Though freedom of the press is golden, Church teaching on respect for human dignity applies to the media as well.
We've seen celebrities treated as if they are inhuman. They're chased down in the streets by aggressive and intrusive photographers, and every detail of their personal lives is splashed on the pages of magazines. Hateful remarks are made about their appearance, their intelligence, their lives.
At an interfaith prayer service commemorating the opening of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., the slain civil rights leader's youngest daughter recalled that her father was an obedient servant of God who once said, "I just want to do God's will."
"As we dedicate this memorial, as we remember my daddy's legacy, let it not be about us. Let it be about being obedient to the will of God," Bernice King said in 2011 at the service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
At first glance, Americans might have been a bit bummed when they heard that none of the Catholic Church's newly named cardinals are from the United States.
But Pope Francis' naming of 15 cardinals from 14 nations shows the universal nature of the Church and the important and growing role of the Church in poorer countries of the Southern Hemisphere. Three of the new cardinal electors are from Asia, three from Latin America, two from Africa and two from Oceania.
It's easy to be impressed by the new cardinal-designates.
Miami resident Rosario Bergouignan left her native Cuba in the first waves in the 1960s, after a Marxist dictatorship took control of the nation 90 miles off the coast of Florida. She first returned in 1998, for St. John Paul II's historic visit to the island.
That visit helped to change Bergouignan's mind about the effectiveness of the U.S. economic embargo and inspired her to travel back to the island a number of times on humanitarian missions.
Regardless of how hard they try, secularists can't keep Christ out of Christmas.
There's the "happy holidays" and "season's greetings" substitutes for "Merry Christmas." There's also more overt attempts, such as a secular group in Arkansas that sought to prevent students from attending a performance of "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown," a theatrical group's adaptation of the popular animated TV classic, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
Some people are justifying the use of torture in the wake of a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report condemning the CIA's tactics in seeking information from detainees in the war on terror.
Don't fall for it. Torture is not OK. No way, no how, no where, at no time.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that torture -- which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents or satisfy hatred -- is contrary to the Church's teachings on respect for the person and for human dignity.