1. AOC Tries to Bully Yeshiva University, By Tal Fortgang, The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2022, Pg. A15, OpinionWhy is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez telling Yeshiva University how to run its affairs? The socialist congresswoman, along with five other New York Democrats representing the state, sent a letter to Yeshiva’s president, Rabbi Ari Berman, on Sept. 23 to express their support for students suing to form an LGBT club at the Orthodox Jewish university. The lawmakers wrote that they “urge the University to do everything possible to care for its LGBTQ+ students as full human beings in the campus community, including to recognize their student group.”  Yeshiva’s position is clear. On contemplation and discussion by the many rabbis who inform university policy, the school can’t support a group that would celebrate what it believes to be a violation of Jewish sexual ethics. Yeshiva is committed to treating every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, with dignity and respect, just as it treats its students who violate Shabbat or eat pork—which are equally repugnant to Orthodox tradition. But it can’t affirm an LGBT club any more than it can affirm a Shabbat-violators club or a bacon-eaters club.  Rather than respecting diverse viewpoints, [AOC and her colleagues] are trying to enforce conformity. Rather than attempting to understand Yeshiva’s position and strike a balance that allows Jewish institutions to sort out their own divisions, they are stoking a cultural fire with accusations of humanity-denial. And rather than recognizing that there is a limit to politicians’ understanding of the delicate complexity of religious affairs, these lawmakers—none of whom are Jewish, much less Orthodox—reduced a complex issue to a simple morality tale about evil old traditionalists and brave young progressives. They stand to lose nothing from the erosion of Orthodox Judaism, and they evince little regard for those who stand to lose a great deal. Mr. Fortgang is a fellow at the Tikvah Fund. https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-about-yeshiva-universitys-rights-aoc-letter-lgbt-group-supreme-court-division-berman-tradition-orthodox-judaism-11664711612?__________________________________________________________ 2. Abortion Is Not Safer Than Childbirth — Here’s The Data The Left Wants To Hide, By Grazie Pozo Christie, The Federalist, October 3, 2022, Opinion Who can forget Mark Twain’s famous maxim: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”?    I’ve been brooding over this line while watching the pro-abortion left hard at work promoting the startling (and erroneous) claim that “an American woman is 14 times more likely to die” from childbirth than from abortion. They want to move this false claim into the popular imagination, to make the conversation solely about pregnant women’s safety and ignite an unreasonable fear of carrying a child to term. Because what they want — radical abortion license to the day of birth, for any reason or no reason, and paid for by you-the-taxpayer in every state of the nation — is way out of line with average Americans’ sentiments. They’d rather gin up panic over labor and delivery, which has never, in the history of mankind, been safer.     It behooves physicians like me to examine the studies critically and then to put the “lie” to that statistic — in the interests of truth and expectant mothers’ peace of mind.   The left, including the dissenting Supreme Court justices in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, relies on a faulty 2012 study that used numbers that are dead wrong, the result of our country’s seriously flawed maternal mortality data collection methods — and equally flawed abortion data-gathering. Very basically, the researchers overcounted deaths from childbearing and undercounted deaths from abortion.    This misuse of statistics serves many political purposes: to gin up opposition to health and safety regulations on abortion, to increase funding for abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood, and even to discredit pregnancy resource centers that support women who choose birth for their children. But these fake claims also have real-life negative consequences for the very women about whom pro-abortion activists claim to care. They scare women away from the delight of motherhood. At the same time, their disingenuous talking point minimizes the serious medical risks that women experience in having an abortion. Beyond all this, their claims distract from what should be our society’s unpoliticized public health focus: initiatives that address the real sources of pregnancy-related mortality, whether that pregnancy ended in abortion or in the birth of a child. Only then can we arm ourselves properly to fight every avoidable maternal death.   Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie specializes in radiology in the Miami area and serves on the advisory board for The Catholic Association. https://thefederalist.com/2022/10/03/abortion-is-not-safer-than-childbirth-heres-the-data-the-left-wants-to-hide/__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope warns of nuclear war risk; appeals to Putin on Ukraine, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, October 2, 2022, 8:11 AM Pope Francis on Sunday appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a cease-fire, imploring him to “stop this spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine and denouncing the “absurd” risk of the “uncontrollable” consequences of nuclear attack as tensions sharply escalate over the war. Francis uttered his strongest plea yet about the seventh-month-old conflict, which he denounced as an “error and a horror.” It was the first time in public that he cited Putin’s role in the war. The pontiff also called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “be open” to serious peace proposals. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pope-appeals-to-putin-to-end-spiral-of-violence-in-ukraine/2022/10/02/85ba3af0-423b-11ed-be17-89cbe6b8c0a5_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. UN, abuse survivor groups seek Vatican investigation of Belo, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 2, 2022, 5:39 AM The United Nations and advocacy groups for survivors of clergy sexual abuse are urging Pope Francis to authorize a full investigation of Catholic Church archives on three continents to ascertain who knew what and when about sexual abuse by Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, the revered independence hero of East Timor. The Vatican’s sex abuse office said last week that it had secretly sanctioned Belo in 2020, forbidding him from having contact with minors or with East Timor, based on misconduct allegations that arrived in Rome in 2019. That was the year Francis approved a new church law that required all cases of predator prelates to be reported in-house and established a mechanism to investigate bishops, who had long escaped accountability for abuse or cover-up during the church’s decades-long scandal. But a brief statement by the Vatican, issued after Dutch magazine De Groen Amsterdammer exposed the Belo scandal by quoting two of his alleged victims, didn’t reveal what church officials might have known before 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/un-abuse-survivor-groups-seek-vatican-investigation-of-belo/2022/10/02/c116d8e0-421a-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Reactions to Ukraine show the era of Pope as NATO chaplain is over, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 2, 2022, Opinion When the UN Security Council considered a motion Friday to condemn the annexation submitted by the United States, 10 nations voted in favor while four abstained: China, India, Brazil, and Gabon. The Vatican doesn’t sit on the Security Council, but if it did, it’s easy to imagine it probably would have voted with the abstentions. Of course, the political, economic and strategic calculations which have led China to take a mixed stance on Ukraine are far different from the moral and humanitarian considerations driving Francis, but the fact of the matter nonetheless is that the Vatican’s substantive position on the Ukraine conflict often seems closer to Beijing’s than to, say, Washington’s, or, for that matter, Rome’s.  The fact that Francis and his Vatican allies sometimes sound more like China, or India, than their historical partners in the West is, naturally, one reason why some Catholic critics are unhappy. Yet for a moment, let’s set aside the rights and wrongs and instead try to understand the situation in historical terms. From a certain point of view, one could argue that this papacy’s reaction to the Ukraine conflict is a natural consequence of the massive demographic and cultural transitions within Catholicism over much of the last century. When the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) was founded in 1949, it was sometimes jokingly said in Catholic circles that the pontiff at the time, Pope Pius XII, should be appointed its chaplain. In part, that was a result of Catholicism’s demography: In 1950 there were just over 400 million Catholics in the world, of whom roughly half were in Europe, which depended heavily on the American security umbrella against what was perceived as the threat of a European land war, and also the anti-religious policies of the Soviet Union weighed heavily. By 2022, the face of the faith has changed dramatically. Today there are 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, of whom more than two-thirds live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, i.e., outside the traditional boundaries of the West. Statistically speaking, the typical Catholic in the world today is far more likely to be a person of color and poor than white and middle-class, and also more likely to live in a neighborhood where the presumed virtue of the United States and its western allies isn’t axiomatic.   By that rubric, American and European Catholics probably ought to get used to hearing notes from the Vatican that don’t come from the NATO playbook – because whatever else popes may be today, they don’t seem destined to be the chaplains of the Atlantic alliance anymore. As a footnote, Francis arguably has another reason not to be irked if he’s perceived as friendly to China right now, which is the Vatican’s desire to see its controversial deal with Beijing over the appointment of bishops in the country renewed. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/10/reactions-to-ukraine-show-the-era-of-pope-as-nato-chaplain-is-over__________________________________________________________ 6. The Case for Continuity, ‘To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II’ by George Weigel, By Paul Scalia, Washington Free Beacon, October 2, 2022, Book Review Early in his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the Roman Curia about the proper means of interpreting the Second Vatican Council. In contrast to those on the extremes who have a dualistic view of the Church as either ending or beginning with the Council, Benedict proposed what has come to be known as “the hermeneutic of continuity.” The Council was to be understood and interpreted in continuity with the past, not as a break with it. We view what is new through the lens of what has come before. Tradition, not current opinion, is the benchmark for authentic reform. Benedict’s corrective appears more necessary now than ever. In the 17 years since his address, the Catholic Church seems to have regressed. Her members are now embroiled in the very same controversies that beleaguered their parents and grandparents. The liturgical wars have returned with a vengeance: What did Vatican II really say about the Liturgy? What’s the place of the “pre-conciliar” Liturgy? In her dealing with China, the Church is again confronted with how best to relate to a totalitarian state. In the West, the place of Catholicism in a democratic republic—and whether it even has a place—is questioned anew. Meanwhile under the guise of “dialogue” and “welcome” and “accompaniment,” prelates in Belgium, Germany, and even Rome make noise about changing the Church’s unchangeable teaching on human sexuality. Not surprisingly, there has been a renewed questioning of Vatican II. It’s tempting to look at our woes and conclude that the most significant ecclesial event in centuries either caused them or failed to solve them. Interestingly, those voices calling for the loosening of ecclesiastical and doctrinal discipline don’t even invoke Vatican II as their inspiration or guide. It’s too traditional for them. Their paradigm has shifted beyond it. In the midst of all this, George Weigel has published To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II. As Pope Saint John Paul II’s biographer and the great chronicler of the Church over the past 40 years, Weigel is perfectly suited to the task of re-presenting the history and theology of Vatican II to naysayers on both ends of the spectrum. And he does just that in this accessible, thorough, and honest account of the Council.  Did Vatican II accomplish what its promoters and participants had hoped? Did it give the needed response to the modern world? Well, there’s plenty in the Church today that indicates a failure. The blame is unfairly laid at the feet of the Council itself. Still, the confusion from and about the Council has played a tremendous role. George Weigel has done the Church a great service in defending the Council, taking its problems seriously, and explaining the way forward. Father Paul Scalia is episcopal vicar for clergy in the Diocese of Arlington and pastor of Saint James Parish in Falls Church, Va. https://freebeacon.com/culture/the-case-for-continuity/__________________________________________________________ 7. What Vatican II Accomplished, The Catholic Church’s historic council is misunderstood today by both progressives and nostalgic traditionalists. Its true message endures, By George Weigel, The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2022, Pg. C1, Opinion On this 60th anniversary, however, critics of Vatican II and its implementation will emphasize other realities of post-conciliar Catholic life. In the decade after the council concluded on Dec. 8, 1965, tens of thousands of priests and religious sisters abandoned their rectories and convents, in the largest such exodus since the 16th-century Reformations. The council wanted the Mass, the central act of Catholic worship, to be more accessible and participatory, thereby giving Catholics a deeper sense of the spiritual amplitude within which this world exists. Instead, the Mass was too often dumbed down into banality, if not downright silliness. Catholic activists, especially in Latin America, tried to concoct an impossible synthesis between Christianity and Marxism, with disastrous political, economic and social results still evident in places like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Peru and even Mexico. The once-thriving Catholicism of Western Europe—countries whose theologians and bishops were the principal movers-and-shakers at Vatican II—has largely disappeared since the council, replaced by a Church of the Zeitgeist that seems far more liberal-Protestant and woke-progressive than Catholic. Post-conciliar breakdowns in seminary training and the discipline of the clergy were major contributors to the crimes of clerical sexual abuse. And then there is the scandal of Catholic public officials who, inaccurately claiming the warrant of Vatican II’s call for a dialogue with the world of political power, promote public policies that contradict both Catholic teachings and the moral truths the Church holds we can know by reason. Given that mixed picture over the past six decades, the question inevitably poses itself on this diamond anniversary: Was Vatican II really necessary? It was.  In Pope John’s adult lifetime, that world had come close to committing civilizational suicide twice, in two global wars that took perhaps 80 million lives. The world was now precariously balanced on the razor’s edge of an even greater catastrophe, nuclear war. Such a world, materially rich but spiritually impoverished, needed a positive, ennobling vision of human nature, human community and human destiny. The dangers confronting humanity, John XXIII believed, were the byproducts of false ideas about who we are, how we ought to live together and where the human story was going. By re-energizing the Church for a mission of proclaiming the truths about our humanity revealed in the person, teaching and work of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, Vatican II would help the world rediscover humanity’s true “dignity [and] purposes,” as the pope put it in the document solemnly convoking the council.  Contrary to the claims of those votaries of Pope Francis who claim that the council instituted a “paradigm shift” in the Church’s self-understanding, John XXIII did not convoke Vatican II to reinvent Catholicism. As he put it in his opening address, the council’s “greatest concern” must be the more effective presentation of Catholic truth in full, what the pope called “the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine.”  John XXIII often spoke of his hope that Vatican II would be a “new Pentecost,” recalling the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The council he imagined was not a business meeting in which the branch officers of a global enterprise discussed ways to increase market share in a stable cultural and social environment. Pope John intended Vatican II to be an event in the realm of the spirit: an experience of the love of God breaking into the world anew. That experience, this man of deep faith hoped, would not only console but re-enliven a world beset by the fear that is the corrosive byproduct of spiritual emptiness. Realizing that intention remains a noble and urgent task for Catholics today. This essay is adapted from Mr. Weigel’s new book, “To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II,” which will be published by Basic Books on Oct. 4. https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-vatican-ii-accomplished-11664550096__________________________________________________________ 8. French Catholic Church starts compensating sex abuse victims, By Associated Press, September 30, 2022, 8:12 AM France’s Catholic Church has paid financial compensation to 23 victims of child sexual abuse by priests or other church representatives under a recently launched reparation process, the body in charge of compensation decisions said Friday. Representatives of the Independent National Authority for Recognition and Reparation said during a news conference that over 1,000 victims have come forward to claim compensation since the body was established this year. France’s Catholic bishops’ conference agreed to provide reparations after a report issued last year revealed a large number of child sex abuse cases. Some 60 reparation decisions have been made, out of which 45 include financial compensation that range from 8,000 to 60,000 euros ($7,806 to 58,548), the INIRR said. It said 23 people have received the money. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/french-catholic-church-starts-compensating-sex-abuse-victims/2022/09/30/3bdf65d6-40b5-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 9. Catholic bishops’ pro-life chair supports 15-week abortion ban nationwide, By Katie Yoder, September 30, 2022, 2:00 PM Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore is expressing support for a nationwide abortion ban aimed at protecting unborn babies after 15 weeks of pregnancy. As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Lori recently thanked Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey — both Republicans — for introducing the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act.” “Although we will never cease working for laws that protect human life from its beginning and supporting mothers in need, we think that this proposed legislation is a place to begin uniting Americans regardless of their views on abortion,” Lori wrote in a Sept. 19 letter. “Further, we strongly agree that there is a federal role for protecting unborn human life.” The legislation, proposed by Graham in the Senate and Smith in the House on Sept. 13, would ban abortion after 15 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252436/catholic-bishops-pro-life-chair-supports-15-week-abortion-ban-nationwide__________________________________________________________

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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