1. Pope Francis Warns of Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2023 Pope Francis warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, as Israel prepares to invade the enclave. “The victims are increasing and the situation in Gaza is desperate,” the pope said during his weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. “War does not solve any problem,” he said, adding that religious believers can “take only one side in this conflict, that of peace, but not in words, but with prayer, with total dedication.” The pope said that he had dedicated Oct. 27 a day of “fasting and prayer of penance” for peace. https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/israel-hamas-war-biden/card/pope-francis-warns-of-humanitarian-catastrophe-in-gaza-lFDQQaHxhT89XvTcpepa__________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis meets with U.S. LGBT group previously denounced by Vatican, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, October 17, 2023, 6:30 PM Pope Francis met Tuesday at his residence with leadership from the U.S. LGBT organization New Ways Ministry, which was previously denounced by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office for causing confusion on sexual morality among the Catholic faithful. It’s unclear what the topic of the meeting was, but the organization said in an Oct. 17 statement that it lasted 50 minutes and its controversial co-founder, Sister of Loretto Jeannine Gramick, thanked the Holy Father for “his openness to blessing same-sex unions, as well as for his opposition to the criminalization of LGBTQ+ people in civil society.” None of the Holy Father’s comments in the meeting were reported in the organization’s statement. CNA asked the organization what was discussed in the meeting but did not receive a response before publication. New Ways Ministry was founded in 1977 in the Archdiocese of Washington by Gramick and Father Robert Nugent, who were both “permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons” after an investigation into their work, the Vatican’s doctrinal office ruled in a 1999 notification.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255724/pope-francis-meets-with-us-lgbt-group-previously-denounced-by-vatican__________________________________________________________ 3. Eight priests under house arrest in Nicaragua reportedly transferred to El Chipote prison, By Diego Lopez Marina, Catholic News Agency, October 17, 2023, 6:30 PM At least eight priests detained by the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua were reportedly transferred over the weekend to the prison called El Chipote, known as a torture prison for political prisoners. The independent Nicaraguan media La Prensa, El Confidencial, among others, confirmed the transfer through sources close to the Nicaraguan Bishops’ Conference. The government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, took these reprisals just days after Father Harving Padilla, who was pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Masaya, managed to go into exile (in a still undisclosed country) on Sept. 28. A priest who preferred to remain anonymous told El Confidencial that eight priests who were under “house arrest” at Our Lady of Fatima National Seminary in Managua were transferred to El Chipote in the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 15.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255722/eight-priests-under-house-arrest-in-nicaragua-reportedly-transferred-to-el-chipote-prison__________________________________________________________ 4.  Facility-based abortions drop 30% in North Carolina after 12-week abortion ban, data show, By Matt McDonald, Catholic News Agency, October 17, 2023, 1:20 AM Facility-based abortions in North Carolina dropped sharply after a restrictive state law went into effect there this past summer, though a pro-life leader is warning not to make too much of those numbers, claiming they could go back up again. In May the state Legislature enacted a bill largely banning abortions after 12 weeks, with some exceptions in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies, or to protect the life of the mother. The state’s previous limit was 20 weeks. The new limit went into effect July 1.  The Guttmacher Institute, which studies abortion and supports it, released a finding last week stating that facility-based abortions dropped 31% this July over the previous month. The data suggest the new regulations “seem to be having a severe impact,” the organization said.  William Pincus, president of North Carolina Right to Life, told CNA he’s not sure those numbers will hold up over time.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255709/facility-based-abortions-drop-30-percent-in-north-carolina-after-12-week-abortion-ban-data-show__________________________________________________________ 5. Cardinal Müller: Latest Vatican Guidance on Divorce-Remarried Communion Represents a ‘Rupture’ With Church Teaching, The former prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith published his concerns in an open letter Oct. 13., By Solène Tadié, National Catholic Register, October 17, 2023 Eight years after a footnote in one of Pope Francis’ signature documents appeared to open the door for divorced-and-remarried Catholics to receive Communion while remaining sexually active, a new round of public conflicts over its doctrinal legitimacy has exposed just how unsettled the issue remains at the highest levels of the Church. The latest salvo came last week from a former chief of doctrine at the Vatican, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, after the Pope and his new prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), Cardinal Víctor Fernández, the purported ghostwriter of much of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), on Oct. 3 released their joint response to a formal set of questions, or dubia, on the topic submitted by Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka. Their responsa doubles down on the 2016 apostolic exhortation’s groundbreaking implications. Cardinal Müller responded on Oct. 13 by releasing his own analysis of the Vatican’s responsa, calling it a “rupture” with the clear teachings of Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He said it also stands at odds with the Church’s established doctrines about grave sin and the licit reception of the Eucharist. The main point of contention raised by this document, according to the cardinal, is the criterion for admission to the sacraments for divorced-and-remarried people. The Vatican’s response stated, indeed, that the bishops should develop Amoris Laetitia-based criteria in their dioceses that “can help priests in the accompaniment and discernment of divorced people living in a new union.” It added that the Pope’s letter of approval of the guidelines issued by the bishops of Buenos Aires’ pastoral region for the interpretation of the apostolic exhortation, in 2016, were “authentic magisterium.”  https://www.ncregister.com/news/cardinal-mueller-catholic-church-guidance-divorced-remarried-couples__________________________________________________________

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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