CERC WEEKLY UPDATE – July 9, 2009

NEW RESOURCES    EDITORIALS OF INTEREST    EDUCATION MATTERS

Note from the Managing Editor:

The Pope’s inspiring new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, was released yesterday.
Because it is so wide-ranging in the subjects it addresses, the document seems to have become a kind of Rorschach test with commentators and journalists reading into it — and drawing out of it — support for their own political and ideological points of view, which many of them then proceed to define as the encyclical’s most salient feature.
So much of this has been going on that many people will be surprised to learn that Caritas in Veritate is actually a moral document and not a political one, as Carl Anderson explains today in Zenit.
As Anderson has it, the question we should be asking is ". . . not how this encyclical validates our worldview, but rather, how our worldview should change in response to this document."
Robert Royal comments, from the second article in today’s update:

". . . it would be a great mistake to approach this encyclical in terms of left versus right, as has often been the reductive, politicized way of reading social encyclicals. . . .The Church is not some uber-school of business, sociology, economics, or political science. And previous popes as well as this one are quick to point out that the Church has no technical solutions to propose. It has some general principles — ultimately the overarching perspective that everything begins and ends in charity — that it seeks to introduce into every nook and cranny of the questions that emerge in our wayward pilgrimage through this life."

So what are the salient teachings of Caritas in Veritate? Father Rosica points to several of them here. – J. Fraser Field

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Quote of the Week:
"Development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer, Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filled love, caritas in veritate, from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us, but given to us." – Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate

New Resources:

The Vatican’s unofficial synopsis of Caritas in Veritate – Pope Benedict XVI – The Vatican
Caritas in Veritate: A Symposium – Michael Novak, Father James Schall, S.J., & Robert Royal – The Catholic Thing
Subsidiarity: A Primer – Brad Miner – The Catholic Thing
Making History – Peggy Noonan – source
Christianity Face to Face with Islam – Robert Louis Wilken – First Things
Iran and the Tragedy of Bad Ideas – Andrew Klavan – Wall Street Journal
The world’s oldest Bible now available online – Pamela Luther – The Roman Catholic Examiner
Project leads to heartfelt questions – Jakki Jeffs – source
Evidence Surfaces on Hitler Plot to Kill Pius XII – Edward Pentin – Newsmax

Editorials of Interest:
Caritas in Veritate Not a Leftist ManifestoActon Blog
Could the U.S. Ban the Burqa Too? – Mona Charen – NRO
In Search of DignityNew York Times
Inquisitive Vatican – or Vatican Inquisition?Get Religion
Obama Reaches Out Before Vatican TripWashington Post
Perelandra, the OperaLondon Telegraph
An American VirtueIn Character
Welcome, Obama. The Vatican Plays Him a FanfareChiesa
Aid Work in Africa: Behind the SceneThe Huffington Post
Final rules out for government stem cell researchAP
To Catch a TigerThe Atlantic
Pope Benedict XVI clears way for Cardinal Newman to become a saintLondon Times
Miracle of Cardinal Newmans beatification approvedRome Reports
Founding CatholicWashington Times
New Hearings, New PossibilitiesThe Catholic Thing
A priest-of-the-piers rememberedUSA Today
A former British prime minister has a missionLondon Telegraph
Ordinary AdulteryWashington Times
Repent!LondonTelegraph

Education Matters:
Not Every Child Is Secretly a GeniusThe Chronicle of Higher Education
A Tough Pill for Parents to SwallowNCRegister
‘Family Friendly’ White House Is Less So for AidesNew York Times
Rejecting Men, Embracing ChildrenThe Ruth Institute
Picture PerfectThe Weekly Standard


NEW RESOURCES:


The Vatican’s unofficial synopsis of Caritas in Veritate – Pope Benedict XVI –The Vatican
"Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness" is "the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity": Thus begins Caritas in Veritate, the encyclical addressed to the Catholic world and "to all people of good will."

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Caritas in Veritate: A Symposium – Michael Novak, Father James Schall, S.J., & Robert Royal – The Catholic Thing
Benedict’s latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, appeared in Rome yesterday. Digesting this document will take no little time, but several of the regular writers for The Catholic Thing have looked over the text and offer here some brief, early observations.

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Subsidiarity: A Primer
– Brad Miner – The Catholic Thing
Subsidiarity: A term (the Latin subsidium for aid, help) from Roman Catholic social philosophy which expresses the view that, whenever practicable, decisions ought to be made by those most affected by the decisions

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Making History
– Peggy Noonan – Wall Street Journal
In appreciation of our country’s founders and its greatest living historian.

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Christianity Face to Face with Islam
– Robert Louis Wilken – First Things
No event during the first millennium was more unexpected, more calamitous, and more consequential for Christianity than the rise of Islam.

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Iran and the Tragedy of Bad Ideas
– Andrew Klavan – Wall Street Journal
There are times when wrestling with the mysteries of storytelling can be revelatory. I recently saw the film The Stoning of Soraya M., and, as a professional storyteller, found myself puzzled by how compelling a tale it was.

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The world’s oldest Bible now available online – Pamela Luther – The Roman Catholic Examiner
As of today, the earliest copy of the Bible is now online.

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Project leads to heartfelt questions – Jakki Jeffs – The Guelph Mercury
I am beginning to wonder where the heart of our great country has gone.

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Evidence Surfaces on Hitler Plot to Kill Pius XII – Edward Pentin – Newsmax
New evidence about Hitler’s plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII.

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EDITORIALS OF INTEREST:
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Caritas in Veritate Not a Leftist ManifestoActon Blog
A number of journalists and some pundits on the religious left are aiming to own Caritas in Veritate, the new papal encyclical on economics. To them, the encyclical is a polemic against globalization and even the free market itself.

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Could the U.S. Ban the Burqa Too?Mona Charen – NRO
The French Republic is not blessed or burdened with a First Amendment. So when Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy recently suggested that France ban the wearing of the burqa in all public places, the Chamber of Deputies took it up.

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In Search of DignityNew York Times
In one week, we had the embarrassments of Mark Sanford, Michael Jackson and Sarah Palin. Where is the dignity of American public life?

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Inquisitive Vatican — or Vatican inquisition?Get Religion
It’s very appropriate that the New York Times highlight one of the developing, perhaps major religious news stories.

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Obama Reaches Out Before Vatican TripWashington Post
As he prepares to meet the pope, the president says he favors a ‘robust’ federal policy protecting health-care workers who have moral objections to performing” abortions.

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Perelandra, the OperaLondon Telegraph
An opera based on C. S. Lewis’ Perelandra awaits revival.

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An American VirtueIn Character
The story of the world is mirrored in the history of words. And because that story is full of surprises and paradoxes, the words we use are bound to reflect that fact.

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Welcome, Obama. The Vatican Plays Him a FanfareChiesa
On the eve of the visit of the president of the United States to the pope, Cardinal Cottier, for many years the official theologian of the pontifical court, writes an enthusiastic commentary about him.

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Aid Work in Africa: Behind the SceneThe Huffington Post
Patrick Obrist has been sweating all night, curing in his own body heat.

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Final rules out for government stem cell researchAP
The government is creating a master list of which embryonic stem cells qualify for taxpayer-funded research, now that President Barack Obama has lifted restrictions on the field.

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To Catch a Tiger The Atlantic
Sri Lanka’s brutal suppression of the Tamil Tigers offers an object lesson in how to defeat an insurgency. Or does it?

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Pope Benedict XVI clears way for Cardinal Newman to become a saintLondon Times
Pope Benedict XVI has beatified John Henry Newman.

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Miracle of Cardinal Newmans beatification approvedRome Reports
Cardinal John Henry Newman is set to be beatified very soon.

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Founding CatholicWashington Times
Carroll saw Declaration as intimate to his Catholic faith.

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New Hearings, New PossibilitiesThe Catholic Thing
We await now the coming of Sonia Sotomayor.

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A priest-of-the-piers rememberedUSA Today
The late Karl Malden played him in the movies; Fr. John Corridan was a true on-the-waterfront crusader.

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A former British prime minister has a missionLondon Telegraph
Recent convert Tony Blair may be out to “modernise” the Catholic Church.

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Ordinary AdulteryWashington Times
Identifying temptations, with truth…and God.

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Repent!LondonTelegraph
A Church of England bishop causes a furor with a call for homosexuals to repent and change.

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EDUCATION MATTERS:

Not Every Child Is Secretly a GeniusThe Chronicle of Higher Education
Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences was a great idea and worth investigating. It’s just not panning out. Hanging on to the theory for nostalgic or political value is not science. It’s time that we begin to work with the reality that we have, not the one we wish we had.

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A Tough Pill for Parents to SwallowNCRegister
Are pharmaceutical companies marketing birth control to teenage girls?

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‘Family Friendly’ White House Is Less So for AidesNew York Times
When President Obama talks up the family-friendly vibe at the White House — the nightly family dinners, the flexibility to attend school presentations and join impromptu plunges in the pool with his girls — his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, sets him straight. “Family friendly to your family,” Mr. Emanuel counters.

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Rejecting Men, Embracing ChildrenThe Ruth Institute
The recent news of the nearly 40% out of wedlock birth rate in the United States should pretty much rock our world as citizens and as Catholics.

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Picture Perfect The Weekly Standard
Why Golden Books are golden.

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