1. 140 Years In, Milestone for a Barcelona Landmark, By Aaron Boxerman, The New York Times, October 4, 2023, Pg. A7 More than 140 years after a Spanish bishop laid the cornerstone of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia basilica, the famously incomplete church is inching toward the finish line, with five of its six central towers now finally fully built as of last week. But with construction expected to continue, would-be pilgrims to the site — one of Barcelona’s most iconic monuments — should not expect to see Antoni Gaudí’s structurally audacious masterpiece fully realized until 2026 at the very earliest. The Junta Constructora del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, a foundation that oversees the church’s construction, said work had been completed on two of the church’s main towers. Together with two others finished last year, the four symbolize the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, traditionally considered the authors of the canonical Gospels recounting Jesus’ life.  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/03/world/europe/barcelona-sagrada-familia-construction.html_________________________________________________________ 2. Pope Francis scolds U.S., ‘irresponsible’ Western lifestyle in climate plea, By Anthony Faiola and Chico Harlan, The Washington Post, October 4, 2023, 6:00 AM Warning that “the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point,” Pope Francis issued a renewed call for climate action Wednesday, singling out the United States for “irresponsible” Western excess and decrying the “weakness” of world leaders for failing to take bold steps. Eight years after his landmark environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, in which he scolded climate change deniers and called for an “ecological conversion” among the faithful, Francis released a follow-up, known as an apostolic exhortation. Considered a lower-level document, it was far more concise — 12 pages, compared with his 180-page encyclical. Its impact, too, may be more limited. Francis summarized accepted science and again took aim at skeptics who deny man-made climate change. He strayed beyond climate, couching artificial intelligence as representative of a worrying inclination to “increase human power beyond anything imaginable.” In what reads much like a policy paper — apart from a smaller section of religious references toward the end — the “green pope” denounced the scale of emissions from high-consumption cultures and argued that the world’s poor were paying the price.  While criticizing the United States, Francis also made a point to praise U.S. bishops for aptly expressing that “our care for one another and our care for the earth are intimately bound together” — though that quote from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was just a paraphrasing of the pope’s language in Laudato Si’.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/04/pope-francis-environment-climate/__________________________________________________________ 3. Pope Francis opens a big Vatican meeting on the church’s future and says ‘everyone’ is welcome, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 4, 2023, 6:37 AM Pope Francis said the Catholic Church was in need of repair to make it a place of welcome for “everyone, everyone, everyone,” as he opened a big meeting on the future of the faith that has sparked hope among progressives and alarm among conservatives. Francis presided over a solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Square to formally open the meeting. But he warned both camps in the church’s culture wars to put their “human strategies, political calculations or ideological battles” aside and let the Holy Spirit guide debate.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/04/vatican-pope-conservatives-women-lgbtq/37d01e58-626b-11ee-b406-3ea724995806_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Zen calls for synod bishops to petition against ‘plan of manipulation’, By The Pillar, October 4, 2023, 7:30 AM Cardinal Joseph Zen wrote last month to bishops and cardinals attending the synod on synodality, urging them to petition Pope Francis to change the procedures for the meeting, and to challenge synodal organizers’ program for the sessions. In a letter dated Sept. 21, a copy of which was obtained by The Pillar, the 91-year old emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong told the bishops and cardinals that he is “confounded” by what he sees as a reinvention of the Biblical concept of synodality by the event’s organizers, in a bid to promote teaching contrary to the faith. The cardinal urged bishops to champion true “episcopal collegiality” during the synodal process. “Because of what I am going to say, I can easily be accused of ‘conspiracy theory,’ but I see clearly a whole plan of manipulation,” the cardinal said. “They [the synodal organizers] begin by saying we must listen to all. Little by little they make us understand that among the ‘all’ are those whom we have ‘excluded.’ Finally, we understand what they mean are people who opt for a sexual morality different from that of Catholic tradition.” “Often they claim not to have an agenda,” Zen wrote. “This is truly an offense to our intelligence. Anybody can see which conclusions they are aiming at.”  https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/zen-calls-for-synod-bishops-to-petition__________________________________________________________ 5. Conservative U.S. Catholics watch with dread as pope opens major meeting, By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, October 3, 2023, 9:56 AM Conservative Catholics in the United States — home to perhaps the wealthiest and loudest concentration of Pope Francis’s right-wing critics — are watching the major Vatican meeting opening this week with dread and deep mistrust. Concrete organizing against the “Synod on Synodality” or against Francis is rare, but lobbing of the word “schism” is not. From the most radical traditionalist to the mainstream conservative, many U.S. Catholics are wary about the opening Wednesday of the synod, which has been planned for more than two years. Despite worldwide listening sessions offered at every level of the Catholic Church, many conservatives feel that the long process of gathering opinions and representatives for the synod was stacked against them. They see the free-flowing synod structure, which involves laypeople and women in equal roles to clergy, as un-Catholic, and they see as dangerous program documents such as those asking for “concrete steps” to better welcome LGBTQ Catholics and people in polygamous marriages. They feel that Jesus’ name was downplayed in synod documents. “The primary concern is that the pope will authorize things that are not contained in Catholic doctrine or that will contradict it such as women deacons, blessing gay unions” or weakening Catholic teachings against contraception and abortion by emphasizing individual conscience, said the Rev. Gerald Murray, a New York City priest who will be in Rome during the synod doing commentary for several conservative media outlets. “We’re not Protestants.”  Alejandro Bermudez, a longtime journalist covering the Catholic Church in English and Spanish, said conservatives fear “that the whole thing is a bait and switch,” he said. “The synod is on ‘synodality,’ meaning discussion, is supposed to be how the church can function better, how to govern the church. But the questions are related to gay blessings, women priests, married priests. How is that related to synodality?”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2023/10/03/us-catholics-conservatives-synod/__________________________________________________________ 6. Biden administration’s strategy fails with court’s restoration of Idaho abortion ban, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, October 3, 2023, 4:15 PM Idaho can now fully enforce its ban on abortion after a U.S. appeals court ruled last week that a provision in the state’s law related to medical emergencies does not conflict with a federal law, the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires hospitals to provide stabilizing treatment to indigent patients.  This latest loss in court for the Biden administration could lead it to abandon the strategy — once a centerpiece of the administration’s response to pro-life laws — of attempting to use EMTALA to strike down state abortion bans across the country, one legal expert told CNA.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255560/biden-administrations-strategy-fails-with-courts-restoration-of-idaho-abortion-ban__________________________________________________________

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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