1. Biden and Trump Vie for Catholic Votes, Disagree on What Issues Take Priority, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, September 14, 2020
As both the Biden and Trump presidential campaigns court Catholic voters, both campaigns have made efforts to suggest they represent a commitment to Catholic social teaching. But there are marked differences between the candidates’ approaches on issues Catholics say are important to them in the voting booth, especially abortion.
President Donald Trump has received praise for the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) for some of his policies, and criticism for other policies.
Trump’s administration has enacted conscience protections for health care workers, expanded protections against taxpayer funding of abortion providers and promoters domestically and overseas, halted federal funding of research using aborted fetal tissue, and worked to end a government mandate that doctors perform gender-transition surgeries upon request.
The administration has offered legal relief for Catholic organizations opposing the government’s contraceptive mandate, including the Little Sisters of the Poor.
At the same time, Trump’s administration has also resumed federal executions after a 17-year moratorium, cut down on the number of refugees the U.S. allows each year, has separated migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, and has begun the deportation of Chaldean Christians from the Detroit metro area—all of which earned criticism from the USCCB.
Trump has also been criticized for issues of personal character, an issue the Biden camp says should be front and center in the campaign.
Patrick Carolan is Catholic outreach director for the group Vote Common Good, which is campaigning for Joe Biden.
Catholics should heed the advice of Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, Carolan said, that “a person’s character is what’s as important as any of these issues when considering who to vote for.”

“Despite what the Republicans say, Biden’s not somebody who thinks that women should be able to have abortions even when they’re giving birth,” Carolan said. A Biden administration, he said, would be “willing to have discussions” on policies that reduce abortions.
Amid the 2020 campaign, however, pro-life Democrats have decried the party’s “extreme” support of abortion in its 2020 platform. Biden has not responded to their call for a platform that would welcome pro-lifers to the party.
While Biden was criticized during the Democratic primary by some abortion advocates, the candidate supports pro-abortion policies that would expand even upon those that existed during the Obama administration.
Biden says he would “work to codify Roe v. Wade,” the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion, “as amended by Casey.” The Court’s 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision upheld Roe, but said that state laws could regulate abortion so long as they did not pose an undue burden on women seeking abortions.
Biden supports taxpayer funding of elective abortions in the U.S. through the repeal of the Hyde Amendment; a position Biden adopted last year under pressure from liberal groups. He also opposes the Mexico City Policy, which bars U.S. foreign assistance from funding foreign groups that perform or promote abortions.
And Biden’s health plan would offer public funding of abortions on a mass scale, something that President Obama promised he would not do when the Affordable Care Act passed Congress. Biden says he would set up a public health insurance option which, among other things, would cover contraceptives and abortions.
Biden also says his Justice Department “will do everything in its power” to stop state abortion restrictions, such as parental notification requirements or ultrasound requirements.
Recently, Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate reignited pro-life concerns about abortion policy in his administration.
2. ‘Together Strong: Life Unites’ is theme of March for Life set for Jan. 29, By Kurt Jensen, Catholic News Service, September 13, 2020
The Sept. 10 announcement of the theme for the March for Life — “Together Strong: Life Unites” — made it clear the annual national event, in some form, will proceed next Jan. 29.
But details of how the march, rally and pro-life conference, which together have drawn as many as 100,000 participants in past years, will cope with COVID-19 self-quarantine restrictions in the District of Columbia were not part of the announcement.
Asked on EWTN’s “Pro-Life Weekly” program that evening about whether people should start making plans, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said: “You know, everybody has to make that decision on their own. You know, considering their own situations, et cetera.”

Among those making remarks during the announcement were Carrie Severino, president of Judicial Crisis Network, and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, who chairs the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus in the House of Representatives.
“One of the most significant decisions a president has to make is who to put on the federal courts,” Severino said. She warned of the danger of judges “who think it is their job to invent new constitutional rights.”
While Trump recently provided a list of future Supreme Court nominees, Severino observed, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a Catholic, “won’t tell us who he’ll put on the court” and he supports “using your federal tax dollars to pay for abortions. The choice couldn’t be more clear.”
3. Pope recalls visit to Lesbos refugee camp, urges solidarity, By Associated Press, September 13, 2020, 8:21 AM
Pope Francis expressed solidarity Sunday with the thousands of migrants who were left homeless by fires that wrecked a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos and called for them to receive a “human and dignified” welcome wherever they relocate.

Fires on Tuesday and Wednesday nights gutted Moria, Greece’s largest refugee camp. Authorities have said residents protesting a lockdown imposed after a coronavirus outbreak deliberately set the blazes. Greek authorities said Sunday some 12,000 migrants would be moved to an army-built tent city in the coming days.
4. With Vatican FM in Belarus, pope urges respect for protests, By Associated Press, September 13, 2020, 10:47 AM
Pope Francis urged political leaders to listen to protesters and heed their calls for political and social change, an apparent reference to protests in Belarus against the country’s authoritarian president.
Francis didn’t mention Belarus or any country in his appeal Sunday during his noontime prayer but his comments came as the Vatican foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, traveled to Belarus to meet with church and civil authorities amid weeks of anti-government protests.
5. Vatican urges return to in-person Mass as soon as possible, By Associated Press, September 12, 2020, 3:45 PM
The Vatican said Saturday it was “necessary and urgent” to return to in-person Masses as soon as anti-coronavirus measures permit.
The head of the Vatican’s liturgy office, Cardinal Robert Sarah, said in a letter to bishops conferences that virtual liturgies, while useful, were no replacement for the real thing. He said physical presence by the faithful in churches was “vital, indispensable, irreplaceable.”
6. Pope teams up with Slow Food founder for environment appeal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, September 12, 2020, 9:34 AM
Pope Francis has formed an unusual partnership with the agnostic Italian founder of the Slow Food movement while doubling down on calls to protect the environment from profit-driven development that he says harms the world’s poorest the most.
Francis on Saturday welcomed Carlo Petrini to the Vatican and met with participants of an association the former communist activist helped form to put into practice the pope’s appeals for ecological sustainability and solidarity. The association is named for Francis’ 2015 environmental encyclical, “Laudato Sii” (Praised Be).
7. Western Australian legislative committee recommends preserving confessional seal, By Catholic News Agency, September 12, 2020, 5:01 PM
Religious ministers should not be required to violate the seal of confession to report child sex abuse, a committee of the upper house of Western Australia’s parliament recommended Thursday.

The recommendation, made by a narrow majority of the committee, came in its report on the Children and Community Services Amendment Bill 2019. In its current form, the bill would require priests to break the confessional seal to report known or suspected child sex abuse.
8. Cardinal Sarah: ‘We must return to the Eucharist’, By Catholic News Agency, September 12, 2020, 11:35 AM
In a letter to the leaders of the world’s episcopal conferences, the head of the Vatican’s office for worship and sacraments said that Catholic communities should return to Mass as soon as it can be done safely, and that the Christian life cannot be sustained without the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Christian community of the Church.
The letter, sent to bishops this week, said that, while the Church should cooperate with civic authorities and be attentive to safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic, “liturgical norms are not matters on which civil authorities can legislate, but only the competent ecclesiastical authorities.” It also emphasized that bishops can make provisional changes to liturgical rubrics in order to accommodate public health concerns, and urged obedience to those temporary changes.
9. Filipino cardinal and papal aide, Cardinal Tagle, has virus, By Associated Press, September 11, 2020, 10:40 AM
One of Pope Francis’ top collaborators and a future papal contender, Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Vatican said Friday.
Tagle, who heads the Holy See’s powerful office in charge of mission territories, last saw the pope during an official audience on Aug. 29. He tested negative for the virus as recently as Sept. 7 but tested positive upon his arrival Thursday in Manila, the Vatican said.
10. Catholic mission sees covid-19 as latest challenge in an uphill vocation, By Claire Giangravé, The Washington Post, September 11, 2020, 4:27 PM
The pandemic saw a “large reduction” in the realm of missionary work, aggravating an ongoing decline in the number of vocations and priests seeking to become missionaries, [Salesian priest Martin] Lasarte said. Although Catholicism may be waning in many Western countries, new communities are emerging in other parts of the world, including Korea, India and Vietnam.
Even in Asia, missionary work faces mounting challenges; Lasarte noted China’s authoritarian hold on the life of the faithful within its borders.
“In the past few years the situation in China has gotten much worse,” Lasarte said, adding that Beijing “looks at Catholicism and human rights with a certain preoccupation.”
11. ‘Stunning irony’: Pro-abortion Biden quotes St. John Paul II’s famous motto in slam against Trump, By Patrick Delaney, Life Site News, September 11, 2020, 5:03 PM
Capping off his remarks, which were largely seen by critics as an attempt to blame President Trump for the ongoing violent riots by leftists in democrat-run cities, Mr. Biden evoked St. John Paul II, asserting, “Donald Trump is determined to instill fear in America. That’s what his entire campaign for the president has come down to, fear. But I believe we’ll be guided by the words of Pope John Paul II, words drawn from the scriptures. Be not afraid, be not afraid.”

Maureen Ferguson, Senior Fellow for The Catholic Association, a group dedicated to being a faithful Catholic voice in the public square, noted the inconsistency. “Joe Biden invoking Saint John Paul II to tell us to ‘be not afraid,’ represents a stunning irony, given Biden’s cowardly cave to the extreme pro-abortion wing of his party. Biden flip-flopped in order to get his party’s nomination, endorsing taxpayer funded abortion throughout pregnancy, whereas Saint John Paul II tirelessly proclaimed that ‘The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message…. there exists a great multitude of weak and defenseless human beings, unborn children in particular, whose fundamental right to life is being trampled upon.’”

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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