1. Why the U.N. Is Making a Mockery of Human Rights, A body built on the moral relativism inherent to any all-inclusive, multilateral system is bound to fail., By Aaron Rhodes, The Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2020, Pg. A17, Opinion
China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia and Uzbekistan—all notorious for abusing human rights—were among the 14 states elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Oct. 13, bringing the proportion of nondemocratic states on the world’s top human rights-promoting body to 60%. Cuba received 170 votes, or 88%, in the secret-ballot General Assembly vote.
But the Human Rights Council’s problem isn’t simply the presence of bad actors. The real issue is the intrinsic moral relativism embedded in any all-inclusive, multilateral human-rights system.
Human-rights organizations have denounced the predictable result: an ineffectual body that gives cover to authoritarian states.

Human rights cannot be subjected to a multilateral definition and consensus and survive intact as a moral principle. In the internationalist era, free and democratic states have conflated the universality of human rights with universal entitlement to membership in human-rights bodies. Democracies that defend liberty must recover their unilateral sovereignty—politically and philosophically—if they want to promote the universality of human rights and defend the growing number of victims denied them.
Mr. Rhodes is president of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe and author of “The Debasement of Human Rights.” He was executive director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, 1993-2007.
2. Amy Coney Barrett, a woman of faith and fidelity to the Constitution, By Chris Carr, The Washington Times, October 19, 2020, Pg. B1, Opinion
Judge Barrett has built a full life for herself, surrounded by her loving husband, Jesse, and their seven children. She’s a pre-eminent legal scholar and a woman of faith whose strength of character should be commended, not derided, by Senate Democrats.

Judge Barrett’s faith is not disqualifying now, and it was not disqualifying in 2017 when the Senate confirmed her by a healthy margin to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit — despite Ms. Feinstein’s religious hostility toward the now-appellate judge.
As Sen. Chuck Grassley said this morning ahead of Judge Barrett’s opening statement, there is no place for a religious test in our system of government. “Article VI of the Constitution clearly prohibits religious tests for serving in public office,” he said.

If Judge Barrett is confirmed to serve on the bench, as she deserves, Americans will be protected from those who would like to see the courts bend the law to certain ideological preferences and the unwelcome religious bigotry that has crept its way into our political culture.
Chris Carr is the 54th attorney general of Georgia and is a member of the Republican Attorneys General Association
3. Colorado Catholic dioceses pay $6.68M to sex abuse survivors, By Associated Press, October 19, 2020
Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses paid $6.68 million to 73 survivors of sexual abuse by priests, a new report said.
The state’s Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program issued an update Friday of how much money each survivor should be given by the church, The Colorado Sun reported.
The program fielded claims from survivors and determined their credibility and compensation eligibility.
4. Ex-Hong Kong bishop calls Vatican line on China ‘sickening’, By Crux, October 19, 2020
Catholicism’s most prominent voice on China has defined a recent talk by Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, laying out the reasons for renewing a controversial 2018 deal on the appointment of bishops, as “sickening,” and accused Parolin of “lying with eyes open.”
“Parolin knows he himself is lying. He knows that I know he is a liar. He knows that I will tell everyone that he is a liar,” wrote Cardinal Joseph Zen, a former bishop of Hong Kong and a longtime critic of appeasement when it comes to China’s Communist authorities.
“He is not just shameless but also daring,” Zen said of Parolin. “What will he not dare to do now? I think he is not even afraid of his conscience.”
Zen was reacting to a presentation by Parolin in Milan on Oct. 3 sponsored by the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions, or PIME, in which he explained why the Vatican wishes to extend its provisional agreement granting the Chinese authorities a significant role in choosing the country’s Catholic bishops.
5. Judge refuses to block New York COVID-19 restrictions, By Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press, October 18, 2020
A federal judge has refused to block Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order limiting worship to as few as 10 congregants in communities seeing spikes in coronavirus infections.
Ruling in a lawsuit brought by the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis said in an order Friday that even though the rules harm religious groups, it is not in the public interest to block them if they are helping prevent a wave of new infections.

The ruling doesn’t end the lawsuit, but denied the church’s request for a temporary injunction.
6. Archbishop performs exorcism to cleanse protest site, By Associated Press, October 18, 2020
The Archbishop of San Francisco performed a short exorcism ceremony Saturday outside a Catholic church where protesters had earlier toppled a statue of Father Junipero Serra, saying the ceremony was intended to drive out evil and defend the image of Serra.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone performed the ritual before some 150 supporters before holding a special Mass inside St. Raphael Catholic Church and an expected march to a Planned Parenthood clinic, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
7. Pope removes Polish bishop accused of sex abuse cover-up, By Associated Press, October 18, 2020
Pope Francis on Saturday permanently removed a Polish bishop who was kicked out of his diocese a few months ago pending a Vatican investigation into allegations he covered up cases of sexual abuse by his priests.
The resignation of Edward Janiak as bishop of Kalisz suggests the Vatican was able to substantiate at least some elements of the accusations made in a documentary about sex abuse in Poland that has undermined the country’s influential Catholic hierarchy.
Francis on Saturday accepted Janiak’s resignation and confirmed the archbishop of Lodz, Grzegorz Rys, as the diocese’s temporary administrator. At 68, Janiak is well below the normal retirement age of 75 for bishops.
8. Fact Check: Abortion Industry Claims ‘Majority of Americans Support Roe v. Wade’, By Dr. Susan Berry, Breitbart, October 18, 2020
Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson has once again repeated the claim of abortion rights supporters that “the majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade.”
In an interview published Monday at Vogue, Johnson expressed fear over President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, especially given that, if confirmed, she would take the seat vacated by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Johnson cited an August 2019 Pew Research poll that led with a finding that 61 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all (27 percent) or most (38 percent) cases.
Pew said its survey found little support for overturning Roe v. Wade, with 70 percent saying they do not want to see Roe completely overturned.

Others who conduct and analyze abortion polls affirm that failing to provide more nuances or specifics in questions about terminating pregnancy to survey respondents often leads to a misread on the true views of Americans.
Maureen Ferguson, senior fellow at the Catholic Association, observed to Breitbart News the limitations of the WSJ/NBC poll, given that respondents were restricted to a list of four broad options.
“Polls that ask about specific policies or stages in pregnancy are able to capture far more of the nuance that characterizes the average person’s views on abortion,” Ferguson said.
She noted that when a Marist poll asked respondents about limiting abortion depending on specific stages of fetal development, “they found that 60% of Americans identifying as pro-choice would limit abortion to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy.”
Ferguson noted as well that, with electing to end a pregnancy being legal in the United States through all nine months of pregnancy – “because of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton’s expansive definition of ‘health’” of the mother, the WSJ/NBC poll found “only 34% of people line up in support of legal abortion in all cases.”
“In fact, a large majority, 63%, do not support today’s status quo under Roe v. Wade, and want more restrictions on abortion,” she concluded.
9. Thoughts on the soap opera of the Vatican’s latest femme fatale, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 18, 2020, Opinion
Following the eternal logic of cherchez la femme, a new scandal surrounding Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu now has served up its own female lead: Cecilia Marogna, a 39-year-old lay Italian professional now under arrest in Milan awaiting possible extradition to the Vatican to face a criminal trial.

While we wait for the next shoe to drop, here are three thoughts on the Marogna saga.
First, don’t expect the story to be over anytime soon. Becciu and his family have already announced plans to file at least two lawsuits for defamation of character related to media coverage of the accusations he faces, and there’s no reason to think Marogna might not file legal challenges of her own.

Second, the spotlight on Marogna is a reminder, should we choose to take it, that for all the talk about the Vatican as a bastion of male privilege, the reality is that plenty of women move in and out of the place. Some work inside the Vatican as employees, others serve on various commissions and academies, others are advisors and consultants, and still others, such as Marogna, are businesspeople who have dealings with one Vatican department or another.

Third, beyond all the titillating speculation, the serious dimension of the Marogna story is its significance for Pope Francis’s ongoing Vatican reform.
One of two things will happen from here. Either this will become yet another Vatican example of what the Italians call a giallo, meaning an unresolved mystery – the word literally means “yellow,” a reference to the fact that once upon a time mystery stories were printed in Italian newspapers in yellow ink – or the Vatican will be open about the charges against both Becciu and Marogna, beginning now by laying out the charges, and being transparent along the way as investigations proceed and judgments are reached.
So far, the signs aren’t terribly encouraging.
10. Becciu ‘vigorously’ denies interference in Cardinal Pell trial, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, October 18, 2020, 3:12 AM
Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu again denied having interfered in any way with the trial of Cardinal George Pell, after Italian media reported an allegation that Becciu might have wired money to Australia as a bribe during Pell’s trial.
An Oct. 17 statement from Becciu’s lawyer, Fabio Viglione, said the cardinal, “regarding the everlasting attention of some journalists to Cardinal Pell’s trial, is compelled to reiterate vigorously that he has never interfered with it in any way whatsoever.”
The lawyer also said “to protect and defend his honor, so gravely damaged,” Becciu may seek legal recourse against some news organizations for their continued reporting of “an alleged, albeit non existent activity to taint the evidence of Cardinal Pell’s trial.”
Becciu’s latest denial comes after speculative reports in Italian newspapers earlier this month indicated he had been accused of wiring money from an undisclosed Vatican account to Australia while Pell was facing a 2018 criminal trial, on charges that he sexually abused two boys while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
11. Federal appeals court upholds Kentucky abortion law, By Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press, October 17, 2020, 11:28 AM
A federal appeals court has upheld a decades-old Kentucky law requiring abortion clinics to have written agreements with a hospital and an ambulance service in case of medical emergencies.
The 2-1 decision by the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals reverses a federal judge’s ruling, who had said the 1998 Kentucky law violated constitutionally protected due process rights.
However, in Friday’s ruling, the appeals court rejected that argument and countered the “district court erred in concluding that Kentucky would be left without an abortion facility.”
12. Voting for a Vision, Not a Person, The choice voters will make Nov. 3 is between two philosophical views about the future of America., By Michael Warsaw, National Catholic Register, October 17, 2020, Opinion
In this year’s presidential election, the choice isn’t really between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. It is a choice between two completely different views of America. That difference is philosophical, not simply personal.
One campaign has built itself on the notion that America is a great country, with much to offer. It embraces a vision that sees religious practice and belief in God as central to the country’s private and public life. In this understanding of America, faith is not something to be defended against with a “wall of separation” designed to keep Christians out. Instead, faith — and Christianity itself — are seen as critical to the flourishing of our country in a perspective shared by many of our Founding Fathers. This was the understanding of men like Samuel Adams, James Madison, Patrick Henry and George Washington.

Against it is rising a progressive view that is increasingly popular in many colleges and universities and the news media and with protesters and rioters and even in political circles, including one of the presidential campaigns.
In this telling of our history, America has much to atone for and little to be proud of. Traditional religious and Christian values are seen as a form or vehicle for discrimination, not a central element of the country. Abortion isn’t just celebrated; its export with taxpayer dollars is an article of faith for them. Contraception in this view is a fundamental right that outweighs even the constitutional religious-freedom rights of nuns like the Little Sisters of the Poor. Conscientious objection is dismissed, and religion is seen as something to be subverted and brought into the progressive fold, not something to be celebrated for what it is and what it believes. In fact, traditional religious beliefs are seen as a major threat to the country, and religious values are seen as out of step with the newfound progressive “American” ones.

This view of America — that seeks to renounce the role of God and the importance, uniqueness and greatness of America’s founding and subsequent history — is the progressive view of our country.
This — more than the candidates themselves — is what is on the ballot. You are casting your vote this year for a long-term vision of America, not for a person. Keep that in mind: Pray, and vote — for the future of your country.
God bless you.
Michael Warsaw Michael Warsaw is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the EWTN Global Catholic Network, and the Publisher of the National Catholic Register
13. Poll: Trump lead wanes with white Catholics; Biden has wide edge with Latinos, By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, October 17, 2020
A new presidential poll issued Oct. 15 by the Pew Research Center shows Catholic former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, ahead by 10 percentage points, 52 percent-42 percent, over the Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump.
But Pew, unlike other pollsters, breaks down voter preferences by religious affiliation.
A Pew poll taken in July and August showed a huge Trump lead of 19 points, 59 percent-40 percent, among white Catholics. The new poll, taken Sept. 30-Oct. 5 — which includes the Oct. 2 revelation that Trump had contracted COVID-19 — showed that in that two-month period, Trump’s advantage had withered to just eight points, 51 percent-43 percent.
14. New calls for US sanctions on Turkey for Christian persecution, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, October 17, 2020, 3:00 PM
Christian human rights leaders have called on the Trump administration to issue sanctions on Turkey in response to its actions in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, and warned that Turkish actions were guided by “animus” against Christians.
The calls came during a panel discussion, hosted by the group In Defence of Christians Friday, titled “Turkey is Committing Another Christian Genocide. Why is the Trump Administration Silent?” The event focused on Turkish actions in the recent conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The historic conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has reignited in recent weeks.
15. Italian ‘security consultant’ appeals extradition to Vatican over financial crimes, By Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2020, 11:00 AM
A self-described geopolitical analyst at the center of the most recent Vatican financial scandal is being held in an Italian jail pending extradition to the Vatican. Cecilia Marogna was arrested October 13 by Italian financial authorities after a warrant was issued by Vatican prosecutors through Interpol.

Although a Milan court of appeal has upheld the execution of the warrant, lawyers for Marogna have appealed her extradition to Vatican City, a process that is expected to take as long as a month to complete. Pending the outcome of the appeal, Marogna is being held in a local jail after the Milan court deemed her a flight risk.
16. World Mission Sunday: number of Catholics continues to rise worldwide, By Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2020, 1:00 PM
The number of Catholics worldwide increased by almost 16 million in a year to 1.33 billion, according to statistics highlighted by the Vatican ahead of the 2020 World Mission Sunday.
The figures, shared by the Fides News Service Oct. 16, showed that there were 15,716,000 more Catholics at the end of 2018 — the most recent year where numbers are available — compared to 2017.
This took the overall number of Catholics to 1,328,993,000, compared to 1,313,278,000 the year before.
The growth was spread across all inhabited continents, with an increase of 94,000 in Europe, 9.2 million in Africa, 4.5 million in the Americas, 1.8 million in Asia, and 177,000 in Oceania.

But the percentage of Catholics in the world population remained unchanged at 17.73%, meaning that the number of Catholics is increasing in line with broader global population growth.
17. Pope Francis laments that tons of food is thrown away as people starve, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2020, 2:00 PM
In a video message for World Food Day Friday, Pope Francis expressed concern that tons of food is being thrown away while people continue to die for lack of food.
“For humanity, hunger is not only a tragedy but it is also shameful,” Pope Francis said in a video sent to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Oct. 16.
The pope noted that the number of people struggling with hunger and food insecurity has been growing and that the current pandemic will further exacerbate this problem.
18. Richmond Catholic diocese to pay $6.3 million in abuse settlements, By Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2020, 3:01 PM
The Diocese of Richmond is set to pay a total of $6.3 million in settlements to more than 50 victims of clerical abuse, the bishop announced this week.
The announcement comes after the diocese celebrated its bicentennial July 11.
19. Religion is not the problem: Brooklyn bishop blasts New York COVID measures, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2020, 4:00 PM
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn warned on Friday that New York’s most recent coronavirus measures were “not reasonable.” Speaking one day after his diocese argued in court against new state restrictions on religious assembly, the bishop said religion was being treated as a second class part of society.
“We are relegated to the sidelines, religion,” DiMarzio of Brooklyn told CNA on Oct. 16. “‘Religion is the problem of society,’ the way people think today.”
“In the past, you would think the non-profit sector, religion, was a pillar of the society along with the business community and with the government. This was what held society together. Now, that kind of a thesis of how society works is long since gone, unfortunately,” he said.
20. Barrett hearings show threat of anti-Catholic bigotry – Fort Worth bishop, By Catholic News Agency, October 16, 2020, 5:12 PM
Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth penned an op-ed Thursday decrying the “anti-Catholic bigotry” that he says has surfaced since Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court last month.
“Catholic theology is not a threat to America; the ideology of anti-Catholic bigotry is,” Bishop Olson asserted in the op-ed, published Oct. 15 in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“Faithful Catholics help many and harm no one; anti-Catholic bigots harm everyone. It is unimaginable that the senators’ harassment be applied to any other religious group. Why is this tolerated? When will it end?”
The Senate is considering Barrett, a federal judge and Catholic mother of seven, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month.
21. What Happens if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned?, By Quoctrung Bui, Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times, October 15, 2020
The almost-certain confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has increased the chances that Roe v. Wade will be weakened or overturned. If that were to happen, abortion access would decline in large regions of the country, a new data analysis shows.
Legal abortion access would be unchanged in more than half of states, but it would effectively end for those living in much of the American South and Midwest, especially those who are poor, according to the analysis. (The analysis incorporates more recent data on research we wrote about last year.)

Today, there is at least one abortion clinic in every state, and most women of childbearing age live within an hour’s drive or so of one, the analysis found. Without Roe, abortion would probably become illegal in 22 states. Forty-one percent of women of childbearing age would see the nearest abortion clinic close, and the average distance they would have to travel to reach one would be 280 miles, up from 36 miles now.

Without Roe, the number of legal abortions in the United States would be at least 14 percent lower, Professor Myers and her colleagues estimated. That could mean about 100,000 fewer legal abortions a year, they found.

“What’s interesting about the modeling is it’s less about Judge Barrett being confirmed to the Supreme Court than the importance of the state politics, and the state politics become that much more important in a world without Roe,” Professor Myers said.

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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