TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 79 – Carrie Severino On Amy Coney Barrett & Oscar Delgado On His New Movie Two Crowns!
Dr. Grazie Christie speaks with Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network about next steps with regard to the confirmation process of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Dr. Jennifer Roback-Morse also joins with a look at some of the attacks against the accomplished mother of 7. We also get a sneak peek of the new movie ‘Two Crowns’ with producer Oscar Delgado, a moving tribute to the life and legacy of St. Maximilian Kolbe–all on a new episode of Conversations with Consequences–catch the show LIVE every Saturday at 5pm ET on EWTN radio!
1. Australian police not investigating Vatican money transfer, By Rod McGuirk, Associated Press, October 23, 2020
Australian state police said Friday they’re not investigating the transfer of money from the Vatican to Australia, throwing doubt on Italian media speculation that it might be linked to the overturned convictions of Cardinal George Pell for child sex abuse.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera speculated in recent weeks that Vatican investigators were looking into whether Pell’s nemesis at the Holy See, ousted Cardinal Angelo Becciu, wired 700,000 euros ($823,000) in Vatican money to a bank account in Australia, and whether that money was tied to Pell’s sex abuse trial.
Victoria Police, which in 2017 charged Pell with child sex abuse, said the Australian intelligence agency responsible for detecting international financial crime, AUSTRAC, had confirmed that Vatican money had been wired to Australia.
2. Bottom line on pope movie mystery: ‘If you don’t fix it, you bought it’, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 23, 2020, Opinion
There’s a PR corollary that could be said to go like this: “No matter who breaks it, if you don’t fix it you bought it.” It means that no matter what a leader actually says or does, if he or she allows an impression to be created and doesn’t publicly disown it, then it belongs to them.
The thought comes to mind in light of the emerging mystery surrounding the new pope documentary “Francesco” by Evgeny Afineevsky, which debuted this week and already is a candidate to contain the most-dissected 20 seconds of imagery about a major world leader since the Zapruder film.
In those twenty seconds, Pope Francis makes comments about civil unions for same-sex persons that created a global media frenzy on Wednesday, reported as the first time a pope explicitly had endorsed civil unions.

Within 48 hours, however, the narrative began to shift, because it emerges that those celebrated 20 seconds aren’t one continuous statement from Pope Francis, but rather a montage of lines uttered in different contexts stitched together and covered by strategically timed camera cut-aways.  One Italian analyst claimed yesterday there were five separate elements of film, and therefore at least four edits, contained in that twenty-second span, which has to be some kind of record.

So, here’s the bottom line.
Did Pope Francis actually say in that 2019 interview what the movie makes it appear he said? Not exactly, because what we see in “Francesco” is a pastiche of phrases uttered in different contexts, and, in the absence of more information, it’s impossible to know precisely what Francis had in mind.
Does it matter? Probably not. If Pope Francis didn’t want you to believe he supports civil unions, he’s got plenty of tools to set the record straight. Until that happens, no amount of breaking down the tape is likely to make much difference.
3. Taiwan voices religious freedom concerns after renewal of Vatican-China deal, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, October 23, 2020
Taiwan has stressed concern for religious freedom and human rights following yesterday’s announcement of the renewal of the Vatican-China provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops, insisting the deal is not diplomatic and voicing hope it will better conditions for religious communities in the mainland.
In an Oct. 22 statement issued after the announcement of the deal’s renewal, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they have maintained a consistent position on the accord, and voiced hope that “it can help improve the worsening situation of religious freedom in the [People’s Republic of China].”
They argued that religious freedom and human rights “have continued to deteriorate in China,” and pointed to government measures aimed at “suppressing believers who resist being controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)” and which force bishops to join the CCP-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association..”
4. Bishops: Pope’s civil union remarks won’t change teaching on marriage, By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service, October 23, 2020
Pope Francis’s expression of openness to the idea of laws recognizing civil unions, including for gay couples, to protect their rights does not change church teaching on marriage as being between one woman and one man, said several U.S. bishops and dioceses.
“His comments in no way signal a departure from the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning marriage or homosexuality,” said Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh. “It speaks, rather, of a pastoral approach to these issues.”
Other bishops said they were awaiting clarification from the pope on his comments that appear in a brief passage in the documentary film “Francesco.”
And at least one bishop opposed church recognition of civil unions.
“The pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been long-standing teaching of the church about same-sex unions,” Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, said in a statement.
5. A welcome shift on LGBTQ rights, Pope Francis’s recent remarks on same-sex civil unions mark a meaningful step., By The Washington Post, October 23, 2020, Pg. A20, Editorial
IN MANY parts of the world, includingly predominantly Catholic countries, people who fall in love with people of the same sex continue to suffer persecution, isolation, condemnation and even violence. For that reason alone, Pope Francis’s comments on same-sex civil unions mark a welcome watershed. If they lead to real change in church policy, all the better.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear a case about whether a Catholic social services agency is entitled to continue receiving public funds if it refuses to place children in foster care with same-sex couples. Is the church’s position in that case consistent with the pope’s humane assessment that all people are entitled to enjoy the blessings of family life?
6. Key ally says pope’s always backed same-sex ‘civil coexistence’, By Inés San Martín, Crux, October 23, 2020
Despite mounting doubt about whether Pope Francis’s bombshell remarks this week on civil unions in a new documentary are the result of clever editing by the movie’s director, a close ally from Argentina often dubbed his ghostwriter said the pontiff has always supported “civil coexistence” for same-sex couples.
“For him, the expression ‘marriage’ has a precise meaning and is only applied to the stable union between a man and a woman open to communicating life,” wrote Archbishop Manuel Fernandez of La Plata in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“However, [Jorge] Bergoglio always recognized that, without calling it ‘marriage,’ there are in fact, very close unions between people of the same sex, which do not in themselves imply sexual relations, but a very intense and stable alliance,” Fernandez wrote.
7. Senate Judiciary Committee Votes On Amy Coney Barrett, By The Catholic Association, October 22, 2020
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is officially on her way to a Senate confirmation vote to become Justice Barrett. During a flawless hearing performance, Judge Barrett masterfully fielded questions about Constitutional law without a note for 20 hours, her impressive flock of children seated behind her. Amy Coney Barrett is already proving to be a transformational figure, and we look forward to her confirmation vote. We are especially grateful to Sen. Lindsey Graham for steering this nomination brilliantly through his committee.”
Maureen Ferguson is a Senior Fellow for The Catholic Association.
“We applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for moving forward Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. As evidenced by her flawless performance during her hearings, Judge Barrett is fully deserving of the confidence in her the committee exhibited today. She is a remarkably accomplished jurist and scholar, in addition to an admirable woman of character, and should be swiftly confirmed to the highest court.”
Ashley McGuire is a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association.
8. Plot thickens over origins of pope’s civil union endorsement, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 22, 2020
Questions swirled Thursday about the origins of Pope Francis’s bombshell comments endorsing same-sex civil unions, with all evidence suggesting he made them in a 2019 interview that was never broadcast in its entirety.
The Vatican refused to comment on whether it cut the remarks from its own broadcast or if the Mexican broadcaster that conducted the interview did. And it didn’t respond to questions about why it allowed the comments to be aired now in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday.
In the movie, which was shown at the Rome Film Festival, Francis said gay people have the right to be in a family since they are “children of God.”
9. US hosts signing of declaration rejecting ‘human right’ to abortion, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, October 22, 2020, 1:00 PM
The United States hosted the signing ceremony of the Geneva Consensus Declaration on Thursday. The document rejects the claim that abortion is an international human right.
“Today we put down a clear marker; no longer can UN agencies reinterpret and misinterpret agreed-upon language without accountability,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar during the ceremony Oct. 22..
“Without apology we affirm that governments have the soverign right to make their own laws to protect innocent life and write their regulations on abortion” Azar said.
“In signing the declaration today, the United States is honored to stand alongside Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda, the cross-regional cosponsors for the declaration,” he said. A total of 32 countries have signed onto the declaration.
10. Poland’s top court rules out abortions due to fetal defects, By Monika Scislowska, Associated Press, October 22, 2020, 9:51 AM
Poland’s top court ruled Thursday that a law allowing abortion of fetuses with congenital defects is unconstitutional, shutting a major loophole in the predominantly Catholic country’s abortion laws that are among the strictest in Europe.
Two judges in the 13-member Constitutional Court did not back the majority ruling. Activists deplored the decision, and the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner wrote on Twitter that it was a “sad day for women’s rights.”

The court argued that terminating pregnancy due to defects of the fetus amounted to eugenics — a 19th century notion of genetic selection that was later applied by the Nazis in their pseudo-scientific experiments.

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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“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.