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Evolution and Family seems to be the dominant story of the Catholic world this week.
How's this for starters: Unlike the fundamentalist Protestant view that God created the world in six days as described in the Book of Genesis, "Catholic theology does not endorse creationist views." This teaching was shared by the Theologian organizer of the "student circle" of religious thinkers that brainstormed this week with Pope Benedict about about God and evolution. And this is the very same theme that ParishWorld blogger Jeri Westerson covers in her weekly blog, "Taking the mystery out of Bible history."
Over on on the Darwinian Theory spectrum, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn asks, "If Evolution is science rather than ideology let it be debated in schools." He hopes that the shorcomings of Darwin's theory could one-day be discussed freely in schools. The Vatican also criticized this week the newly developed stem cell procedure - one that that does not destroy the human embryo - saying "it is still manipulation."
Family was a hot topic this week beginning with a reflection by the preacher of the pontifical household on last Sunday's readings, where St. Paul asked husbands to love their wives and wives to be submissive to their husbands. On the relationships between parents and children, the Pope made examples of St. Monica and St Augustine for youth who go down 'wrong roads' and 'dead ends.'" Still on this topic, a new study warns that children today are spending too much time watching TV and not enough time in family interaction. Maybe it's because American parents are not spending enough time with their kids as they become fast members of the "The Cult of the Busy."
As school season starts, we have an article that takes a dig at parents to be better models for the young. Plus we have a story that tells parents to reject the offensive messages on the t-shirts that your chidren are buying for back-to-school.
We also have the gutsy story of a California parish that's actually doing something so radical, it's causing an uproar among parents- a positive uproar. The parish this week initiated a 7-day class that's required for all parents of children enrolling in their Religious Education program. Over 400 parents willingly enrolled in the classes. Now that's taking faith formation to the heart of the home.
In political news, it seems religious voters could doom the hopes of Democrats at the November 2006 US elections. And the Vatican is getting into the mix with this advice to conservatives, "Do not miss the forest for the trees," as it points out the key issues of "Life" that are non-negotiable.
In Catholic News, Turkmenistan is a country of 5 million people with ony 64 Catholics but the local priest say their faith is strong. In Vietnam, a Bishop told a gathering of 60,000 young people that they have the right to join the Communist Party provided their faith is not threatened. In Uganda, Catholics bishops are worried about foreign ideologies and practices which are being imported into the country.
In the Philipines, its Catholic bishops came to the defense of women as cases of domestic abuse and violence rise. From China comes the news that the government has released a bishop that has been in jail for 10 years signalling a possible mending of relations with the Vatican. And from the 2006 Great New York State Fair, the unthinkable happened this week: the fair hosted a Catholic Mass as a big part of its activities last Sunday.
GET INSPIRED. From the 2005 Katrina deluge comes this touching story of a 75 year old deacon and his wife who were "kept alive by God's hands." Bo Sanchez brings home another weekly winner with "GOD IS A HAPPY GOD." "The Doll and The Rose" and "Can You Sleep While the Wind Blows?" are two tales that will definitely inspire you.
Headed off to college? We have the list of 'Stone-Cold Sober Schools' and Christian Colleges top the list. Plus we reveal the least religious college campus in the USA.
And don't miss next Wednesday's episode of TBN's "The Power of Love" at 8:30 am. "Lights, Camera, a Priest" airs Sept. 6 and it will teach you how to appreciate movies through the lens of faith.
Another eventful and blessed week in the Catholic world. May God continue to bless you during the new week.
Keep the faith. Peace.
Publisher and Editor in chief