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New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement: The Church and Science/ The Church in the United States Hardcover – October 16, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1414475264 ISBN-10: 1414475268 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The second edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia was published in 2003. Much has happened within the church in this short period of time, including the death of one pope and the election of his successor, so the need for updating is no surprise. The plan, however, is for a new supplement to be published each year. Not just an update of selected entries from the main set or the addition of new material, these annual supplements will also address a thematic area each editor believes is in need of greater coverage and expanded treatment. The theme for the 2009 supplement is science and the church, with many of the new entries exploring the intersection of modern medicine and Catholic thought and teaching. There is a survey article on reproductive technology along with separate new entries for Artificial insemination, Cloning, and In vitro fertilization. End-of-life issues are discussed in entries such as Assisted nutrition and hydration, Brain death, and Persistent vegetative state. Other areas of scientific concern include Astronomy, Big bang, Bioethics, and Intelligent design theory. Also receiving expanded coverage in the 2009 supplement is the ongoing scandal of the abuse of children by Catholic clergy. Two surveys, Child sexual abuse and Sex abuse crisis, serve as an overview of the situation, while the entries for particular dioceses (e.g., Boston, Archdiocese of) and states (e.g., California, Catholic Church in) describe events in those locales. The entry Los Angeles, Archdiocese of, sadly, includes a statement that has no place in an encyclopedia. After defending bishops for relocating pedophile priests from parish to parish, claiming the decisions were based on the best medical and psychological advice at the time, the article then states that “critics, however, will keep regurgitating the well-intentioned mistakes of the past.” Encyclopedias, including Catholic ones, should be sources of information that present all sides of an issue and refrain from castigating the proponents of a certain view. Nevertheless, libraries that own the second edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia would do well to add this 2009 supplement. Also available as an e-book. --Christopher McConnell

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