1. Catholics and Election 2020: Biden Lean Increases, By Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics, October 20, 2020, Opinion
One influential liberal, John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, made news recently by explaining his support for Joe Biden. “For years, I have said that I often feel politically homeless as a pro-life, social justice, consistent-ethic Catholic,” he wrote in the Jesuit journal America. “This is not a badge of honor. If we Catholics are politically homeless, it is because we have failed to build a home. Sometimes we cannot even find shelter.”
Then Carr got to the point of his article. “I believe Mr. Trump’s character, lack of integrity and record on racism and Covid-19, among other matters, constitute ‘morally grave reasons’ to oppose his reelection and that Mr. Biden has the ‘character and integrity’ to lead our nation and is ‘more likely to pursue other authentic human goods,’” Carr wrote. “I will vote for Mr. Biden for what he can do to help us recover and heal, lift up those left behind, ensure healthcare for all and treat immigrants and refugees with respect.”
Responding to a query from RealClearPolitics, conservative Catholic physician and activist Grazie Pozo Christie offered a rebuttal. “As a Catholic, I will vote confidently for President Trump based on a long list of accomplishments his administration has taken to promote human life and dignity, religious liberty, and the common good,” she wrote.
Dr. Christie went through the litany of Trump actions she said bolsters his credentials: two (perhaps three) conservative Supreme Court justices, his attendance at the annual March for Life, his defense of the Little Sisters of the Poor, his support of late-term abortion bans. “I’m focused on actions, not words, however beautiful or brutish,” she added. “As a mother of parochial school children, this administration’s eager support of faith-based entities’ inclusion in the CARES Act meant the world to me. Joe Biden, for his part, has embraced the Democratic Party’s extreme positions on abortion [and] selected an unapologetic anti-Catholic as his running mate. …
“Homelessness often leads to confusion and desperation. John Carr feeling politically ‘homeless’ seems a case in point. He’s trying to find a home where, sadly, his views on ‘morally grave’ issues are no longer welcome.”
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics.
2. Evangelicals, Catholics split on supporting Trump, Pollsters see growing fissures in White Christian base of voters, By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, October 20, 2020, Pg. A8
A significant split has emerged in President Trump’s religious electorate, with White evangelical voters backing the president amid growing dissatisfaction from Catholic and mainline Protestant voters, according to two new national surveys.
On Monday, the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute’s (PRRI) annual survey of American values found 46% of White mainline Protestants and 41% of White Catholics approved of Mr. Trump, a dramatic decline from his standing with those two groups in 2016.
In addition, the Catholic media network EWTN and RealClearOpinion. com on Monday reported a sizable drop in approval of Mr. Trump among Catholic voters compared to 2016, from 48% to 40%.
Mr. Trump has maintained large swaths of support from White evangelicals, with nearly 8 in 10 supporting his reelection, according to 2016 exit polling. This group has comprised the bulk of the Republican president’s “White Christian base,” but pollsters now are seeing cracks in the foundation.
3. Ousted cardinal says he will sue media over allegations involving Pell trial, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, October 20, 2020
Over the weekend Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who last month was fired from his Vatican job over accusations of embezzlement, has announced plans to take legal action against media outlets saying he bribed a witness in the abuse trial of his former nemesis, Australian Cardinal George Pell.
In a statement issued Oct. 17, Becciu’s lawyer, Fabio Viglione, referred to allegations that his client interfered in Pell’s legal process, “vigorously” insisting that Becciu “has never interfered with it in any way whatsoever.”
4. Is this the end of the College of Cardinals as a polite society?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 20, 2020, Opinion
By tradition, both the United States Senate and the College of Cardinals have been a sort of Country Club in which members, whatever their disagreements, treat one another with courtesy. That culture of civility disintegrated long ago in the Senate, and if Cardinal Joseph Zen has anything to do with, it may not be long-lived in the Church either.
On Oct. 7, Zen, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, posted a long reflection on the Vatican’s approach to China on his personal blog, in which – there’s really no other word for it – he eviscerated fellow Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State and the man largely responsible for the Vatican’s 2018 deal with Beijing on the appointment of bishops.

In all likelihood, Francis will stay out of it; Parolin, ever the diplomat, will refuse to respond in kind, and won’t take any action; and Zen, fueled by a strong sense of conviction, won’t back down.
In other words, probably there will be no dramatic showdown in Rome to hash things out, followed by a face-saving public statement. Instead, the war of words – admittedly one-sided, but then Parolin’s response actually comes in pursuing détente with China regardless of what Zen says – will continue. It may be hard to imagine how much more forceful Zen could be, but where there’s a will there’s also usually a way.
In other words, nothing about the Vatican’s policy on China may be affected by any of this. The College of Cardinal’s run as a polite society, on the other hand, may be very much in jeopardy.
5. Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the future of physician-assisted suicide, By Charles Lane, The Washington Post, October 19, 2020, 7:34 PM, Opinion
Other issues created more controversy during her confirmation hearings, but one of the insufficiently appreciated effects of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s elevation to the Supreme Court could be to fortify existing high court doctrine on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, specifically a 23-year-old precedent denying that terminally ill patients have a constitutional right to either one.
The public appears increasingly sympathetic to such laws, but Barrett would join Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh as Trump appointees who, as of the time they were nominated, had given implicit but clear indicia that they would vote no on a “right to die,” just as all nine justices did in the 1997 case of Washington v. Glucksberg.
6. Amid tumult over constitution, Chile watches two churches burn, By Inés San Martín, Crux, October 19, 2020
As Chile reels from protest and tumult fueled by a push to rewrite the country’s Pinochet-era constitution, the Catholic Church appears caught in the middle, with two churches being torched over the weekend while onlookers cheered, part of a broader pattern of street violence.
At least five people have been arrested for setting one of those churches ablaze, with one detained inside the church and four outside. Twitter videos show protesters entering the back of the church, removing religious figures and other objects that were either destroyed or used to erect barricades.
The violence came as part of broad national demonstrations ahead of a referendum next Sunday to decide whether, and how, a new constitution will be drafted to replace the one adopted during Augusto Pinochet’s notorious military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990.

Catholic leaders in Chile have condemned not just the church attacks but the resort to violence amid tensions over the constitutional referendum.
7. Where Catholic likely voters stand on issues, candidates, ahead of presidential election, By Catholic News Agency, October 19, 2020, 4:20 PM
A poll released this week has found that Catholics from both major political parties said they want candidates to support religious freedom and oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, while they identified the economy and the coronavirus pandemic as major concerns leading up to the election.
The poll found that Catholic likely voters, divided mostly along party lines, favor the election of Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. Biden’s lead among Catholic voters narrowed in several swing states, and among Catholics who attend Mass weekly.
Overall, 78% said they were more likely to support candidates who protect religious freedom for people of faith. This included majorities of both men and women, as well as majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, and majorities of every age range, geographic region, and race surveyed.
8. Poll: Catholic likely voters support Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination, By Catholic News Agency, October 19, 2020, 4:27 PM
Catholic likely voters support Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination as a Supreme Court justice by a nearly 20-point margin over those who oppose the appointment, according to a new poll released Monday.
Conducted Oct. 5-11 by RealClear Opinion Research in partnership with EWTN News, the poll surveyed 1,490 likely voters who self-identify as Catholic.
Forty-six percent said they support Barrett’s nomination, while 28% oppose it and 27% do not have an opinion, the poll found.
Support was divided among political lines, with 77% of Catholic Republicans supporting the nomination and 4% opposing, compared to 24% of Catholic Democrats supporting and 46% opposing.
9. UK court to review Down Syndrome abortion law, Catholic News Agency, October 19, 2020, 2:00 PM
The High Court of England and Wales has agreed to hear a challenge to the country’s abortion law, which allows children with Down syndrome to be aborted until birth, as discriminatory towards people diagnosed with the condition.
The application, which was filed by Heidi Crowter, a woman with Down syndrome, and Máire Lea-Wilson, mother of 16-month-old son Aiden, who has Down syndrome, was granted on October 17.
10. Report: Secret audio recording shows key figures discussing Vatican’s London property deal, By Catholic News Agency, October 19, 2020, 1:00 PM
An Italian newspaper claimed Monday that it had gained access to a secret audio recording of a meeting between three central figures in the Vatican’s controversial London property deal.
In a report published Oct. 19, the Corriere della Sera newspaper said it had heard “extensive excerpts” from a meeting between Gianluigi Torzi, Fabrizio Tirabassi, and Enrico Crasso on Dec. 19, 2018.
The report, which includes the audio file, said the three men can be heard discussing the deal which is now at the center of a criminal investigation by the Vatican judiciary.

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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