Analysis: Do the recent personnel moves mean certain policy shifts are under way at the Vatican?
Members of religious orders have been and continue to be at the forefront of the Catholic Church's evangelizing efforts; they are not just "resources" to be used for new programs, said the head of the international organization of women's religious orders.
Sr. Mary Lou Wirtz, an American who is the general superior of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and president of the International Union of Superiors General, addressed the Synod of Bishops Wednesday.
People need to become familiar with the creed because it is there the "Christian moral life is planted and ... one finds its foundation and justification," the pope said.
Viewpoint: The fathers of the Second Vatican Council helped revive aspects of Catholicism that advanced the best of its tradition.
Farm co-ops can provide the world with an "alternative vision" to government or international agriculture policies that place too much emphasis on profits, protecting certain markets or employing new technology that could prove dangerous, Pope Benedict XVI said.
The pope made his comments in a message marking Tuesday's celebration of World Food Day, a commemoration sponsored by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to highlight the global fight against hunger and the need to help farmers and farm workers.
Ten teams of young international designers battled it out to produce an innovative eco-friendly popemobile that could guarantee high "pope visibility," meet strict security standards and promise low emissions.
Some proposed features included sunroof panels that would open like flower petals to side windows that could "live Tweet" messages to and from the pope.
The winners, however, kept it simple.
Pilgrimages, processions and other forms of popular piety, as well as the Catholic church's traditional works of charity and commitment to justice and peace all can promote the new evangelization, members of the Synod of Bishops said.
At the synod on the new evangelization Saturday, several bishops cited pilgrimages and public celebrations of religious feast days as important moments to respond to people's longing for real spirituality, even if those people think they are simply going on a trip or celebrating local culture.
Once upon a time, there was almost no subject the Catholic church could raise more guaranteed to elicit fear and trembling among other Christians than “evangelization”, which usually smacked of proselytism, competition, and a retreat from ecumenism – in other words, going fishing in someone else’s pond.
From the point of view of many Orthodox, Protestants, and Anglicans, an “evangelizing” Catholic church was seen as a menace.
In commenting on the Vatican’s standoff with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States, the Vatican’s new doctrinal czar said today the right question is not who’s wrong, but “who respects revelation and its essential elements?"
Archbishop Gerhard Müller, 64, said he “looks with sympathy” on groups such as LCWR, but at the same time that “no group can set itself up as the source of authentic interpretation” of church teaching.
Whenever the Synod of Bishops meets in Rome, it’s a bit like one of those old medieval trade fairs, as people with wares to peddle from all over the Catholic world haul them out for display. Books and videos, catechetical materials, academic programs and pastoral initiatives are featured in an endless series of screenings, receptions and roundtables, and one could probably fill every night just making the rounds.