Last week Catholic news organizations, including the St. Louis Review, published a troubling story about the Louisiana Supreme Court attempting to compel a priest to break the seal of confession.
At issue was a lawsuit filed by the parents of a girl who claimed that, in 2008 at the age of 14, she told a priest that she had been abused by a now-deceased parishioner. The parents claim that the priest was negligent in not reporting the abuse. The girl claimed she told the priest of this in the confessional.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has used his veto power to derail a bill requiring a 72-hour waiting period for abortions and another increasing the tax credits available for donations to organizations providing food to the poor and aid to pregnant women.
Efforts are being made in the legislature to override those vetoes. With a tough fight ahead and close vote expected, our legislators need to hear from us on the need for the override, which with enough votes will put the bills into law.
The stalled immigration reform bill, S.B. 744, once again has received attention with what is being called a crisis of unaccompanied minors coming across the border into the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The number of children apprehended there has grown by at least 5,000 in recent months.
U.S. immigration authorities expect 70,000 such migrants will arrive at the Mexican-U.S. border this year, up from 24,668 last year. The number is projected to rise to 127,000 in the next year.
Last fall, when former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited St. Louis to stump for the Affordable Care Act, we asked her about the number of lawsuits challenging the government's mandate that requires most employers to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge in their health care plans -- even if it violates their religious or moral beliefs.
The ever-changing role of communications and the media is essential today in welcoming everyone home to the Catholic Church.
As Pope Francis stated in his message for the 48th World Communications Day earlier this month, good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better and, ultimately, to grow in unity. The media's efforts can inspire solidarity and can ensure a more dignified life for all, he added.