Sunday, May 30, 2010

Combating Sex Tourism During 2010 World Cup

Social Funds, the largest personal finance site devoted to socially responsible investing, has reported on the efforts by Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) to ask hotels in South Africa and internationally to help prevent the sexual exploitation of children and other human trafficking crimes. Click here to read the coverage.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Prostitutes Flock to South Africa Ahead of the World Cup

Click here to read the article from the Christian Science Monitor regarding prostitution and the world cup in South Africa. Here's a preview:

As with the 2006 World Cup in Germany, a rampant sex trade is of concern to human rights groups ahead of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, which kicks off next month. Prostitutes, many from impoverished Zimbabwe, are arriving to cash in on an estimated 500,000 visiting fans.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Human Trafficking and the World Cup

The World Cup begins in South Africa on June 11. As we know from previous experience, this brings with it an enormous risk of human trafficking. So often, we ask, "What can we do?" when faced with such huge challenges. See below for what has been done and what you can do:

  • In April, Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) sent a letter to hotels to encourage action against human trafficking in advance of the World Cup. More than 300 faith-based organizations and investors joined together to raise their voices against exploitation of women and children. Click here to see the letter that was sent. To date, responses have not yet been received from Best Western, Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood (including Westin and Sheraton), and NH hotels. Congratulations to Accor, Carlson, and Intercontinental, who have responded.
  • If you are traveling to South Africa for the World Cup, click here to find a letter you might take with you to present at your hotel.
  • If you are planning a stay at any of the hotels that haven't yet responded to this plea (no matter where in the world they might be), click here for a letter you might take with you to explain why this would be a good initiative for that corporation.

Friday, May 21, 2010

More on Your Carbon Footprint

We continue with our simple suggestions for reducing our carbon footprint:

Reduce the use of disposables (such as bottled water, dinnerware, prepackaged foods); install long-life, energy-saving CFL bulbs; purchase energy-saving appliances; adjust thermostats and water heater temperatures; practice carpooling; combine errands.

What do you think? Can you choose one of these to do consistently?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Abortion in a Catholic Hospital?

According to the Catholic News Agency, Bishop of Phoenix, Thomas J. Olmsted is "gravely concerned" after learning that an abortion took place at a Catholic hospital in his diocese. The abortion was performed last year after the mother, who was 11 weeks pregnant at the time, presented to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoeniz, with severe pulmonary hypertension. This serious condition limits heart and lung function and can be fatal in pregnancy. While the ethics committee of the hospital ruled that the abortion was necessary, Bishop Olmsted's official statement, issued May 14, 2010, explains, "I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was perfomed several month ago at a Catholic hospital in the Diocese. . . . While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means."

The website of the Diocese of Phoenix contains resources and information regarding the situation at St. Joseph's Hospital. Also, stay in formed regarding what the secular press is saying. These are the things that most people read and comment upon. These are the things that require our vigilance in knowing the facts and responding in love. For example, follow the story in The Arizona Sun to see how the Phoenix local media presents the story.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Carbon Footprint Revisited

In calculating your carbon footprint, were you able to set a measurable goal for yourself and/or your community?

Some more suggestions: Decrease emissions from cars or planes by finding creative, alternative ways to meet; plant trees to offset carbon emissions.

Some simpler practices: Reuse cloth, paper, or string bags in place of grocery store plastic bags; register to be removed from catalog and direct mail lists; conserve water usage; capture rain water for irrigation needs

Friday, May 14, 2010

Measuring our Carbon Footprint

We recall the LCWR 2009-10 Resolution:

Faithful to our calling to foster the interconnectedness of all creation and building on the strenght of past resolutions and actions, we, the members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, resolve to take measurable steps to reduce our congregational/community carbon footprint.

We used the Lenten Carbon Fast calendar this year to remind us of simple ways we could reduce our carbon footprint daily.

Now, as the Easter Season comes to a close, it's time to ask, "How are we doing?"

You may recall one suggestion that was made: Measure individual and community carbon footprints. How do we do that? Check out these web sites: or or or

Stay tuned for more suggestions and reiterations of previous suggestions.