Tuesday, August 1, 2023
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Knights of Peter Claver push back on DeSantis' defense of Florida slavery teaching
NEW ORLEANS (OSV News) | The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary, a historically Black Catholic fraternal organization, is pushing back on recent remarks by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential hopeful, regarding his state's controversial new standards for teaching about slavery. During a July 21 campaign stop in Salt Lake City, DeSantis defended a portion of Florida's 2023 social studies curriculum standards, which calls for instruction on "how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit." In a July 26 statement, the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary condemned both the remarks and the Florida curriculum.
"The Bible teaches that man can only have one Master — and that Master is God," said the organization in its statement. "Slavery was a non-Christ-like practice that only provided earthly benefit to the false masters who used false interpretations of the Bible and religion to justify their sinful greed, and complete devaluation of the sanctity of human life — God's greatest gift. What Governor DeSantis missed is that despite the sins of man, God will always continue to speak and bless his children," said the statement. "It was not slavery that provided any benefit to the enslaved, but rather God's unfiltered and unconditional love and reach." The Knights stated, "The legacy of slavery continues to have a drastic negative impact on ALL African Americans — just as it did in its prime."
U.S. set to have fifth largest delegation at World Youth Day
WASHINGTON (OSV News) | When Pope Francis arrives in Lisbon for World Youth Day 2023, there will be plenty of pilgrims from the U.S. ready to greet him — close to 29,000. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced July 24 that more than 28,600 individuals, most between the ages of 18 and 25, and over 60 U.S bishops will be on hand for the Aug. 1-6 gathering. While registration numbers have not yet been finalized (and in fact are rising, said the bishops' conference), the U.S. is set to have one of the five largest delegations at WYD."Our country is very much looking forward to this pilgrimage," said Bishop Robert E. Barron of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, which oversees the U.S. involvement in WYD. Bishop Barron is among more than 60 U.S. bishops, who will be accompanying young people to Lisbon.In a statement, Bishop Barron described WYD as "a wonderful occasion for young adults to have a significant encounter with Jesus Christ in the company of the universal church." The event is "also a moment when the Holy Father and the church's leadership get an opportunity to listen to the young people present, teach and form them in the Gospel, and ultimately send them towards their vocation and mission in the world," he said.
Kerry Alys Robinson named as next Catholic Charities USA president and CEO
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (OSV News) | Kerry Alys Robinson has been named the next president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the organization representing the interests of its 167 member organizations dedicated to carrying out the domestic humanitarian work of the Catholic Church in the United States. When Robinson, currently an executive partner of Leadership Roundtable, begins her tenure Aug. 23, she will become the second layperson and second woman ever to lead CCUSA, the group said.
In a July 25 statement, CCUSA board chair Neal Black said Robinson's "entire professional life has been devoted to serving and bettering our church." In a July 25 statement, Robinson said, the Gospels "call Catholics and all people of good will to serve those most in need of our aid." "The staff and volunteers of Catholic Charities agencies around the country answer that call every day: feeding the hungry, comforting the afflicted and welcoming the stranger," Robinson said. "I am deeply honored and profoundly humbled to be a part of this life-giving mission."
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery that can happen just around the corner, say advocates for victims
LONDON (OSVNews) | Human trafficking doesn't happen only in faraway places where human rights are neglected. It happens around the corner. It's modern-day slavery, say those working to stop it around the world.
"Slavery didn't end in the United States with the Civil War and the 13th Amendment in 1865. Legal slavery ended," said Greg Burke, a former Vatican spokesman who develops strategic partnerships for the anti-slavery charity Arise. "What continues to this day is people — most of them young women — being enslaved in massage parlors, nail salons and prostitution rings, working to pay off massive debts they owe to the people who have tricked and trafficked them," Burke said.
July 30 was World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, which aims to raise awareness about the victims of human trafficking and promote and protect their rights. This year's theme, "Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind," calls on governments, law enforcement, public services, and civil society to assess and enhance their efforts to strengthen prevention, identify and support victims, and end impunity. Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joined humanitarian organizations and countries around the globe in recognizing World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions said that "Salesian missionaries in many countries educate youth about the dangers associated with migration, which can put them at risk of trafficking and those who might wish them harm."
Arise foundation will recognize some unsung heroes of the anti-trafficking movement — Catholic religious sisters — with the SATAs (Sisters Anti Trafficking Awards) at a ceremony in London Oct. 31.
Cardinal Gregory: Till memorial should inspire youth to 'work for a better world'
WASHINGTON (OSVNews) | Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, the Catholic Church’s first African American cardinal, reacted to President Joe Biden establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Mississippi and Illinois July 25, saying it was important to remember that youth’s brutal, tragic murder and his mother’s heroic quest for justice as the work for civil rights continues.
In a statement, Cardinal Gregory said, “It is painful to recall yesterday’s violence, but it is necessary so that the lessons learned in tears will hopefully prevent us from such tragedies in the future. Emmett Till and his courageous mother Mamie offered the world a sorrowful image of a pieta in 1955. If we remember such moments from the past, perhaps there will be less possibility of a future such image.”
Recalling Till's mother's decision to hold an open-casket viewing before Till's funeral, the Cardinal remembered being nearly 8 years old as he filed past Till's "awful, disfigured body," saying, “I grew up in the mid-‘50s, and the great challenges that were going on in the United States at that time involved the Civil Rights Movement. I can remember as a young man going to the wake of Emmett Till, my grandmother took me to the wake. That was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. And certainly, you know, just a startling moment for the African American community of Chicago, because he was a kid from Chicago that had been murdered in Mississippi.”
NFP a 'skill set' for showing 'Christ is involved' in marriage, family life, say experts
WASHINGTON (OSVNews) | Natural family planning, or NFP, provides "a skill set" to help Catholic and Christian couples "live out their beliefs that Christ is involved" in marriage and family life, a national expert told OSV News.
Representing several natural, morally acceptable methods to monitor a woman's fertility cycle, NFP emphasizes "the role of sex in marriage, and the cooperation of husband and wife in procreation," said Theresa Notare, assistant director of the NFP program in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
Notare's office spearheads the U.S. Catholic bishops' National NFP Awareness Week (July 23-29, 2023), an annual observance whose dates highlight in particular the release of "Humanae Vitae," the 1968 encyclical in which Pope St. Paul VI articulated Catholic teaching on contraception, human sexuality, marital love and parenthood. The week includes the July 26 feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary.
The theme for this year's National NFP Awareness week was "Marriage: One Flesh, Given and Received." "We still believe a primary good of marriage is having children," Notare said. "God uses the marital relationship to bring new life into the world. And he uses the couple, in their union as one flesh, to uniquely represent his love in the world."
Federal judge blocks Biden asylum ban criticized by US bishops, migrant advocates
WASHINGTON (OSVNews) | A federal judge July 25 blocked the Biden administration's rule permitting immigration authorities to deny asylum to migrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without first applying online or seeking asylum protections in a different country. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of the Northern District of California blocked the rule, which President Joe Biden's administration implemented in May, following the expiration of a Trump-era policy restricting migration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tigar's order does not go into effect for two weeks, giving the Biden administration time to appeal. Catholic immigration groups and the U.S. bishops have objected to the asylum ban, arguing it violates existing U.S. immigration law, and exposes those who may otherwise be eligible for asylum to additional danger. Anna Marie Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., said in a statement that CLINIC welcomes the judge's order.
"Any barriers to asylum that undermine the principles of U.S. law and Catholic social teaching with respect to migration, and fail to uphold due process," she said, "are contrary to the values we hold dear as a compassionate and just society."
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a July 25 briefing that the administration's "border enforcement plan works" and plans to appeal the order.