TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 80 – Kristina Arriaga & Christine Pratt On Religious Freedom in the Era Of Covid
Dr. Grazie Christie discusses the realities of religious freedom during the coronavirus pandemic with the former Vice Chair for U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Kristina Arriaga & Christine Pratt, currently serving the Department of Health and Human Services within the Office of Civil Rights. As Senior Advisor for Conscience and Religious Freedom, she has been very active in rectifying some of the real problems facing Catholics that have been denied the Sacraments during the COVID lockdown. We focus on what’s being done and what we can all do to protect our First Amendment rights. Father Roger Landry also offers a glimpse into the life of Knights of Columbus founder Father Michael McGivney who will be beatified this weekend–make sure to tune in every Saturday at 5pmET on EWTN radio!
1. Justice Barrett May Inspire Pro-Life Votes for Trump, By Nicole Ault, The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020, Pg. A15
Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation will likely drive turnout among pro-choice suburban women. But there may be a countereffect: Pro-life voters who aren’t enthusiastic about Donald Trump could be inspired to vote for him. The Susan B. Anthony List has been laying groundwork for that to happen since before her nomination.
The Washington-based nonprofit and its Women Speak Out PAC last year started operating a multimillion-dollar field campaign for the 2020 election that has reached swing states including Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Canvassers have been knocking on doors to make the pro-life case for Donald Trump, and the federal judiciary is no small part of the message.

Suburban women may be mostly pro-choice but aren’t a monolith. A January Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 60% of women in suburbs or small cities oppose tax dollars being used for abortion and 56% support banning abortion after 20 weeks.

Mr. Trump still has a path—a narrow one—to victory on Election Day. Navigating it will require a boost from voters who have yet to be sold on the idea of a second term. It’s hard to think of a better turn of events for the Trump campaign, and for the pro-life movement, than Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
2. As anger rises, thousands of Muslims protest French cartoons, By Isabel Debre, Associated Press, October 30, 2020, 6:00 AM
Thousands of Muslims in Pakistan poured out of prayer services to join anti-France protests on Friday, as the French president’s vow to protect the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad continues to roil the Muslim world.
An estimated 2,000 worshippers celebrating the Mawlid, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, took to the streets in the eastern city of Lahore. Crowds led by Islamic parties chanted anti-France slogans, raised banners and clogged major roads en route to a Sufi shrine. Dozens of people furiously stomped on French flags and cried for the boycott of French products. In Multan, a city in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, thousands burned an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron and demanded that Pakistan sever ties with France.
More gatherings were planned for later Friday in Pakistan, including the capital Islamabad, where police were out in force to prevent possible demonstrations outside the French Embassy. The atmosphere was tense as police positioned shipping containers to block the roads.
3. New arrest after France church attack, security tightened, By Angela Charlton and Daniel Cole, Associated Press, October 30, 2020, 5:14 AM
The investigation into a gruesome attack by a Tunisian man who killed three people in a French church had a second suspect in custody Friday, as France heightened its security alert amid religious and geopolitical tensions around cartoons mocking the Muslim prophet.
Muslims held more anti-France protests across the Mideast and beyond on Friday, while mourners placed flowers, messages and candles at the entrance to the Notre Dame Basilica in the French Riviera city of Nice, where Thursday’s knife attack took place.
The attacker, Ibrahim Issaoui, was seriously wounded by police and hospitalized in life-threatening condition, authorities said. Anti-terrorism prosecutors in France and Tunisia are investigating.
The new suspect is a 47-year-old man believed to have been in contact with the attacker the night before the attack, according to a judicial official.

The victims included 55-year-old Vincent Loques, a father of two who was the church’s sacristan, in charge of its holy objects, according to local broadcaster France-Bleu. Another was a 44-year-old mother of three from Brazil named Simone who had studied cooking in Nice and helped poor communities, France-Bleu reported.
4. Senior Fellow Ashley Mcguire Comments On Terrorist Attack In Nice, France, By The Catholic Association, October 29, 2020
Statement from Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow for The Catholic Association:
“The terrorist attacks on peaceful Catholics attending morning Mass in France today are a terrifying reminder that radicalism remains a grave threat to global religious liberty. These attacks come in the wake of an endless series of arson and vandal attacks on Catholic churches worldwide. Here in the United States, church attacks are now an almost daily occurrence. The twin threats of radical Islamism and radical secularism are unrelenting in their hatred for peaceful people of faith. Today we add our voices to those offering prayers and condolences for the families of the latest victims of violent radicalism.”
5. Pope ends public audiences, eyes Christmas as virus surges, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 29, 2020, 1:28 PM
Pope Francis is halting his public general audiences and will limit participation at Christmas and other upcoming Masses amid a surge of coronavirus cases in Italy and the Vatican, officials said Thursday.
Starting next week, Francis will resume livestreaming his weekly catechism lessons from his library in the Apostolic Palace, as he did during the Vatican’s COVID-19 lockdown during the spring and summer, the Vatican said.
In addition, Francis’ liturgical events over the next few weeks and months — including Christmas — will be attended by only limited numbers of faithful, the Vatican said, though it noted plans could change as the health situation evolves.
6. US bishops join Pope Francis in prayer and mourning after Nice attack, By Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2020, 12:00 PM
U.S. Catholic bishops joined Pope Francis in mourning a deadly attack at a basilica in Nice on Thursday.
“We join our prayers with Pope Francis and pray for the Catholic community in Nice, especially the families of those who have lost loved ones,” the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) stated on Thursday via Twitter. “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”
On Thursday morning, an attacker with a knife killed three people in the Basilica of Notre Dame in Nice, France.

Ashley McGuire, senior fellow for The Catholic Association, said that attacks “are a terrifying reminder that radicalism remains a grave threat to global religious liberty.”
7. Pompeo: China is world’s ‘gravest threat’ to religious freedom, By Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2020, 11:30 AM
The U.S. Secretary of State on Thursday called out the Chinese Communist Party as the world’s most serious threat to religious freedom.
In a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct. 29, Mike Pompeo said that “the gravest threat to the future of religious freedom is the Chinese Communist Party’s war against the people of all faiths—Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners alike.”
Pompeo said that he recently exhorted Vatican leaders to support religious freedom in China and elsewhere. On Thursday, he asked the leaders of the overwhelmingly-Muslim Indonesia to do the same.
“And today I want to urge you,” he said, “I want you to urge the same actions I asked the Catholic Church’s leaders to do in the Vatican—we need more religious leaders to speak out on behalf of people of all faiths wherever their rights are being violated.”
8. Brooklyn Bishop Cries Foul Over Cuomo’s COVID Rules, By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, October 29, 2020
Cuomo issued his latest executive order in response to new virus “hot spots” around the Empire State, and he designated specific areas as “red,” “orange” or “yellow” zones depending on the density of virus cases or their closeness to a cluster.
In red zones, only essential businesses were allowed to remain open, while indoor religious services, classified as “nonessential,” were capped at 10 people. Church services in orange zones were limited to 25 people.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn quickly challenged the governor’s order in federal court, alleging that Cuomo had “arbitrarily” issued sweeping restrictions that would effectively close two dozen churches under his jurisdiction, despite their successful compliance with health guidelines. 
But the diocese lost in Brooklyn federal court, and when it petitioned for a temporary injunction against the governor’s order in another court, it was turned away — a reminder that U.S. courts have favored the government’s position in legal challenges to COVID restrictions.

Bishop DiMarzio has not given up the legal battle against Cuomo’s sweeping order, and is equally determined to challenge the classification of a church or synagogue as a “nonessential” business.
The diocese’s appeal to the lower court ruling is scheduled to be heard Nov. 3 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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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“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.