CONTACT: Christopher Hale
Phone: (615) 424-6003
Appealing to the the values that mark the beginning of the Lenten season today--prayer, penance and conversion--thirty prominent Catholic thought leaders from across the United States are calling on President Obama and the United States Congress to turn away from the secretive process that has marked the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.
The priests, women and men religious, lay activists and scholars who signed the letter write that "the secretive process that has marked this legislation deprives our citizens of their fundamental right to participate in the creation of law, especially an agreement that so profoundly affects their own livelihoods and those of their families and neighbors."
They continue, "[a]s we’ve learned time and again in this country, bad processes create bad agreements. And this situation is no different. The TPP—like its older siblings NAFTA and CAFTA—is a wolf in sheep’s clothing."
Appealing to Pope Francis's call for an economy of inclusion, the signers promise elected leaders that "if they are willing to take a step of courage against fast tracking this legislation, they will have a Church that will walk with them the entire way."
The full text of the letter with its signees is below:Read more
We rejoice at the news that Pope Francis will become the first leader of the Catholic Church to address a joint session of Congress this September. We’re confident that the Holy Father will use this moment to lift up some of the most crucial social justice issues of our time and challenge the current political and economic status quo of the United States. During this time of great anticipation, we make Pope Francis’s prayer our own: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”
CACG's chairman Fred Rotondaro released the following statement in response to the murder of two New York City police officers:
We join millions of other Americans in condemning and mourning the senseless double murder of New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. We pray for these fallen heroes and their families. We urge all involved to remain calm, avoid inflammatory rhetoric and to promote peace. And to those who would wreck havoc in our neighborhoods, we echo the words of Pope Francis: "put down your arms, end the violence! ...No more destruction!”
Francis's 78th birthday is today. To celebrate, he gave the American people an incredible gift.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good's senior fellow Christopher Hale released the following statement on the report released on the apostolic visitation of US women religious:
We give thanks to God for a successful conclusion to the apostolic visitation of women religious in the United States. The report affirmed what we know to be true: that women religious provide irreplaceable leadership for the Church in the United States. They educate our children. They teach us how to pray. They run our soup kitchens. They protect the poor. And they lobby our politicians.
We offer our strong support and prayers for American women religious as they work to be the Church that Jesus longs for us to be: a Church on the margins, a poor Church that is for the poor, a Church that heals wounds and warm hearts, a Church that is always a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good's senior fellow Christopher Hale released the following statement on the grand jury decision in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri:
During this time of great national pain, we mourn again the death of Michael Brown. As we've said before, the violence that killed Michael Brown didn’t begin on the streets the afternoon of August 9th. 'It was the fruit of the invisible violence that plagues our communities everyday. It’s the violence of institutions that fail to serve its people. It’s the violence that afflicts the poor and makes us indifferent to others’ suffering. It’s the violence of inaction in the face of failing schools, decaying cities and economic disparities. It’s the violence that sows distrust between people and communities because the color of their skin. This violence isn’t as evident as the gunshot that killed Michael Brown, but it’s just as deadly.' Though Officer Darren Wilson has been acquitted of legal responsibility in Michael Brown's death, our nation is not. We pray that our nation will take this time to work harder to end injustices, bind the wounds between us and live as children of God, brothers and sisters once again.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good's senior fellow Christopher Hale released the following statement on President Obama's executive actions on immigration reform:
We applaud President Obama's decision to take the first step in bringing relief and hope to millions of aspiring Americans and their families who are seeking a home in the United States. Since the beginning of this debate, the Catholic Church has been a leading advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. As we enter into the holiday season, we remember that Jesus himself was a child immigrant seeking a home and a future in a foreign country.
President Bush first called for reform in 2007, but since that time, the United States Congress has not passed any significant immigration reform bill into law. After Speaker Boehner and his colleagues in the House failed to vote on the Senate-passed bill for over a year, the President had a moral obligation to act decisively.
Our nation's history is that of an immigrant people, and starting tonight, there's sufficient hope that our future will be as well. To our brother and sister immigrants who are seeking a permanent home in the United States, we echo the words of Pope Francis: "The Church is at your side as you seek a more dignified life for yourselves and your families."
We give thanks to God that the Holy Spirit has inspired the Synod of Bishops to suggest a shift in the Church's pastoral approach towards the LGBT community. As Catholics in the United States, we agree with the bishops that gay and lesbian Catholics have “gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community." We've experienced this reality for ourselves. Gay and lesbian Catholics teach our children the faith of Jesus Christ. They serve the poor in our soup kitchens and social service agencies. They minister to the sick in our hospitals. More than anything, they're children of God and brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. We look forward to working with the Holy Father and the bishops to ensure that in the words of Pope Francis our Church is "a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven."