Spilling the beans on the pope’s U.S. trip

nuncio_web.jpgWe were as surprised as anyone when Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio — read ambassador — to the United States, today gave out a detailed itinerary of Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the United States next April.

Typically, the nuncio’s address to the U.S. bishops on the opening day of the bishops’ fall general meeting doesn’t make such big news. We always cover the talk — here’s a link to our story on an address by Archbishop Sambi last year — because the nuncio’s words often offer an important glimpse into the Vatican’s thinking on a variety of issues or simply give an encouraging word to the bishops on their work.

But I can’t remember the last time when the secular dailies did anything on the nuncio’s address. Let’s hope for their sake that their reporters at the meeting in Baltimore weren’t taking an early coffee break because they thought the speech wouldn’t be “news,” even though there had been numerous reports that the trip itinerary might be on Pope Benedict’s desk.

‘Our Catholic Youth: Learning today, leading tomorrow’

The Arkansas Catholic in Little Rock published a special section on Catholic youth earlier this month. If you want to see the state of youth ministry in one diocese or looking simply for ideas you can use locally, this might be a place to start.

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)