1. Vatican applauds ‘Abraham Accords’ but fears ‘isolation’ of Palestinians, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 8, 2020
Breaking the Vatican’s month-long silence on the recently announced “Abraham Accords,” British Archbishop Paul Gallagher said Tuesday the deals for diplomatic relations sponsored by the Trump administration involving Israel and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Israel and Bahrain, are “very positive” and to be applauded.
At the same time, Gallagher expressed concern about a growing “isolation” of the Palestinians in the Middle East, which some critics argue has been exacerbated by the Abraham Accords, and he reiterated the Vatican’s call to both Israel and Palestine to restart direct negotiations.
2. As Vatican faces financial review, pope condemns ‘idolatry’ of neoliberal economy, By Elise Ann Allen, Curx, October 8, 2020
Pope Francis Thursday condemned the prioritizing of money over people and touted several steps the Holy See has taken to ensure financial transparency.
The pope was speaking to representatives of Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering watchdog, who are in Rome conducting its annual review of the Vatican, following a year of money-related scandals.
The pope thanked them for the visit, saying their work is “dear to my heart” because it is closely tied to “the protection of life, the peaceful coexistence of the human race on earth, and a financial system that does not oppress those who are weakest and in greatest need.”

Catholic social teaching, he said, “has underscored the error of the neoliberal dogma which holds that the economic and moral orders are so completely distinct from one another that the former is in no way dependent on the latter.”
“In light of the present circumstances, it would seem that the worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose,” he said, insisting that “financial speculation fundamentally aimed at quick profit continues to wreak havoc.”
3. Bigoted Attacks on Amy Coney Barrett Will Backfire, By Brian Hagedorn, The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2020, Pg. A17, Opinion
I’ve seen this before, and it’s not pretty. Critics of Judge Amy Coney Barrett are framing their skepticism with a noble-sounding pretext: Judges shouldn’t bring their personal views into the courtroom. But their real worry is far more chilling. To put it bluntly, America’s cultural elites aren’t sure that a faithful Christian can be entrusted with the law.
In early 2019 I was a judge on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, running in a statewide election for a seat on the Supreme Court. The stakes were higher than usual. On a closely divided court in a closely divided state, whoever won the election would likely cast a deciding vote on many high-profile cases for years to come.

Throughout the campaign, no one criticized the quality of my work or my fidelity to those principles. Instead, my opponents attacked me for my faith.

As Washington debates her nomination, my plea is this: Judge her on her merits, not on her faith. Let’s not impose a religious test for public office. Let’s not tell people of faith they are unwelcome in the public square. And for those who can’t resist, let my election be a small reminder that this increasingly blatant religious bigotry is also likely to backfire spectacularly.
Justice Hagedorn is a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
4. Kamala Harris tried to force my pro-life group to promote abortion, By Thomas Glessner, The New York Post, October 7, 2020, 6:08 PM, Opinion
Two years ago, the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in favor of the free-speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers in NIFLA v. Becerra. Yet many watching Wednesday’s vice presidential debate may not realize that NIFLA v. Becerra was originally NIFLA v. Kamala Harris.
Harris is a hard-liner on abortion rights. That’s par for the course for today’s Democratic Party, of course, but she takes things a step further by seeking to silence pro-lifers in America’s democratic public square, putting her squarely on the wrong side of the high court’s First Amendment jurisprudence.

She and her allies ultimately failed, however. The law was struck down by the Supremes in what the Cato Institute called one of the most significant First Amendment rulings in a generation. The court held that the government couldn’t compel charitable, faith-based nonprofits to speak a message with which they fundamentally disagree.
A Biden-Harris administration would dramatically change the future of America and First Amendment rights. We know from NIFLA v. Becerra — originally NIFLA v. Harris — that the would-be vice president wants to extinguish the voice of pro-life Americans.
Thomas Glessner is the president and founder of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, the appellant in NIFLA v. Becerra.
5. Harris says she is a person of faith, ‘insulting’ to suggest she would knock anyone for religion, Harris was raised in a Hindi and Christian household, By Morgan Phillips, Fox News, October 7, 2020
Sen. Kamala Harris invoked her faith during the vice presidential debate to insist that Judge Amy Coney Barrett would be treated fairly on account of her faith during her upcoming confirmation hearings.

Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow at The Catholic Association, accused Harris of being the “ringleader of anti-Catholic bullying,” pointing to Harris’ treatment alongside Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, of U.S. District Court nominee Brian Buescher. The pair questioned whether he was fit for the seat because he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charitable organization.
Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the Nebraska lawyer whether he knew Knights of Columbus “opposed a woman’s right to choose” and were against “marriage equality” when he chose to become a part of the organization.
6. Vatican Tells UN it is ‘Deeply Concerned’ by Push to ‘Reinterpret’ Foundations of Human Rights, By Catholic News Agency, October 7, 2020
Vatican representative told the United Nations Tuesday that the Holy See was “deeply concerned” by moves “to reinterpret the very foundations of human rights.”
In a statement Oct. 6, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said that the reinterpretation of human rights benefited the powerful at the expense of the weak.

Quoting from Samaritanus bonus, a letter released last month by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he added: “Just as there is no right to abortion, there is also no right to euthanasia: ‘laws exist, not to cause death, but to protect life and to facilitate co-existence among human beings.’”
7. Senators reject claim Amy Coney Barrett ‘too Christian’ for Supreme Court, By Catholic News Agency, October 7, 2020, 12:00 PM
Senators on Wednesday decried attacks on Catholic Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s religious beliefs.
“It is the definition of discrimination to assert that Justice Barrett’s particular faith makes her uniquely unqualified for this promotion,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated on Wednesday. “Every Supreme Court Justice in history has possessed personal views.”
Responding to media and political criticism that Barrett’s faith-based beliefs rendered her incapable of serving as a justice, McConnell condemned the suggestions “that Judge Barrett is too Christian, or the wrong kind of Christian, to be a good judge.”
McConnell’s remarks came after multiple reports on Tuesday focused on Barrett’s membership in the ecumenical Christian group People of Praise, and suggested that her membership of the group meant she believed that women should be submissive to men.
8. Democratic US Senator opposes Amy Coney Barrett confirmation over IVF, By Catholic News Agency, October 7, 2020, 2:01 PM
A US Senator on Friday sent a letter to her colleagues urging them to vote against the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court because of her association with a group that holds in vitro fertilization to be morally illicit.
“Barrett’s willingness to associate her name with such an organization is disqualifying and, frankly, insulting to every parent, hopeful parent or would-be parent who has struggled to start a family. Formally signing on to the message of an organization with these radical views goes beyond other nominees and demonstrates a lack of judgment, an absence of due diligence and a derision toward families like mine who were only able to have children with the help of methods and assistance that Judge Barrett personally disapproves of,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) wrote Oct. 2.

The Catholic Church teaches that though IVF is morally illicit, “every child which comes into the world must in any case be accepted as a living gift of the divine Goodness.”
9. German churches plan to continue talks on shared Communion, By Catholic News Service, October 8, 2020
The German Catholic bishops’ conference and the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany plan to continue their discussions about shared Communion, reported the German Catholic news agency, KNA.
German Catholic and Protestant theologians and bishops had published an appraisal of the topic in May, and it was scheduled to be discussed at the German bishops’ fall plenary assembly in Fulda at the end of September.
However, on Sept. 18, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith voiced strong objections to the appraisal, saying that differences between Catholics and Protestants in the understanding of the Eucharist and the ministry were “still so grave” that they ruled out the attendance of at each other’s services, KNA reported.
On Oct. 6, leaders of both churches identified questions that “still need to be clarified” and addressed by Catholic and Protestant sides in different ways, KNA reported.
10. Catholic bishop in Missouri criticized for letter on voting, By Associated Press, October 7, 2020, 12:50 PM
The bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri is urging parishioners to vote for candidates who are anti-abortion, which some critics contend amounts to an endorsement of Republican candidates.
In a letter dated Sept. 14, Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. does not endorse a political party or specific candidates. But he says Catholic voters “would do well to weigh a candidate’s position on each of these essential God-given rights that government has a duty to protect, beginning with the right to life.”

The letter conforms with the position of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who said in a letter last year that abortion is of “preeminent priority” to the church.
It also follows other Catholic leaders who have written similar letters.

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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