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Vatican to heighten women's ordination sin level


The Catholic News Service reported this morning in soon to be released documents, updating norms dealing with priestly sex abuse will also come heightened penalties for the "attempted ordination of women." Such acts, it said, would be on the list of the most serious crimes against church law, or "delicta graviora," CNS quoted Vatican sources as saying.

Toxic effects of Deepwater Horizon spill beginning to be seen in Gulf


According to the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and Lower Mississippi Riverkeeping Web site, the BP oil spill's toxic effects are beginning to be seen. A compilation of reports and articles from newspapers and blogs report that scientists are frustrated too by the lack of data about the toxic effects of the spill.
According to EPA's latest analysis of dispersant toxicity released in the document Comparative Toxicity of Eight Oil Dispersant Products on Two Gulf of Mexico Aquatic Test Species , Corexit 9500, the dispersant used by BP, at a concentration of 42 parts per million killed 50 percent of the mysid shrimp tested and at a concentration of 130 parts per million killed 50 percent of the silverside fish tested.

UPDATED: Vatican appoints head of Legionaries of Christ


The Assocaited Press is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI has named Italian Archbishop Velasio De Paolis as a special delegate to lead the scandal-plagued Legionaries of Christ.

Archbishop Velasio De Paolis is currently president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. Born in Sonnino, Italy, Sept. 19, 1935, he is a member of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles.

More information from CNS: Pope names Vatican canon lawyer to head Legionaries

U.S. women religious leaders, take notice, take heart


The Leadership Conference of Women Religious meets next month in Dallas for their annual gathering. Some 800 women will gather with their leadership, their congregations, and their missions under dark clouds, set there by the Vatican.

It will be a time -- all too short -- for serious discernment. And courage.

With this in mind, allow me to direct the attention of women religious everywhere to the talk, posted today, by Cape Town Bishop Kevin Dowling on the NCR web site.

Dowling sees our church in a clear and discerning manner and this bishop's wisdom shows that the deep concerns of women religious are not theirs alone, but extend to church prelates. And who knows how many other Dowlings are there out there who are not yet finding the means to speak out?

Women, take notice -- and take heart.

Consider the words with which Dowling ends his address. Consider his spirit when you gathering in Dallas next month:

Holy Pistols


Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a controversial bill allowing guns to be carried into Louisiana’s houses of worship, and I am overjoyed to finally have an excuse to wear my new Gunderson leather chaps to church! To think I ever thought they were out of fashion.

Editorial serendipity


Publishing a newspaper and keeping a web site is often a lesson in managed chaos. You try to plan ahead, but you never know when a story might break. You're never really sure that the story you just sent to the printer will be relevant by the time anyone sees it on paper. Web publishing alleviates that pressure -- a bit -- but even on the web, you're never really sure that you're up to date as you could be.

But sometimes things happen just right.

This morning is a case in point. We had already scheduled to post to the web site an editorial from our July 9 print issue (A hierarchy deeply damaged from within), which went to the printer last week and should be arriving in mail boxes even now.

This morning when I opened my e-mail box, I found a message from Jerry Filteau, forwarding a message he had received from a reader. That message contained the text of a talk by South African Bishop Kevin Dowling. (See Catholic social teaching finds church leadership lacking.)


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