As Catholics, we are called to seek out human injustices and restore dignity whenever possible. One area in need of attention is the issue of sex trafficking.
In the United States, sex trafficking generates an estimated $9.5 billion a year, according to the United Nations. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that approximately 300,000 children are at risk of being prostituted in this country. The average age of a child victim is 13 or 14 years old.
A program in the Lincoln County Jail that involves the community in the rehabilitation of nonviolent lawbreakers through the Second Chance Choir and Second Chance Work Brigade is an example of how society needs to look for new solutions in the criminal justice system to reduce crime and the costs associated with incarceration.
The U.S. Constitution does not permit federal courts or government officials to be the ultimate arbiters of matters of faith.
Today, the government is seeking to transform the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's substantial burden analysis -- allowing for intrusion only in the "interests of the highest order" -- into what attorneys for the U.S. bishops call "an exercise in amateur moral theology."
Russia's takeover of Crimea brings back bad memories for Sigitas Babusis, a member of St. James Parish in McMinnville, Ore. A retired pediatrician, Babusis was a boy in Lithuania in 1940 when Soviet troops under Josef Stalin invaded his country. He saw villagers carted off to work in Siberia. Even those who stayed saw life change radically, losing national sovereignty and living like slaves. He recalls attending Mass hidden in basements in a nation that was 95 percent Catholic.
With the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis March 13, media outlets and reporters are trying to figure out what impact he has had on interest in the Catholic Church and whether it will last.
It's probably too early to get a sound measure as to the extent, but the fact that people are asking if the impact will last indicates that he's had a effect.
Twenty years ago, Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa obtained a few dairy cows and gave them to people in his Diocese of Masaka, in the southern region of Uganda. He wanted to do something to help. Naturally hard workers, they had experienced the devastating effects of a disease that had ravaged their primary crops -- bananas and coffee.