The lack of jobs for millions of Americans and their inability to meet their basic needs represent "a serious economic and moral failure for our nation" and yet "the moral imperative to resist and overcome poverty" is not part of our national conversation, said the U.S. bishops in their annual Labor Day statement.
Peace & Justice
On July 23, housekeepers and other workers at Hyatt Hotels began a global boycott of the hotel chain. Citing unjust hiring practices, unfair wages and unsafe working conditions, the workers have marched, picketed and petitioned organizers and travelers to join them. At many of these demonstrations, standing by the workers' sides were Catholic priests.
U.S. religious leaders are urging people of faith to respond to the violence against Sikhs by standing in solidarity with them, visiting gurdwaras this Sunday, increasing interfaith dialogue and mourning publicly.
"Too often in our culture, grief and sorrow are private expressions of the moment, and I think we have way underestimated the power of public communal lament to form us as a people," said Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
Three Catholics broke into a guarded nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee on Saturday in an act of civil disobedience and made their way outside of its most secure facilities before they were arrested.
The three, an 82-year-old religious sister and two middle-aged men connected with the Catholic Worker movement, were able to enter the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge early Saturday before a guard found them outside the complex's storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.
Because the U.S. Catholic hierarchy strongly opposes legislation that would grant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people fuller equality, Catholics can be forgiven for assuming that church teaching always supports one particular "side" in our country's culture wars.
If the popular definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results -- applies in the matter of shooting massacres, then we have reached a dangerous level of cultural madness.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A priest who has spent almost two decades in jail for acts of nonviolent protest against the country's nuclear weapons complex faces another possible year and a half in prison after his actions on Wednesday.
Fr. Carl Kabat, a 78-year-old member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, faces three criminal charges after cutting through a fence and entering the grounds of the Kansas City Plant, a major new nuclear weapons facility under construction, to call attention to its building.
Kabat's action represents the latest in a years-long campaign by activists to call attention to the facility's construction.
Protests at the site, which is estimated to cost $1.2 billion and scheduled to be partially operational by early 2013, have been led in part by area Catholics who have also been leading petition campaigns to remove funding from the site.
One of the petitions, focused on developing a plan for reuse of the facility should it be abandoned in light of weapons cuts, was unanimously passed by the local city council in March.
SILK HOPE, N.C. -- A Catholic priest told a family their disabled son was too noisy to bring to Mass. Sarah Cunningham lives a double life as a progressive Christian writer and speaker who must keep her true self a partial secret from her Southern Baptist fundamentalist pastor father. Iraqi war veteran Logan Mehl-Laituri isn't entirely sure what the consequences might be to his psyche from a 14-month tour in a war he now opposes. Gareth Higgins has faced depression while working to bring the Good News of God's love to people searching for holiness.
Ecuador will no longer send troops to the U.S. military training school at Fort Benning, Ga., formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA), whose graduates who have been implicated in human rights abuses, the country’s foreign minister announced Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement, first reported by the Spanish news agency EFE, comes after a meeting Wednesday between Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa and members of SOA Watch, a group founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois to work for the closure of the military training school.
Confirming the news Wednesday, Ecuadoran foreign minister Ricardo Patiño posted on Twitter in Spanish that "Ecuador will no longer send members of its armed forces nor its police to the sadly famous former School of the Americas in the United States."
Hendrik Voss, SOA Watch’s national organizer, said in a phone interview Wednesday that the group first became aware of the news when several of its members met with Correa in the Ecuadoran capital, Quito, earlier that day. When the members, including Bourgeois, arrived for the meeting, Correa immediately told them of the decision, said Voss.
I almost didn't go to the lecture. Ungraded research papers tugged at my conscience, and my kids tugged, literally, at me as I walked out the door. But I had promised the coworker who had organized the event that I'd attend. Besides, how often do you get to hear the firsthand story of someone who almost died?
That someone is Nathson "Nate" Fields, who had been scheduled to be executed for a double murder for which he was later exonerated -- but only after spending 18 years in prison, more than 11 of those years on death row in Illinois.
Fields, now a speaker for the Witness to Innocence project, shared his story on April 19 with criminal justice students and others at Aurora University, where I teach, as part of a discussion about the death penalty and wrongful convictions.
"You guys will be the future judges, the future lawyers, the future presidents," Fields told the audience, citing the "human factor" as the reason he believes the death penalty should be abolished.