What Cardinal Rode said in his U.S. visit last year

Cardinal Franc Rode, in his defense today of the Vatican’s apostolic visitation of U.S. women’s religious orders, said his trip to the United States one year ago helped him decide that the visitation would be beneficial. From today’s story:

He said his office already had been considering convoking an apostolic visitation when he traveled to the United States in 2008 for a symposium on religious life at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. The symposium was part of celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Boston.

“The multitude and complexity” of the problems and challenges facing U.S. religious were made clear by speakers at the symposium, the cardinal said.

“This helped me understand that such an evaluation of the challenges facing individual religious and their congregations would benefit the church at large as well as the sisters and institutes involved,” he said.

For our detailed story on last fall’s visit of Cardinal Rode, click here.

Even ‘green’ agriculture has its problems

The Western Catholic Reporter in Edmonton, Alberta, has this feature about some of the drawbacks of “green” agriculture.

The article focuses on the use of certain crops as fuel, a growing practice around the world, especially in developing countries.

Agro-fuels are created from agricultural products such as corn, sugar, palm oil, canola and soy. They are usually grown in large-scale monocultures that depend on chemical fertilizers, cause deforestation, pollute water and damage biodiversity.

As demand for agro-fuels increases, so does the price of food because farmers devote more of their land to growing agro-fuel crops. In Mexico, for example, the price of corn went up by 70 percent in six months during 2006-07. Mexican corn was being sold for ethanol use in the United States.

The information for the story came from a conference in Edmonton with speakers from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Canadian counterpart to the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Relief Services.