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TEENS AND CHASTITY: Catholic Program

Length45 min.
Age GroupJS - Jr-Sr High School
PublisherCenter for Learning
TopicsHuman Sexuality
Communication
Relationships
Values

In an honest presentation to teens, Molly Kelly explains that chastity solves many of today's problems, such as teen pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases including AIDS, abortion, and the harmful side effects of contraception. Molly reflects on how th

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  • IMAGE: CNS/Dennis SadowskiBy Dennis SadowskiMODESTO, Calif. (CNS) -- The push for sanctuary was on a lot of minds at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements. Concerns about President Donald Trump's intention to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants rose throughout the Feb. 16-19 gathering of more than 600 grass-roots and church leaders in California's Central Valley. Declaring sanctuary for people fearing forced removal and the breakup of family life was one way to resist government actions, activists and Catholic clergy said. Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Deliman of Philadelphia, who also is pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in suburban Bensalem, received a standing ovation when he told the gathering Feb. 18 that "what would be disruptive would be if we would declare our parish a sanctuary church." "If that would spread and every parish in the diocese would do the same, we certainly could do what Jesus would want us to do," said Bishop Deliman, who has ministered alongside Latinos in the archdiocese for most of the 44 years of his priesthood. Afterward, the bishop told Catholic News Service that offering sanctuary at the parish is being considered and that he planned to discuss the idea with Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. Representatives of community and church organizations working with unauthorized immigrants reported throughout the meeting that they have seen a rising level of fear and uncertainty among Latinos since Trump took office Jan. 20 and started to make good on campaign pledges to crack down on people in the country illegally. In the government's most recent action, the Department of Homeland Security Feb. 21 outlined guidelines that White House officials said would enhance enforcement of immigration laws inside the country as well as prevent additional unauthorized immigration. Meeting participants blamed the institutionalization of racism and the widening acceptance of demonizing "the other," people who are not part of the dominant American culture, for the backlash at brown and black-skinned people including Muslims. Ingrid Vaca, of Dreamers Moms USA International, implored participants throughout the meeting to step up to protect all people being targeted for deportation and who may be on the receiving end of unwanted racial epithets. "Now more than ever we need to work in unity and scream and shout in unity," Vaca said during one discussion. Arthur McFarland, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Charleston, South Carolina, and a leader with Charleston Area Justice Ministry, said prayer was helpful, but action also was necessary. "If you want change, you have to get off your knees," he said. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the assembly Feb. 17 that fear has spread since Trump's election in November even though it was President Barack Obama who presided over the deportation of a record 2.5 million people in his eight-year presidency. Children at archdiocesan schools are "terrified" that they will return home to find their parents deported, he said. He noted that he did not appreciate "the sense of indifference and cruelty that seems to be coming from this new administration in Washington." "It is not right that people are being forced to live this way," Archbishop Gomez said. "No matter if they have broken our immigration laws. They are still human beings. They have dignity and human rights." The archbishop reiterated the USCCB's stance on the need for comprehensive immigration reform as an issue of social justice. Neither the new Congress nor the current administration has proposed legislation addressing the country's immigration concerns, however. Such comments were welcomed, but grass-roots activists implored clergy, particularly Catholic bishops, to speak more often from the pulpit about such concerns and to step up to lead demonstrations protesting racism, discrimination and deportations. Addressing another perspective of world migration, Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugee Section of the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, told the gathering that while millions of people today are on the move globally, the situation is not a crisis because the migration of people has occurred throughout human history. Father Czerny recalled how he and his brother as children fled communist Czechoslovakia to Canada in 1948 with his family because his parents wanted a better life for their sons. The same situation characterizes migrants today, he said. The Jesuit called for people to respond to the needs of migrants because families do not make a decision to flee their homelands without deep thought and reflection. "Migration should be a step toward life and hope," he said, "and not falling to fear and repression." - - - Editor's Note: All sessions from the World Meeting of Popular Movements can be viewed online at http://popularmovements.org/live-stream. - - - Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Alexander Ermochenko, By Carol GlatzROME (CNS) -- The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church called on the international community to "stop the aggressor" in Ukraine's "forgotten conflict" and help the 1 million children in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. "I am appealing to the international community to defend Ukrainian children, victims of war, keeping in mind that in our country we are experiencing a humanitarian emergency in Europe that has not been experienced since the Second World War," said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Despite efforts the past three years, a "stable cease-fire" has never been achieved, "therefore, we ask international organizations to continue diplomatic approaches to stop the aggressor and end the war so that true peace can be reached," he said in a written statement received by Catholic News Service Feb. 22. The archbishop made the appeal after UNICEF released report Feb. 17 saying that 1 million children in Ukraine were in urgent need of humanitarian aid -- nearly double the number of kids in need the same time last year. The increased numbers were due to the ongoing fighting and deteriorating economic situation of families, loss of housing and reduced access to health care and education, the report said. One in five schools in eastern Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed. "Hundreds of daily cease-fire violations put children's physical safety and psychological well-being at risk," the UNICEF report said. Thousands of children face the danger of landmines and unexploded ordinance as well as active shelling in their neighborhoods, it said. "Teachers, psychologists and parents report signs of severe psychosocial distress among children including nightmares, aggression, social withdrawal and panic triggered by loud noises," it said. In his appeal, Archbishop Shevchuk said the Catholic Church has a moral obligation to speak up for the voiceless, particularly the children. "The increasingly tragic situation of the nation -- there are 1.7 million people displaced -- remains invisible in the eyes of the general public," he said. Such tragedy, he said, "cannot and must not remain invisible." Meanwhile, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council during an open debate Feb. 21 that "all necessary steps should be taken to enforce the cease-fire and to implement the measures agreed upon" for Ukraine while respecting basic human rights and international laws. All efforts must be made to end "this unresolved conflict and to find a political solution through dialogue and negotiation," he said. It is also "the obligation of states to refrain from actions that destabilize neighboring countries and work together to create the necessary conditions for peace and reconciliation." In March 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine, and about a month later, fighting began along Ukraine's eastern border. Russian-speaking separatists with support from the Russian government and its troops have been battling Ukrainian forces.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Nicolas Peissel, handout via EPABy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis appealed for humanitarian assistance to South Sudan where famine threatens the lives of millions of people already suffering due to a three-year civil war. In the "martyred South Sudan," he said, "a fratricidal conflict is compounded by a serious food crisis, which has struck the Horn of Africa and condemns millions of people to starve to death, among them many children," the pope said. At the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican Feb. 22, the pope said that a solid commitment from the international community to assist South Sudan is crucial "now more than ever." The United Nations Feb. 21 declared a famine in two counties of South Sudan, adding that the catastrophic food shortages will continue to spread, threatening millions of lives. Civil war has destabilized the world's youngest country for more than three years due to a political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar. "This famine is man-made," said Joyce Luma, director of the U.N. World Food Program. Despite efforts to hold off the famine, she added, "there is only so much that humanitarian assistance can achieve in the absence of meaningful peace and security, both for relief workers and the crisis-affected people they serve." Pope Francis urged governments and international organizations to "not stop at just making statements," but take concrete steps so that necessary food aid "can reach the suffering population." "May the Lord sustain these, our brothers and sisters, and those who work to help them," Pope Francis said. - - -Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Humanity's greed and selfishness can turn creation into a sad and desolate world instead of the sign of God's love that it was meant to be, Pope Francis said. Human beings are often tempted to view creation as "a possession we can exploit as we please and for which we do not have to answer to anyone," the pope said Feb. 22 at his weekly general audience. "When carried away by selfishness, human beings end up ruining even the most beautiful things that have been entrusted to them," the pope said. As an early sign of spring, the audience was held in St. Peter's Square for the first time since November. Despite the chilly morning temperatures, the pope made the rounds in his popemobile, greeting pilgrims and kissing bundled-up infants. Continuing his series of talks on Christian hope, the pope reflected on St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, which expresses the hope "that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption." St. Paul, the pope said, reminds Christians that creation is a "marvelous gift that God has placed in our hands." Through this gift, he said, "we can enter into a relationship with him and recognize the imprint of his loving plan, which we are all called to achieve together." Sin, however, breaks communion not only with God but with his creation, "thus making it a slave, submissive to our frailty," the pope said.   "Think about water. Water is a beautiful thing; it is so important. Water gives us life and it helps us in everything. But when minerals are exploited, water is contaminated and creation is destroyed and dirtied. This is just one example; there are many," he said, departing from his prepared remarks. When people break their relationship with creation, they not only lose their original beauty, he said, but they also "disfigure everything surrounding them," causing a reminder of God's love to become a bleak sign of pride and greed. St. Paul tells believers that hope comes from knowing that God in his mercy wants to heal the "wounded and humbled hearts" of all men and women and, through them, "regenerate a new world and a new humanity, reconciled in his love," Pope Francis said. "The Holy Spirit sees beyond the negative appearances for us and reveals to us the new heavens and the new earth that the Lord is preparing for humanity," the pope said. "This is the content of our hope. A Christian does not live outside of the world; he knows how to recognize the signs of evil, selfishness and sin in his own life and in what surrounds him," he said. "But at the same time, a Christian has learned to read all of this with the eyes of Easter, with the eyes of the risen Christ." - - - Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Dennis SadowskiBy Dennis SadowskiMODESTO, Calif. (CNS) -- Affirming that all human life is sacred and all people are "protagonists of their future," more than 600 grass-roots leaders echoed the call of a U.S. bishop to disrupt practices that cause oppression and violate human dignity. The leaders attending the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements concluded the four-day meeting Feb. 19 saying in a final message that a "small elite is growing wealthy and powerful off the suffering of our families." "Racism and white supremacy are America's original sins. They (the elites) continue to justify a system of unregulated capitalism that idolizes wealth accumulation over human needs," said the "Message from Modesto." The message broadly echoed Pope Francis' regular critiques of the world economy in which he has said the accumulation of wealth by a few people has harmed the dignity of millions of people in the human family. The representatives from dozens of faith-based and secular community organizations, labor unions and Catholic dioceses representing an estimated 1 million people called for eight actions to be undertaken. The actions included inviting faith communities, including every Catholic parish, to declare their sites a sanctuary for people facing deportation by the U.S. government; developing local leadership to hold elected officials accountable and, when possible to recruit grass-roots leaders to seek elected office; and a global week of action May 1-7 in which people "stand together against hatred and attacks on families." "There's too many leaders in this room not to mobilize," Takia Yates-Binford of East St. Louis, Illinois, who represented the Service Employees International Union, said as the meeting ended. The delegates called for "bold prophetic leadership" from faith communities to speak and act in solidarity with citizens on the margins of society. Participants in plenary sessions and small-group discussions challenged clergy, including the Catholic hierarchy, to be in the forefront of movements to seek justice on social issues for people outside of mainstream society. In their message, delegates said they wanted to see the seeds planted in Modesto blossom across the country in statewide and regional gatherings to bring the vision of the four meetings of popular movements held to date and the pope's message of hope and courage to every U.S. community. The final message reflected the words of Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego, whose stirring presentation a day earlier invited people to follow the example of President Donald Trump, who campaigned as the candidate of "disruption." "Well now, we must all become disruptors," Bishop McElroy told the delegates Feb. 18 to sustained applause. "We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. We must disrupt those who portray refugees as enemies rather than our brothers and sisters in terrible need."We must disrupt those who train us to see Muslim men and women as a source of fear rather than as children of God. We must disrupt those who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children." At the same time, Bishop McElroy said, people of faith must rebuild society based on justice for everyone. "We have to rebuild this nation so that we place at its heart the service of the dignity of the human person and assert what that flag behind us asserts is our heritage: Every man, woman and child is equal in this nation and called to be equal," he said. Bishop McElroy's words in a plenary session on labor and housing followed a video greeting from Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, in which he said the concentration of wealth and political power in the country "threatens to undermine the health of our democracy." As families cope with economic stress and feel no elected official at any level of government cares about their plight, people tend to withdraw from civic participation and effectively disenfranchise themselves, leaving special interest groups, lobbyists and "even demagogues" to fill the void, Cardinal Tobin said. Such a situation has given rise to populist and nationalist sentiments in the U.S. under which the blame for the economic struggles of some are placed on today's "scapegoats" including immigrants, Muslims and young people of color, he said, rather than toward the architects of what the pope has called the economy of exclusion. The rising fear and anxiety among people in the dominant culture has given rise to "the sins of racism and xenophobia," he said. Cardinal Tobin used Pope Francis' calls for encounter and dialogue as necessary steps to overcome fear, alienation and indifference. "Encounter and dialogue create the capacity for solidarity and accompaniment," he said. "It is our responsibility to respond to the pain and anxiety of our brothers and sisters. As popular movements, your role is to knit together strong communal networks that can gather up the experiences and suffering and aspiration of the people and push for structural changes that affirm the dignity and value of every child of God," Cardinal Tobin said. Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, told the gathering as the final message was adopted that the church was "here to accompany you and support you all." "The Catholic Church believes that the joys and the hope, the grief and the anguish of people of our time, especially those who are poor or who are isolated, these also are the joys and the hope and the grief and the anguish of the followers of Christ," Cardinal Turkson said. Meeting organizers, which included the PICO National Network of congregation-based organizations and the U.S. bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development, planned to send the message and a comprehensive report on the proceedings to the pope and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development co-sponsored the gathering. The U.S. gathering was the first regional meeting in a series encouraged by Pope Francis to bring people working to improve poor and struggling communities around the world through organizing initiatives, prayer and social action. Three previous meetings since 2014 -- two in Rome and one in Bolivia -- have focused on land, labor and housing. The U.S. meeting added immigration and racism to the topics being discussed. Along with the grass-roots volunteer leaders and professional organizers, 25 prelates attended the California meeting and several addressed the plenary sessions including Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB vice president, on immigration, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, on racism, and Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, on the environment. - - - Editor's Note: The full Message from Modesto can be read online at http://popularmovements.org/news/message-from-modesto. - - - Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.