Loading
Conference leaders hone in on immigration, human trafficking issues
by Elise Harris
St. Peter's Square Credit: Camille King (CC BY-SA 2.0)
St. Peter's Square Credit: Camille King (CC BY-SA 2.0)

.- During a recent gathering, instructors of U.S. Catholic Conferences came together in Rome to discuss the most pressing issues they face, immigration and human trafficking being the top two.

“One of the biggest emerging issues that we’re seeing, that’s at the state level but also in the United States…was the issue of human trafficking,” director Jenny Kraska told CNA in an Oct. 25 interview.

Kraska is the Director of the Colorado Catholic Conference in the United States, and was one of many others present in Rome for a conference held there every ten years in order to “have conversations with different congregations” within the Vatican.

The goal of the meeting is to discuss local issues “on the state level” as well as a “country level,” but also to understand “how those issues play out in a global front.”

During the directors’ conference, they had the opportunity to meet with three different congregations and councils within the Vatican, two of them being the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Cardinal Turkson, president of the Council for Justice and Peace, addressed the issue of human trafficking as a particular concern, noted Kraska, stating that it is “an issue that will continue to be at the forefront of not only the work that the Church is doing through that congregation, but also the work that all of our state Catholic conferences are doing.”

Another key issue discussed was the topic of immigration within the United States, and the debate surrounding the ongoing process of reform, Kraska revealed.

“It’s something that is obviously very important to the Church in America,” she observed, adding that being in Rome “and seeing the impact that immigration has at a global level,” will assist the directors in the decisions being made on the home front.

Kraska explained that it is her desire that the participants in the gathering will take this global perspective “back to the work that we are going to be doing with immigration reform.”

With “the continued push that the bishops will have,” and “as congress continues to meet in the United States,” Kraska expressed her hope that something will be “passed in the house” and that “something that the senate can hopefully agree on” will “get done before, ideally before the new year.”

“The Church’s position that we are obviously advocating on behalf of would be the respect and dignity for human life,” she continued, saying that “that’s really where all of our thinking and our principals regarding immigration reform start.”

“They start with the respect for the person as created in the image and likeness of Christ.”

“Obviously going forward from there,” Kraska highlighted that “it branches out into all of the different values that we should consider while we examine this issue, especially things like unification of family structure and making sure families are not torn apart.”

“I think those are all things universally that, no matter what state you’re from, no matter what bishop your representing,” she stressed, stating that “those are all really unifying principals” that they as directors offer.

Regarding the ongoing push for religious freedom in light of the Health and Human Services mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance covering contraception, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs, Kraska noted that she has seen progress.

Recalling numerous rallies and events that have taken place across the United States, she went on to say that “we’ve been able to see coming together as a group and talking about this issue very specifically, is that people are starting to become, if nothing else more aware.”

“It’s really important that people to know that there is these religious liberty issues that are popping up, and that what our rallies, and what the bishop’s initiatives have done, is put that issue and put that terminology at the forefront of people’s minds.”

When asked if she has seen any change on the side of the Obama administration as far as religious freedom being a pressing issue, Kraska stated that “I would like to hope it is.”

“I really would hope that the Obama administration would make it a priority for themselves as well.”

Expressing future goals of the directors following the conference, Kraska explained that “our first and foremost goal always is to advocate on behalf of our local bishop, and our local Church.”

However, she observed that being in Rome with “this experience of not only educating ourselves about lots of different issues that the Church is facing at a universal level” as well as the “spiritual dimension of pilgrimage,” has provided a “new vigor” to the work that they do.

“We’re dealing usually with issues that are very controversial, and that takes its toll, and so I think having the experience of being together in Rome will give us the additional strength that we need to be renewed in our passions for our jobs, and for the work that we do for the Church.”

Tags: Human trafficking, Immigration reform


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: