1. Vatican synodality text calls for structural reforms, The working document for the next phase of the synod on synodality calls for synodal reforms, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, October 27, 2022, 6:10 AM A working document for the continental phase of the Church’s global “synod on synodality” has called for institutional and structural reform of the Church at all levels, to better incorporate synodality into ecclesiastical life. The text, issued Oct. 27 by the Vatican’s Permanent Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, praised the local and national phases of the synodal process as a success, saying that “participation exceeded all expectations.” “Millions of people all over the world have been involved in the Synod’s activities: some by participating in the meetings at the local level, some by collaborating in the animation and coordination of the activities at the different levels, and some by offering the support of their prayers,” the text explained.  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/vatican-synodality-document-calls-for-structural-reforms/__________________________________________________________ 2. U.S. bishops list priorities for new Congress in 2023, By John Lavenburg, Crux, October 27, 2022 Ahead of the 118th Congress that kicks off shortly after the New Year, U.S. bishops’ conference chairmen have sent a letter to Congress imploring the nation’s elected leaders to prioritize policies focused on the “health, safety, and flourishing” of women, children and families. The letter outlines a detailed vision for “an authentically life-affirming society,” which professes hope for the day where abortion is unthinkable, there’s an economy that fully supports the family, and the central role of immigrant families within society are recognized.https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/10/u-s-bishops-list-priorities-for-new-congress-in-2023__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope urges priests and nuns to delete porn from their phones, By Ellen Francis, The Washington Post, October 27, 2022, 7:25 AM Pope Francis warned priests and nuns against watching pornography online and urged them to delete it from their phones to avoid falling into temptation. The 85-year-old pontiff told a Vatican session that porn on the internet was “a vice that so many people have … even priests and nuns,” in response to questions about using digital and social media responsibly. “The devil enters from there … It weakens the priestly heart,” he told seminarians and priests studying in Rome this week in remarks published by the Vatican on Wednesday. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/27/pope-francis-porn-priests-nuns/__________________________________________________________ 4. Catholic Church in England and Wales will ‘carefully study’ abuse report recommendations, By Catholic News Agency, October 27, 2022, 3:30 AM The Catholic Church in England and Wales has said that it will “carefully study“ the contents of a national report concerning sexual abuse, which recommends that reporting abuse to the police should be made mandatory, even if perpetrators admit to child abuse while confessing to a priest. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse released its report on October 20, after seven years of investigation and evidence-gathering. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252664/catholic-church-in-england-and-wales-will-carefully-study-abuse-report-recommendations__________________________________________________________ 5. COVID setback: Public school students in some grades lost more ground than Catholic school students, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, October 26, 2022, 7:45 AM The pandemic’s negative effect on learning was more pronounced among fourth- and eighth-graders at public schools than among their Catholic school counterparts, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education. The new data comes from The National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly referred to as The Nation’s Report Card. The assessment tests the academic achievement of private and public school students across the nation.  According to an NCEA press release, more than 90% of Catholic schools held in-person learning for five days a week during the pandemic. Only about 56% of public schools did the same, the press release says. The press release says that the Nation’s Report Card data shows that Catholic schools “are near the top in learning outcomes for students receiving free and reduced-price lunch, demonstrating the system’s commitment to underprivileged students.” “We’ve got to teach, and we have to get kids growing at the rate they were growing before and that takes acceleration, that takes work. But I can certainly say for us at NCEA, it is our top talking point when we’re working with our membership, that we understand that we need to grow our way out of this and we’re completely focused on that,” Snyder said. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252647/covid-setback-in-some-grades-public-school-students-lose-more-ground-than-catholic-school-students__________________________________________________________ 6. Russia is ‘willing’ to speak with Pope Francis about the war in Ukraine, By Catholic News Agency, October 26, 2022, 1:33 PM Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said his government is willing to talk with Pope Francis, the United States, and France to find a solution to the war in Ukraine. “We are willing to discuss all this (the situation in Ukraine) with the Americans, with the French, and with the pontiff,” Peskov said during a daily telephone news conference Oct. 25. The Russian official was referring to the proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron, who on Monday asked the Roman Pontiff to call Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to “promote the peace process” in Ukraine.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252658/russia-is-willing-to-speak-with-pope-francis-about-the-war-in-ukraine__________________________________________________________ 7. Repairing the Relationship Between Priests and Bishops, The new ‘National Survey of Catholic Priests’ highlights that bishops need to recognize that the vast majority of their spiritual sons, brothers and co-workers are indeed struggling and need their help, By Father Roger Landry, National Catholic Register, October 26, 2022, Opinion On Oct. 19, the results of the “National Survey of Catholic Priests” were released by The Catholic Project and the Department of Sociology at The Catholic University of America and revealed the enormous toll the Church’s response to the sexual-abuse crisis has been having on American clergy. The “National Survey,” the largest study of Catholic priests in America in more than 50 years, is an ambitious attempt to assess the state of the priesthood in the United States as the Church marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”  The biggest concerns, however, involve the toll the response to the clergy sexual-abuse crisis has been having on priests’ sense of vulnerability and their trust in their bishops.   In most dioceses, when a priest is accused, he loses his home, his job and his good name — all within hours. He is removed immediately from his rectory and parish assignment, prevented from public ministry for the length of what is often an inexcusably glacial investigation, and required to dress like a layman. A press release is published in which the priest’s reputation is injured, if not ruined. He needs to exhaust his meager savings or beg and borrow money to hire a lawyer. Most excruciatingly, he has to linger for months or years under suspicion of being a sadistic pervert as well as a hypocrite to the faith for which he has given his life.  Some dioceses have sought to remedy various aspects of the obvious injustices involved, like changing the criterion from “credible” — which in practice has meant only that the charge was not patently impossible — to “substantiated,” but even the latter is insufficient, sometimes meaning only that there’s “some” evidence seeming to support the accusation. The definitions and their applications remain arbitrary, the evaluation processes remain hidden, and for those reasons the decisions, regardless of their outcome, remain shrouded in questions.   The double standard of treatment between bishops and priests has profoundly affected their relationship. Fifty-one percent of priests say that they don’t have confidence in their own diocesan bishop, and 76% don’t have confidence in the U.S. bishops in general. There are doubtless several factors involved in those numbers, but it is logical that priests who do not believe that their bishops would support them if they were falsely accused of sexually abusing children would not hold them in high confidence.   It is nothing short of shocking that 30% of bishops don’t look at themselves as spiritual fathers to their priests, 27% as their brothers or 27% as their co-workers. It’s more staggering that 10% of bishops admit they would not be there for priests who needed help. It’s time, however, for the 90% who say they would be there for their priests to digest this survey and recognize that the vast majority of their spiritual sons, brothers and co-workers are indeed struggling and need their help. And among the help they need is a prudent and just revision of the obvious deficiencies in the Dallas “Charter and Norms,” so that priests no longer have to live under the threat of the cataclysmic consequences of a false accusation. That way, they can begin to live anew in right relationship to the bishops to whom they have promised respect and obedience until death and whom the Church theologically wants them to regard as faithful spiritual fathers, brothers, collaborators and shepherds. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/repairing-the-relationship-between-priests-and-bishops__________________________________________________________

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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