Sexual Exploitation At Home and Abroad

Posted on 01. Aug, 2015 by .


These three videos below all unpack the issue of human trafficking with an emphasis on sex trafficking. Jada-Pinkett Smith, Amber Lyon, and Noy Thrupkaew examine an issue that is alarmingly common in most countries around the world, especially in developing countries. Please take the time to view at least one of these reports:



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Shepherd Toolkit

Posted on 01. Aug, 2015 by .


The Franciscan Action Network and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have published a tool kit about ending human trafficking. SHEPHERD stands for:

Stop Human Trafficking and Exploitation. Protect, Help, Empower, and Restore Dignity. This toolkit will help you to learn about human trafficking from a Catholic perspective, equipping yourself with the educational tools to raise awareness of human trafficking in parishes, schools, or other social networks. We encourage you to use SHEPHERD resources to organize workshops, discussion groups, and prayer sessions.

For more information, click here.

Click the links below to access the toolkits in English:

Becoming a SHEPHERD:


The Leader Guide:



Haga clic en los enlaces abajo para ver las guías en Español:

Convertirse en un SHEPHERD:


La guía para los lideres: 




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Death Penalty Statement by US Bishops

Posted on 29. Jul, 2015 by .


The bishops chairing two committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) renewed the bishops’ opposition to the death penalty in a message, July 16. The message commemorated the 10th anniversary of the bishops’ Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty and their accompanying message, “A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death.”

“Our faith tradition offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake. No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability,” wrote Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston.

To read more, click here.

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Beatification of Oscar Romero

Posted on 13. Jul, 2015 by .


Oscar Romero Beatified On May 23rd

Mural immortalising Archbishop Oscar Romero in Suchitoto (martyr to the poor of El Salvador).

“The structures of social injustice are those that have given our poor a slow death.”

On May 23rd, Pope Francis beatified Romero, which is an official step toward sainthood. For the people of Latin America, especially El Salvador, Romero has long been considered a martyr and a saint but now it is official according to the Church. Oscar Romero was the archbishop of El Salvador in the early years of its bloody civil war.

romero-222x300He was a voice for the oppressed and an advocate for the people. He spoke out against the military’s abuse of its power and is inhumane treatment of the Salvadoran people. He called for unity and justice in Latin America and because of this, he was targeted by those in power.  In 1980, he was assassinated while giving mass but instead of stifling his message, his assassins ensured that Romero would be remembered forever by those for whom he advocated: the poor, the oppressed, and the voiceless.

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Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Posted on 01. Jun, 2015 by .



For the past few months a refuge crisis has been occurring in Southeast Asia. The Rohingya people, from the Rakhine province in Burma have been forced to flee their country due to systematic oppression from the Burmese government. They are classified as a state-less Muslim minority. They have become refugees and have been dubbed “boat people” by the international media. Most of them are fleeing to Indonesia and Malaysia. The Catholic Church in the Philippines has said that it will welcome these refugees as it is their “Christian duty.” The following article is from Christian Today and was written by Lucinda Borkett-Jones and gives more insight to this developing issue:


The Philippines has said it is willing to welcome 3,000 ethnic Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh, which the Catholic Church has attributed to a sense of Christian duty.

Last week more than 2,500 refugees from the Rohingya Muslim minority in Bangladesh and Myanmar landed on the coasts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand but were pushed back out to sea. There are thought to be another 5,000 still missing. Having fled persecution and poverty at home, they now face sickness and starvation at sea.

Father Socrates Mesiona, director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Philippines, welcomed his government’s decision to provide assistance.

“It is our duty to welcome these people,” Mesiona told Fides news agency. “If necessary, we will welcome them and will try to ensure them a decent life. They are human beings and children of God, created in the image and likeness of God.”

He said the fact that they are Muslim “does not create any problem,” adding “As the Gospel teaches us, we are ready to give them hospitality.”

Following international pressure, Malaysia and Indonesia have said today that they will offer temporary shelter to 7,000 “boat people”, but made clear they would take no more.

“What we have clearly stated is that we will take in only those people in the high sea,” Malaysian Foreign MinisterAnifah Aman said. “But under no circumstances would we be expected to take each one of them if there is an influx of others.”

Last week Human rights watch accused the navies of the three Asian nations of playing “a three-way game of human ping pong”. Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch Asia said: “The world will judge these governments by how they treat these most vulnerable men, women, and children.”

Following a meeting with Thailand’s foreign minister yesterday, Malaysia and Indonesia said in a joint statement: “The international community will be responsible in providing Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand with necessary support, particularly financial assistance, to enable them to provide temporary shelter and humanitarian assistance to the irregular migrants currently at risk.”

Hundreds of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants landed in Indonesia’s northwestern Aceh province early on Wednesday, an Indonesian search and rescue official said.

“I urge all NGOs, of all races and religions to step forward to volunteer to help these Rohingya migrants,” Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

“Even though they are a migrant community that is trying to enter the country illegally, and breaking immigration laws, their well-being should not be ignored.”

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