Visiting the Green Knight on the way to Middle Earth
The latest episode of the podcast begins a multi-episode look at The Lord of the Rings, first by comparison with The Green Knight. The recently released film is based on the medieval legend Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (which Tolkien translated into English) and provides lots to talk about regarding death and the call to love. And it's weird! Probably too weird. Find previous episodes here and share it with your friends!
Pastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life
The USCCB's newest pastoral framework is intended to assist dioceses as local pastoral planning and implementation continue to take place since the publication of the 2016 apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. "Called to the Joy of Love" provides guidelines for the pastoral accompaniment of married couples and families in every phase of life, drawing upon the teachings and recommendations contained in the apostolic exhortation.

Read and download the digital version of the pastoral framework here.
A New Catechesis
Confusion in our society about human nature is abounding. Amid this confusion, Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington has issued a new catechesis on the human person. He is one of several bishops who have recently helped to clarify the nature of biological sex in the face of contradictory views of gender.

You can find that and much more on Gender Theory in our Resources.
Civilize It 2021
As a nation, including many in the Church, we are polarized and divided. But as Pope Francis writes in Fratelli Tutti, we can seek “a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good” (no. 154). We can see ourselves as members of one family. We can seek the truth together. We can jointly come up with creative solutions to the problems that face our world. Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics is a response to Pope Francis’ invitation.

If you’re interested in loving your neighbors through open engagement, join us to model this “better kind of politics.”
We Can Stop the "Equality Act"!
The Senate has yet to vote on the misnamed Equality Act, which the USCCB continues to oppose. By seeking to insert "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into civil rights laws, it would discriminate against people of faith and impose gender theory in schools, workplaces, charities, shelters, hospitals, doctors' offices, and more.

Please contact your U.S. senator to stop this bill from becoming law! Check out this in-depth briefing: The Equality Act and What It Means for Catholics and visit to learn more.
A Year of St. Joseph
Pope Francis has proclaimed in his Apostolic Letter Patris Corde a special “Year of St. Joseph,” a wonderful opportunity to increase our love for St. Joseph, patron of both the Universal Church and of all families.

The USCCB has compiled a hub of resources, catechetical materials, and prayers/devotions to assist in the ongoing celebration of this special year, and our podcast just covered it in its newest episode.
Legal/Policy Updates
Fulton Victory Made Final - Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has returned to its work of placing children in foster care. After its Supreme Court victory in Fulton v. Philadelphia, the agency reached a settlement with the city which will leave its freedom to abide by the truth of marriage intact.

Administration - President Biden in his speech before the UN General Assembly called for the defense of "LGBTQI" rights around the world. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that service members who received other than honorable discharges for SOGI-related reasons would be eligible for full benefits.

Courts - Texas filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's June guidance based on the Supreme Court's 2020 Bostock decision. Texas is arguing that the EEOC overstepped its authority in further interpreting Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act beyond the scope of the Bostock decision. The trans-identifying leader of an Illinois militia group was convicted for the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque, but the Bureau of Prisons has yet to decide whether he will be sent to a men's or women's prison. A class action lawsuit was filed against Aetna for allegedly discriminating against "LGBT+" beneficiaries by requiring them to pay more out of pocket for fertility treatments.

States - Several states introduced or advanced new legislation revolving around sex and gender. The Massachusetts state senate advanced bills involving its sex education curriculum and IDs for those who identify as non-binary. Texas introduced a sex-specific sports bill, which if passed, would make it the ninth state to pass such a bill. Wisconsin introduced a bill requiring schools to notify parents and give them the opportunity to opt their children out of classes covering SOGI-related topics. A poll conducted in West Virginia found that 65% of respondents believed that athletes should only be allowed to play sports according to their biological sex. A Gallup poll in May found a similar level of support (62%) nation-wide.

Schools & Localities - Benet Academy, a Catholic school in suburban Chicago, rescinded a job offer to a coach after it learned that the coach was in a same-sex "marriage". Then, after receiving heavy criticism, it reversed course and re-hired the coach. Lee University in Tennessee changed its student handbook to remove "gender" and "gender identity" from its anti-discrimination policy, also prohibiting cross-dressing and same-sex sexual activity, drawing backlash from alumni. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians continued to prohibit recognition of same-sex "marriage", after the North Carolina body's Cherokee Tribal Council defeated legislation to change its marriage laws.

International - Swiss voters passed a referendum with 64% support to legally recognize same-sex "marriages", making it the 30th country to do so. The British Court of Appeal ruled that children under 16 are able to give informed consent for puberty blocking treatment, overruling a 2020 decision from the High Court which had prohibited the practice. The IOC delayed its new transgender guidelines for competitors until after the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. The new guidelines would update its 2015 guidelines, which broadly allow for trans-identifying men to compete with women after reducing testosterone levels for 12 months, but which also allow individual sports governing bodies to determine their own rules. Romanian socialist legislators joined right-wing Poles and Hungarians in opposing against a European Parliament resolution to legally recognize same-sex "marriage" across the EU. The Costa Rican Constitutional Chamber sided with a trans-identifying man against the country's General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners in a dispute over recognition of sex or gender identity in passports.