March 16th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

How should Church address child abuse claims in Europe?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Catholic Church is immersed in yet another child sex abuse scandal - this time in Europe.

Allegations of sex abuse by Catholic priests are spreading across the continent - from Pope Benedict the 16th's native Germany to Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands.

And this time the claims may hit a little too close to home for the Pope.

The Archdiocese of Munich has revealed it allowed an abusive priest to keep working in the early 1980s - at a time when Benedict was archbishop there.

The Vatican was quick to respond - with the number two official at the time claiming full responsibility. But Benedict was the archbishop.

The scandal keeps growing. In Germany alone there are new claims nearly every day; hundreds of alleged victims have come forward claiming either sexual abuse or physical violence at the hands of priests.

In Ireland the floodgates have opened - there are now more than 15,000 complaints in a country of four million people. Three government-ordered reports have shocked and disgusted that nation.

As more and more victims come forward with their stories, some wonder if it's not just a matter of time before some European dioceses will be forced to declare bankruptcy like some did in the U.S.

Experts say the Pope is not likely to resign. Of course not - that would be tantamount to an admission of guilt, wouldn't it?

But the scandal could do enormous damage to his papacy, his moral credibility and his reputation.

Here’s my question to you: How should the Catholic Church address the child abuse claims sweeping across Europe?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Children
February 9th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Why have we allowed 1/3 of children to become overweight?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The First Lady is calling on America to get moving - in order to fight childhood obesity. Michelle Obama kicked off a national effort at the White House today to try to reverse the growing epidemic.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/09/art.michelle.obesity.jpg caption="First Lady Michelle Obama looks on as Pres. Obama signs a memorandum on childhood obesity in the Oval Office. The measure is part of the First Lady's nationwide campaign to combat childhood obesity."]
And the numbers are just staggering: One-third of American children are overweight or obese. And one study shows the number of overweight children from ages six to 19 has tripled since 1970. These kids are at higher risk for diabetes and high blood pressure along with other ailments later in life.

The First Lady's initiative is called the Let's Move campaign, and is focused on what families, communities and the public and private sectors can do to reduce childhood obesity within a generation.

She's calling on everyone to get involved - from parents to teachers, doctors, coaches and children. Her plan covers everything from making healthier choices to getting kids to exercise more to providing healthier and affordable foods to inner cities.

Also, the administration is focusing on several steps that government and private companies can take, including:

  • Making package labels easier to read. The FDA is set to work on labels that would appear on the front of the package. And the American Beverage Association has agreed to put calorie labels on the front of its cans and on vending machines within two years.
  • The Obama administration wants to invest more money to make school lunches healthier; and major school food suppliers will have to decrease sugar, fat and salt while increasing whole grains and fruits and veggies in their meals.

Here’s my question to you: Why have we allowed one-third of our children to become overweight or obese?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Children • Obesity
May 29th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How will your children's lives be different from yours?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The American Dream may be slipping away. Examples are everywhere. One comes from CNNMoney.com, which reports how the life of autoworkers is changing.

It used to be that getting a union job on the production line of a big car company would instantly vault someone into the middle class, even if they didn't have much formal education. But those days are gone.

With Chrysler declaring bankruptcy, and General Motors expected to follow soon, the government is demanding these companies bring their labor costs in line with foreign competitors. That means an entry-level autoworker who used to make $28 an hour could soon be making $14 an hour.

Workers' benefits are also taking a hit. Union employees will have to pay a much larger share of their health care expenses. And when they retire, the company won't be paying for their health care anymore. Also, going forward, fewer medical procedures and drugs will be covered.

The story of the American autoworker is just a slice of what's happening across the country. It seems increasingly likely millions of people won't be able to maintain the standard of living they've grown accustomed to, not to mention what's around the corner for the next generation.

A recent poll found more than a third of parents think their children's standard of living will be worse than theirs is now.

Here’s my question to you: How will your children's lives be different from yours?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Children
January 21st, 2009
06:12 PM ET

Risks of too much “screen time” for children?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Pulitzer Prize winning author Larry McMurtry says he doesn't see kids reading anymore and never sees them in his book store. He thinks we're witnessing the end of the culture of the book, and he may be right.

Kids in the U.K. spend an average of six hours a day looking at screens.

Kids in the U.K. spend an average of six hours a day looking at screens while watching TV, on the internet or playing video games, according to a new report by ChildWise.

The annual survey across the U.K. found that kids ages 5 to 19 spend only half an hour a day reading a book while they spend nearly 3 hours a day watching TV, an hour and a half on the internet and more than an hour playing games on consoles.

Many parents justify the time their kids spend online as necessary for school work. Wrong answer. Only 9-percent of kids said they looked up something for school the last time they logged on. Instead they are on social networking sites, chatting with friends, playing games and watching You Tube videos.

Some experts say the result could be a generation unable to compete in the adult world later in life because they lack essential reading and writing skills. Others warn this is a dangerous digital divide between parents and kids that is widening.

Here’s my question to you: What's the risk of allowing children to spend six hours a day in front of computer screens?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Children • Health • Internet
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