Editorial | Addressing deeper issues

The torching of the QuikTrip stands as the seminal moment in rioting the day after Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American 18-year-old, was shot dead by a police officer, who witnesses say is white.

But the striking images from Ferguson were of police officers in riot gear and local photojournalist David Carson in his Iraq/Afghanistan gear — a military-grade helmet and armored vest, with a gas mask strapped to his leg.

They wore these things in St. Louis.

Think about that.

St. Louis.

Editorial | Migration and human dignity intersect

Since 2011, the United States has experienced an increase in the number of unaccompanied children arriving here, mainly at the U.S.-Mexico border. An average of 6,800 arrived each year between federal fiscal years 2004 and 2011. Now, the U.S. government estimates that 90,000 unaccompanied minors could enter the United States this fiscal year.

EDITORIAL | On abortion and contraception, Vatican puts words in context

On successive days in mid-January, Pope Francis and his top collaborator at the Vatican made public statements that provided a lesson in Franciscan contextualization of highly loaded moral issues.

On Jan. 13, the pope told the Vatican diplomatic corps that he found it "horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

EDITORIAL | Birth of Jesus is a time to treasure all life

Christmas is a time to celebrate life, as we mark the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

The Church affirms that every life is a gift from God and as such has to be defended, from conception to natural death.

Today, with the resumption of executions in Missouri after a three-year absence due to questions over the method of lethal injection, it is time to once again reflect on life and society's use of the death penalty.

EDITORIAL | Person of the Year

It's quite an honor that Pope Francis has been named Time magazine's Person of the Year.

With his wide appeal and the great amount of attention to his pontificate so far, said Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, it should come as no surprise that he's been given this honor.

"Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly -- young and old, faithful and cynical -- as has Pope Francis," the magazine noted on its website. "With a focus on compassion, the leader of the Catholic Church has become a new voice of conscience."

Editorial | Super-charged to serve Christ

When Sherry Weddell, co-founder and co-director of the Catherine of Siena Institute, created "The Catholic Spiritual Gifts Inventory," she did so in response to the lack of availability of Catholic-specific methods of discerning gifts.

Based on the wisdom of Church teaching and tradition, the inventory gives Catholics a way to discover their God-given charisms. In the introduction to the inventory, Weddell said it was her prayer that Catholics "might experience the joy of finding and filling their unique place in the mission of Christ's body, the Church."

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