March 9, 2015
March 2, 2015
The children appeared sick and malnourished. They lived in large dormitory style rooms and were forced to use the bathroom in public view. Some had to wear prison style clothes and sleep with the lights on. Schooling was infrequent at best.
February 23, 2015
To a public accustomed to Pope Francis’ emphasis on the poor and marginalized, the Vatican seemed off message in the lead-up to the Pontifical Council for Culture’s plenary assembly on the theme “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference.” The English version of a promotional video for the event, featuring the Italian actress Nancy Brilli, was taken down...
February 16, 2015
We expect a great deal from the nation’s public primary education system. Though teachers are the frequent targets of some politicians—collateral damage in an undeclared war on public sector union membership—they accept each school day the challenge of preparing the next generation of Americans for productive and meaningful lives.
February 9, 2015
The words poor and poverty seldom appeared in the State of the Union address delivered by President Obama on Jan. 20, but the policies the president proposed would benefit many working and lower income families. The president spoke in favor of expanding child care, instituting paid leave policies for workers and subsidizing community college costs. The speech was met with measured approval from Catholic advocates of social justice, including...
February 2, 2015
In the aftermath of last month’s rampage in France—17 people died at the hands of three Muslim terrorists, who were subsequently killed by French police—many strident supporters of Western civilization turned their anger and fear on the Muslim world as a whole. In Germany record numbers came out for demonstrations against immigration; in France retaliatory attacks struck mosques and Muslim-owned businesses; and in the United Kingdom politicians seized on...
December 22-29, 2014
In some sense the Christmas story is one of borders. The Gospel of Luke tells us that the Holy Family’s journey begins with a population divided, a census of “the whole world...each to his own town” (2:1-3). And, in the Gospel of Matthew, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, then flee to Egypt, then settle in Nazareth—crossing border after border so that the Son of God might one day break them down.
January 19-26, 2015
When America published “Facing Up to Torture,” by Raymond A. Schroth, S.J., just over a year ago (11/11/13), enough was known about the shameful history of torture in the United States to shock the conscience. That report, however, pointed to unfinished business: the declassification of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s definitive report on the Central Intelligence...
January 5-12, 2015
It is a shame that opponents of immigration reform appear ready to erase “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” from the Statue of Liberty rather than come to terms with the undocumented immigrants in our midst.
December 8-15, 2014
In a small Central American country, campesinos agitating for land rights, journalists challenging the status quo and attorneys and advocates working for social justice face continual threats or acts of violence and intimidation. Scores have been murdered, driven into exile or “disappeared” in the night.