1. Black pastors urge voters to ‘save Black lives’ by defeating Ohio pro-choice measure, Black leaders accuse abortion clinics of targeting minority neighborhoods, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, October 5, 2023 Black pastors in Ohio are joining other faith leaders in the fight to beat back an abortion rights amendment on the state’s November ballot, an issue that the pastors describe as life or death. An open letter from 110 Black religious and community figures cited a newly released report from the Ohio Department of Health showing that 48% of induced abortions in 2022 were performed on Black women. Just 13% of the state’s population is Black. “What is the No. 1 killer of us? It’s not the police,” Bishop Patrick L. Wooden Sr. said in a video posted this week by the pro-life group Protect Women Ohio. “It’s abortion.” The hard-hitting message comes a month before Ohio voters will decide whether to add abortion rights to the state constitution by approving Issue 1, the latest front in the pro-choice movement’s campaign to eradicate restrictions on abortion access after the fall of Roe v. Wade.  The Black pastors joined conservative religious leaders and faith-based groups opposing Issue 1, including the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio, and the Center for Christian Virtue, the state’s largest Christian public policy organization.  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/oct/4/black-pastors-urge-voters-save-black-lives-defeati/__________________________________________________________ 2. The world needs Pope Francis to be fearless on China, By Mike Gallagher, The Washington Post, October 5, 2023, 7:46 AM, Opinion “We want God!” chanted the hundreds of thousands gathered to see Karol Wojtyła, now Pope Saint John Paul II, celebrate mass near Krakow, Poland, in June 1979. Poland was entering its 32nd year of communist rule and the ground was shifting. John Paul’s exhortation to the faithful to live in truth and stand against aggression helped end the regime. He often said these three words: Be not afraid. As the Synod of Bishops meets at the Vatican this week to debate and advise the pontiff, those gathered should heed John Paul’s fearless example in their dealings with the Chinese Communist Party. This is not the course the Catholic Church appears to be charting. Last month, in a half-empty room in Mongolia, the current pope sent a message to a different tyrant. It should have been another chance for the church to speak truth to communist oppression. But instead of courage, Pope Francis chose what looks more like its opposite.  Chinese President Xi Jinping, too, is a totalitarian. His teachings must be accepted by all and are often imposed by force. Yet, Francis has not called him to account. Instead, the Vatican made a pact with the CCP. A 2018 deal gave the Communist Party the right to nominate Catholic bishops — in practice, tantamount to appointing them.   Francis has the power to confront Beijing. Truth, combined with the fearlessness to speak it, is fatal to every ideology of oppression. In 1979, John Paul knew that the power of communism in Poland lay not in Soviet tanks but in the acceptance of the lies that drove them. Destroy the lies, and China’s tanks, too, will rust in fields. It’s not too late. Francis can still follow John Paul’s example. He cannot force the CCP to keep its word or to embrace Christianity. But he can challenge its values in front of the world. As a Catholic, I pray for Francis: Holy Father, be not afraid. Mike Gallagher, a Republican, represents Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District and is chairman of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/10/05/pope-china-communism-human-rights/__________________________________________________________ 3. Nearly 80% of Italians say they are Catholic. But few regularly go to church, By Giovanna Dell’Orto, Associated Press, October 5, 2023, 12:10 AM  Elsewhere in deeply secular Western Europe, the “nones” — those rejecting organized religion — are growing fast. In Italy, long considered the cradle of the Catholic faith, most people retain a nominal affiliation, steeped in tradition but with little adherence to doctrine or practice. According to the latest Pew Research Center survey, 78% of Italians profess to be Catholic. But the Italian statistics agency, ISTAT, says only 19% attend services at least weekly while 31% never attend. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a disengagement with the Catholic faith that started at least a generation ago, said Franco Garelli, a University of Turin sociology professor who’s been studying religiosity in Italy for decades.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2023/10/05/italy-religion-catholic-church-secular/11b54426-6335-11ee-b406-3ea724995806_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. In the pope’s homeland, more Argentines are seeking spiritual answers beyond the church, By Luis Andres Henao and Natacha Pisarenko, Associated Press, October 5, 2023, 12:26 AM  Most Latin Americans are Christian, and Catholicism remains the dominant religion; about two-thirds of Argentina’s 45 million people identify as Catholic. But the influence of the church has waned. There’s discontent following clergy sex abuse scandals and opposition to the church’s stances against abortion and LGBTQ rights. More Argentines are seeking spiritual answers beyond the church.  In Uruguay, a nation of some 3.3 million people, more than half identify as atheist, agnostic or religiously unaffiliated — the highest portion in Latin America.  Uruguay has a long history of secularization. In the early 20th century, the country banned any mention of God in oaths of office and removed crucifixes from public hospitals, Pereira said. Then holidays were secularized. While Holy Week is the most sacred time of the year for millions worldwide, in Uruguay, it’s known as Tourism Week. Christmas? It’s Family Day.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/05/argentina-uruguay-nonreligious-spiritual/6a08f008-6337-11ee-b406-3ea724995806_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Avoiding the term ‘secrecy,’ Pope calls synod to ‘fasting’ from publicity, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, October 5, 2023 Pope Francis opened his Synod on Synodality Wednesday by urging members to abstain from speaking to journalists in order to maintain what he said was the “priority of listening,” and lamented the influence of public opinion on past synod gatherings. Speaking to synod members and participants during the Oct. 4 opening session, the pope stressed the need to make room for the Holy Spirit through “the priority of listening.” In this regard, he said synod participants must “send a message” to journalists that reflects “life in the Holy Spirit.” “It takes a bit of asceticism – excuse me if I speak like this to the journalists – a certain fasting from the public word to safeguard this. And what is published must be in this climate,” he said.  https://cruxnow.com/2023-consistory-and-synod-for-synodality/2023/10/avoiding-the-term-secrecy-pope-calls-synod-to-fasting-from-publicity__________________________________________________________ 6. Highlights from AP-NORC poll about the religiously unaffiliated in the US, By Peter Smith, Associated Press, October 4, 2023, 11:47 PM Thirty percent of Americans don’t identify with a religious group — but not all of them are atheists or agnostics. In fact, 43% of the group known as the “nones” say they believe in God, even if they largely dislike organized religion. Those are among the findings of a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.  Close to three-quarters of religious adults say their faith provides them with at least some meaning and fulfillment, including 46% who say it provides a lot. While widespread majorities of atheists and agnostics get no fulfillment from religious faith, only 62% of those nothings in particular say the same.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2023/10/04/religion-ap-poll-nones-survey/eb03058c-6331-11ee-b406-3ea724995806_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Point of no return: Pope challenges leaders at UN talks to slow global warming before it’s too late, By Nicole Winfield and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, October 4, 2023, 12:26 PM Pope Francis shamed and challenged world leaders on Wednesday to commit to binding targets to slow climate change before it’s too late, warning that God’s increasingly warming creation is fast reaching a “point of no return.” In an unusually bleak update to his landmark 2015 encyclical on the environment, Francis heightened the alarm about the “irreversible” harm to people and planet already under way and lamented that once again, the world’s poor and most vulnerable are paying the highest price. “We are now unable to halt the enormous damage we have caused. We barely have time to prevent even more tragic damage,” Francis warned. He took square aim at the United States, noting that per-capita emissions in the U.S. are twice as high as China and seven times greater than the average in poor countries. While individual, household efforts are helping, “we can state that a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model would have a significant long-term impact,” he said.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/04/vatican-pope-climate-dubai-un/18f09670-629d-11ee-b406-3ea724995806_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Assisi celebrates St. Francis’ feast day on 800th anniversary of two significant works, By Francesca Pollio Fenton, Catholic News Agency, October 4, 2023, 5:06 PM On the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the faithful gathered at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, to honor the beloved Italian saint and celebrate the 800th anniversary of the approval of the Rule of St. Francis (1223) and the creation of the Nativity scene in Greccio. Friar Marco Moroni, OFM, welcomed the crowd made up of religious people, representatives of the Italian government, civil and military authorities, and pilgrims from the Aosta Valley, a region in Italy that was chosen to donate the oil for the lamp burning before the tomb of St. Francis this year.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255575/assisi-celebrates-st-francis-feast-day-on-800th-anniversary-of-significant-works__________________________________________________________ 9. Marian Intercession and Guidance: Praying to Mary for and With the Synod, It’s particularly fitting that the Church this October prays the Rosary for the Synod on Synodality. Mary can help the Church today, just like at her beginning, to discern the true voice of the Holy Spirit., By Father Roger Landry, National Catholic Register, October 3, 2023, Opinion In Catholic piety and tradition, October is the Month of the Holy Rosary. The month gets its identity from the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7. It marks the date in 1571 when the outnumbered Christian fleet triumphed over the Muslim Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. The victory was credited to Our Lady’s intercession, as Pope St. Pius V had summoned all Christians to pray the Rosary as he was doing so with the members of the Church of Rome. In anticipation of the first anniversary of the triumph, he established the feast of Our Lady of Victory, but died before its celebration. His successor, Pope Gregory XIII, changed the title of the feast the following year to the “Feast of the Holy Rosary,” focused on the particular means that had brought the Church to victory. This year is the 450th anniversary of that first liturgical commemoration. It is therefore a very important occasion on which to grow in devotion to Our Lady, gratitude for her intercession, and prayer of the Rosary. Various popes and saints have called the Rosary the “School of Our Lady,” in which we ponder the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious moments of her and her Son’s life.  It’s particularly fitting that the Church this October pray the Rosary for the Synod on Synodality for a Synodal Church taking place Oct. 4-29 at the Vatican. Pope Francis himself asked for this after his Angelus meditation on Oct. 1[.]  Throughout this month and beyond, we can pray through Mary’s intercession that the journeying together of the Church today will mean faithfully following the footsteps of her Son, the Way, the Truth and the Life. We can pray, with her, that the listening Church will truly attune to God’s voice, not to polls of faith preferences of those who are thinking not as God thinks but as human beings do.   For the Synod on Synodality for a Synodal Church to fulfill the hopes Pope Francis has placed in it, for it to reinvigorate ecclesial communion, participation and mission, we need Mary’s intercession and guidance. She remains the Star of the Sea as the Church journeys together toward the eternal port, assailed not by Turkish battleships but by forces more subtle and potent. Let’s take up the beads and invoke her help. Father Roger Landry, Catholic chaplain at Columbia University, is ecclesiastical assistant to Aid to the Church in Need USA. Father Landry, a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, has been appointed by the U.S. bishops a “National Eucharistic Preacher.” https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/praying-to-mary-for-and-with-the-synod__________________________________________________________

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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