TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 182 – George Weigel on Vatican II at 60 and Mass for Persecuted Christians Marking 60 years since the Second Vatican Council convened in Rome, George Weigel joins Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson to discuss how the Council was far more about “Christifying” the world than about changing the Church. With the first ever Mass for the Persecuted Christians being celebrated next week, Father Ben Kiely and composer Paul Jernberg join with a sneak peek of the beautiful music and prayers for those suffering around the world. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. The Vatican Missile Crisis, By George Weigel, The Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2022, Pg. A17, Opinion As the most consequential event in 500 years of Catholic history began, another historic drama riveted the world’s attention. On Oct. 14, the day after the bishops at Vatican II frustrated the designs of the Roman Curia to control the council’s working committees, a U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane photographed new military installations across Cuba.  This striking coincidence typically goes unremarked. But it had lasting consequences that are evident today.  John XXIII and the Vatican’s diplomats were badly shaken by the Cuban missile crisis, not least because of the threat it posed to the council. So the Vatican developed a new approach to Moscow and its satellites. The church ceased all public condemnation of communist persecution. It intensified ecumenical overtures to the Russian Orthodox Church, although its leadership was closely controlled by the KGB. And a veteran Vatican diplomat, Agostino Casaroli, began to travel behind the Iron Curtain, seeking accommodations with communist regimes. Casaroli’s Ostpolitik, as this new policy was dubbed, intensified under John XXIII’s successor, Pope Paul VI.  It wasn’t the Ostpolitik, the misbegotten child of the Cuban missile crisis, that empowered Catholicism in East and Central Europe to play an important role in the revolution of 1989. It was Pope John Paul II’s bold defense of human rights and religious freedom. Yet Ostpolitik 2.0 underwrites the Vatican’s accommodating approach to authoritarian regimes today—as seen in its giving the Chinese Communist Party a voice in the appointment of bishops, the feckless efforts at dialogue with the thug-regimes of Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega, and the suggestion that the West is to blame for the war in Ukraine. Mr. Weigel is a distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author, most recently, of “To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II.” 2. Bangkok’s Priest to the Poor Finds His Fit Among Fellow Outcasts, By Seth Mydans, The New York Times, October 14, 2022, 5:00 AM The young priest, always something of a misfit, chose an unconventional spot to start his preschool: a former pigsty near a slaughterhouse in one of Bangkok’s poorest neighborhoods. For a fee of a penny or two a day, the Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Joseph H. Maier, took in children from the most destitute families, teaching them to spell their names in Thai script and feeding them what was often their only meal of the day.  Fifty years later, Father Joe, as the American priest came to be known by his neighbors, is still there, ministering to the residents of what remains one of the Thai capital’s poorest neighborhoods as Bangkok has transformed itself into a modern metropolis.  But even now, Father Joe said, after gaining international recognition, a master’s degree in human settlements, two honorary Ph.D.s, honorary citizenship of Bangkok and a lifetime achievement award presented by Queen Sirikit of Thailand, the queen mother, he still has not shaken off his feeling of not belonging. “I’ve always been an outsider, always on the margins,” he said. “I’ve always been, as the Irish say, ‘walking on the edges of the tin’” — on the periphery of society, as he explained it.  When he had a younger man’s legs, he wandered Klong Toey’s passageways and food stalls. When he does get out now, people still greet him, “Hello, Father Joe!” as if they were Catholics themselves. “He’d walk along and talk to everybody, even though his Thai wasn’t that good: ‘How are you doing today? Are you selling well?’” said Amphorn Iamphorn, 58, who has been selling grilled toast with butter and sugar here for 23 years. “For me, it has nothing to do with religion; he’s just a good man.” 3. Archbishop calls school shooter’s life sentence a ‘severe and just punishment’, By John Lavenburg, Crux, October 14, 2022 Acknowledging that the actions of Nikolas Cruz were heinous, the archbishop of Miami said the decision to give him life in prison without the possibility of parole is a “severe and just punishment” that allows him “to continue to reflect on the grave harm he caused.” Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty last year to fatally shooting 17 people – 14 students and three teachers – and injuring 17 others on the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2018, in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. A jury trial in the case began in July, focusing on whether he should receive the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Prosecutors requested the death penalty. A jury of seven men and five women decided on Oct. 13 to give him a life sentence. After the decision, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami reiterated the church’s position against the death penalty, saying that “modern society has the means to protect itself without the death penalty.” 4. ‘Battleground’: The pro-life movie no one intended to make, The youth, diversity, strength and strategy of the pro-life movement are often ignored by the media, By Kristan Hawkins, The Washington Times, October 14, 2022, Pg. B2, Opinion An ardent abortion supporter, “Battleground” director Cynthia Lowen certainly did not set out to make a documentary that positively featured the pro-life movement, and yet that is exactly what she did. After investing more than two years into the behind-the-scenes world of the pro-life generation and Students for Life America (SFLA), the production is a picture worth a thousand words in explaining not only why the pro-life movement is winning, but also why we will prevail in the days ahead … much to the dismay of mainstream critics. Indeed, Film Threat’s review noted that Ms. Lowen presented the pro-life movement “without spin” to such a degree that “some research was necessary to conclude that ‘Battleground’ is not a promotional piece for anti-choice.” That backhanded compliment aside, the review observed Ms. Lowen’s portrayal of the pro-life movement was involuntarily flattering yet “a critical document for understanding women on the ground doing the heavy lifting in the reproductive rights struggle from both sides of the issue.” The New York Times agreed.  This year, SFLA and SFLAction will reach 1 million millennial and Generation Z Americans with pro-life conversation on the human rights issue of our day. If you want to see what that might look like, see “Battleground,” now in theaters. Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America & Students for Life Action with more than 1,300 groups on educational campuses in all 50 states. Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, “Explicitly Pro-Life. ” 5. Will Pope Francis and Russian Patriarch Kirill finally meet in this tiny European country?, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, October 14, 2022, 3:46 AM During a personal meeting with Pope Francis on Oct. 10, the Prime Minister of Montenegro proposed that an eventual meeting between Pope Francis and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow could take place in his country. Speaking with CNA on Oct. 11, Dritan Abazović noted that “we are a tiny and peaceful country with no political pretension. We do not have big economy in competition with other countries. We are an Orthodox country, but we are filled with a spirit of dialogue. So, we can be the country where the pope can organize important meetings with other global religious leaders.” Abazović said: “I invited the pope to visit Montenegro, and I hinted to the pope that Montenegro, if he agrees with that, might be the right place to try to arrange the meeting with Patriarch Kirill with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Orthodox Church in Montenegro. So, Montenegro is like an Orthodox country.”

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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