1. Vatican, China extend bishop agreement over US opposition, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 22, 2020, 6:08 AM
The Vatican and China extended a controversial accord on bishop nominations Thursday over strong opposition from the White House and conservative Catholics given Beijing’s crackdown on religious believers.
The Holy See and Beijing government jointly announced a two-year extension to the 2018 agreement, which expired Thursday.
The Vatican justified the extension by saying the agreement was purely ecclesiastic and pastoral in nature, not political, though it noted that continued dialogue would allow the Holy See to engage with Beijing on other problems, including human rights abuses.

The Vatican has rarely, if ever, called out China for its crackdown and other human rights abuses, and it has stayed mum during months of protests in Hong Kong.
2. Divided reactions in US as pope backs same-sex civil unions, By David Crary and Elana Schor, Associated Press, October 22, 2020
LGBTQ Catholics and their allies in the U.S. welcomed Pope Francis’s endorsement of same-sex civil unions, the first time he’s done so as pontiff, while some prominent members including a bishop said Wednesday that he was blatantly contradicting church teaching.
Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, was one of the first conservative Catholic leaders to go public with criticism.
“The Pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the Church about same-sex unions,” Tobin said in a statement. “The Church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships.”

Another teaching confines the institution of marriage to a man and a woman — and that remains intact regardless of the pope’s remarks on same-sex unions, said Brian Burch, president of the conservative group CatholicVote.
Francis “has no ability to change that teaching about the permanence and exclusivity of marriage,” Burch said, adding that he doesn’t see the comments having “explosive relevance” in the current U.S. political climate.
“Catholics who live in communion with what the church teaches understand that marriage is written into the law of nature,” Burch said. “Nothing can change that.”

Father James Martin, a prominent Jesuit priest who has advocated for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the church, called the remarks momentous.
3. US Bishops Launch Novena for Election Day, By Catholic News Agency, October 22, 2020
The bishops of the United States are encouraging Catholics to pray a novena to help form their consciences ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.
“For nine consecutive days, Monday, October 26 through Tuesday, Nov. 3, participants will be encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the day’s intention,” says the USCCB’s webpage for the 2020 Election Novena.
A closing prayer for elected leaders will be offered on day 10, Wednesday, November 4.
The closing prayer asks that “the leaders elected this week be guided by the Holy Spirit as they fulfill their positions.”
4. Report: Vatican investigators provide evidence of payments to Italian ‘security consultant’, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, October 21, 2020, 2:00 PM
Vatican investigators have evidence that an Italian woman accused of embezzling from the city state was paid by order of Cardinal Angelo Becciu, both while and after he was at the Secretariat of State, according to an Italian news report.
Italian news agency Adnkronos reported on Oct. 21 that it has seen a 13-page document sent by Vatican investigators to the Italian Minister of Justice, Alfonso Bonafede. The document was sent as support for the request for the extradition of Cecilia Marogna. CNA has not independently confirmed the report.

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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