1. Bishop-designate of Duluth resigns following abuse accusation, By Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service, September 8, 2020
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Father Michel J. Mulloy — who had been appointed but not installed as bishop of Duluth, Minnesota — after an allegation of sexual abuse was raised against him from the 1980s when he was a priest in South Dakota.
The installation, which was announced June 19, was scheduled to take place Oct. 1.
The resignation was announced in Washington Sept. 7 by Msgr. Dennis Kuruppassery, representing Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
2. Priest named to be bishop by pope resigns after abuse probe, By Associated Press, September 7, 2020, 10:43 AM
A priest recently tapped by Pope Francis to be made a bishop for a Minnesota diocese has resigned after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor surfaced before he could take up his post.
The Vatican announced without giving details on Monday that Francis had accepted the resignation of the Bishop-elect Michel Mulloy, who was named by the pope in June to head the Duluth diocese. Mulloy was supposed to be elevated to bishop’s rank in an Oct. 1 ceremony in Duluth.
3. As Vatican ponders China deal, expert says it’s brought ‘little fruit’, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, September 7, 2020
As the Vatican sits poised to renew its historic agreement with China on the appointment of bishops later this month, one of the Catholic Church’s leading experts on Chinese affairs has argued that while the desire for dialogue is understandable, there is still nothing to show for the deal two years later.
“I understand the positivity, the temptation to have this relationship with China, but I have to say that there is very little fruit,” said Father Bernardo Cervellera, voicing his hope that “the Vatican, in renewing the agreement, instead of undergoing still more of the demands of China, puts more posts” in the way of their demands.
Head of Asia News and a former missionary in China, Cervellera spoke during a Sept. 4 online discussion hosted by the Acton Institute, a free-market Catholic organization, offering his evaluation of the state of the Asian continent amid the coronavirus pandemic and the new national security law in Hong Kong.
4. Pope: Gossiping is “plague worse than COVID”, By Associated Press, September 6, 2020, 6:56 AM
Pope Francis said Sunday that gossiping is a “plague worse than COVID” that is seeking to divide the Catholic Church.
Francis strayed from his prepared text to double down on his frequent complaint about gossiping within church communities and even within the Vatican bureaucracy. Francis didn’t give specifics during his weekly blessing, but went on at some length to say the devil is the “biggest gossiper” who is seeking to divide the church with his lies.
5. Catholicism’s accidental exile captures drama of post-Soviet world, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, September 6, 2020, Opinion
Some people, it would appear, simply are born for exile. Sometimes it’s a firebrand personality constantly irking the powers that be, but in other cases it’s mostly bad luck, circumstance, and the fact that a given person is an inconvenient reminder of a system’s failures and blind spots even without trying.
The latter would seem to be the case for Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, the chief shepherd of Minsk in Belarus who’s currently in exile in Poland after being denied reentry into Belarus by the government of longtime President Alexander Lukashenko, dubbed “Europe’s last tyrant,” who’s currently facing massive street protests after a disputed reelection victory in early August.
Kondrusiewicz, born into an ethnic Polish family in Belarus in 1946, had been in Poland to take part in celebrations for annual celebrations in honor of the Madonna of Częstochowa. When he attempted to cross the border back into Belarus, he was turned away and accused by the Lukashenko regime of being in league with the protesters.

It’s at least the third time in Kondrusiewicz’s life he’s either been pushed out of someplace or not allowed back in.

The first came as a young man, when he was kicked out of the Hrodna Pedagogical Institute in Belarussia because he was a Catholic, during an uptick in religious persecution under the Soviets. He eventually finished his education in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and became a mechanical engineer, working in Lithuania, before switching gears and entering the seminary at the age of 30.
The second came under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, when he was removed as the Archbishop of Moscow (technically, the “Archdiocese of the Mother of God at Moscow”) and sent back to Belarus in 2007.

Providence, however, often has a keen sense of irony, and so it is that a decade a half later, Kondrusiewicz now finds himself once again at the heart of the action in terms of the broad direction of the post-Soviet world.
For his part, Lukashenko has confirmed the ban on reentry, saying it’s not just Kondrusiewicz who’s being frozen out.

In the meantime, however, this accidental exile serves as a reminder that sometimes just being who you are can put you on the wrong side of those in power. Whether Kondrusiewicz is also on the wrong side of history, of course, is an entirely different question.
6. Texas bishop endorses video claiming faithful Catholics can’t support Democratic candidates, By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter, September 6, 2020
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, has endorsed a video that includes anti-immigrant remarks and homophobic slurs by a priest of Wisconsin in which the priest claims, “You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat.”
The video was released Aug. 30 by Fr. James Altman, pastor of St. James the Less Catholic Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and has since received more than 298,000 views.
In the 10-minute video, set to ominous music and dark lighting, the priest slams Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington D.C., for his criticism of President Donald Trump’s photo-op and appearance at the St. John Paul II National Shrine earlier this summer. He also criticizes Jesuit Fr. James Martin and his closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention; refers to participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects immigrants who entered the United States as minors from deportation, as “criminal illegal aliens”; and calls climate change a hoax.
The Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, did not immediately respond to NCR’s request for comment on Altman and the video.
On Sept. 5, however, Strickland took to Twitter to share the video and thank Altman for his “courage.”
7. Pope set to make first trip since pandemic to saint’s town, By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, September 5, 2020, 7:30 AM
Pope Francis is next month set to make what would be his first visit outside Rome since Italy was put under lockdown in early March when it became the first country in Europe to feel the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pope is to journey to Assisi, the birthplace in the central Italian region of Umbria of his namesake saint, to sign an authoritative papal letter to clergy and faithful worldwide — a document known as an encyclical, the Vatican said Saturday.
The encyclical is expected to stress the value of brotherly relations during and after the pandemic, a theme Francis evoked repeatedly during the pandemic.
8. Republicans’ History on Abortion, For the past 40 years, it’s the Republican Party that has made the right to life of the unborn child a vital part of its vision and policy for the United States., By National Catholic Register, September 5, 2020, Editorial
At the recent Republican National Convention, the position of President Donald Trump’s party on the right to life of the unborn child stood in dramatic counterpoint to the abortion-rights stance on display the previous week at the Democratic National Convention that formally nominated Joe Biden.

And while Donald Trump had no experience in government prior to his own election as president in 2016, like Reagan, he was not an early convert to the pro-life cause. In 1999, while discussing what he would do if he were to become president on NBC’s Meet the Press, he stated he was “very pro-choice,” although he qualified the assertion by noting that “I hate the concept of abortion.” By the time of the 2016 campaign, he had shifted to a position of unequivocal opposition to abortion. And, while there are some who suspect this conversion to pro-life advocacy is more a matter of political expediency than of deep personal conviction, in office Trump has honored his pro-life campaign commitments so assiduously that he is widely praised by pro-life leaders as having done more to oppose abortion than any other president in U.S. history.
Whatever Trump’s motives might have been, one thing can’t be disputed, after a careful review of the platforms of both major parties on abortion: For the past 40 years, it’s the Republican Party that has made the right to life of the unborn child a vital part of its vision and policy for the United States.
9. Vatican tells Australian Church that seal of confession not up for debate, By Charles Collins, Crux, September 5, 2020
Although reaffirming the principle that the seal of confession can never be violated, the Vatican has told Church leaders in Australia that victims of sexual abuse should be encouraged to report abuse to the proper authorities.
Recognizing the question of the seal of confession “is one of great delicacy and that it is related intimately with a most sacred treasure of the Church’s life, that is to say, with the sacraments,” the Vatican said “the confessional provides an opportunity – perhaps the only one – for those who have committed sexual abuse to admit to the fact.”
The comments came in a series of “observations” to the August 2018 response of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Catholic Religious Australia to the Final Report of the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, published in December 2017.

In its final report, the commission recommended that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference request that the Vatican consider introducing voluntary celibacy for clergy and end the seal of confession for cases of abuse, as well as requiring that abusers confess to the police before sacramental absolution can be given.

In its response, the Australian bishops’ conference it would comply with 98 percent of the Commission’s recommendations — however it adamantly rejected the Commission’s call to remove the seal of the confessional.
The bishops also said they would consult with the Holy See on other recommendations advised by the commission, including on the retention of documents pertaining to sexual abuse cases.
The Vatican response to the Australian document was dated Feb. 26, 2020, but only released on Sep. 4.

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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