1. On Cuban Missile Crisis anniversary, archbishop calls for nuclear disarmament, By John Lavenburg, Crux, October 18, 2022 The 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis has Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe looking back to his youth, remembering the “duck and cover” exercises he practiced in school, and lamenting that today’s children still grow up with nuclear threats. The anniversary comes at a time of particular unease over the potential of a nuclear conflict. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory. President Joe Biden then responded to Russia’s threat that the Russia-Ukraine war could devolve into a “nuclear Armageddon” for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. More broadly, world leaders participating in the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Review Conference (NPT) last month again failed to reach a consensus on a final document working towards nuclear disarmament. Wester’s concerned about all of the above, saying the essential lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis has not been learned, “which is that the only way to eliminate the nuclear danger is through careful, universal, verifiable steps to eliminate nuclear weapons.” https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/10/on-cuban-missile-crisis-anniversary-archbishop-calls-for-nuclear-disarmament__________________________________________________________ 2. Vatican’s mishandling of high-profile abuse cases extends its foremost crisis, By Chico Harlan and Amanda Coletta, The Washington Post, October 17, 2022, 4:58 PM Three years ago, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church was committed to eradicating the “evil” of abuse. The pope and other church leaders drew up new guidelines to handle accusations. They pledged transparency. They said victims’ needs would come first. “A change of mentality,” Francis called it. But two recent major cases suggest that the church, for all its vows to improve, is still falling into familiar traps and extending its foremost crisis. While the cases are markedly different — one involves a Canadian cardinal accused of inappropriately touching an intern; the other involves a Nobel-winning bishop from East Timor accused of abusing impoverished children — anti-abuse advocates say both instances reflect a pattern of secrecy and defensiveness. They say the church is still closing ranks to protect the reputations of powerful prelates. In the case of the cardinal, Marc Ouellet, the Vatican did look into the accusations — but it delegated the investigation to a priest who knows him well, a fellow member of a small religious association. The priest determined there were no grounds to move forward — a conclusion the lawyer for the accuser says is dubious, given the possible conflict of interests.  In the case of the bishop, Carlos Ximenes Belo, the Vatican disciplined him in 2020, one year after Holy See officials said they had became aware of accusations. But those restrictions — which included barring Belo from contact with minors — were kept secret by the church until a recently published Dutch news investigation that described abuse of multiple boys dating back to the 1980s.  The church has shown progress on several counts. Dioceses around the world have set up reporting offices, giving alleged victims an easier way to alert the church of potential crimes. And in one instance, the church submitted itself to an act of unprecedented transparency, releasing a 449-page report into the abuse of defrocked American cardinal Theodore McCarrick, with revelations that bruised the reputation of Pope John Paul II. But since then, the Vatican has not been transparent about any discipline against other prelates. And it has regularly ignored its own procedures, which provide specific instructions about who should be tasked to investigate bishops. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/17/vatican-abuse-ouellet-belo-pope/__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope names seven new members to life academy, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, October 17, 2022 Pope Francis has named Mariana Mazzucato, a leading economist advocating for sustainable growth, and Dr. John N. Nkengasong, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator and special representative for global health diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State, as members of the Pontifical Academy for Life. They were among the seven new members the pope named as “ordinary academicians” Oct. 15.  The other ordinary members the pope named are: — Archbishop Carlos Castillo Mattasoglio of Lima, Peru, a theologian with long experience in student and university pastoral care. — Federico de Montalvo Jääskeläinen, a professor in Spain and expert in constitutional law, human rights, civil liberties and medical law and bioethics. — Saad al-Din Mosaad Helaly, a professor of Islamic jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University in Egypt. — Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, a public health expert and consultant from Congo, former director of the department of immunization, vaccines and biologicals of the World Health Organization. — Sheila Dinotshe Tlou, an educator and nurse specializing in HIV/AIDS and women’s health, former minister of health for Botswana and former director of the World Health Organization’s collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Development in Primary Health Care. https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/10/pope-names-seven-new-members-to-life-academy__________________________________________________________ 4. German synodal way leaders: Extension of global process is ‘important sign’, On Sunday, Pope Francis announced that the synod on synodality would last until 2024., By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, October 17, 2022, 9:20 AM The leaders of Germany’s controversial “synodal way” have welcomed Pope Francis’ decision to extend the global synodal process by a year. Irme Stetter-Karp and Bishop Georg Bätzing, the co-presidents of the German initiative, said on Oct. 17 that the extension of the process to October 2024 was “an important sign.” The pope announced on Sunday that the worldwide reform process would end with two meetings of the world’s bishops in Rome, the first in October 2023, and a second in October 2024. The 85-year-old said that the additional assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2024 would allow “a more relaxed period of discernment.”  Germany’s synodal way is a multi-year initiative bringing together the country’s bishops and lay representatives to discuss four main topics: power, the priesthood, women in the Church, and sexuality. The Vatican has repeatedly intervened in the process, most recently in July, when it underlined that the synodal way has no power “to compel the bishops and the faithful to adopt new ways of governance and new approaches to doctrine and morals.” At an acrimonious meeting in September, synodal way participants approved texts calling for changes to Church teaching on sexual morality and endorsed the creation of a permanent “synodal council” to oversee the local Church. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/german-synodal-way-leaders-extension-of-global-process-is-important-sign/__________________________________________________________ 5. Is Pope Francis’ synodal extension a plan, or a punt?, Pope Francis has added an extra year to the global synodal process. Is that about slowing down the pace, or delaying the inevitable?, By Ed. Condon, The Pillar, October 17, 2022, 3:31 PM Pope Francis announced Sunday that he is extending the global synod on synodality by an extra year, creating a second session for the synod’s final meeting, which will now be held in October 2023 and 2024. The pope’s decision to schedule an additional phase for the ordinary general assembly of the synod of bishops has been variously interpreted by pundits. Some have said Francis’ move underlines the importance of the synodal process over its results, others that it is setting the stage for a new ecclesiology entirely, turning the concept of a synod into a kind of slow-motion ecumenical council. But could Francis’ decision be a reflection of more practical concerns — or instead be part of a papal penchant for punting controversial decisions into the distance?  It is possible that Francis’ decision to add a year to the synodal timetable is less about helping the Church “relax” into the synodal process, and more a bid to postpone what could now be an inevitable showdown at its eventual end. If that is the pope’s thinking, even more extensions could be on the cards, and a “permanent synod” could indeed become a reality, at least for the duration of the Francis pontificate. But if it does, prolonging the synodal journey might largely seem a path to avoiding the synod’s most obvious destination. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/is-pope-francis-synodal-extension-a-plan-or-a-punt/__________________________________________________________

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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