This week, the Vatican’s office for ecumenism, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is hosting a summit titled “Harvesting the Fruits," bringing together leading lights from the Catholic church, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Methodism, anbd the Reformed churches. The idea is to figure out how the movement for Christian unity can move into what Cardinal Walter Kasper, the council’s president, calls a “more mature” phase, despite what many perceive as a big ecumenical chill. In addition, the hope is also to hand the torch to a new generation of leaders, given that many of the pioneers of the ecumenical movement are now passing from the scene.
The Catholic missal is not the only document going through a revamp.
Today's Wall Street Journal reports on the changes coming to "the draft revisions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—the bible for mental health clinicians and researchers—unveiled Wednesday could have effects that ripple through mental health care."
These changes will impact patients, clinicians and larger healthcare providers. For example, Asperger's disorder, which is currently considered a separate condition than autism, will be subsumed into the broader spectrum of autism disorders.
Pax Christi USA has posted a short reflection on the way we can honor Haitians suffering from the recent earthquake. The reflection is written by Pax Christi Haiti's project director, Daniel Tillias.
Here's a short excerpt:
Two members of Congress joined faith leaders on a conference call today in Washington to announce new efforts to build support for comprehensive immigration reform. Congressman Mike Honda of California joined Congresswoman Yvette Clark both addressed the political difficulties of moving the legislation while the country suffers from an unemployment rate that hovers around 10 percent. “It’s possible,” Clark told the journalists assembled on the call, noting that as in previous years, the difficulties are likely to arise in the Senate.
Local Kansas City, Mo. paper The Pitch reports today that one of the nation's most productive nuclear weapons manufacturing sites is operating with expired permits for hazardous waste and water discharges.
The Kansas City Plant, which manufactures mechanical and electrical non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons, has recently come under media scrutiny for claims of lethal contamination to employees and neighbors.
Last week the Environmental Protection Agency published a fact sheet regarding some 785 toxic chemicals known to be used at the plant and U.S. Senator Kit Bond called for a federal investigation of health concerns.
These revelations come one week after the Kansas City, Mo. City Council gave final approval for plans to relocate the manufacturing facility to a larger site farther away from the downtown area.
Growing attention is being paid to the connections between economics, environment and faith. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has started a "Faith-Economy-Ecology" project in order to understand the various ways in which these three crucial factors intersect. Learn more at the Faith, Economy, Ecology Web site
You'll find resources and reflections that will help you, and perhaps your community, better understand the connections between care of the Earth and all its life forms, the global economy and our faith. You will also see a sign-on statement, inviting individuals or a representative of an organization to join and seek the change we need in policy and lifestyles.
The Haitian recovery will have to be down to earth, literally. Local food production is invaluable in a country where people struggle to feed themselves. According to an interview on the Wired Web site with Australian permaculture expert Geoff Hanson, the techniques of permaculture can greatly help to rehabilitate the landscape and provide sustainable livelihoods for both urban and rural dwellers there.
Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies.
Permaculture's practical development in modern times is credited to Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer on his own farm in the early 1960s and then theoretically developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications. The word permaculture is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture, as well as permanent culture. Geoff Hanson is with the Australian Permaculture Research Institute.
The first thing they could do is remind Catholic senators that disarmament is a moral issue and not one that should be politicized for partisanship gain. This is the height of selfishness and shortsightedness.
In the next few month the issues of the U.S. deterrence system and the place of nuclear weapons within it will come to the front burner. It would be timely to hear more from our bishops.
In the Office of Readings for the Feast of St. Scholastica we find St. Gregory's famous account of the last meeting of Scholastica and Benedict.
"She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year. He would come down to meet her at a place on the monastery property, not far outside the gate.
"One day she came as usual and her saintly brother went with some of his disciples; they spent the whole day praising God and talking of sacred things. As night fell they had supper together.