1. Pope Francis Has Put His Stamp on the Cardinals. Or Has He?, By Massimo Franco, The New York Times, September 28, 2023, 5:01 AM, Opinion When Pope Francis anoints 21 new princes of the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, he will seem to have consolidated his grip on the powerful College of Cardinals — and on the direction of the church, possibly for decades to come. With that consistory, as the ceremony is called, the Argentine pontiff will have appointed 99 of the 137 churchmen who are eligible to elect his successor — at least as long as they remain under 80 years old, the maximum voting age per church rules. A candidate needs only two-thirds of the vote to win. As a result, many observers say Francis has shaped the college to elect a “new Bergoglio,” to use the pope’s family name: a socially liberal Latin American cleric who would keep the leadership of roughly 1.3 billion Catholics on a path of inclusiveness, doctrinal openness and non-Western leadership. But that is a hazardous prediction. History shows the Catholic Church follows strange dynamics when it is called to select the successor of St. Peter inside the Sistine Chapel.  The next conclave could well be shaped by growing dissatisfactions among the cardinals with the Francis papacy — over his management of the Vatican, his approach to global politics and doctrinal measures, to name a few of the grievances church leaders have aired since Francis’ election in 2013.  In the 2013 conclave, the unspoken slogan became “Not an Italian pope,” given the maneuvers and scandals in the Vatican bureaucracy that may have contributed to Benedict’s resignation.   This time the sentiment among the cardinals — even those he has appointed — may be “Not a Latin American pope, nor a Jesuit one,” people close to the pontiff say. The church’s distancing itself from being centered in the West was inevitable: Eurocentrism is an outdated concept. But the image of the Catholic Church as a sort of moral arm of non-Western nations would be equally divisive. It’s a problem the princes of the church will have to figure out. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/28/opinion/pope-francis-catholic-church-cardinals.html__________________________________________________________ 2. China liked pope’s recent overture, Beijing bishop to visit Hong Kong, By Philip Pullella, Reuters, September 28, 2023, 5:33 AM The overture Pope Francis made to China earlier this month while he was in Mongolia was “well received” by Beijing’s communist government, which has given a mainland bishop permission to visit Hong Kong, the archbishop of Hong Kong said on Thursday. Archbishop Stephen Chow, who will be made a cardinal on Saturday, also told Reuters in an interview that he hopes his new rank will help him improve relations between the Vatican and Beijing, which have been strained recently. In the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar on Sept. 3, the pope sent greetings to China, calling its citizens a “noble” people and asking Catholics in China to be “good Christians and good citizens”. When he made the unscripted comments, Francis called up Chow and his predecessor as Archbishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal John Tong Hon, to flank him as he spoke.  https://www.reuters.com/world/china-liked-popes-recent-overture-beijing-bishop-visit-hong-kong-2023-09-28/__________________________________________________________ 3. Ohio wants to revive a strict abortion law. Justices are weighing the legal arguments, By Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, September 27, 2023, 4:56 PM Ohio Supreme Court justices vigorously questioned the state’s lawyer Wednesday about a legal strategy that Ohio is attempting in hopes of reviving its law banning most abortions except in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. Before Ohio Solicitor General Benjamin Flowers even finished the first sentence of his argument, justices began peppering him with technical questions that suggested they may be reticent to step in and lift a county judge’s order that has been blocking the law since last October.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/09/27/abortion-ohio/92cce522-5d5a-11ee-b961-94e18b27be28_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs law to protect doctors who mail abortion pills to other states, By Adam Beam, Associated Press, September 27, 2023, 8:04 PM California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law on Wednesday that aims to stop other states from prosecuting doctors and pharmacists who mail abortion pills to patients in places where the procedure is banned. California already has a law protecting doctors who provide abortions from out-of-state judgements. But that law was designed to protect doctors who treat patients from other states who travel to California. The new law goes further by forbidding authorities from cooperating with out-of-state investigations into doctors who mail abortion pills to patients in other states. It also bans bounty hunters or bail agents from apprehending doctors, pharmacists and patients in California and transporting them to another state to stand trial for providing an abortion.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/09/27/california-abortion-pill-gavin-newsom/8bf167de-5d85-11ee-b961-94e18b27be28_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. California governor signs bills that would penalize schools that refuse to teach LGBT content, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2023, 12:00 PM California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that would reduce funding to schools that restrict LGBT content from their classrooms. The bill would centralize state authority over school curricula by fining schools that restrict books that cover homosexuality and gender ideology. Some school boards have done so out of concerns that the content is too sexually explicit for young children. This is just one of 10 bills focused on homosexuality and transgenderism that Newsom signed this week. The new law, which took effect immediately upon the governor’s signature, grants the state superintendent the authority to reduce a school’s funding if it does not provide “sufficient textbooks or instructional materials” in line with the state’s standards for diversity and inclusion, which includes books available in the school’s library.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255491/california-governor-signs-bills-that-would-penalize-schools-that-refuse-to-teach-lgbt-content__________________________________________________________ 6. Discipline of sister who led community co-founded by Rupnik raises questions, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2023, 11:28 AM A religious sister who co-founded a community with the ex-Jesuit and accused abuser Father Marko Rupnik three decades ago was quietly removed in June from the governance of the community, banned from contacting current or former sisters for three years, and ordered to make monthly pilgrimages to pray for Rupnik’s victims. Sister Ivanka Hosta, the superior general of the Loyola Community since 1994, is staying in a monastery in Braga, in northern Portugal, following the conclusion of an investigation into her leadership of the religious community by the Diocese of Rome, according to the Portuguese religious news outlet Sete Margens.  A source inside the community confirmed to CNA the existence of the decree. The source also questioned whether the decree is being fully implemented given the possibility that Hosta could have appealed the measures to the Vatican. The unusual disciplinary measures leveled against Hosta raise questions about the conclusions of the investigation of the Loyola Community by the Diocese of Rome, including why Hosta would be ordered to do penance for Rupnik’s victims, and stand in stark contrast to a recent statement from the Diocese of Rome exonerating Rupnik’s art center.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255492/discipline-of-sister-who-led-community-co-founded-by-rupnik-raises-questions__________________________________________________________ 7. Less-redacted report on Maryland church abuse still redacts names of church leaders, By Brian Witte And Lea Skene, Associated Press, September 26, 2023, 3:52 PM Maryland’s attorney general released some previously redacted names in its staggering report on child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore on Tuesday, but the names of five Catholic church leaders remained redacted amid ongoing appeals, prompting criticism of the church by victims’ advocates.  The release of the largely unredacted report comes just days before a new state law goes into effect Oct. 1, removing the statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges and allowing victims to sue their abusers decades after the fact. https://apnews.com/article/church-abuse-report-baltimore-archdiocese-e8d1e025592c20af090fb5a37b31a374__________________________________________________________

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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