This week in Origins

Here’s the rundown for the latest edition of Origins: CNS Documentary Service dated Dec. 6:

  • Muslim scholars have proposed that love of God and neighbor be the basis for a dialogue with Christians. Key to the outcome of such a dialogue, says the Vatican’s U.N. ambassador, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, is whether the understanding of these terms leads to recognition of the human dignity of every person. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Contemporary society’s failure to give questions of meaning their proper weight has led to a false conflict between religion and the secular, says Irish Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick. He says the real conflict is between searchers of deeper meaning and those who believe human life has no meaning beyond what can be measured, analyzed and scientifically proven, and it puts at risk the health of secular society. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • In a letter to teenagers, the U.S. bishops describe the challenge of being a disciple. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • The Maryland Catholic Conference notes that tensions and confusions have followed the movement of the national immigration debate into neighborhoods, schools, churches and homes. It urges Catholics to join in honest, respectful and prayerful discussion of their concerns — and to see in each other the face of Christ. (Subscribers: Click here)

This week in Origins

Here’s the rundown for the latest edition of Origins: CNS Documentary Service dated Nov. 29:

  • The U.S. bishops’ quadrennial statement on politics and elections, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States,” rejects politics based on “powerful interests, partisan attacks, sound bites and media hype” and calls for “a different kind of political engagement” shaped by the “moral convictions of well-formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good and the protection of the weak and vulnerable.” (Subscribers: Click here)
  • The notion of the “common good” underlying much of Catholic thinking about politics, governance and policy can be a challenge for contemporary Americans used to thinking in terms of rights and interests, says political scientist Stephen Schneck. (Subscribers: Click here)

Yes, you can get the bishops’ political responsibility statement free of charge from the U.S. bishops’ conference. So why do we put it in Origins? Because Origins is more than just a place to read the latest church texts: It’s also an ongoing compendium and research tool, especially when you can subscribe to it online.

Besides, it’s still easier to read church documents in a print format like Origins, not to mention that as an Origins subscriber you don’t have to search all over the Internet for a past text when the editors of Origins already have done the research for you.

This week in Origins

Here’s the rundown for the latest edition of Origins: CNS Documentary Service dated Nov. 22:

  • Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., outgoing president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, reflects on the leadership and authority of bishops. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • The situation in Iraq “remains unacceptable and unsustainable” says a statement approved by the U.S. bishops, who warn that the political and partisan stalemate in Washington over the war mirrors the dangerous political stalemate blocking national reconciliation in Iraq. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., examines the moral questions involved in achieving a “responsible transition” in Iraq. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • A new statement by the official Roman Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue commission says both churches recognize the primacy of the bishop of Rome but have different understandings of how his primacy is to be exercised, differences that must be studied in greater depth if the churches are to be reconciled. (Subscribers: Click here)

This week in Origins

The latest edition of Origins: CNS Documentary Service went to press on time last week, but I forgot to tell readers here what’s in it. Here’s the lineup for the edition dated Nov. 15:

  •  The church’s “new” Code of Canon Law — now almost 25 years old — has proved a positive, flexible tool in dealing with many contemporary church challenges. Yet aspects of the church’s marriage law remain problematic, and the flaws exposed in efforts to penalize priests who sexually abused minors indicate a need for code revision, says Msgr. John Alesandro, a leading U.S. canonist. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • A bipartisan group of prominent lay Catholics issues a call for more civility in public life, specifically urging Catholics not to “enlist the church’s moral endorsement for our political preferences” or “exhort the church to condemn our political opponents by publicly denying them holy Communion.” (Subscribers: Click here)

This week in Origins

Another edition of Origins CNS Documentary Service is online and in the mail. Here’s what’s in the new edition dated Nov. 8:

  • The “new evangelization” demands that the church first cover the psychological and sociological distances that separate it from the pluralistic postmodern world to which it is sent. This will undoubtedly bring death to a certain way of being church, to a certain identity, but “a missionary church must not nourish nostalgia for the past,” says Bishop Claude Champagne, auxiliary of Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Cardinal Avery Dulles traces the development of five catechetical models and contrasts their different emphases. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Those who would reject the natural moral law and base civil law on majority rule alone ignore the lessons of history and put basic human rights at risk, says Pope Benedict XVI. Only natural law provides the foundation for a universal ethic and true guarantee that each person may live in freedom, have his dignity respected and be protected from manipulation and abuse by the stronger. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno, Nevada, discusses the role of mercy in the justice system. Mercy not only tempers justice, it expands our awareness of those in need and “widens the scope of our concern beyond our individual rights and special interests to seek the common good and to promote social justice,” he says. (Subscribers: Click here)

This week in Origins

Another edition of Origins CNS Documentary Service is online and in the mail. Here’s what’s in the new edition dated Nov. 1:

  • The English-speaking Catholic bishops from Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria call for the opening of “new doors” in dialogue between Catholics and Muslims. “We want to deepen our dialogue so that we can enter in the heart of the matter: the promotion of peace in our West African subregion,” they say. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Pope Paul VI’s cry from the heart in “Populorum Progressio” that “development is the new name for peace” has only gained new urgency in the 40 years since it was issued, says Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • The liturgical celebration of marriage ought to be a vital part of Catholic marriage ministry and a source of theological reflection on the sacrament of marriage, says liturgist Paul Covino. (Subscribers: Click here)

This week in Origins

Another edition of Origins, CNS Documentary Service, for more than 35 years the primary source for church texts, is in the mail and posted online. Here’s what’s in the edition dated Oct. 25:

  • If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace, an international group of Muslim leaders and scholars say in a letter to Christian leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI. Finding common ground between the world’s two largest religions is a demand of their shared belief in the unity of God and of the necessity of love for him and of one’s neighbor, they say. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Where there is acceptance of the direct killing of noncombatant civilians or justification of the use of torture in eliciting information from prisoners, there is no military chaplaincy worthy of its name, says the former head of the U.S. military archdiocese, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • An earned path to citizenship for illegal immigrants constitutes neither amnesty nor a reward for lawbreaking because offenders pay a penalty proportionate to the intent and effect of their lawbreaking and remain accountable to the law, says Cardinal Roger M. Mahony. (Subscribers: Click here)
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