive power of government to impose restraints, this will inevitably lead to a government that is too controlling, and you will end up with no liberty, just tyranny.
So the Founders decided to take a gamble. They would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people.
In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves.”

In other words, religion helps frame moral culture within society that instills and reinforces moral discipline. In fact, no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion in ensuring the successful prospects of self-governance.
William P. Barr is the 85th attorney general of the United States. Previously, he served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. This essay is adapted from a speech he delivered on religious liberty to the University of Notre Dame.
2. Woman close to Vatican cardinal arrested in corruption probe, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 14, 2020, 3:58 AM
The Vatican’s swirling corruption investigation has taken a mysterious new twist with the arrest on an international warrant of a Sardinian woman said to be close to one of the Holy See’s most powerful cardinals before his downfall.
Italy’s financial police said Wednesday that Cecilia Marogna had been arrested in Milan late Tuesday on a warrant issued by the Vatican City State. An official of the Guardia di Finanza, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency had no further information since officers merely executed the warrant on behalf of a foreign country, the Vatican.
Italian newspapers in recent weeks have reported that Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the onetime No. 2 in the Vatican secretariat of state, had wired hundreds of thousands of euros in Holy See funds to Marogna’s Slovenian-based consulting firm, purportedly for humanitarian operations in Africa and Asia.
3. Many Catholic women see themselves in Barrett’s story, Others see confirmation process showing double standard for the sexes, By Samantha Schmidt and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, The Washington Post, October 14, 2020, Pg. A13
As Catholic women watched the first two days of Barrett’s confirmation process in the Senate, some saw her as a new kind of “feminist icon,” a woman who raised seven children while pursuing a successful career and prioritizing her faith. Others saw an unrealistic model of what Catholic women are expected to be.

Five of the last six confirmed Supreme Court justices were raised in the Catholic faith, but Barrett would be the first who is also a mother of school-age children — a point that was repeatedly emphasized by Republican senators during this week’s hearings.
4. Vatican trial for sex abuse in pope’s youth seminary opens, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 14, 2020, 7:28 AM
A trial opened Wednesday in the Vatican’s criminal tribunal for two priests, one accused of sexually abusing an altar boy in the Vatican’s youth seminary and the other of covering it up.
The charges read aloud in the courtroom marked the first time the Vatican had publicly detailed its case against the two men, one of whom was himself a young seminarian at the time of the alleged abuse, 2007-2012, while the other was the then-seminary rector.
5. Bishop laments questioning of Biden’s faith due to abortion policies, By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter, October 13, 2020
As President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden vie for the Catholic vote, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego pushed back against those questioning Biden’s personal Catholic faith based on his positions on abortion rights. McElroy said that when it comes to questions of public policy, abortion legislation is a matter of prudential judgment.
“One very sad dimension of the election cycle we are witnessing,” said McElroy, is “the public denial of candidates’ identity as Catholics because of a specific policy position they have taken. Such denials are injurious because they reduce Catholic social teaching to a single issue. But they are offensive because they constitute an assault on the meaning of what it is to be Catholic.”

On the question of abortion, he said that because Catholicism teaches that some actions, including abortion, are “intrinsically evil,” meaning that they are “always and everywhere wrong,” some church leaders have claimed that “candidates who seek laws opposing intrinsically evil actions automatically have a primary claim to political support in the Catholic conscience.”
McElroy rejected that claim, telling attendees that “the framing of legislation is inescapably the realm of prudential judgment, not intrinsic evil.”
“While a specific act of abortion is intrinsically evil, the formulation of individual laws regarding abortion is not,” he said. “It is an imperative of conscience for Catholic disciples to seek legal protections for the unborn. But whether these protections take the form of sanctioning the doctor or the pregnant mother, whether those sanctions should be civil or criminal penalties, and the volatile issues pertaining to outlawing abortions arising from rape, incest and danger to the mother are all questions of deep disagreement among advocates wholeheartedly devoted to the protection of unborn children. Like the issues of fighting poverty and addressing climate change, the issue of abortion in law and public policy is a realm where prudential judgment is essential and determinative.”

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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