1. Participants say synod isn’t driven by ‘private agenda’ of Pope Francis, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, October 17, 2023 Participants in this month’s Synod of Bishops on Synodality selected by organizers to brief reporters have praised the process as open and balanced, saying everyone is welcome in the Church and there is no “private agenda” driving the discussion. They also applauded the process as being inclusive, and said the synod has done a sufficient job at including women’s voices. While stressing that issues such as women’s ordination and the welcome of the LGBTQ community are not the primary focus, they claimed discussion on these topics has been balanced despite vastly different opinions. They also insisted that the synod is not going to make decisions on any singular issues but is rather aimed at promoting a “synodal culture” within the Church. Speaking to journalists during an Oct. 16 press briefing, Sri Lankan Father Vimal Tirimanna, a moral theologian and a theological advisor of the synod who teaches in both Sri Lanka and in Rome, said, “This synod is not a private agenda of Pope Francis, it is a continuation of Vatican II.”  https://cruxnow.com/2023-consistory-and-synod-for-synodality/2023/10/participants-say-synod-isnt-driven-by-private-agenda-of-pope-francis__________________________________________________________ 2. Women’s voices being heard at Vatican’s big meeting on church’s future, nun says, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 16, 2023, 11:30 AM A prominent Irish nun said Monday that women’s voices are being heard at Pope Francis’ big meeting on the future of the Catholic Church, and said delegates are also acknowledging the hurt caused by the church’s position on homosexuality. Sister Patricia Murray, executive secretary of the main umbrella group of women’s religious orders, provided an update on the status of discussions halfway through the Vatican’s nearly month-long synod, or meeting. Francis called the gathering to press his vision for a church that is more inclusive and welcoming, where ordinary Catholics have a greater say in decision making than the all-male priestly hierarchy. A central theme has been the role of women in church governance, but other hot button issues are also on the agenda, including acceptance for LGBTQ+ Catholics and priestly celibacy.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/16/vatican-women-lgbtq-pope/f7c944ec-6c38-11ee-b01a-f593caa04363_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Vatican seeks to defuse tensions with Israel as it offers mediation in the Holy Land, The Israeli foreign minister asked for ‘an unequivocal and clear condemnation’ of Hamas by the Holy See, By Claire Giangrave, The Washington Post, October 16, 2023, 3:02 PM Holy See officials this week rushed to remedy tensions with Israel, which criticized the Vatican’s pronouncements on the outbreak of violence in the Holy Land as too impartial and lacking a clear condemnation of Hamas. On Friday, the Christian Patriarchs and church leaders in Jerusalem, including the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, issued a joint statement that did not openly condemn the actions of Hamas and demanded that Israel avoid the killing of innocents. The Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, Raphael Schutz, harshly criticized the statement on X (formerly Twitter).  https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2023/10/16/israel-gaza-vatican-mediation/__________________________________________________________ 4.  Is the pope returning to the United Arab Emirates?, By Filipe D’Avillez, The Pillar, October 16, 2023, 4:55 PM Pope Francis may be returning to the Middle East, to take part in a climate summit at the end of November, according to sources close to the pontiff. The summit, “COP28,” is a United Nations conference on climate change, and was discussed at length in the pope’s most recently-published apostolic exhortation, Laudate Deum. Sources close to the Vatican Secretariat for State confirmed to The Pillar Monday that after the pope was invited to attend the conference, which begins Nov. 30, the invitation was “taken seriously” at the Vatican, and has been discussed internally. And while the trip has not been confirmed by the Vatican press office, Portuguese Catholics involved in the planning of World Youth Day were notified Monday that the pontiff has canceled a scheduled Nov. 30 audience.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/is-the-pope-returning-to-the-united__________________________________________________________ 5. Chinese bishops leaving Synod on Synodality early, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2023, 9:10 AM Midway through the Vatican’s Synod on Synodality, two bishops from mainland China are suddenly departing the assembly early without explanation. Bishop Antonio Yao Shun of Jining and Bishop Joseph Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun will return to China this week without completing the synod process, Vatican spokesman Paolo Ruffini told CNA on Oct. 16. The Chinese bishops only participated in the first 12 days of the Synod assembly, following a nearly identical pattern to the two Chinese bishops who took part in the 2018 Synod on Youth. When asked at a synod press conference why the Chinese bishops are leaving early, Ruffini said that their departure is due to “pastoral needs” in their diocese that require their presence.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255697/chinese-bishops-leaving-synod-on-synodality-early__________________________________________________________ 6. ‘Each of us is loved’: California bishops’ letter shows Church response to gender ideology, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2023, 1:18 PM In a recent joint letter to Catholics, two California bishops acknowledged that the “influence of gender ideology” has “become pervasive in contemporary society” and urged Catholics to respond to the zeitgeist with both “truth and charity.”  San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Oakland Bishop Michael Barber issued the September letter, they said, “to provide clarity and resources with regard to the teaching of the Catholic Church” on the matter of gender ideology. Catholics, they said, have responded with “questions around the complex and sensitive topics of gender, sexual identity, and the nature of the human person.” Like the bishops, many Church leaders have been working in recent months and years to determine just what the Catholic response to gender ideology should be since it touches on many practical matters as well as deeper elements of faith, including what the Catholic Church teaches about broad topics such as sexuality and bodily integrity.   In their letter, the bishops pointed out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church counsels against transgenderism’s rejection of bodily integrity. Man “may not despise his bodily life,” the Catechism states; rather, “he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day.” “The body and soul come into existence together, in an individual human being at the time of conception,” the bishops wrote. “From the beginning of his or her existence, the human person has a body that is sexually differentiated as male or female. … Consequently, one can never be said to be in the ‘wrong’ body.” The bishops urged those suffering from gender dysphoria to remember: “Your most fundamental identity is that of a beloved child of God.” Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, the bishops reminded the faithful that “each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed. Each of us is loved. Each of us is necessary.” “May our Christian witness and our care for those experiencing real suffering be a sign of our discipleship,” they wrote, “as we joyfully witness to the healing power of Christ.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255699/each-of-us-is-loved-california-bishops-letter-shows-church-response-to-gender-ideology__________________________________________________________

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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