Pope Francis to build showers for people experiencing homelessness in St. Peter’s Square

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Article Social Justice Vatican

c. 2014 Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) In his latest bid to ease the suffering of the poor—and upend the expectations of the papacy—Pope Francis plans to build showers for people who are homeless under the sweeping white colonnade of St. Peter’s Square. Three showers are to be built into refurbished public restrooms provided for Catholic pilgrims along the marble columns leading into the historic basilica, which was completed in 1626.

Is suicide a sin?

By Scott Alessi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice

Generations of Catholics were raised to believe that suicide was one of the gravest sins a person can commit—and many Catholics today still fear that a loved one who dies by suicide is bound to spend eternity in hell. Many families have stories of being denied a church funeral or hearing that the person who died could not be buried in the Catholic cemetery where their family members were laid to rest. Yet even though these beliefs persist among many Catholics, they aren’t an entirely accurate reflection of the church’s modern understanding of suicide.

What is liberation theology?

By Kira Dault| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice

A little more than a year into his papacy, Pope Francis seems to be speaking loudest about economic injustice, alternatively denouncing “trickle-down” economics and calling over and over again for a “poor church for the poor.” Francis’ supporters and opponents alike often blame this particular attitude on one source: liberation theology.

Starving for attention: Bringing food production back to the masses

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Faith and Science Social Justice
Let’s stop big corporations from playing hunger games with our food production.

What every church should know about preventing suicide

By Scott Alessi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice

When a person dies by suicide, those left behind often find themselves asking the same painful question: “What could I have done to prevent this?” In most cases, there is no answer, and no one individual should hold him- or herself personally responsible for preventing a loved one’s suicide. But as the understanding of suicide and its causes has increased, so too have prevention efforts. When larger communities learn strategies for preventing suicide, it can make a difference in helping reduce the number of suicides.

St. Vincent de Paul: Patron of the poor

By Meghan J. Clark| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Social Justice
We can borrow Vincent de Paul’s tough questions about how to best help those most in need.

Turn away from the new iPhone and toward your neighbor. This is the message of Pope Francis—to reject what he labels the “throwaway culture” in which not just possessions but people are disposable when a newer, flashier model appears. Instead of spiritual worldliness, Pope Francis invites us to build community, to become a church on the margins. To do this, we might just need a little help from the saints.

The crisis on the border and blame to spread around

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Article Immigration Politics Social Justice
The current wave of child migration really began on our side of the border.

For love of the game: Emphasizing justice in youth sports

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Social Justice
In youth sports, we shouldn’t just be in it to win it. Sometimes that means parents need to be sidelined so kids can just play.

When his daughter was playing youth basketball, Clark Power found himself serving as both parent and coach. He wanted his daughter, who was a good dribbler but shy and nervous in front of crowds, to be more aggressive and animated. He remembers running up and down the sidelines during one game, trying to engage her.

‘Moral Monday’ expands to a week of social justice action across U.S.

By Cathy Lynn Grossman| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Social Justice

c. 2014 Religion News Service

(RNS) The Moral Monday movement, birthed by activists who protest the actions of the North Carolina General Assembly, will expand to 12 states Friday (Aug. 22) in a so-called Moral Week of Action.

The Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the NAACP in North Carolina and organizer of the Moral Monday movement, announced that Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania , Tennessee, and Wisconsin would join up.

You can't take it with you: Estate planning with a conscience

By Laura Fletcher| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Seniors Social Justice
None of us want to think of the world going on without us. But if we plan wisely, we can help to leave it a better place for the next generation.

For Charlie Krystofiak, the reasons for including his Catholic school in his will are personal. When he was growing up in 1950s San Francisco, his father didn’t want him to attend parochial school. So his homemaker mother became one of the only women on the block to work a day job so that Charlie and his brother could attend St. Ignatius College Preparatory School.