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New encyclical offers a very \"Green\" vision

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On a first reading of Pope Benedict’s new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, I’m struck by the consonance in many of the pope’s statements with the key values of the worldwide Green movement. The Greens have consistently espoused and based their policies on what they call the Ten Key Values (or a summary Four Pillars in the case of some of the world's Green parties). These include such concepts as “community-based economics,” “grassroots democracy,” “decentralization,” “future focus,” “ecological awareness,” "social justice," and more.

These Green ideas, some originating in the writings of economic thinker E. F. Schumacher, are a blueprint for shaping a world economy based on real human values. Similarly, Benedict’s encyclical urges Christian humanism as the basis for a world order.

The subject of development in the world, the encyclical states, is closely related to duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment. “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.” This is ecological awareness of the first order.

Maine abuse case can go forward

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The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is not immune from being sued by an Augusta man who alleges he was molested as a boy after the diocese assigned a priest it knew had sexually abused children in the past to a parish in the state capital.

In a 5-2 ruling, the court affirmed that under current law charitable groups such as churches, museums and sports organizations are immune from claims for negligent actions, but it said they are not immune from intentional ones.

The impact of the court's ruling will be felt by every nonprofit organization in the state, a dissenting justice predicted.

The state's high court sent back to Kennebec County Superior Court the question of whether the bishop of the diocese knew that the Fr. Raymond Melville had a history of sexually abusing minors when in 1985 he was assigned to St. Mary Catholic Church and School in Augusta.

Pope removes officials seen as responsible for Holocaust-denying bishop row

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Rome

In what could be seen as another piece of fallout from Benedict XVI’s January decision to lift the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including one who is a Holocaust denier, the pope today restructured the Vatican office that handles relations with the traditionalist world -- and, in effect, gently fired the officials who presided over the earlier fiasco.

Morning Briefing

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Obama: Social Justice in Catholic Church Has Had 'Profound Influence' on Me An interview with Fox News. He said he looks forward to reading the new encyclical titled "Charity in Truth," published by the Vatican.

Buffalo Catholic Charities of Buffalo falls short of its appeal goal

Maine Supreme Judicial Court rules against church. Opens the door to lawsuits where victims claim the church knew priest had a history of molestation.

Catholics among those affected by Xinjiang riots

Aussie Catholics offer $100k stem cell grant. The fourth adult stem cell grant awarded since 2002.

A younger face on Catholic reform

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Call to Action is putting a younger face forward with the naming of a new director to replace Dan and Sheila Daley, who had served as co-directors since the church reform group's founding in 1978.

Jim FitzGerald, 37, will lead the 25,000-member organization, which has been working to reach out to younger Catholics over the past several years. He has a background in non-profit administration and theology -- plus a history with CTA, having served as a board member, chapter leader and local faciliator for CTA's "NextGen" program for reform-minded Catholics in their 20s and 30s.

Will the poor be represented at the G-8 in Italy?

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Catholic News Service's Dennis Sadowski recently interviewed Aldo Caliari, director of the Rethinking Bretton Woods Project at the Center of Concern in Washington, with an eye on the G-8 meeting this week.

"The poor countries should have a seat at the table because ultimately what is decided is going to affect (them)," Caliari affirmed.

Amen to that.

Encyclical a 'duck-billed platypus'

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More reactions to the encyclical:

George Weigel writes: "Those with advanced degrees in Vaticanology could easily go through the text of Caritas in Veritate, highlighting those passages that are obviously Benedictine with a gold marker and those that reflect current Justice and Peace default positions with a red marker. The net result is, with respect, an encyclical that resembles a duck-billed platypus."

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI’s new encyclical, provides helpful guidance for finding answers to the social, economic and moral questions of the contemporary world in a search for truth.

Catholic News Service: The Christian call to love one another and to work for justice requires the active participation in the political process, Pope Benedict XVI said in his new encyclical.

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September 12-25, 2014

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