In crime-plagued periphery, pope preaches conversion

ECATEPEC, Mexico (CNS) — Pope Francis began his travels to Mexico’s “peripheries” by visiting an overcrowded, sprawling settlement known internationally as a hunting ground for girls to force into prostitution and for boys to enlist in the drug trade. Ecatepec, on the northern edge of Mexico City, also has tidy gated communities and a new…

Pope: Stopping climate change, poverty go hand-in-hand

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Heads of states at the U.N. climate change conference in Paris must do everything possible to mitigate the effects of both climate change and poverty “for the good of our common home,” Pope Francis said. “The two choices go together: to stop climate change and curb poverty so that human dignity…

No one can pretend not to know Syrians, Iraqis are suffering, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Millions of Iraqis and Syrians are facing poverty and even death, neighboring countries are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of helping refugees, arms dealers are getting richer and the international community seems helpless, Pope Francis said. The “atrocities and unspeakable human rights violations, which characterize these conflicts,…

Polish bishop suggests World Youth Day 2016 should be ‘open to all’

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — The Polish bishop overseeing preparations for World Youth Day 2016 has urged priests to ensure that no young people are excluded because of poverty. Auxiliary Bishop Damian Muskus of Krakow, Poland, which is hosting the international celebration, said arranging for young people who might not be able to attend the event…

War, greed, consumerism, ‘cult of appearance’ harm families, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Families are weakened and destroyed by war, “the mother of all forms of poverty,” as well as by economies and policies that worship money and power, Pope Francis said. “It’s almost a miracle” that, even in poverty and crisis, the family can keep on going, safeguarding its bonds and staying intact,…

Speakers at Georgetown summit offer strategies for cutting U.S. poverty

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In ideas big and small, speakers at Georgetown University’s Catholic-evangelical summit on overcoming poverty offered strategies to cut poverty in America. The Rev. Melanie DeBouse, pastor of Evangel Chapel in Philadelphia outlined the situation in her poverty-stricken neighborhood, where the poor live in what she called “abandominiums,” with families occupying different sections…

Forum outlines strategies to end extreme poverty worldwide

WASHINGTON (CNS) — With extreme poverty having been cut in half over the last generation — and the Millennium Development Goals target of poverty halving having been achieved five years ahead of the 2015 deadline — veterans of the global war on poverty believe it is possible that extreme poverty can be wiped out in…

Taking a closer look at ‘the face of poverty today’

Father Larry Snyder is vice president for mission at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. A priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Father Snyder served as president of Catholic Charities USA from 2005 to 2014. He will present “The Face of Poverty Today: The Widow, the Orphan and the Stranger”…

Partners in need of prayer

With political unrest and disease taking their toll in Homa Bay and Maracay, central Minnesota Catholics are being asked to pray By Dianne Towalski The Visitor Prayer is a pillar of any global solidarity partnership, and our partners in Maracay, Venezuela and Homa Bay, Kenya need our prayers more than ever. The St. Cloud Mission…