The USCCB’s Office of Media Relations is scheduling a one-day seminar for members of the media to instruct them on the provisions of canon law and how that law relates, or doesn’t to civil laws. The seminar will focus specifically on how these laws relate to cases involving the sex abuse of minors by clergy. It is scheduled for May 25 and is being co-sponsored by the Canon Law Society of America.
A new blog on NCRonline.org
What does it mean? What happens next? When will this end? What can we do? We hear these questions and more from many readers trying to make sense of the exploding sex abuse scandal, now involving the Vatican.
To help readers examine these questions more deeply, NCR has opened "Examining the Crisis," a new blog on NCRonline.org. We will post commentaries, opinion pieces, and yes even a homily or two, about the issues we, as church, must confront. We offer these pieces as a way to begin to move beyond the current phase of reporting of the crisis.
The first piece has just been posted: Turn this dreadful moment into a graced moment, by Fr. Michael Ryan.
Earth Day, recognized annually on April 22, is 40 years old this year.
It's a perfect occasion to remember that The St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor was launched one year ago under the auspice of the Catholic Climate Covenant. Over the past year, thousands of Catholic individuals, families, schools, parishes and organizations have pledged to Pray, Learn, Assess, Act and Advocate as part of their commitment.
Join them this week. Take the Pledge.
The search for common ground on climate change between the United States and nations like China at the Major Economies Forum last weekend focused on industrial needs … but a totally different conversation is getting underway in Cochabama, Bolivia, at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.
Following the perceived failure of the COP15 climate change talks in Copenhagen last year, Bolivian President Eva Morales called an alternative civil-society conference. It is taking place this week in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, bringing together indigenous groups, NGOs, scientists, activists as well as government delegations. More than 15,000 people have gathered in the small Bolivian town of Cochebamba from April 19 to 22. Morales expects the conference to give a voice to the poorest people of the world and to encourage governments to be far more ambitious following the failure of the Copenhagen summit.
Are states too deferential to the Catholic church and its code of canon law? asks Olivia M. Goldhill, an editorial writer for The Harvard (University) Crimson.
In Punishment for the Pope? Blind acceptance of canon law is wrong, Goldhill writes, "Perhaps to arrest the pope is a step too far, but the Roman Catholic Church should know that its jurisdiction does not supersede that of national justice systems."
Pope names new archbishop for Miami, new bishop for Springfield
By Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., 59, as archbishop of Miami and accepted the resignation of Archbishop John C. Favalora, 74, who has headed the archdiocese since 1994.
The pope also named Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, 57, as bishop of Springfield, Ill.
The changes were announced April 20 in Washington by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to the United States.
The international movement, We Are Church, issued this media release:
"We are Church regrets that the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's election is so much tarnished by the deep crisis our Church at present is undergoing.
"We are Church appreciates the present activities of the Pope combating paedophilia in the Church. Benedict’s tragedy is caused by the fact that he started it too late, too weakly, and that he is not supported enough by all cardinals, bishops, and the Roman Curia. ... Now the five years of the pontificate of Benedict reveal more and more the fundamental weakness of the whole system of the Roman Catholic Church - its hierarchical constitution, "two-class society" priests/laity, the Roman centralism. ...
The bishops of Connecticut have urged their parishioners to fight a proposal in the legislature to lift the statute of limitations on the sexual abuse of minors. In the current climate, of course, this looks like just another example of the hierarchy trying to escape responsibility for their criminal neglect of the abuse.
To be clear, the bishops are wrong to oppose the proposal: One of the things we have learned about the sexual abuse of minors is that if often takes the victim years to admit that the abuse occurred, still less come forward and seek justice. There is a balance to be drawn between justice for the victims and the understandable fear of criminal prosecutions undertaken so long after the fact, but as a society – and most certainly as a Church – we should come down on the side of justice for the victims.