1. Nicaragua releases 12 Catholic priests and sends them to Rome, following agreement with the Vatican, By Associated Press, October 19, 2023, 8:31 AM Nicaragua has released 12 Roman Catholic priests jailed on a variety of charges and sent them to Rome following an agreement reached with the Vatican, the Nicaraguan government said in a statement late Wednesday. The government of President Daniel Ortega said that the priests were flown to Rome Wednesday afternoon following productive talks with the Vatican. Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, the church’s top figure in Nicaragua, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Vatican confirmed Thursday that the Holy See had been asked to receive the 12 priests who had been recently released. It said they would be taken in and housed in various structures belonging to the diocese of Rome.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/18/nicaragua-vatican-priests-prisoners/04ae7cfc-6e25-11ee-b01a-f593caa04363_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. The pope’s absolute power, and the problems it can cause, are on display in 2 Vatican trials, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 19, 2023, 12:04 AM Two Vatican trials are coming to a head this week and posing uncomfortable questions for the Holy See, given they both underscore Pope Francis’ power as an absolute monarch and the legal, financial and reputational problems that can arise when he wields it. On Wednesday, the Vatican’s former in-house auditor was in court for a hearing in his 9.3 million euro wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the Holy See. Libero Milone says Vatican police forced his resignation in 2017 under the threat of arrest, after he was told Francis had “lost faith” in him over his zealous attempts to audit Vatican monsignors. The Vatican secretariat of state has objected to being named as a defendant in the suit, arguing it had nothing to do with Milone’s hiring or resignation and that the city state’s tribunal had no place getting involved. The rationale: The pope hired Milone and then wanted him out, and the court has no right to judge his decisions. On Thursday, the Vatican’s long-running financial fraud, extortion and corruption trial resumes, with defense attorneys offering final arguments ahead of a verdict expected before the end of the year.  Much of the London case rests on the passage of the property from one London broker to another in late 2018. Prosecutors allege the second broker, Gianluigi Torzi, hoodwinked the Vatican by maneuvering to secure full control of the building that he only relinquished when the Vatican paid him 15 million euros. For Vatican prosecutors, that amounted to extortion. For the defense – and a British judge who rejected Vatican requests to seize Torzi’s assets – it was a negotiated exit from a legally binding contract.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/19/vatican-trial-london-pope-cardinal/9bc5b15a-6e34-11ee-b01a-f593caa04363_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3.  Mexican Diocese Building New Shrine to Martyrs of Cristero War, Father López noted that the shrine is being built in the place where these martyrs were killed and it is intended to be an important pilgrimage destination., By Diego López Colín, Catholic News Agency, October 19, 2023 The Archdiocese of Durango in Mexico has begun the construction of a shrine dedicated to the martyrs who offered their lives during the Cristero War. The new church is expected to be completed by mid-2026. The Cristero War, an armed conflict in Mexico that lasted from 1926 to 1929, was triggered by anticlerical legislation enacted by then-president Plutarco Elías Calles, which unleashed bloody religious persecution. Not only did many who took up arms to defend their faith lose their lives, but the government also killed some who peacefully expressed their faith in public. The martyrs to be venerated in this new shrine are saints Mateo Correa Magallanes, Salvador Lara Puente, Luis Batiz, Manuel Morales, and David Roldán. Their feast day is celebrated on May 21. On that day in 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized them in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.  https://www.ncregister.com/cna/mexican-diocese-building-new-shrine-to-martyrs-of-cristero-war__________________________________________________________ 4. Illinois Gov. Pritzker takes his fight for abortion access national with a new self-funded group, By John O’Connor, Associated Press, October 18, 2023, 5:28 PM Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is taking his abortion-rights advocacy nationwide, introducing on Wednesday a political organization to fund similar efforts outside Illinois, a state that legalized abortion by statute even before the Supreme Court invalidated the right to undergo the procedure. Think Big America has already funded support for constitutional amendments favoring abortion access in OhioArizona and Nevada. The effort also enhances the profile of the Democratic governor and multibillionaire equity investor and philanthropist. Pritzker has said he’s focused on serving as a Midwest governor, but speculation is rampant that he harbors presidential ambitions.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/10/18/pritzker-illinois-abortion-access-roe-dark-money/bba942a6-6df4-11ee-b01a-f593caa04363_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Could Parolin be pope?, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, October 18, 2023, 3:01 PM As the synod on synodality proceeds at the Vatican, bishops and lay participants have reportedly weighed in on a variety of ways by which the synod might propose changes to Catholic doctrine, or that elements of Catholic teaching be at least reexamined and deemphasized, in response to the pope’s call to see the Church become more “synodal” — and more welcoming to Catholics disaffected from the Church. But while reports pile up of participants with views at odds with Catholic teaching, sources have told The Pillar that one voice in the synod has been a loud advocate for a vision of synodality that places Catholic doctrine at its center: Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Given his ordinary reputation for diplomatic reserve, the notion that Parolin has been outspoken at the synod might come as a surprise. And it comes at an unusual time for the cardinal — as Parolin seems both privately and publicly to be moving from Pope Francis’ inner circle. Whatever his intervention might mean for the synod, the more interesting question might be about another Vatican assembly — what could an outspoken Pietro Parolin mean for the next papal conclave?  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/could-parolin-be-pope__________________________________________________________

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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