‘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)

‘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)

‘Origins’ this week on climate change, theologians

Global climate change and the relationship between theologians and bishops are the two topics addressed in the latest edition of Origins, the CNS Documentary Service:

  • The U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works invited religious groups to share their views on the moral and ethical dimensions of global climate change. Origins presents the testimony from three of them: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (subscribers: click here), Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center (subscribers: click here), and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (subscribers: click here).
  • Theologian Daniel Finn, outgoing president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, urges a re-examination of the society’s relations with conservative theologians, U.S. bishops and the Vatican in a reflection on the need for a theology of power (subscribers: click here).

‘Origins’ on homosexual ministry, G-8, parish leadership, Brazil trip, and more

At Catholic News Service, we’ve always said that Origins, the CNS Documentary Service, is more than just a publication — it’s an ongoing, ever-accumulating resource. Even though many documents in Origins can be found at no charge on the Internet, no other publication — oops, I mean resource — is as easy to use and as complete for anyone doing research on church issues, whether it’s a homilist trying to develop a theme that ties into the day’s readings or a journalist trying to understand the nuances of church teaching on a particular topic.

This week’s edition (sorry, that link only works for subscribers) is another perfect example. Sure, some of these texts are already on the Internet, but why go there when you can have these and thousands of related items at your fingertips through an online subscription?

Here’s the rundown on the latest Origins edition:

  • What is the place of homosexuals in the Catholic Church? Tucson’s Bishop Gerald Kicanas looks at what the church can offer people with same-sex orientation. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Cardinal Sean O’Malley explains that despite the sale of much of its remaining property to Boston College, St. John’s Seminary remains an essential element of the Boston Archdiocese’s future. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Presidents of seven Catholic bishops’ conferences urge the heads of seven of the world’s wealthiest nations to take bold steps on global poverty, health care, climate change, and peace and security during the G-8 summit. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Bishop Stephen Blaire exhorts newly ordained priests in Stockton, Calif., to “look forward in hope with the eyes of faith” lest a misguided nostalgia turn them into pillars of salt instead of “salt of the earth.” (Subscribers: click here)
  • Archbishop Andre Gaumond, president of Canada’s bishops’ conference, reviews the 40-year history and continuing relevance of the Canadian church’s international development agency. “The social challenges of justice and peace can never be kept at arm’s length from one’s life as a Christian,” he says. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Pope Benedict XVI continues his discussion, begun during his recent visit to Brazil, of Christianity’s impact on the peoples and cultures of the Americas. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Father Robert Duggan describes to a “better practices” conference the leadership-development model his former parish designed. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone expresses condolences on the pope’s behalf to the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Iraq on the murder of a priest and three subdeacons. (Subscribers: click here)

Latest ‘Origins’ covers Iraq, pope on abortion, immigration, Eucharist

Another variety of interesting texts in the newest edition of Origins: CNS Documentary Service:

  • American troops should stay in Iraq “only as long as their presence contributes to a responsible transition,” says the head of the military services archdiocese, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, in a Memorial Day message to Catholics in the U.S. armed forces. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The Vatican transcript of what Pope Benedict XVI said aboard the papal plane to Brazil about Catholic politicians and abortion. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The U.S. bishops see more that they like in the House version of immigration reform legislation than in the Senate’s, Orlando Bishop Thomas G. Wenski tells a House subcommittee. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The church offers the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist to a world on the path to globalization in the hope that this movement will be one of humanization and not one of alienation and injustice, says Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet. (Subscribers: click here)

Churches mobilize against pornography

Efforts to fight pornography have been getting increased attention in recent months. The latest: Churches in the Kansas City area are petitioning six county governments in the region to convene grand jury investigations into sales of pornography. They also are seeking enforcement of Missouri and Kansas obscenity statutes. Stories are in both The Catholic Key in Kansas City, Mo., and The Leaven in Kansas City, Kan.

If you’ve not been following it, this is only the latest Catholic press coverage of the issue.  Some examples:

In addition, Archbishop George H. Niederaur of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Communications and a member of the Pontifical Council on Social Communications, spoke this month in Salt Lake City (his former diocese) and said the Internet has made pornography an “electronic tsunami” that has taken the problem well beyond simply movies and magazines. You can read coverage of the speech in the Intermountain Catholic of Salt Lake City. Subscribers to Origins, the CNS Documentary Service, can read the full text in Origins’ May 31 edition.

‘Origins’ covers immigration, spirituality, pornography, and more

A variety of interesting texts in the latest edition of Origins: CNS Documentary Service:

  • Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles explains why the church considers the U.S. immigration system unjust and in need of reform. (Subscribers: click here)
  • St. Augustine might feel right at home with the contemporary emphasis on individuals finding their own way to live out their humanity and on individuals not only choosing their own faith but one that “speaks” to them by making sense of their spiritual journey as they see it, suggests Archbishop Philip Wilson, president of the Australian bishops’ conference. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The “electronic tsunami of pornography” now generates more annual income than all three major professional sports combined and causes the world’s fastest-growing addiction. But what should motivate people to take action “is not the amount of pornography there is but the kind of harm it does,” says San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer. (Subscribers: click here)
  • Archbishop Celestino Migliore expresses the Vatican’s disappointment that the U.N. has postponed action on a declaration on the rights of indigenous people. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., will not appeal the $11.45 million a jury recently awarded two sexual abuse victims, says Bishop William F. Murphy, who says “I believe that we need closure and healing at this time and that a new trial would only open up the wounds once again.” (Subscribers: click here)
  • The Vatican doctrinal congregation has sent to U.S. bishops a “minimum profile” for the assessment, study and certification of former Protestant ministers who want to become Catholic priests. (Subscribers: click here)