TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 77 – Senator Thom Tillis & Erika Bachiochi On Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett!
Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson welcome Senator Thom Tillis to the show this week with an in-depth look at Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the upcoming Senate confirmation hearing on President Trump’s impressive Supreme Court pick. Erika Bachiochi of the Ethics and Public Policy Center also joins with a look at Amy Coney Barrett’s career and family life–and how this Supreme Court nominee embodies a new era of feminism–one we can all strive for and learn from. The TCA team also gives a firsthand look at the first VP presidential debate as both Vice President Mike Pence and Kamala Harris sparred on issues of life and religious liberty.
1. ‘Chairman Xi, where is missing Bishop Su?’, In an assault on religious freedom, Chinese government arrests Bishop Su, and Xi Jinping knows where he is, By Chris Smith, The Washington Times, October 9, 2020, Pg. B3, Opinion
Thirty-six years ago this Oct. 8, Bishop James Su Zhimin was arrested by the Chinese government.
He was never to be seen publicly again. It’s an appalling tactic and human rights violation the Chinese government inflicts on its citizens when it “disappears” a victim.
But Chinese Communist Party General-Secretary Xi Jinping, the dictator of China, knows where the bishop is and what happened to him.

For Bishop Su’s “crime” — merely expressing his universally-recognized human right of religious freedom — he has endured approximately four decades in prison.

Before offering any replacement for Bishop Su, the Vatican and anyone who believes in religious freedom ought to insist on an answer to the question “Where is Bishop Su?”
It cannot be forgotten that, despite solemn promises and existing treaty obligations, Mr. Xi in recent months has relentlessly trampled upon the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.
Nor can we forget Mr. Xi is today presiding over genocide against the Uyghur Muslims.

There are many such instances, but the case of the long-missing Bishop Su is something which cannot be forgotten. His courage and faithfulness to God in the face of unspeakable abuse and inhuman cruelty inspires us to act with insight, decisiveness and prudence.
General-Secretary Xi Jinping, please answer the question: Where is Bishop Su and what have you done to him?
Chris Smith is a Republican congressman from New Jersey, and the ranking House member and former chairman of the bipartisan Congressional-Execu-tive Commission on China.
2. St. Louis Archbishop addresses issues facing Catholic voters, By Associated Press, October 9, 2020
St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski has urged parishioners to consider abortion as the main moral issue when they vote in November but said they must also consider candidates’ positions on other issues such as race, immigration and the environment.
Rozanski’s letter to parishioners published Oct. 1 in the the archdiocese’s newspaper is similar to others written by Roman Catholic leaders across the country, following guidance from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“If you don’t hold that abortion is the preeminent moral issue of our time, and if you don’t struggle to justify voting for a candidate whose record or policy would favor or even expand abortion, then you probably aren’t forming a Catholic conscience in preparation to vote,” Rozanski wrote.
3. When a pope and a president engineered the collapse of communism, Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan recognized the menace of the atheistic Soviet Union’s assault on freedom, By Scott Walker, The Washington Times, October 9, 2020, Pg. B1, Opinion
Pope John Paul II and President Reagan worked together to bring an end to atheistic Soviet communism. The two had a divine plan to stop the Soviet empire that was engaged in a war on religion and individual liberties. The work of a pope and a president helped bring about the collapse of communism and yielded more freedom and opportunity for people all over the world.

Sadly, most Americans believe that global hunger has increased when just the opposite is true. The number of people living in starvation-level poverty has fallen by more than 80% since 1970. Here are the facts: Democratic capitalism — otherwise known as free enterprise or entrepreneurship — is the best way to fight poverty and improve the lives of our citizens here in the United States and to help people in other countries around the world. … There are legitimate concerns about the impact of the global pandemic on the poorest people and countries in the world. Pope Francis wrote about these concerns earlier this week. Capitalism, however, is not the problem. Rather, the severity of the disease is driving the negative impact. The most effective way to combat this global pandemic will be to allow free markets and the private sector to drive innovation in treatment and advancement in prevention. The principles of free enterprise will drive the discovery of new vaccines and effective therapies.
We should learn from the example of Pope John Paul II and President Reagan and the lessons they gave us. Among them, when governments work to provide free and open markets along with more individual liberties, they overwhelmingly reduce poverty. Freedom and prosperity go hand in and hand.
Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin.
4. Vatican ‘not optimistic’ exiled Belarus archbishop will return, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, October 9, 2020
According to the Vatican’s top diplomat who recently returned from a four-day mission in Belarus, the exiled Archbishop of Minsk, refused reentry on Aug. 31 by President Alexander Lukashenko over his criticism of the government’s handling of pro-democracy protests, isn’t likely to be going home anytime soon.
“We tried to argue that it was in the interests of everybody, church and state, that he be allowed to return to the country,” said British Archbishop Paul Gallagher. “They do not share that opinion, and I’m not overly optimistic that they’re going to move on that one.”

5. A Jewish Revolt Against Lockdowns, Haredim take to the streets and courts against Gov. Cuomo., By The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2020, 7:16 PM, Editorial
Haredim, as ultra-Orthodox Jews are called, translates to “those who tremble.” But as New York’s leaders are learning, the Haredim tremble before God—not politicians.

Mass gatherings are a bad idea, and rising Covid cases in Orthodox Jewish areas are a legitimate health concern. But the combination of threats, scapegoating and inflexible diktats isn’t boosting the credibility of New York’s leaders or their rules. If Messrs. de Blasio and Cuomo want cooperation in addressing Covid-19, they ought to start by treating Haredim as citizens, not criminals.
6. Democrats Are the New Know-Nothings, By William S. Smith, Crisis Magazine, October 8, 2020, Opinion
With the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, Catholics should buckle their chinstraps for the torrential cascade of anti-Catholicism that will be belched up by her opponents.

Even before Justice Barrett was nominated, Politico kicked things off with a hit piece by liberal theologian Massimo Faggioli. Professor Faggioli had incorrectly written that all the “most important rules” of charismatic Christian groups were “unwritten” and “passed down orally.” To keep the paranoia going, Professor Faggioli also added that members of Opus Dei take a “vow of obedience.” Mr. Faggioli’s implicit point was that all these secret oaths make these Catholics disloyal citizens. Politico was forced to add this correction: “This story has been updated to reflect the fact that charismatic communities’ vows are not necessarily secret, and to clarify that Opus Dei members do not take formal vows.” Despite the errors, the Faggioli thesis will serve as the basis for the coming attacks. Justice Barrett, it will be said, is not simply a Catholic, but a kooky Catholic who belongs to a “secret” cult, and her loyalty to the cult will make her a suspect justice.

The most laughable aspect of these attacks is the assumption that charismatic Catholics are some kind of threat to the public order. Ideologies of the left, such as communism, have probably killed 100 million people over the last century, yet many American politicians and activists who share Marxist philosophical principles are never questioned about them. And now leftist ideological movements, such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, are rioting and burning American cities, yet it is Judge Barrett’s charismatic Catholicism that is the great danger. I may not have noticed, but I do not recall any rioting, looting, or police assassinations by charismatic Catholics.
Catholics should stay alert. Violence is now clearly an acceptable tactic of the progressive left. It is not alarmist to suggest that Catholic churches and clergy may be targeted during what will most likely be a despicable confirmation fight.

William S. Smith is Senior Research Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. He is the author, most recently, of Democracy and Imperialism (University of Michigan Press, 2019).
7. Pope commits to clean finances amid scandal in backyard, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 8, 2020, 8:46 AM
Pope Francis told European anti-money laundering experts Thursday that the Vatican was committed to “clean finance,” as he denounced financial speculation amid a spiraling corruption investigation in the heart of the Holy See.
It is rare for a head of state to meet with the Council of Europe’s Moneyval teams, who make periodic on-site visits to member states to evaluate their adherence to international standards to fight money-laundering and terrorist financing.
But amid the Vatican’s own financial scandal, which has exposed the Holy See’s ineptitude in investing and managing donations from the faithful, Francis received the dozen members of the Moneyval team in a private audience in his library in the Apostolic Palace.
8. Justices say women can get abortion pill by mail, for now, By Associated Press, October 8, 2020, 7:08 PM
The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would for now continue to allow women to obtain an abortion pill by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The action came over the dissent of two conservative justices who would have immediately granted a Trump administration request to reinstate the requirement that women must visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain a pill.
The court did little more than defer its first action on an abortion-related issue since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. The court called for a lower-court judge to take a new look at the issue and rule within 40 days. That would put any further high court action after the Nov. 3 election.
9. Cardinal Mueller: Catholic politicians must fight abortion, euthanasia, By Catholic News Agency, October 8, 2020, 5:43 PM
Catholic politicians have an obligation to fight against abortion and euthanasia, while applying the whole of Catholic social teaching in their political work, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect emeritus of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said this week.
Catholic politicians, the cardinal told CNA Oct. 7, “have to fight abortion and euthanasia. The pope, the congregations and the bishops have said that we cannot accept euthanasia in civil society because it is contrary to life, or abortion because it means the death of the innocent child in the mother’s womb.”
10. Senators support DC church’s suit against discriminatory coronavirus restrictions, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, October 8, 2020, 2:19 PM
Members of Congress are supporting a Washington, D.C., Baptist church in its court case against the city’s enforcement of its COVID restrictions on outdoor religious services.
Capitol Hill Baptist Church, a congregation of 850 members, had filed for a temporary restraining order in the D.C. federal district court Sept. 22, alleging that Washington, D.C. unlawfully discriminated against religious gatherings by limiting them to no more than 100 people, while allowing mass outdoor protests this summer to occur with far more attendees.
Mass protests in Washington, D.C. this summer occurred, including the “Get Your Knee off Our Necks” march on Aug. 28 for which organizers obtained a permit from the National Park Service; tens of thousands reportedly attended the march, where Mayor Bowser instructed that attendees had to wear masks.
The church reportedly applied for a waiver from the public health order in June and again in September, but was unsuccessful.
More than 30 senators led by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) filed an amicus brief this week supporting the church, and alleging “selective enforcement” of health rules by the city.
11. Miami archbishop blasts ‘handmaiden’ criticism of Amy Coney Barrett, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, October 8, 2020, 12:30 PM
The chair of the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee responded Thursday to the ongoing scrutiny of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s religious beliefs.
“The Constitution specifically says there should be ‘no religious test for office,’” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami told CNA on Thursday of Barrett, whose confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court are set to begin Oct. 12 before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Those who are “raising the issue” of Barrett’s religious beliefs during consideration of her nomination to the Supreme Court, he said, “are not honoring the principals of our Constitution and thereby contribute to undermining the rule of law in our nation.”
Barrett, a judge on the Seventh Circuit appeals court and a Catholic mother of seven, is also a former Notre Dame law professor and member of the ecumenical group People of Praise.
Her religious beliefs have received scrutiny in the press and by Democratic senators.
12. Cardinal Becciu claims ‘absolute falseness’ of allegations against him, By Catholic News Agency, October 8, 2020, 11:00 AM
Cardinal Angelo Becciu insisted Wednesday on the “absolute falseness” of claims of financial misconduct against him.
In a press statement issued through his lawyer Oct. 7, the embattled former senior Vatican official denied a series of allegations presented in the Italian media following his dramatic resignation of his rights as a cardinal last month.
He rejected the most recent allegation, aired this week, that he had channeled Vatican funds without proper oversight to a 39-year-old woman from his home island of Sardinia.
“The contacts with Cecilia Marogna strictly pertain to institutional affairs,” the cardinal said in the statement released by Fabio Viglione, who is representing Becciu following the resignation of his previous lawyer, Ivano Iai.
The statement also denied that Becciu had sought to interfere in the trial of Cardinal George Pell on historical sexual abuse charges in Australia.

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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