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Benedict's in a box in talking about the crisis

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
London

By now, declarations of papal contrition for the sex abuse crisis, such as that uttered by Benedict XVI this morning in Westminster Cathedral on day three of his Sept. 16-19 trip to the United Kingdom, have become almost routine.

As always, it seems, familiarity breeds contempt. The pope’s critics are becoming increasingly acerbic in denouncing these words as hollow, while some of his friends are openly questioning the value of endless apologies.

The dilemma Benedict XVI will have to face is whether to keep talking about the crisis every time he travels, and if he does, how to do it in a way that’s constructive.

Pope apologizes for 'unspeakable crimes' of sex abuse

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
London

tOn day three of Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit to the United Kingdom, the pontiff has once again used strong language on the sexual abuse crisis, expressing “deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes.”

The pontiff said he feels "shame and humiliation" because of the scandals, and called upon Catholics to express "concern for the victims and solidarity with your priests."

Is there a Catholic position on taxes?

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"The fierce debate over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts has become front-page news and provoked a steady stream of punditry as the midterm elections approach," writes John Gehring of Faith in Public Life.

Gehring says, "There is some pretty specific language in Catholic social teaching about 'reasonable and fair application of taxes.' "

He is urging Catholic leaders to speak up in the debate.

Right Livelihood Award Conference

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From September 14-19, the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Right Livelihood Award takes place, hosted by the City of Bonn, Germany. About 80 Right Livelihood laureates gather to discuss the world's most urgent problems, to call for change, inspire, give hope and celebrate 30 years of the Right Livelihood Award.

Civil society organizations, NGOs, business, academia, activists, entrepreneurs and students have the opportunity to meet the Right Livelihood awardees, discussing their work, comparing their approaches with their own.

Pope calls on religions to defend environment, human life

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LONDON -- A great irony of Pope Benedict XVI’s approach to relations with other religions is that this theologian-pope has to some extent dethroned theology, in favor of what he calls “inter-cultural” dialogue. By that, he means focusing on social, cultural and political concerns where the religions agree, rather than on matters of doctrine where they don’t.

Catholic Women Priests on CNN

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CNN featured the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement on its Emmy-nominated American Morning show today, September 16, 2010. Rev. Andrea Johnson and Rev. Gloria Carpeneto were interviewed and shown leading a small Eucharistic community of mostly women. The footage was compelling. Except for the gender of the celebrants, this could have been a regular parish mass.

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