The board of directors of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (Fred Rotondaro, Benjamin Palumbo, and James Salt) released the following statement after today's release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership:
After six long years, the secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finally over. The American people finally have a chance to review the deal for themselves instead of relying on the positive characterizations opined by the agreement’s supporters. From our initial read of the text, we fear that this agreement might fail to meet Pope Francis and the Catholic Church’s high standards for economic, environmental, and social justice.
Over the next days, we will review the text line by line to understand fully how this agreement affects working families, the poor, and the excluded in the United States and throughout the world. If it fails to meet the standards of the gospel, we will work with our allies across the nation to defeat the TPP agreement.
As Catholics who stand with Pope Francis's call to create an economy of inclusion, we are extremely disappointed that our nation's negotiators rushed the unjust TPP agreement to conclusion. This agreement, which has far ranging implications for our global community beyond trade, should have never been “fast tracked” through Congress. Negotiation and consideration of such an agreement requires broad input of the American people. But to date there has been little.
Therefore, we call on the Administration to release the text immediately, and we urge our lawmakers to study this legislation with due diligence. We will evaluate the details of this agreement carefully. And if this corporate deal doesn't measure up to the demands of justice, we will work to defeat it.
We're excited by the schedule of Pope Francis’s September trip to the United States that was released early this morning. Though his trip will include visits among the powerful at the White House, in Congress, and at the United Nations, it’s his other stops that will highlight Francis’s hope to be the leader of “a poor Church for the poor.” In his five-day trip to the United States, the pope will visit the homeless in Washington, immigrants in Harlem, and prisoners in Philadelphia.
We pray that his pastoral visit will confirm the American people in the great truth that Francis has communicated throughout his pontificate: that God never grows tired of loving us.
We hope that Francis uses this trip to advance his vision for a Church that is a “place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.”
We also hope his visit will compel our country's leaders to move past partisan divisions and work together to create a nation where families are strong and where everyone has a name, a face and a future. We join our prayers with Francis and "beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people and the lives of the poor!"Read more
While we are still studying the details of the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell, we're excited that the Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. As Catholics, we know that every person has a God-given right to quality, affordable health care. This law--though imperfect--is built on this same ideal. We remain committed to implementing and improving this health care law to ensure that every person living in the United States receives this basic human right.
We give thanks to God for the great gift of Pope Francis's encyclical letter Laudato Si.
The Catholic Church speaks on this issue of faith and science not as some academic exercise, but because its affects human flourishing, and we’re called by God to defend the dignity of every woman, man and child.
Just as the Church is unafraid to defend the dignity of the child in the womb, we cannot be afraid to defend the dignity of those who are the victims of a global economy that kills through environmental exploitation, rampant consumerism, and structural inequalities.
What so many politicians seem to misunderstand, but that Francis, Benedict and the Church get is that protecting creation is first and foremost a religious issue.
The very first words of the Bible tell us that God himself is the creator of heaven and earth. God’s first home for us was a garden, and God’s first vocation for us was to be gardeners that protect, care, sustain and develop creation.
We agree with Francis that protecting creation and addressing climate change is a response to the God’s ancient request that we be good stewards of all that God has given us: clean air, fresh water and fruits of the harvest.
Catholics around the nation are excited that Pope Francis will be meeting with President Obama at the White House on September 23 as a part of his pastoral trip to the United States. During this crucial moment for our nation's future, we pray that the pope will encourage our nation's political leaders to work more effectively in creating a nation that is more just and less cold.
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.