Catholic groups write Kerry to urge scrutiny of Honduran activist’s death

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — At least 25 Catholic groups joined nongovernmental organizations in condemning the murder of Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres, calling for a change in U.S. policy toward assistance in the region. In an open letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the organizations demanded a proper investigation into a crime that…

Socially responsible investors press companies to do the right thing

WASHINGTON (CNS) — If it’s spring, it must be corporate annual general meeting season. For investors concerned about corporate accountability and transparency, it’s one of the busiest times of the year. The annual general meetings give shareholders the chance to publicly engage corporate leadership on hot-button issues such as human rights, climate change, sustainability, lobbying…

Cuban dissidents say they hope pope highlights human rights

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba (CNS) — A week before Pope Francis arrived here, the communist government agreed to pardon 3,522 prisoners, including elderly people and people under 20 with no prior offenses. It was seen as a gesture of goodwill ahead of the papal visit, one meant to signal the Cuban government has grown more…

Pilgrimage to mark 15th anniversary of priest’s death

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor On Wednesday, Aug. 19, people from all walks of life will board a bus at Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids and make the 125-mile trip to St. James Church in Maine Township, where Mill Hill Missionary Father John Kaiser was baptized. “The world desperately needs heroes,” said retired Father…

‘Responsibility to protect’ must be part of ‘rule of law,’ says nuncio

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — The Vatican’s nuncio to the United Nations called for a broad definition of the term “rule of law” that includes respect, dignity and justice. The rule of law should be “both rationally and morally grounded upon the substantial principles of justice, including the inalienable dignity and value of every human person…

Syriac patriarch calls Islamic State actions ‘attempted genocide’

BEIRUT (CNS) – Returning from a visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State invasion “pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide.” “What we, the five patriarchs, saw in Ankawa, Irbil and other cities of Kurdistan, was something indescribable in terms of the violation of…