1. Egypt says freedom of expression “stops” when Muslims offended, By Reuters, October 28, 2020, 6:22 AM
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday freedom of expression should stop if it offends more than 1.5 billion people, following the display of images in France of the Prophet Mohammad that Muslims see as blasphemous.
Sisi also said he firmly rejects any form of violence or terrorism from anyone in the name of defending religion, religious symbols or icons.
“We also have rights. We have the right for our feelings not to be hurt and for our values not to be hurt,” he said during an address to commemorate the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday.
2. Pope says ‘lady’ COVID must be obeyed, forgoes mask, By Philip Pullella, Reuters, October 28, 2020, 7:23 AM
Pope Francis on Wednesday described the COVID-19 pandemic as a tough “lady” taskmaster who must be obeyed, but he and most close aides did not wear masks at his general audience.

The pope, who had part of one lung removed because of an illness when he was a young man, has come under fire, mostly on social media, for not always wearing a mask in public.
3. Poland’s leader wants churches defended, condemns protests, By Monika Scislowska, Associated Press, October 27, 2020, 6:45 AM
Poland’s powerful ruling party leader urged his supporters Tuesday to defend the predominantly Catholic nation’s churches, potentially setting the stage for clashes with demonstrators angry at a court ruling that severely restricts abortions.
The call Tuesday by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a conservative, drew strong condemnation from the main opposition head who accused him of deepening the nation’s divide, inciting hatred and civil war. Poland’s archbishop appealed for calm and respect for churches.
The country’s top court on Thursday ruled that abortions due to fetal congenital defects are unconstitutional, further tightening one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws and triggering protests.
The ensuing massive demonstrations — in violation of pandemic restrictions — entered their sixth day Tuesday and have included angry gatherings and obscene chants before churches and even disruptions of Masses.
4. Fraught election puts faith leaders through a political test, By Elana Schor, Associated Press, October 27, 2020, 12:09 PM
Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden count endorsements from well-known faith leaders. But for clergy members who try to tackle thorny moral matters without overtly backing a candidate, the campaign has tested their ability to reconcile religious values and politics.

While a minority of clergy members have publicly endorsed a presidential candidate, most Americans say speaking out about key issues is a higher priority, according to polling released this month by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.
PRRI’s survey found 62% of Americans across religious backgrounds said it’s at least somewhat important for faith leaders to speak out about issues, with 45% saying the same about supporting a candidate.

In PRRI’s survey, two religious groups diverged from others: A clear majority of both white evangelicals and Black Protestants said it’s at least somewhat important for faith leaders to support a presidential candidate.
5. ‘We’re working on it:’ Pope’s COVID advisers and the mask, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 27, 2020, 10:29 AM
Pope Francis’ decision to forgo wearing a mask has been noticed, with some concern, by the commission of Vatican experts he appointed to help chart the Catholic Church’s path through the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath.
The Rev. Augusto Zampini, one of the key members of the pope’s COVID-19 commission, acknowledged Tuesday that at age 83 and with part of his lung removed after an illness in his youth, Francis would be at high risk for complications if he were to become infected with COVID-19.
“He has started to use the mask now,” Zampini said in response to reporters’ questions. “And I hope he will use it in the general audiences, when he is close to the people. If you’re in an open space, we know that it’s different. But well, we are working on that.”
6. Vatican broadens seminary abuse trial amid negligence claims, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 27, 2020, 1:45 PM
The Vatican criminal tribunal agreed Tuesday to broaden a sex abuse trial involving the Holy See’s youth seminary beyond two priests already charged to include the religious organization responsible for running the residence.
The lawyer for the alleged victim argued in court that there was evidence of “gross negligence” and “lack of vigilance” in running the St. Pius X seminary that resulted in his client being abused when he was a young altar boy.
The seminary, located in a palazzo inside the Vatican gardens, houses boys aged 12-18 who serve as altar boys at papal Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica.
7. A divided Europe cannot stand; solidarity needed, pope says, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, October 27, 2020
Europeans must not see their rich history simply as a fond memory of a time long gone, but they must look to it as a guide to overcoming divisions and challenges aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis reflected on the current state of the European Union in a letter marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the EU, the 40th anniversary of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community and the 50th anniversary of the presence of the Holy See as a permanent observer at the Council of Europe.
The letter to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of State, was released by the Vatican Oct. 27.
The pandemic, the pope said, “emerged as a kind of watershed” moment when countries can choose either to yield “to the temptation to autonomy,” which leads to more disagreement and conflict, or “rediscover the path of fraternity that inspired and guided the founders of modern Europe.”
8. Transcript shows pope’s distinction between gay marriage, civil unions, By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, October 27, 2020
When Pope Francis said gay people have a right to be in a family and that gay couples needed some form of civil law to protect their rights, he was not saying that gay couples should have a right to adopt children.
In his documentary “Francesco,” director Evgeny Afineevsky presented the statements as if Pope Francis had said them one right after the other; the director used the quotes immediately following a story about a gay couple with children.
Released Oct. 21, the film gave some people the erroneous impression that Pope Francis approved civil union laws that would equate gay couples to married couples. Pope Francis consistently has said that gay people deserve love, respect and the protection of the law; however, he has insisted marriage can be only between a man and a woman.
Afineevsky, who a Vatican official said was never granted an on-camera interview with the pope, pulled the quotes about families and the quote about civil unions from a 2019 interview by Valentina Alazraki, correspondent for the Mexican television station Televisa.
9. New Orleans archdiocese seeks laicization for all clergy credibly accused of sex abuse, By Kevin Jones, Catholic News Agency, October 27, 2020, 2:45 PM
While allegations against two New Orleans-area priests have again raised questions about the Church’s response to clergy misconduct, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has confirmed that for the past two years it has been seeking to laicize clergy who have been removed from ministry for credible reports of sexual abuse.
“In the Archdiocese of New Orleans, very soon after the publication of the 2018 Clergy Abuse Report, conversations began in an effort to seek the laicization of those living clergy that had been removed from ministry for abuse of a minor and this is in process,” Sarah McDonald, communications director at the New Orleans archdiocese, told CNA Oct. 26.
“This is a highly technical canonical process and clergy have canonical rights that must be respected.”
10. Report: Vatican investigators focus on longtime investment manager, By Catholic News Agency, October 27, 2020, 2:00 PM
An Italian newsweekly said Friday that it has obtained a document in which Vatican investigators focus on a longtime investment manager for the Holy See as a central figure in the ongoing financial scandal. The investment manager has said there is nothing unusual about his work at the Vatican.
In a report published Oct. 23, L’Espresso said it had obtained a letter rogatory sent from the Vatican to Switzerland highlighting alleged activities of Enrico Crasso, an Italian-born Swiss citizen.
Letters rogatory are formal requests from courts in one country to the courts of another country for judicial assistance.
11. ‘One of our own’: Catholic leaders welcome Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court, By Catholic News Agency, October 27, 2020, 12:00 PM
Catholic bishops, academics, and policy experts hailed the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on October 26. Barrett was confirmed Monday evening in a senate vote that mostly divided along party lines.

Brian Burch, the president of CatholicVote, said that Barrett’s confirmation “especially energized” Catholics in the United States.
“Justice Barrett clearly demonstrated she has the qualities, knowledge, and skill needed to be a fair and independent Justice for every American. Senators that voted to confirm Justice Barrett are to be commended for focusing on her eminent qualifications and commitment to fairness and the rule of law, rather than the ugly anti-Catholic attacks that threatened to tarnish this process,” he said. 
Dr. Grazie Christie, a policy advisor for The Catholic Association, called Barrett’s confirmation “great news for all Americans who prefer a fair and independent judiciary to an activist one.”
“Judge Barrett has demonstrated that she will equally apply the law to everyone who comes before her and faithfully interpret the Constitution as written. Her profound knowledge of the law is only matched by her exemplary character,” she said.
Christie called Barrett a “role model for women and girls who aspire to reach the highest levels of accomplishment.”
12. Vatican diplomat: Catholics can help UN to live up to its principles, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, October 27, 2020, 8:00 AM
The Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations has said that faith-based organizations need to help the international community to see its “lack of consistency” in implementing its most basic principles, such as respect for the dignity of every human being.
Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, apostolic nuncio to the UN, made the remark at an event marking the 75th anniversary of the intergovernmental organization’s founding.
“How can we proclaim the rights of people with disabilities while at the same time permit that children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are eliminated before they’re born? How can we have beautiful forums on a culture of peace and then permit various countries to construct foreign policy based on the threat of mutually assured destruction?” Caccia said at “A Faith-Based Vision for The UN at 75 and Beyond” in New York Oct. 21.
“How can we say we’re fighting for sex-trafficking victims while at the same time allowing demand for the commodification of women to be driven up through the legalization of prostitution or the promotion of pornography? Or how can we have open-ended working groups on ageing, focused on the dignity of seniors, while looking away when in various countries seniors are suffering involuntary euthanasia?”
“People of faith are called both to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. When various injustices are occurring, we are summoned in a particular way to help the international community to live up to its principles,” Caccia said.
13. Mississippi abortion decision due as Amy Coney Barrett joins Supreme Court, By Catholic News Agency, October 27, 2020, 10:05 AM
As new Justice Amy Coney Barrett takes her seat at the Supreme Court, one of the first decisions on her desk will be the court’s consideration of whether to review Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
Last Thursday, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch asked the Supreme Court to review the case of the state’s law banning most abortions after 15 weeks. The law had been blocked by a district court in 2018, and an appeals court judge upheld that ruling in December, 2019. Mississippi then appealed the case to the Supreme Court.
The case has been distributed at the Supreme Court for consideration; as soon as Friday, Oct. 30, justices could decide whether to accept the case for review.
14. Vatican Announces Details of ‘Economy of Francesco’ Conference, By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, October 27, 2020
The Economy of Francesco, an international event next month aimed at making finance inclusive and sustainable, has become a “real movement” of young people “committed to a new economy,” professor Luigino Bruni, the event’s scientific director, has said.
Addressing a Vatican press conference on Tuesday, Bruni explained that the COVID emergency has unexpectedly made the “Economy of Francesco” — to take place online Nov. 19-21 — a movement that has “spread throughout the world.”
First announced by Pope Francis in May 2019 and originally scheduled to happen in Assisi in March, Bruni said the extra time of preparation has led not only to next month’s event but to almost 1,000 young people working actively over the past nine months on 12 “thematic villages” which include “work and care,” “finance and humanity,” “agriculture and justice,” and “energy and poverty.”  
The birth of this movement, Bruni continued, is the “first great and important result of the Economy of Francis” and represents the “largest movement of young economists and entrepreneurs in the world.” The young people, he said, are “committed to a new economy” for today, times in which “the obsolescence of the economy of the 20th century is showing, but also of the economy before January 2020.

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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