Theology on Tap Series to Explore Human Trafficking, Confession

By Nissa LaPoint fpr the Denver Catholic Register

Theology on Tap in Denver is drawing the faith’s most passionate speakers to address the pressing and controversial topics of the time.

This year’s line up has featured Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Live Action founder Lila Rose, and Dave DiNuzzo of The King’s Men apostolate.

The monthly young adult gatherings at Katie Mullen’s Irish Pub and Restaurant are a chance to explore Catholicism in a relaxed setting. The archdiocese also has a Theology on Tap program in Fort Collins.

The series of speakers continues this month with Father Dave Nix, recently appointed chaplain for the Abbey of St. Walburga in Virginia Dale. He will address human trafficking Feb. 18.

“It got close to my heart before seminary,” Father Nix said.

While working for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) in Alabama and Virginia, he said he learned about the devastating and prevalent black market that enslaves 2 million children annually in the international commercial sex trade worldwide, according to UNICEF.

Theology on Tap Fr. Nix
Theology on Tap Fr. Riley
Father Dave Nix
Father John Riley

He first encountered human trafficking while in Virginia when a friend intercepted an underage girl from dancing with an older man. The little girl clung to his friend, he said.

“When you open your eyes, you start to realize it’s everywhere,” Father Nix said.

Human trafficking—a modern-day form of slavery—is closer to home than some may imagine.

The federal Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 48 percent of prostitution allegations and 40 percent of child sexual exploitation incidents comprise the 2,515 incidents of suspected human trafficking in the United States between 2008 and 2010.

“There are a lot of people who know the basics of the pro-life movement, but they don’t realize the other way children are abused in the United States and across the world. In fact, they are closely linked,” he said.

January was proclaimed as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Father John Riley, a chaplain and professor at the Augustine Institute, will speak on the topic “Confessions from the Other Side of the Screen” on March 18.

Father Riley was a professor of sacred Scripture at Christendom College in Virginia and spent 20 years serving parishes in the Arlington Diocese.

Unique to this gathering will be the chance for young adults to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation before and during the talk.

For more information, follow the Denver Catholic Young Adults on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/denvercatholicyoungadults.

This article originally appeared in the Denver Catholic Register, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. It is reproduced with permission.

Theology on Tap is a young adult ministry of RENEW International.

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