1. Archbishop praises Barr, thanks enemies, By Jeff Mordock, The Washington Times, September 22, 2020, Pg. A2
The archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia on Monday heaped praise on Attorney General William P. Barr, saying the nation’s top law enforcement officer embodies his Catholic faith.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput hailed Mr. Barr, a Catholic, as a man of faith who can help the church meet the challenges it faces in an increasingly secular society.
2. Vatican says those who choose euthanasia cannot receive sacraments, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, September 22, 2020
As several countries throughout Europe move toward broadening access to euthanasia, the Vatican released a new document reaffirming its teaching on medically assisted death, insisting that it is ‘poisonous’ to society and stressed that those who choose it are unable to access the sacraments unless they reverse their decision.
“Just as we cannot make another person our slave, even if they ask to be, so we cannot directly choose to take the life of another, even if they request it,” the Vatican said in a new document released by its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Published Sept. 22, the document, titled, “Samaritanus bonus: on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life,” was signed by the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, and its secretary, Archbishop Giacomo Morandi.
3. Explaining the Vatican’s silence on the “Abraham Accords”, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, September 22, 2020, Opinion
From the “dog that didn’t bark” files, it seems highly curious at first blush that a major peace accord for the Middle East was signed at the White House last week – with an explicitly religious reference in the title, no less –  and, so far, the Vatican has had absolutely nothing to say about it.
The “Abraham Accords,” the heart of which is normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel while Israel suspends plans for annexing parts of the West Bank, were announced in August and signed in Washington on Sept. 15. Concurrently, Israel and Bahrain have also announced plans to launch full diplomatic relations.

Presumably, it lies in some version of two basic points.
First, it’s election season in America. As of today, there are 41 days remaining until the election itself on Nov. 3, and just one week before the first debate between President Donald Trump and democratic challenger Joe Biden. No doubt Trump will use the accords as part of the argument for his reelection, and anything the Vatican might say, whether praising them or criticizing them, immediately would be seen as a political move.

Second, the Holy See definitely wants peace in the Middle East, but this isn’t really their plan for it.
The Vatican is a longtime advocate of the two-state solution, meaning sovereignty for the Palestinians, security for Israel, and a special international status for holy sites. According to many observers, the Abraham Accords effectively sideline the Palestinians by carving out separate deals with Arab states, ones in which the Palestinians aren’t a party.
4. Pope says autistic kids are beautiful, unique flowers to God, By Associated Press, September 21, 2020, 11:22 AM
Pope Francis told a group of children with autism and spectrum disorders Monday that they are beautiful, unique flowers in the eyes of God.
Francis met with members of an Austrian center for autism, Sonnenschein (“Sunshine”), in an audience at the Vatican. He told them that the center’s name evoked a flower-filled lawn in the sun “and the flowers of this house are you!”
5. Ginsburg’s death puts Roe v. Wade on the ballot in November, By David Crary, Associated Press, September 21, 2020
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so close to a presidential election and the vacancy it creates on the Supreme Court, coupled with President Donald Trump’s political imperative to energize social conservatives in key states, urgently provided a new frame for Trump’s case for a second term. And it has animated supporters of abortion rights at least as much.
If Trump is able to install his nominee in that seat, both sides agree there’s a better chance than ever that Roe v. Wade — the 1973 decision established a nationwide right to abortion — could be overturned or gutted.
6. Survey finds correlation between Catholic Mass attendance, political views, By Catholic News Agency, September 21, 2020, 6:00 PM
A recent survey has found a correlation between the religious practices of Catholic likely voters, their party affiliation, and the political issues they say are important, with Catholics who attend Mass regularly saying they are more concerned about abortion, among other issues.
Conducted Aug. 27 – Sept. 1 by RealClear Opinion Research in partnership with EWTN News, the poll surveyed 1,212 likely voters who self-identify as Catholic.
7. Vatican’s doctrinal office critiques German theologians’ intercommunion call, By Catholic News Agency, September 21, 2020, 2:00 PM
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has criticized an appeal by German theologians for intercommunion between Catholics and Protestants.
In a letter to Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, the CDF said that the proposal did not do justice to the Catholic understanding of the Church, the Eucharist, and Holy Orders.
The letter, dated Sept. 18, was signed by CDF prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria and secretary Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, and accompanied by a four-page doctrinal note.
The letter and note, obtained by CNA, were prompted by a document entitled “Together at the Lord’s Table,” issued by the Ecumenical Study Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians (ÖAK) in September 2019.
8. Cardinal Zen: Church is losing ‘credibility’ to evangelize China, By Ed Condon, Catholic News Agency, September 21, 2020, 1:30 PM
The former Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, has said that the Church’s efforts to negotiate an extension to the 2018 provisional agreement with China are harming the evangelization of that country.
In an interview with CNA, Cardinal Zen said that the Church’s silence on Communist human rights abuses, including the detention of more than 1 million Uyghurs in a network of concentration camps in Xinjiang Province, was damaging the ability of the Church to play a role in shaping the future of the country.
“The resounding silence will damage the work of evangelization,” the cardinal said. “Tomorrow when people will gather to plan the new China, the Catholic Church may not be welcome.”
9. Supreme Court: Full docket of religious liberty cases during nomination fight, By Catholic News Agency, September 21, 2020, 1:00 PM
As the Trump Administration looks to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, the coming judicial session features a slate packed with religious freedom cases.

Perhaps the most notable religious freedom case this term, that of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, will be heard on Nov. 4. A decision could impact faith-based adoption and foster care agencies around the country which are affected by state and local non-discrimination ordinances.

Another religious freedom case pending before the Supreme Court, Dalberiste v. GLE Associates, involves a lawsuit by a Seventh-Day Adventist, Mitche Dalberiste, who is seeking a religious accommodation for the technician job for which he was hired.

Becket is also representing three Muslim men, Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah, and Naveed Shinwari, who were placed on the FBI’s No-Fly list in order to pressure them to act as informants on Muslim communities.

The group Alliance Defending Freedom is also bringing a college free speech case to the Court, and is petitioning for the Court to consider a pro-life speech case.

There are also multiple cases which the Supreme Court has not yet taken up, but which Becket and others are asking it to consider.

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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