1. Pope Criticizes Failure Of Countries to Unite In Fighting Pandemic, By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times, October 5, 2020, Pg. A12
Pope Francis criticized the failures of global cooperation in response to the coronavirus pandemic in a document released on Sunday that underscores the priorities of his pontificate.
“As I was writing this letter, the Covid-19 pandemic unexpectedly erupted, exposing our false securities,” Francis said in the encyclical, the most authoritative form of papal teaching. “Aside from the different ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident. For all our hyper-connectivity, we witnessed a fragmentation that made it more difficult to resolve problems that affect us all,” he added.
“Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality,” the pope said.
2. Pope’s new encyclical warns of regression, By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post, October 5, 2020, Pg. A12
Humankind, Pope Francis says, is in the midst of a worrying regression. People are intensely polarized. Their debates, absent real listening, seem to have devolved into a “permanent state of disagreement and confrontation.” In some countries, leaders are using a “strategy of ridicule” and relentless criticism, spreading despair as a way to “dominate and gain control.”
Amid all that, the pope says, the notion of a kinder, more respecting world “sounds like madness.”
But with the release Sunday of his third encyclical, a book-length paper that feels like something from a bygone time, Francis makes an uncynical case for how people can reverse course. The document amounts to a papal stand against tribalism, xenophobia, and the dangers of the social media age. It also marks a test for Francis in the eighth year of his papacy, at a time when his message has become familiar, and is often overshadowed by the louder voices he warns about.
3. Pope: Market capitalism has failed in pandemic, needs reform, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 4, 2020
Pope Francis says the coronavirus pandemic has proven that the “magic theories” of market capitalism have failed and that the world needs a new type of politics that promotes dialogue and solidarity and rejects war at all costs.
Francis on Sunday laid out his vision for a post-COVID world by uniting the core elements of his social teachings into a new encyclical aimed at inspiring a revived sense of the human family. “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All) was released on the feast day of his namesake, the peace-loving St. Francis of Assisi.

In the encyclical, Francis rejected even the Catholic Church’s own doctrine justifying war as a means of legitimate defense, saying it had been too broadly applied over the centuries and was no longer viable.
4. Like a century ago, a papal encyclical tries to shed light on a dark time, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 4, 2020, Opinion
A great global crisis has rocked the world, leaving millions afflicted and sowing fear everywhere. The shock polarizes societies, radicalizes opinion, and reinforces trends to a new kind of politics – loud, angry, premised on demonizing others and promising to restore lost national glory.
Unless something dramatic changes, the stage seems set for a long, bloody conflict. In that context, a pope writes an encyclical letter attempting to offer an alternative before it’s too late.
That could easily be a description of Pope Francis and Fratelli Tutti, the new encyclical he signed yesterday in Assisi and which was released today by the Vatican. In fact, however, it’s the background to Quadragesimo anno, the social encyclical published by Pope Pius XI in 1931, now almost a century ago.

Time will tell what impact Fratelli Tutti may have, but the parallels are striking.

Perhaps the best overall way to frame the encyclical is as an extended meditation on political and economic life in the early 21st century, including the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Francis sees a contest between two flawed alternatives: Neo-liberal individualism, and nationalist populism. His “third way” is a social ethic of human fraternity, rooted for Christians in the Gospel parable of the Good Samaritan.

The pope’s proposed remedy, human fraternity, may seem a bit fuzzy, and Francis does not offer a detailed blueprint. However, he does give hints of planks for a platform along the way: Care for the elderly, combatting racism and sexism, compassion for immigrants, debt forgiveness for impoverished nations, a strong role for the U.N. and for regional alliances, and abolitionist positions on both war and capital punishment.

Has Pope Francis provided the Church with the resources to navigate another such great global struggle and come out the other side, alive and kicking? Only time will tell, but when that assessment eventually is drawn up, the conversation almost certainly will begin with Fratelli Tutti.
5. Pope in 1st post-lockdown outing goes to Assisi to sign text, By Andrea Rosa and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 3, 2020, 10:40 AM
Pope Francis travelled to the tomb of his nature-loving namesake and signed an encyclical Saturday laying out his vision of a post-COVID world built on solidarity, fraternity and care for the environment.
In his first outing from Rome since late February, Francis celebrated Mass in the crypt of the Basilica of St. Francis in the Umbrian hilltop town of Assisi. After the service, Francis invited the translators of various editions of the encyclical up to the altar and signed the texts.
6. Becciu accused of sending Vatican funds to Australia during Pell trial, By Catholic News Agency, October 2, 2020, 2:30 PM
Italian media have reported allegations that Cardinal Angelo Becciu transferred several hundred thousand euros from Vatican accounts to an account in Australia during the trial of Cardinal George Pell.
The cardinal has not responded to the allegation, which CNA has not independently corroborated.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Friday that the alleged transfer is part of a dossier of evidence being compiled by Vatican investigators and prosecutors against the cardinal, who was forced to resign by Pope Francis on Sept. 24.
7. What to Bear in Mind During Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Process, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, October 2, 2020, Opinion
Amy Coney Barrett is a judge of enormous distinction whose track record shows that she exercises her powers with scrupulous impartiality. Her confirmation to the high court is both appropriate and, it seems, likely to happen — even if some members of the Senate fail to live up to their end of the constitutional bargain to offer “advice and consent.”
8. Los Angeles archbishop to lead ‘virtual rosary’ for US, By Catholic News Agency, September 30, 2020, 3:28 PM
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles will lead a ‘virtual rosary’ Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, to seek Mary’s intercession for the United States.
“Our hope is to unite Catholic people from across the country in a moment of prayer for our nation, at a time when there is so much unrest and uncertainty,” Gomez said in a Sept. 30 column.

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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