TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 235 – Father Ben Kiely On Campus Protests & New Movie ‘Free’ Explores Monastic Life! As Father Dave Pivonka has called Franciscan University a ‘safe haven’ for Jewish students amid violence erupting on college campuses, Father Ben Kiely of Nasarean weighs in on the protests in light of the ongoing crisis in Israel. We also preview the new movie, ‘Libres’ that explores monastic life, offering a rare glimpse into these spiritual powerhouses of prayer! Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio! 1. Lawyer charges Vatican ‘trial of the century’ with seeking scapegoats, By Crux, October 20, 2023 As the Vatican’s “trial of the century” lumbers towards its expected conclusion before the end of the year, it’s becoming increasingly clear that in rendering a verdict, the three-judge panel hearing the case isn’t just being to asked to choose between guilt or innocence for the ten defendants. In fact, the judges are also facing a choice between two competing narratives, which, in summary form, might be expressed as “conspiracy” versus “ineptitude.” On the one side is the story being told by chief prosecutor Alessandro Diddi, the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice, which is a tale of a large-scale criminal conspiracy to defraud the Vatican involving shady Italian financiers, corrupt Vatican officials and advisors, and, last but certainly not least, the pope’s own former chief of staff, Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu. On the other is the narrative propounded by the defense, and put in epigrammatic fashion yesterday by Cataldo Intrieri, a lawyer representing Fabrizio Tirabassi, a former financial official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State: “A bad investment isn’t a crime.” 2.  Synod on Synodality: LGBT issues, female diaconate discussed in emotional third week, By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, October 20, 2023, 7:31 AM This past week the Synod on Synodality assembly delved into two crucial themes: the accompaniment of LGBT individuals and the topic of a female diaconate. Additionally, the assembly discussed the structure of the Church, all with the aim of shaping a more synodal future for the Church. The process has been driven by what the Synod calls “active listening and speaking from the heart,” which, some participants have reportedly said, tends to be driven by emotions. It also raises a fundamental question: Will something truly defined ever emerge from the process? 3. J.B. Pritzker’s Abortion Money Game, The Illinois Governor opposes out-of-state funds, unless they’re his., By The Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2023, 7:05 PM, Editorial Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is moving to extend his influence beyond the Land of Lincoln by launching a new nonprofit called Think Big America, which intends to support abortion referendums in other states. It’s pretty cheeky coming from a guy who signed a ban on out-of-state money in Illinois judicial elections.  Now Mr. Pritzker’s money will anoint other swing states. Think Big America says it will push for ballot measures on abortion access in states that include Arizona, Ohio and Nevada. In a video announcing his new group, Mr. Pritzker says that the U.S. must stand up to “right-wing extremists,” and urgent action is needed to prevent “the end of reproductive rights, widespread book bans, a rollback of voting rights and civil rights.” Democrats might love Mr. Pritzker for his big checkbook, but the public could take a different lesson from his insincerity about out-of-state money. One thing’s clear, though: Gavin Newsom isn’t the only Democratic Governor who wants to be ready for 2024 if President Biden bows out. 4. Church in India celebrates two recent Supreme Court verdicts, By Anto Akkara, Catholic News Agency, October 19, 2023, 11:00 AM Two Supreme Court cases in India whose verdicts came down within the same 24 hours are being lauded by the Indian Church.  On Oct. 16, the Supreme Court of India rejected the plea of a mother of two children to abort her fetus in the 27th week — upholding the fetus’ “right to live.”  Under the abortion rules in India, called medical termination of pregnancy, abortion after 24 weeks requires medical proof of danger to the mother or to the fetus if the pregnancy is allowed to continue.  The following day, Oct. 17, the Supreme Court said “no” to legalizing gay marriage.   Hailing the verdict, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India in a press statement pointed out that the judgment “reaffirms the institution of traditional marriage, rooted in the sacred teachings and values held by the Catholic Church and many other faiths.”  While reiterating that “marriage, according to the Catholic Church, is a union exclusively between a man and a woman,” the Indian bishops noted that “homosexual unions are fundamentally different from the divine plan for marriage … At the same time, the Catholic Church emphasizes the need to treat individuals with same-sex attractions with respect, compassion, and sensitivity, rejecting any unjust discrimination.” “The verdicts of the Supreme Court denying legal sanction for gay marriage and denial of abortion in advanced pregnancy uphold the dignity of family and pro-life values,” the Syro-Malabar Church, which follows its own oriental rite and is based in southern Kerala state, pointed out in a press state statement Oct. 18. 5. ‘Preferred Pronouns,’ ‘Misgendering’ and Religious Freedom, Those who believe it is wrong to deny the biological sex that God has assigned a human being should brace themselves for the legal battles that lie ahead., By Andrea M. Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, October 19, 2023, Opinion One of the new mortal sins in the secular catechism is “misgendering.” Five years ago the term was unknown, except to a few transgender rights activists. Now we all know what it means: referring to someone born a woman as “she” or “her” if she identifies as a man, and someone born a man as “he” or “him” if he has decided that he is a woman. Gender ideologues and their allies in federal and state government have latched on to language as a highly effective way of imposing a “gender affirming” society on us. Catholics and others who believe it is wrong to deny the biological sex that God has assigned a human being should brace themselves for the legal battles that lie ahead.Misgendering is not only a sin for these ideologues, it is an easy chance to weaponize America’s social safety net. For example, gender ideologues have a stronghold at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — and this is really alarming, because they’re taking aim at children in foster care.  HHS has proposed a new rule requiring state child welfare agencies to ensure that each child in their care who identifies as LGBTQ+ receives “a safe and appropriate placement and services.” The rule insists that providers ensure “an environment free of hostility, mistreatment, or abuse based on the child’s LGBTQI+ status.” That’s reasonable. But look at what comes next.  The rule adds that “to be considered a safe and appropriate placement, a provider is expected to utilize the child’s identified pronouns, chosen name, and allow the child to dress in an age-appropriate manner that the child believes reflects their self-identified gender identity and expression.”  Faced with this madness, it’s reassuring that we can look to some of our bishops for clarity. Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, has written an impressive pastoral letter addressing gender ideology. He writes that “the claim to ‘be transgender’ or the desire to seek ‘transition’ rests on a mistaken view of the human person, rejects the body as a gift from God, and leads to grave harm. To affirm someone in an identity at odds with biological sex … is to mislead that person.”   A similar concern was expressed this past summer by the Supreme Court in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a case involving a Christian wedding website designer in Colorado who does not want to create websites for same-sex wedding ceremonies. Noting the importance of public accommodation laws, the court nonetheless affirmed long-standing precedent against government-compelled speech. “Laws along these lines have done much to secure the civil rights of all Americans,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for a 6-3 majority. “But in this particular case Colorado does not just seek to ensure the sale of goods and services on equal terms. It seeks to use the law to compel an individual to create speech she does not believe.” Undeterred, certain public officials are brazenly imposing gender ideology wherever they can. As we’ve seen, their weapon of choice is the strange lexicon of “preferred pronouns.” This imposition of ideology will wreak havoc in the workplace, social services such as our overwhelmed foster care system, and even in our courts. Our Catholic response, grounded in truth and charity, must be to resist.

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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