Kresta in the Afternoon – December 17, 2007 – Hour 1

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    First Topic – 5-Year Report on Clergy Sex Abuse Out

    Although the church has taken positive steps in its response to the clergy abuse crisis, more needs to be done. That according to a five-year report on the crisis released last week by the National Review Board, the lay group that oversees the U.S. Catholic bishops' compliance with child protection policies. The report, addressed to U.S. Catholics on the fifth anniversary of the board's establishment, called the church's response to the abuse crisis "impressive" but also noted that its "work is only beginning." We talk with Judge Michael Merz, chairman of the Review Board.

    Second Topic – The Skies of Babylon

    When meeting with a large group of University students Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI urged them to uphold the faith in a European culture whose thoughts have been "disengaged from God." The contemporary university is a tangled and troubled mess. But Fr. Barry Bercier attempts to help us see through and beyond the ideological fog that envelops academia by beginning with a simple thesis: the university should exist in service to the desire to teach truth. Bercier sees in that desire something very close to the desire for life itself, since through teaching one passes on to others the way of life one has received. We look at diversity, nihilism and the American University.

    Third Topic – Bishops fault book by Georgetown chair

    The US bishops' conference has issued a caution on the work of a Georgetown University theologian. After a lengthy investigation, the US bishops' doctrinal committee issued a statement saying that the work of Father Peter Phan contained “pervading ambiguities and equivocations that could easily confuse of mislead the faithful.” He came under scrutiny because of his book, Being Religious Interreligiously. Father Phan argues in that book that certain doctrinal statements regarding the unique role of Christ and his Church in the economy of salvation may have “outlived their usefulness.” We look into the content with theologian Monica Miller.

    Fourth Topic – The Word Was Made Flesh

    The Sister Servants of the Eternal Word are doing more these days than their usual prayer, retreats, service and more. They are also singing – and they have committed their voices to CD in a Christmas recording entitled “The Word Was Made Flesh.” Sr. Louise Maria from the Sister Servants joins us.

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