Want to make a difference in the world? What are you waiting for?

Pope Paul VI issued a call for Catholics to let our values lead us in shaping and reforming society “It belongs to the laity, without waiting passively for orders and directives, to take the initiative freely and to infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws, and structures of the community in which they…

U.S. should label products containing genetically modified organisms

Catholic social teaching does not speak directly about GMOs, but it offers two important points to consider “And you, monsieur, what will you have this evening?” “I would like the broiled walleye with wild rice. Oh, and please hold the GMOs.” The battle over GMO labeling is back in the news. In July, the U.S….

Pope Francis’ unforgettable lessons

Everything about his visit felt like a lesson on Catholic social teaching Still not clear what Catholic social teaching is all about? You might want to take another look at the speeches and actions of Pope Francis during his visit to the United States. It is rare to hear any church leader speak so clearly…

‘New normal’ economy poses major threat to family well-being

U.S. bishops’ Labor Day statement calls for true living wage “The majority of jobs provide little in the way of sufficient wages, retirement benefits, stability or family security, and too many families are stringing together part-time jobs to pay bills.” The annual Labor Day statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops drew an unmistakable…

Religion has everything to do with the way we live our lives

Our claim to be followers of Jesus Christ is tested throughout the week as we face small daily challenges as well as the bigger issues of our time Listen up, Pope Francis! Politicians have some advice for you. Six of the current candidates for president are Catholic and two of them think you should not…

Court ruling puts spotlight on death penalty’s legality, morality

The Supreme Court in less than a week offered up a summer’s worth of rulings  — on the Affordable Care Act, on same-sex marriage and on several other items that received less attention in the evening news. Among the latter was the court’s ruling that states may use a sedative drug, midazolam, for carrying out…

Do Minnesota health insurers really need a large rate increase?

Our objective must be to guarantee quality care services to everyone, not a certain level of profits for insurance companies Health insurance rates are ready to rise — by a lot! A recent StarTribune article reported that some health insurers operating in Minnesota are asking for 2016 rate increases of more than 50 percent. Blue…

Should the Trans-Pacific Partnership be approved by Congress?

In the “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis describes the unwanted consequences of economic arrangements that favor the rich and powerful The Trans-Pacific Partnership — a new multinational trade agreement on the horizon and a new round of debates focused on whether this will be good for American workers, good for the environment, good…

Nuclear deal with Iran is a step in the right direction

Diplomacy offers best approach to reduce access to nuclear weapons The Iran nuclear deal — a topic sure to be in the news for many months. We also know that it will remain as controversial a topic as it has been for the past few months. Early in April the United States, Great Britain, Germany,…

How big is too big when it comes to farming operations?

Catholic social teaching offers a few guiding principles Too many cows? Too many pigs? How big is too big? Recent StarTribune articles asked this question regarding the ever-increasing size of livestock operations in Minnesota. One southwest Minnesota milk producer apparently aims to increase the number of cows and heifers on several operations to 50,000. The…