1. Amy Coney Barrett and Joe Biden: Two Catholics, One Double Standard, Will Joe Biden be asked to repudiate the ugly attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s faith?, By William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2020, Pg. A15, Opinion
For this election, Democrats have pulled out all the stops to let Americans know what a swell Catholic Joe Biden is. The party’s larger message, both timely and welcome, is that it’s OK to be a person of faith.
The test is whether the same courtesy applies to Mr. Biden’s fellow Catholic, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Even before President Trump formally nominated her for the Supreme Court on Saturday, the calumnies started circulating: the faith community her family belongs to is a “Christofascist cult,” she and her husband are “white colonizers” for adopting two children from Haiti, her Catholicism makes her, in the words of Bill Maher, “a f— nut,” and so on.
Which suggests that the first question Mr. Biden should have to answer in Tuesday night’s debate with Mr. Trump is whether the former vice president will unequivocally repudiate the attacks on Judge Barrett’s faith—and make clear they have no home in his Democratic Party.
2. Amy Coney Barrett Sets an Example for Working Mother, The ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ caricature is not only unfair but wildly at odds with the reality of her life, By Kate Bachelder Odell, The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2020, Pg. A17, Opinion
Amy Coney Barrett has been not-so-subtly depicted as straight out of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood’s dystopian 1985 novel. Judge Barrett, a mother of seven who sits on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, belongs to a Christian group known as People of Praise. The New York Times reported in 2017 that the group refers to advisers as “head” for men and “handmaid” for women. “The group,” the Times adds, “teaches that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family.” (The group said in 2018 it had stopped using “handmaid,” explaining that “the meaning of this term has shifted dramatically in our culture in recent years.”)
Some might have been surprised Saturday to learn that Judge Barrett lives in a household where her “superb and generous husband” often cooks and does “far more than his share of the work” raising their children. What she has said about work and family over the years confounds the normal contours of the culture wars. She is a walking example of how young children and demanding work can coexist—I dare suggest even happily. More women should hear her message of personal decency and nonconformity.

Democrats should think long and hard about whether it would be good politics to berate a working mom on television. Politically moderate women voters may identify with a woman who as a new mom “felt a lot of anxiety about whether I was doing the best thing,” away from her kids at work. In the same interview she says it’s great that women have more-flexible hours and longer paid leave, and that raising children is her work that has the “greatest impact on the world.”
3. Why Cardinal Pell Is Vindicated by Cardinal Becciu’s Firing, By Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Catholic Register, September 29, 2020, Opinion
An important, but not the primary, consequence of the stunning sacking of Cardinal Angelo Becciu is that it completes on the Vatican side what was accomplished by the Australian High Court in April, namely the complete vindication of Cardinal George Pell.
As Cardinal Pell arrives in Rome this week after three years in Australia, the counterpoint between the cardinal’s return and Cardinal Becciu’s fall is worthy of a novel.
“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances … and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” Cardinal Pell stated in reference to his brother cardinal’s dismissal. “I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria [Australia].”
While the firing of a Curial cardinal itself is unprecedented, it may also be the first time another cardinal has congratulated the Holy Father on doing so. But it’s perhaps not surprising, as Cardinal Becciu himself acknowledged that Cardinal Pell viewed him as corrupt, despite his protestations otherwise.

With the pandemic shutting down much of the Holy Father’s regular activity, he evidently decided to use the time to return again to the financial-reform arena. Pope Francis made key appointments and revived what he had done in 2014 in favor of Cardinal Pell’s reforms, but reversed in 2016. The Pope reverted from the conversion that Cardinal Becciu had wrought upon him. The Pell-style financial reform was back in business.
And now Cardinal Becciu has fallen, and what a great fall it is. While he insists upon his innocence and asked the Holy Father for a chance to demonstrate it, Pope Francis has already rendered a judgment in his case.
A leave of absence could be a precautionary measure awaiting further investigation. A sacking, compounded by banishment from the exercise of the cardinalate, is a peremptory sentence.
4. Cardinal Becciu allegations mount as Vatican appoints new prosecutor, By Catholic News Agency, September 28, 2020, 5:28 PM
Italian businessman Gianluigi Torzi has provided detailed information to investigators in the ongoing Vatican financial scandal, according to new reports. News of Torzi’s cooperation with prosecutors follows the resignation of Cardinal Angelo Becciu last week, and the announcement that Pope Francis has appointed a new prosecutor to strengthen the case.

The Vatican also announced Monday that Pope Francis appointed an Italian lawyer and professor of commercial law to work as an additional prosecutor in the Vatican City State’s court, fueling expectation that Becciu and several of his former colleagues at the Secretariat of State could face criminal prosecution in Vatican City.
5. German cardinal issues stark warning about ‘Synodal Way’, By Catholic News Agency, September 28, 2020, 2:00 PM
A German cardinal issued a stark warning Saturday about his country’s controversial “Synodal Way.”
In an address to former students of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in Rome Sept. 26, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki said that the initiative’s draft texts appeared to press for the ordination of women to the priesthood.

Woelki hit the headlines in Germany earlier this month when he said that the worst outcome would be if the Synodal Way “leads to a split and thereby outside of the Church, out of communion with the universal Church.”
In a Sept. 17 interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA, the cardinal said he feared that this would create “something like a German national church.”
His comments were downplayed by Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, who insisted that the Church in Germany is “part of the Universal Church and nothing will change that.”
6. Justice Department says San Francisco worship restrictions ‘draconian’, By Catholic News Agency, September 28, 2020, 12:00 PM
The U.S. Department of Justice on Sept. 25 warned San Francisco officials that current restrictions on public worship in the city may be unconstitutional, drawing praise from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
“Catholics in San Francisco have been patiently suffering injustice for months. At last, a competent legal authority is challenging the city’s absurd rules, which have no basis in science, but are grounded in hostility to religion and especially the Catholic Church,” Cordileone said Friday.
The DOJ on Sept. 25 sent a letter to Mayor London Breed, warning that the city’s rule allowing only “one worshipper” in places of worship at a time regardless of their size— while allowing multiple patrons in other indoor establishments— is “draconian” and “contrary to the Constitution and the nation’s best tradition of religious freedom.”
7. Pope Francis meets Armenian Apostolic Church leader amid clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh, By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, September 28, 2020, 10:00 AM
Pope Francis met with Armenian Apostolic Church leader Karekin II Sunday morning, moving up an appointment scheduled for Monday, because of growing clashes with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory.
Nagorno-Karabakh is an area internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians. Conflict over the enclave, which erupted into war from 1988 to 1994, has grown in recent months, with Turkey declaring support for Azerbaijan and other states calling for a diplomatic resolution.

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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