Nigerian bishop promises three more priests for state

A sign of the times: A Nigerian bishop who already has four priests serving in the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark., promises to send three more. Details on the visit of Bishop Lucius Ugorji are in the Arkansas Catholic.

Three ordained in a joyous multicultural celebration

A sign of the times, Part 2: Recent ordinations in the Diocese of Honolulu symbolize that the U.S. priesthood is becoming more ethnically diverse and that the average age of new ordinands is increasing. The Hawaii Catholic Herald reports on the state’s first triple ordination in 15 years. All three new priests are in their 30s; one is from China and two are from Zambia.

‘Origins’ on sex abuse crisis, European culture

This week’s Origins: CNS Documentary Service returns to texts from the Catholic Theological Society meeting as well as a speech by the pope on European culture and the “crisis of modernity.” The details:

  • Two experts examine issues behind the sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. church. Mercy Sister Sharon Euart, a canon law consultant, looks at some canonical issues involved in the crisis (subscribers: click here), and theologian Christopher Ruddy says that the scandal was primarily “engendered by clericalism” (subscribers: click here).
  • Pope Benedict XVI tells a gathering of European professors that in light of the cultural shift taking place on the continent universities should undertake a “comprehensive study of the crisis of modernity” and create a new humanism for Europe. (Subscribers: click here)

Pro-choice politicians can cause scandal

Here’s more proof that the debate continues to simmer over whether to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion: Msgr. J. Gaston Hebert, administrator of the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark., (the diocese has been without a bishop since the transfer of Bishop J. Peter Sartain to Joliet, Ill., last year), says in a column in the Arkansas Catholic that “it may be time for a showdown” on the issue. His conclusion: “Had Hitler been a Catholic and made known that he was killing Jews and others to create a super race, would I have denied him Communion? I pray I would have had the courage to do so.”

Amnesty International’s abortion policy draws criticism, response

Amnesty International’s new policy calling for the elimination of penalties for anyone who provides an abortion or obtains one is still being debated in the pages of the Catholic press. The National Catholic Register editoralizes that Amnesty is “baldly misrepresenting facts in a desperate attempt to escape the consequences of its own actions.” In Canada, meanwhile, the Toronto-based Catholic Register‘s recent editorial decrying the move brought a rejoinder from a Canadian representative of the organization who tried to explain the rationale behind the decision.

‘Evan Almighty’: A film study guide for Catholic Christians

If you’ve seen or plan to see the new motion picture “Evan Almighty” (the one about a modern-day Noah and his ark, if you’ve just emerged from under a rock), you may want to read this article in The Tidings in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Sister Rose Pacatte. The second half of it offers 11 “questions for reflection and conversation” on the movie’s themes. (And you can read the CNS review from the U.S. bishops’ Office for Film and Broadcasting here.)

‘Origins’ on Muslims, lay ministry, workers’ rights

Interesting stuff in this week’s Origins: CNS Documentary Service:

  • Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor of Westminster, England, takes a wide-ranging look at Muslim-Christian relations in a post-Sept. 11 world. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Three lay theologians examine the U.S. bishops’ 2005 text on lay ecclesial ministry: H. Richard McCord recalls the text’s development (subscribers: click here); Edward Hahnenberg asks whether the bishop is the source or center of diocesan ministries (subscribers: click here); and Aurelie Hagstrom looks at the question of authorization (subscribers: click here).
  • Bishop Gabino Zavala, a Los Angeles auxiliary, discusses the right of workers to organize and some of the accomplishments and challenges of the U.S. labor movement. (Subscribers: click here)