1. Black D.C. archbishop’s rise marks a historic moment, By Elana Schor, Associated Press, October 26, 2020
Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory is set to become the first Black U.S. prelate to assume the rank of cardinal in the Catholic Church, a historic appointment that comes months after nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice.
Gregory’s ascension, announced on Sunday by Pope Francis alongside 12 other newly named cardinals, elevates a leader who has drawn praise for his handling of the sexual abuse scandal that has roiled the church. The Washington-area archbishop also has spoken out in recent days about the importance of Catholic leaders working to combat the sin of racial discrimination.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which represents LGBTQ Catholics, said his group is “very excited” to see Gregory’s elevation and connected it back to Francis’ recently reported comments supporting civil unions for same-sex couples.
2. Pope names 13 new cardinals, including Wilton Gregory of Washington, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, October 25, 2020
On Sunday Pope Francis announced the creation of 13 new cardinals, including American Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, making him the first African-American to get a red hat.
Speaking during his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis confirmed rumors that have been circling for days, announcing a Nov. 28 consistory, which falls on the vigil of the first Sunday of the Church’s liturgical season of Advent.
Gregory, the only American cardinal to be named, is one of the few African-American bishops in the United States and succeeded Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned after allegations in the wake of a 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury report that he allowed predator priests to receive pension money despite years of accusations of sexual abuse.

He gave the red hat to several key allies in the Roman Curia, including Maltese Bishop Martin Grech, the newly appointed Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and Bishop Marcello Semeraro, who was recently appointed prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Other appointees include: Archbishop Antoine Kambanda of Kigali, Rwanda; Archbishop Jose Fuerte Advincula of Capiz in the Philippines; Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco of Santiago, Chile, who was tapped to clean up the nation’s massive clerical abuse scandals; Archbishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei; Archbishop Paolo Lojudice of Siena, and who is a former auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rome; and Fra Mauro Gambetti, who oversees the Sacred Convent in Assisi.
3. Beyond ‘Moviegate,’ deep questions remain on Vatican’s China gamble, John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 25, 2020, Opinion
Two storylines are fighting it out to dominate Vatican coverage, and so far it’s no contest: A media frenzy over manipulation and censorship of a few seconds of papal verbiage on civil unions in a new documentary has overwhelmed the Vatican and China renewing their deal on the appointment of bishops for another two years.
Care to guess, 100 years from now, which of those two developments will seem a “sensational passing event” and which a “deeper, slower movement that makes history”? And the kicker is that arguably, both stories reflect the same defining instinct of Pope Francis.

The pact with Beijing, the terms of which still have never been made public, is by far the development with greater long-term consequence.
First, China is a global superpower, and the Vatican’s capacity to influence the global agenda for the rest of the 21st century will rise or fall, in part, on its ability to engage China effectively. Second, Roman Catholicism has a largely decentralized administrative system in which bishops are invested with tremendous latitude, so nothing any pope ever does is as important as deciding who gets the job. When the Church gives away a share of its autonomy in making those choices, the ramifications are potentially mammoth.
In effect, the Vatican rolling the historical dice on China. Despite Rome’s frustrations with the implementation of the deal, abundantly chronicled in the Crux interview with Gallagher, and despite China’s dubious record on human rights and religious freedom, the Vatican is banking that in the long run, having a unified corps of bishops in the country recognized by the pope, over time, will produce a stronger and more stable local church.
At the same time, it’s also gambling that giving Beijing most of what it wants in this deal means continuing the conversation, putting Rome in a position to gradually nudge the Chinese authorities on a variety of fronts.
This, is turn, brings us to the scarlet thread running through both storylines: Pope Francis’s instinct when it comes to deal with morally flawed actors, whether people or nations, is to meet them halfway, hoping that proximity will bring them further down the path.
4. Polish archbishop speaks out as protesters disrupt Masses after abortion ruling, By Catholic News Agency, October 25, 2020, 3:30 PM
The president of Poland’s bishops’ conference has urged critics of a landmark abortion ruling to express their opposition “in a socially acceptable way” after protesters disrupted Sunday Masses.
Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki issued the appeal Oct. 25, after the country’s constitutional court ruled Thursday that a law permitting abortion for fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional.

Videos on social media showed protesters interrupting Sunday Masses while holding signs supporting abortion.
“Profanity, violence, abusive inscriptions, and the disturbance of services and profanations that have been committed in recent days — although they may help some people to defuse their emotions — are not the right way to act in a democratic state,” the archbishop of Poznań said.
“I express my sadness that in many churches today believers have been prevented from praying and that the right to profess their faith has been forcibly taken away.”
5. Pope and Spain’s prime minister visit maskless at Vatican, By Associated Press, October 25, 2020
Pope Francis met with the Spanish prime minister Saturday at the Vatican, which has had a rash of COVID-19 infections confirmed in recent days, but neither man used a face a mask during the public part of their meeting.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wore a mask when he arrived in a Vatican courtyard. But everyone sat unmasked immediately before and after his closed-door talks with Francis at the Apostolic Palace, including during the speech the pontiff gave in Spanish to Sanchez and his entourage.
6. Fiasco over pope’s cut civil union quote intensifies impact, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 23, 2020, 12:41 PM
The world premiere of a documentary on Pope Francis was supposed to have been a bright spot for a papacy locked down by a pandemic and besieged by a corruption scandal, recalling Francis’ glory days traveling the world to bless the oppressed.
But the red carpet rollout of “Francesco” has been anything but bright, with evidence that the Vatican censored the pope last year by deleting his endorsement of same-sex civil unions from an interview, only to have the footage resurface in the new film.
Aside from the firestorm the remarks created, the “Francesco” fiasco has highlighted the Vatican’s often self-inflicted communications wounds and Francis’ willingness to push his own agenda, even at the expense of fueling pushback from conservative Catholics.
That pushback was swift and came from predictable corners: Cardinal Raymond Burke, Francis’ frequent nemesis on matters of doctrine, said the pope’s comments were devoid of any “magisterial weight.” But in a statement, Burke expressed concern that such personal opinions coming from the pope “generate great bewilderment and cause confusion and error among Catholic faithful.”

The Rev. James Martin, one of the leading priestly advocates for LGBT Catholics, said the controversy over the pope’s comments would in the end be helpful.
“The intrigue over the video’s origin, and the explosive reaction to the pope’s ongoing support for LGBT people, make the pope’s words look more dangerous, and therefore more powerful,” he said.
7. Analysis: How the Washington Post is opening the path to use the pope against the Catholic Church, By Alejandro Bermudez, Catholic News Agency, October 23, 2020, 11:05 PM, Opinion
Amid an international fracas over Pope Francis’ words on civil unions in a newly released documentary, the pope’s remarks have begun to be used to criticize Catholic organizations facing ongoing religious liberty challenges in the U.S. – despite the pope’s very public alignment with these organizations on the issues of same sex marriages and adoptions.

In 2018, the city of Philadelphia notified Catholic Social Services, as well as Bethany Christian Services, that their policies of not working with same-sex couples on foster care placements were discriminatory; the city stopped contracting with both services.
Catholic Social Services declined to alter its policy and has not had any new foster care placements through the city.
Litigation against the city was filed by Sharonell Fulton and Toni Simms-Busch, who have fostered more than 40 children. The lawsuit has now made its way to the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post’s editorial board commented on the case:
“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?”
The Post’s editorial did not reference the Pope’s clear record on the issue of such adoptions. 

While spin is rampant, and is likely to increase, and while the Holy See has yet to address the controversy, one thing is clear: there is no evidence to suggest that pope has deviated from his long and public opposition to same sex marriage and adoption by same sex couples.
8. Mississippi asks US Supreme Court to solve circuit court split with 15 week abortion case, By Catholic News Agency, October 23, 2020, 2:01 PM
The Mississippi Attorney General on Thursday urged the US Supreme Court to hear a case regarding the state’s ban on most abortions from 15 weeks into pregnancy, citing a circuit split over a question raised in the suit.

“The circuit split…continues to grow,” she wrote, over the question “whether the validity of a pre-viability law that protects women’s health, the dignity of unborn children, and the integrity of the medical profession and society should be analyzed under Casey’s ‘undue burden’ standard or Hellerstedt’s balancing of benefits and burdens.”

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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