Black America: gaining ground, losing traction
Mar 03 2007
WASHINGTON – Three themes run through black America, according to the Rev. Robert Franklin: celebration of heroic individual and collective achievement; closure of persistent racial gaps in such areas as education and health; and anxiety about losing ground and “mobilizing to reverse negative trend lines.”
Rev. Franklin, author of the new book “Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities,” believes there is much about which to be anxious.
Social, legal remedies for violence against women
Mar 01 2007
NEW YORK – Violence against women, both in the United States and around the world, is on the rise and must be addressed with a potent combination of social, legal and economic remedies, said a panel of speakers Feb. 27 in New York.
“Addressing Violence Against Women” was the topic of a panel discussion at the Church of the Holy Family.
U.S. needs diplomats who know religion, Iran
Feb 27 2007
WASHINGTON – Diplomats who understand the religious sensibilities of Iran are needed to act as translators between Iranian and American officials to resolve peacefully the dispute over Iran’s nuclear weapons program, said the executive director of Pax Christi USA.
“We have seen no evidence in this (U.S.) administration to practice any skilled” diplomacy, Dave Robinson told Catholic News Service after a Feb. 26 press conference by U.S. Christian leaders who had returned that morning from a weeklong trip to Iran. Pax Christi USA is affiliated with Pax Christi International, a Vatican-recognized Catholic peace movement.
Faith unlocks doors for former death row inmate
Feb 12 2007
CAMBRIDGE – If anyone has experienced sheer terror, it’s Kirk Bloodsworth.
Tried and found guilty of the brutal rape and murder of a 9-year-old Rosedale girl, the barrel-chested crabber from the Eastern Shore was sentenced to die in the gas chamber for his horrific crimes.
But Mr. Bloodsworth didn’t have anything to do with what he was accused of. A former marine with no criminal record, he had been wrongly convicted and would later become the first American on death row to be exonerated by DNA testing.
U.S. urged to stop Marianas trafficking
Feb 10 2007
WASHINGTON – A Filipina forced into the sex trade and raped hours after her arrival in the Northern Mariana Islands appealed to U.S. senators to change immigration and labor laws in the commonwealth. “I know there are other women out in the (Mariana Islands) community like me,” Kayleen Entena said in her Feb. 8 testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; its jurisdiction covers U.S. territorial islands and other insular areas.
Eastern Europeans discuss communist collaboration
Jan 30 2007
WARSAW, Poland – Many Eastern European church officials said they lack procedures for handling claims of clergy collaborating with communist secret police nearly 20 year after the collapse of communism.
Father Laszlo Nemeth, secretary-general of the Hungarian bishops’ conference, told Catholic News Service that although Hungarian bishops had debated the issue in the early 1990s the communist police archives are still closed to researchers.
‘Angel of the garbage dump’ dies in crash
Jan 25 2007
WASHINGTON – Hanley Denning, known in Guatemala as “the angel of the garbage dump” because she helped poor children escape garbage picking as a livelihood, died in a car crash in Guatemala.
Five days after her Jan. 18 death at age 36, a documentary featuring Ms. Denning was nominated for an Oscar.
Ms. Denning died from injuries suffered when the car she was in collided with a bus on a mountain road outside of Guatemala City. She was a native of Yarmouth, Maine.
Schools to reconfigure
Jan 23 2007
Responding to continuing declines in enrollment and increased financial challenges, Our Lady Queen of Peace and Our Lady of Mount Carmel schools in Middle River will reconfigure in September in a move pastors say will strengthen Catholic education in eastern Baltimore County.
The Queen of Peace campus will become the new home for both schools’ pre-kindergarten and full-time childcare, while Mount Carmel will serve K-8 students.
The reconfiguration grew out of discussions between Monsignor Robert Hartnett, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Father Jason Worley, pastor of Our Lady of Queen of Peace. It was announced to parents during parish meetings Jan. 22 and Jan. 23.
Culture of life means changing hearts
Jan 23 2007
WASHINGTON – “A true culture of life cannot be built by changing laws alone. We’ve all got to work to change hearts,” President George W. Bush told tens of thousands of participants in the 34th annual March for Life Jan. 22.
President Bush spoke by phone at the beginning of a two-hour rally on the National Mall preceding the marchers’ slow, peaceful trek around the Capitol to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
With temperatures hovering right around freezing, the marchers packing several square blocks of the Mall and overflowing onto side streets turned the previous day’s snowfall into acres of muddy slush.
Hike in federal minimum wage long overdue
Jan 15 2007
WASHINGTON – An increase in the federal minimum wage, its proponents would argue, is not only an idea whose time has come, but an idea whose time had come long ago.
The minimum wage was last increased in 1997. The 10-years-and-counting gap between increases is the longest since the minimum wage was instituted in 1938.
Its purchasing power also has dropped. According to Catholic Charities USA, it’s now equal to $3.95 in 1995 dollars – when the minimum wage was $4.25.