TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 75 – Faith In Film Featuring Pray: The Story Of Patrick Peyton & Fatima
Dr. Grazie Christie explores faith on the big screen looking at a new documentary coming out in October with executive producer Father David Guffey. “Pray” is a beautiful Catholic documentary about a remarkable priest who encouraged Catholics throughout the world to come together as a family to pray the rosary. We also revisit with filmmaker Natasha Howes given the great success of FATIMA, currently in theatres and on-demand nationwide.
1. The Truth About People of Praise, If the nominee is Amy Coney Barrett, Democrats should resist the urge to target her for her faith., By Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2020, Opinion
Judge Barrett is a Roman Catholic, like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. Judge Barrett is also a member of a faith community called People of Praise, which is part of the Charismatic Renewal movement within the church that started in the 1970s, after Vatican II. The movement emphasizes personal conversion and bringing forward Christ’s teachings in the world. There are tens of millions of members throughout the world, and about 1,700 members of People of Praise in more than 20 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Judge Barrett is associated with the founding American chapter in South Bend, Ind.
People of Praise has been accused of being a right-wing sect. It answers that it has politically liberal and conservative members. They don’t appear to be obsessed with traditionalism or orthodoxy and are ecumenical: Members include Protestants as well as Catholics. They have joined together intentionally, in community, to pray together, perform service, and run schools. They’re Christians living in the world.
If they are right-wing religious extremists someone had better tell Pope Francis, who appointed a member of People of Praise’s South Bend community as auxilliary bishop of Portland, Ore. The pope has created a Vatican body to serve the renewal, and reminded the world-wide movement that its work must include service to the marginalized.

They have been accused of encouraging the subjugation of women. Until 2018, women who were leaders in the organization were called “handmaids.” “Handmaid” is a reference to the Blessed Mother and the annunciation—she was “handmaid to the Lord.” After Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, “The Handmaids Tale,” became a TV series and a symbol for anti-Trump activism, the group dropped “handmaid,” saying “the meaning of this term has shifted dramatically in our culture in recent years.” I’ll say.
There have been charges that women in People of Praise are encouraged to be submissive. One former member said as much to Reuters. Yet as O. Carter Snead, a Notre Dame law professor and director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, notes, Amy Barrett—herself a law professor as well as a judge—appears to be failing at being submissive and a total disaster at being subjugated.

If Amy Coney Barrett is the nominee, People of Praise will come under discussion. Good. We can all understand each other better. Some bigotry against Catholics and Christians is unintentional, and all bigotry is a kind of fear. Senators can fairly ask Judge Barrett about the impact of her faith on her jurisprudence, as they have with previous nominees. When John F. Kennedy met with the Houston ministers who wanted to know the impact of his membership in the church on his ability to govern a varied constitutional nation, he had no trouble.
But Democrats shouldn’t overplay their hand. People of Praise isn’t a strange radical group, it’s ardent Catholics being Catholic, American Christians trying to be Christian. Questioning with a hostile, aggressive or accusatory inflection may please and excite those who are alienated by or unknowing of religious life in America. Will it please anyone else? It might more likely produce a Kavanaugh-like disaster for the Democrats, perhaps even for some of their media handmaids.
2. Biden’s Faith Meets a Polarized Electorate, By John McCormick and Ken Thomas, The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2020, Pg. A1
The Democratic presidential nominee is the leader of a party that has grown more secular by some measures and increasingly liberal, including in its support of abortion rights. That places him in a delicate balancing act as he seeks to become only the second Catholic U.S. president after John F. Kennedy .

Mr. Biden’s campaign views his faith as an asset in helping him connect with Catholics and others. He frequently speaks about how it has comforted him during difficult times. John McCarthy , Mr. Biden’s deputy national political director, said faith is woven into the campaign’s outreach, including through “Catholics for Biden” and “Believers for Biden” events.

President Trump and his supporters, meanwhile, are trying to exploit Mr. Biden’s delicate position with some in his church by appealing to Catholics who oppose abortion rights. “The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history,” former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz told viewers of the Republican National Convention. “They and other politicians are Catholic in name only.”

Catholic voters have sided with every presidential-election winner since 2004, exit polls show.
3. Democrats Hold Abortion Rights Hostage, They’d rather scare voters than enact legislation protecting women nationwide., By Ted Rall, The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2020, Pg. A13, Opinion
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has amplified a classic Democratic election argument: that a Republican victory could lead to the end of legal abortion. The rhetoric obscures a question that Democratic voters might want to ask themselves: Why didn’t Democrats enact a federal law legalizing the termination of a pregnancy nationwide when they controlled Congress and the White House after the 1992 or 2008 election?

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Democratic Party would rather have a talking point than a real resolution. ….As long as abortion is hostage to the high court, the party, its candidates and its interest groups can use it to pull in money and votes.

The Supreme Court isn’t the main threat to abortion rights anyway. No current justice except Clarence Thomas has said he would overturn Roe v. Wade, and even if the court did so, it would have little practical effect. Blue states would continue to allow abortions; 13 of them and the District of Columbia have already passed laws independently guaranteeing abortion rights.
Mr. Rall is a political cartoonist and author of “Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party.”
4. Powerful Vatican Cardinal Becciu resigns amid scandal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, September 24, 2020, 2:30 PM
The powerful head of the Vatican’s saint-making office, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, resigned suddenly Thursday from the post and renounced his rights as a cardinal amid a financial scandal that has reportedly implicated him indirectly.
The Vatican provided no details on why Pope Francis accepted Becciu’s resignation in a statement late Thursday.
5. German bishops set up system for larger sex abuse payments, By Geir Moulson, Associated Press, September 24, 2020, 9:46 AM
The Catholic Church in Germany is setting up a new system to compensate survivors of sexual abuse by clergy that will provide for payments of up to about 50,000 euros ($58,400) to each victim.
Victims will be able to apply for payments under the new system starting Jan. 1, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference, Limburg Bishop Georg Baetzing, said Thursday after conference members signed off at a meeting on the details of a proposal approved in March.
6. Bishop Paprocki: We must weigh cost of ‘extraordinary’ shutdowns, By Carl Bunderson, Catholic News Agency, September 24, 2020, 2:01 PM
In an essay published this month, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois argued that months-long lockdowns in response to the coronavirus are an extraordinary means of saving life, and are therefore not morally obligatory and should not be coerced by the state.
We have “taken the extraordinary and unprecedented step of shutting down a major portion of our economy for the past several months, telling people to stay home, not to go to work, and not to go to school,” Bishop Paprocki wrote in “Social Shutdowns as an Extraordinary Means of Saving Human Lives”, an essay in the September edition of Ethics & Medics, a commentary published by the National Catholic Bioethics Center.
“The distinction between ordinary and extraordinary means of preserving life is important, for if a means is extraordinary—that is, if the burdens outweigh the benefits—then it is not morally obligatory and should not be coerced by state power,” he wrote.
7. Conference highlights ‘forgotten’ persecuted Christians, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, September 24, 2020, 12:10 PM
Religious and political leaders warned that Christians in the West need to speak up for persecuted Christians, during a summit Wednesday which highlighted the situations in Nigeria and Turkey. 
“We are facing a very, very critical time, and the West needs to step up—particularly the church in the West needs to step up,” former congressman Frank Wolf told an online audience of the advocacy group In Defense of Christians on Wednesday at IDC’s 2020 digital summit.

Wednesday’s event was co-chaired by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) with EWTN News Nightly anchor Tracy Sabol as the master of ceremonies.
8. Cancel Culture College Administrators Put on Notice, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, September 24, 2020, Opinion
The suppression of free speech on U.S. campuses has become a disturbing and apparently permanent feature of daily life in our universities. Now, at last, the Department of Education has intervened. We shall have to wait and see whether, as a result, the notorious liberal “cancel culture” is actually weakened. But new rules from the department do at least promise to make life difficult for those countless colleges where speech is curtailed as a matter of official policy.
Put simply, college administrators, public and private, have been put on notice that they will lose federal funding if they stifle free speech and religious freedom. The department’s new “Religious Freedom and Free Inquiry” rule is a response to a 2019 executive order from President Donald Trump and reflects the administration’s determination to dismantle key aspects of “cancel culture.”

Such guidance from the federal government comes none too soon for religious student groups at the University of Iowa. For the last three years, university officials have targeted and kicked off campus religious student groups with standards for leadership consistent with the groups’ ideology and mission. Becket law group — the religious-liberty lawyers who represent the Little Sisters of the Poor in their objection to the Affordable Care Act’s “contraceptive mandate” — is pressing university officials to stop their blatant religious discrimination. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit heard oral argument recently in the appeal on behalf of one group, Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC). The argument is simple: The university should be held accountable for such clear violations of students’ constitutional rights.
Andrea Picciotti-Bayer is Director of the Conscience Project, an organization advancing conscience rights through public education and amicus support in key religious freedom cases.
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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