1. A Dialogue With Pope Francis, Amid a Vatican scandal, he opines on markets and Covid-19, By The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2020, 7:14 PM, Editorial
On Sunday Pope Francis released his encyclical Fratelli Tutti (“All Brothers”), meant to point a world reeling from Covid-19 in a more hopeful direction. Though ranging from war and nationalism to immigration and social dialogue based on “insult,” the document repeats his earlier indictments of capitalism. In particular he scores “those who would have had us believe that freedom of the market was sufficient to keep everything secure” after the pandemic hit.
The true answer to what ails us, he writes, is openness and dialogue. So in that spirit we would suggest that while the pope has many wise things to say, we’ve never met any market liberals who believe what Pope Francis attributes to them. Certainly Adam Smith—a professor of moral philosophy—did not believe the “dogma” that markets can “resolve every problem.” As Smith understood, the market depends on a rules-based legal order and the cultivation of virtues such as hard work, thrift, enterprise, and even what he saw as the religious virtue of benevolence.

The pope released Fratelli Tutti at a moment when the Vatican finds itself in the headlines over a new scandal. The allegation is that a senior Vatican official, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, stole Vatican funds to wire to Australia to bribe individuals to help frame Cardinal George Pell on sexual abuse charges. His alleged goal was to derail Cardinal Pell’s investigation into suspicious financial activities at the Vatican. Cardinal Becciu denies wrongdoing but was recently fired.
Perhaps this scandal in his own house might lead Pope Francis to reflect that if he’s ever to end the Vatican’s corruption and clean up its finances, he could use more of the transparency and accountability that a free market demands and helps impose.
The overarching message from Pope Francis is to encourage a culture of fraternal solidarity, among individuals as well as across borders and cultures. Yet he never appears to consider how the voluntary nature of market exchange might contribute to that goal because it roots economic success in anticipating and satisfying the needs of others. This isn’t the love of neighbor commanded by the Gospel. But it’s surely not as far removed from the Scriptures as Pope Francis asserts.
2. Vatican’s top diplomat defends China deal: ‘Something had to be done’, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 7, 2020
Despite criticism of a 2018 deal with China over the appointment of bishops, including from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a senior Vatican diplomat said Tuesday Rome is optimistic the accord will be renewed by the end of the month and won’t walk away from it because “something had to be done.”
Had Rome not granted Beijing a significant role in choosing bishops, said British Archbishop Paul Gallagher, “We would have found ourselves – not immediately, but ten years down the line – with very few bishops, if any, still in communion with the pope.”

Gallagher confirmed the Vatican has proposed a two-year extension of the deal, the terms of which have not been made public since it’s a provisional agreement rather than a formal treaty.
3. Amy Coney Barrett, a hero mother for the Supreme Court, By Grazie Pozo Christie, The Washington Examiner, October 7, 2020, 12:00 AM, Opinion
Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court is an exciting development for women like me. We see in her a model of success and achievement precisely in the areas in which we struggle to succeed daily. Like her, we live our lives in a not-so-easy-to-achieve balance. On one side is professional work that we love and that we try to perform with excellence. On the other exists a cheerful and bustling motherhood that presents us with our greatest challenges but also our highest joys.
Barrett, by all accounts, has not only struck that precarious balance, but she has also built a life in which both sides are functioning marvelously. Her professional accomplishments are exactly what you’d expect from someone being considered for one of the highest and most intellectually demanding posts in government service: graduating first in her class at law school, a clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a stint in a prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame where she is a prolific academic. Finally, she was appointed to be a Judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where for the last two and half years she has written more than 100 decisions and is reported to be universally admired by her clerks and colleagues.
These are all very impressive accomplishments and certainly qualify her for the lofty post she may be called to fill. However, the fact that she has, at the same time, lived her home life so generously is remarkable.
Grazie Pozo Christie is a practicing radiologist in Miami, a policy adviser for The Catholic Association, and the host of the EWTN radio show Conversations with Consequences.
4. Supreme Court wrestles with Muslims’ suit over no-fly list, By Mark Sherman, Associated Press, October 6, 2020, 4:06 PM
A Supreme Court that has been friendly to religious interests took up a case Tuesday involving Muslim men who claim their religious rights were violated when they were placed on the government’s no-fly list because they refused to serve as FBI informants.
The justices, in arguments by telephone, wrestled with whether the men can seek to hold the FBI agents financially liable under a 1993 religious freedom law for trying to persuade the men to spy on other Muslims.
In recent years, the court has ruled in favor of people and companies asserting claims under the law at issue, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or the Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty.
5. Chinese bishop resigns as deadline for renewing Vatican deal nears, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2020, 12:00 PM
Ahead of the expected renewal of the Vatican-China deal this month, the former underground bishop of Mindong has announced his complete resignation from public life.
Bishop Guo Xijin, 62, wrote in a letter published by Asia News Oct. 5 explaining that he was retiring to concentrate on prayer because he does not “want to become an obstacle to progress.”
Guo was an underground bishop who previously agreed to become an auxiliary bishop so that state-appointed Bishop Zhan Silu would be recognized by the Vatican as the bishop of Mindong in China’s coastal Fujian province in December 2018 at the request of Pope Francis.
But Bishop Guo did not obtain formal recognition from the Chinese government after stepping aside because he refused Beijing’s demand that he register with the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
6. US bishops call for more security funding after wave of church attacks, By Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2020, 10:00 AM
The U.S. bishops’ religious freedom chair has called for better protection of churches and other houses of worship, following a recent series of acts of vandalism.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami joined other religious leaders in a letter to congressional leaders on Monday, asking for quadrupled funding of a federal security grant program for non-profits.
“Our sacred spaces have been desecrated, and our faithful murdered,” Archbishop Wenski and other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh leaders said in their letter. They wrote that “we believe that all people ought to be free from fear when gathering for religious worship and service.”
7. Biden doubles down on abortion law pledge, By Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2020, 9:30 AM
Former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, repeated his pledge to codify a right to abortion into federal law should the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision be overturned by the Supreme Court.
Speaking at an outdoor town hall event airing on NBC Monday, Biden was asked what he would do to protect “reproductive health rights” should Judge Amy Coney Barrett be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
“Number one, we don’t know exactly what [Barrett] will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to overrule Roe, and what the only thing–the only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land,” said Biden. “That’s what I would do.”
8. Reports say woman working for Becciu received 600,000 euros from Vatican Secretariat of State, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2020, 8:00 AM
Italian media reported this week that a woman with a company based in Slovenia received at least half a million euros from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State in connection with Cardinal Angelo Becciu.
According to reports, the 39-year-old Cecilia Marogna, who is from Becciu’s home island of Sardinia, received 500,000 or 600,000 euros in payments from the Secretariat of State over four years.
Reports also claimed that the payments had been made to the Slovenia-based company Logsic, D.O.O., owned by Marogna.
In two interviews Oct. 6, Marogna rejected rumors that she was related to, or had any sort of inappropriate relationship with, the cardinal, but said she was paid the money as a salary for work she did as a diplomatic consultant and as reimbursement for travel and other related expenses.
Marogna did not deny reports that she had used the Vatican payments to buy luxury purses, but insisted it was for her work and that she personally lives modestly, renting an apartment and driving a 10-year-old car.
9. Kamala Harris and her pro-abortion donor base, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2020, 7:30 AM
Senator Kamala Harris’ 2016 senate campaign was supported by several large donors who were executives at pro-abortion groups. Harris went on to repeatedly grill judicial nominees on abortion while in the Senate.
Harris is considered a champion of the abortion industry. When the Biden campaign announced her inclusion on the ticket in August, Planned Parenthood Action spent five figures on an online video ad promoting Harris as “OUR Reproductive Health Champion.” Planned Parenthood Votes also released a fact-sheet “Nine Reasons to Love Kamala Harris.”

Harris in her 2016 Senate campaign was 11th among Senate candidates in the amount of contributions she received from the “abortion policy/pro-abortion rights” sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. She received $38,830 in total from these groups.

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!

“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.