1. Of Catholics and Communists, By The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2022, Pg. A16, Editorial Even as Xi Jinping was being crowned as China’s unchallenged dictator, the Vatican said Saturday it has renewed its agreement with the Chinese Communist Party. This is the second renewal since the deal was brokered in 2018, though there’s little progress on religious freedom to show for it. Its main contribution has been to mute Vatican criticism of human-rights abuses, from the genocide of the Muslim Uyghurs to the political prosecution of Cardinal Joseph Zen in Hong Kong. The deal gives Beijing a say in the appointment of Catholic bishops, but it’s telling that its terms are secret. A handful of mostly pro-Beijing bishops have been appointed. But the National Catholic Register reports that 36 of China’s 98 dioceses lack a bishop.  In the history of the papacy, perhaps nothing was as thrilling—even for non-Catholics—as the election in 1978 of a Polish pope from behind the Iron Curtain. “Be not afraid,” Pope John Paul II would tell believers, and he set the example by morally challenging regimes such as the Soviet Union and using his papacy to bring the plight of the forgotten and persecuted to the world’s attention. The current Vatican’s motto is: be afraid. Pope Francis has given the Chinese Communist Party a free pass on its inhumane behavior, and in so doing he has compromised the moral authority of the Catholic church. https://www.wsj.com/articles/of-catholics-and-communists-china-ccp-communism-hong-kong-pope-francis-cardinal-joseph-zen-appointments-vatican-11666540788__________________________________________________________ 2. An open letter to President Biden, You profess one thing and do the precise opposite, By Michael McKenna, The Washington Times, October 24, 2022, Pg. B2, Opinion In the last six months, there have been attacks on nearly 100 Catholic churches and more than six dozen pregnancy centers. During this time, you — a self-described devout Catholic who carries a rosary on his person to remind you of the sacrifice of Mary, Mother of God, whose own pregnancy led to the redemption of the world — have remained silent with respect to these attacks. Instead of speaking out as the attacks have escalated, you instead have made it clear that you intend to use the full weight of the federal government — which you command and direct — to ensure that abortion and its providers retain all of their privileges.  Your public and obvious embrace of the symbols of Catholicism and your unwillingness to do anything except help abortion grow and flourish is unconscionable. Your unwillingness to even say anything about the physical attacks on our institutions is incomprehensible.  This nation cannot long endure the endless round of attacks and recriminations from left and right. If we can’t even agree on what constitutes a de minimis level of adherence to our own religious doctrine, how can we hope to bring others together? Michael McKenna, a columnist for The Washington Times, co-hosts “The Unregulated Podcast.” He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/oct/21/an-open-letter-to-president-biden/__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope, Macron meet at Vatican; Ukraine concerns loom large, By Associated Press, October 24, 2022, 6:08 AM Pope Francis on Monday met at the Vatican with French President Emmanuel Macron, with the war in Ukraine looming large in both leaders’ concerns. The nearly hour-long private audience was Francis’ third with Macron since becoming pontiff. Neither side immediately released details of their talks. On the eve of their meeting, Macron spoke at a conference in Rome about the need for Ukraine to decide the time and terms of peace with Russia, which invaded its neighbor eight months ago. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-macron-meet-at-vatican-ukraine-concerns-loom-large/2022/10/24/d4472148-5383-11ed-ac8b-08bbfab1c5a5_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Archbishop Chaput: ‘Biden is not in communion with the Catholic faith’, By AC Wimmer, David Ramos, Catholic News Agency October 23, 2022, 5:32 AM Archbishop Charles Chaput said on Saturday that Joe Biden “is not in communion with the Catholic faith” and that “any priest who now provides Communion to the president participates in his hypocrisy.”  Speaking at a Eucharistic Symposium at the Diocese of Arlington on Oct. 22, the 78-year-old prelate also accused the second Catholic president in the history of the United States of “apostasy on the abortion issue.”  In his address, titled “Do this in Remembrance of Me: Memory, Culture, Sacrament,” the archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia spoke about “American Catholics and our 200-year struggle to fit into mainstream American culture.”   “We succeeded. But in the process, we’ve been digested and bleached out by the culture, rather than leavening it in a fertile way with a distinctive Catholic witness,” Chaput said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252624/archbishop-chaput-president-biden-not-in-communion-with-catholic-faith__________________________________________________________ 5. Vatican and China extend their deal on bishop appointments, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, October 22, 2022, 9:47 AM The Vatican and China on Saturday extended their oft-criticized agreement on the appointment of bishops in the Asian country, where the government has waged crackdowns over the years on religious believers.The Holy See announced the latest, two-year renewal of the 2018 arrangement in a brief statement. It said the Vatican was committed to “constructive dialogue” with China on implementing the accord and in improving bilateral relations “with a view to fostering the mission of the Catholic Church and the good of the Chinese people.″ https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/vatican-and-china-extend-their-deal-on-bishop-appointments/2022/10/22/7d0869f2-5200-11ed-ada8-04e6e6bf8b19_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Vatican and China Renew Agreement on Bishops as Beijing Tightens Control of Religion, Xi Jinping’s ‘sinicization’ campaign aims to domesticate all approved faiths, including Catholicism, By Francis X. Rocca and Elaine Yu, The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2022, 7:07 AM The Vatican and Beijing have renewed an agreement on the appointment of bishops that Rome views as a necessary compromise to keep Chinese Catholics united, but that critics view as acquiescence to the Chinese government’s growing control of religion.  The agreement, whose precise contents haven’t been made public, allows the Chinese government to nominate men to serve as Catholic bishops while giving the pope a veto, according to a person familiar with the matter. Renewal of the agreement was announced on the same weekend that Chinese leader Xi Jinping is set to defy recent norms and claim a third term as head of the Communist Party, which over the past 10 years has intensified government control of religion, including the Catholic Church. Last December, Mr. Xi said there was a need to “adhere to and develop socialist religious theories with Chinese characteristics,” and to “persist in uniting the masses of believers around the party and the government.” Religious groups have been required to modify their worship and teaching to reflect Communist Party doctrine, which clergy in the patriotic associations study at the Central Institute of Socialism in Beijing.  The Chinese government has harassed and detained Catholic clergy who refuse to register with the Patriotic Association, according to a U.S. government report published in February. Cardinal Joseph Zen, a former bishop of Hong Kong who is currently on trial over his involvement in a support fund for pro-democracy protesters there, has been an outspoken critic of the agreement on bishops. “The Vatican may have acted out of good faith but they have made an unwise decision,” the cardinal said in May, at a prayer meeting for the Catholic Church in China attended by hundreds of people in Hong Kong. https://www.wsj.com/articles/vatican-and-china-renew-agreement-on-bishops-as-beijing-tightens-control-of-religion-11666436864?__________________________________________________________ 7. Another Pontifical Academy for Life member criticizes overturning Roe v. Wade, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency October 21, 2022, 1:00 PM Roberto Dell’Oro, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has criticized the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade’s strong protections for legalized abortion. Dell’Oro is a moral theology professor and holds the O’Malley Chair in Bioethics at Loyola Marymount University, a Jesuit institution. He contends that the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case violates norms of democratic personal freedom and respect for women’s basic autonomy in a way that verges on the “totalitarian.” His views suggest a split between pro-life Catholic opinion in the U.S. and members of the pontifical body originally set up with a strong pro-life mission. Last week an economist who is an outspoken advocate for abortion rights, Mariana Mazzucato, was appointed to the pontifical academy. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252613/pontifical-academy-for-life-member-criticizes-overturning-roe-v-wade__________________________________________________________

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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