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."
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was thrilled to learn of Pope Francis's invitation to the leaders of Israel and Palestine for peace talks in the Vatican. Let's be clear: we believe that Pope Francis's initiative can work. We believe that the peace of Jesus Christ can heal all divisions. The Vicar of Christ is now showing us that reality within the context of our society's current trials. Our organization offers the Holy Father whatever we can give during this time of great excitement and hope.
Earlier today, American radio host Rush Limbaugh argued for the second time in six months that Pope Francis is a marxist. This ridiculous assertion flies in the face of reality.
It's absurd to claim that the universal leader of the Catholic Church would be a follower of Karl Marx--a man who said that religion is the "opium of the masses." Francis himself has denied these claims. His calls for governments to promote the "legitimate redistribution of economic benefits" is biblical in origin and has been restated emphatically by every pope for 125 years.
The pope isn't a Marxist. He is the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and his message is rooted in the Gospel. If Rush Limbaugh has a problem with Pope Francis's teachings, he too has a problem with the Catholic Church and its prophetic social teaching on morality in economic life.
Francis has been repeating what the Church has been saying since Christ: any economic system which deprives the poor of their dignity has no place within a just society.
We at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good mourn the passing of Congressman Jim Oberstar, who died on the morning of May 3rd. Congressman Oberstar played a crucial role in our organization's founding and early years of growth. He was a patriot and a statesman who served his constituents, his country and his Church with honor and distinction. While we mourn his loss, we give thanks to God for having known him. He exemplified what a public servant ought to be: someone deeply in touch with the needs and concerns of his fellow citizens and fully devoted to his nation’s posterity. May Congressman Oberstar rest in the peace of Christ.Read more
Today, a minority of United States Senators made the immoral choice to block an increase in the federal minimum wage. Just earlier this week, Pope Francis tweeted that "inequality is the root of social evil." And the inequality created when our workers receive unjust wages is clearly a main catalyst of the current economic crisis.
But the people most affected by this disastrous decision are struggling American families who exist on the fringes of this broken economy.
The Catholic faith teaches us that human work has intrinsic dignity, and that just wages honor that dignity.Read more
The Catholic Church is clear: the budget is a moral document that expresses the priorities of a nation. Ryan's budget cuts funding from programs that serve the poor, while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest of Americans.
Therefore, today we asked our membership sign on to this letter to Representative Ryan asking him to change priorities, and pass a budget that better serves the poorest in our midst.
Catholics around the nation applaud the tremendous courage shown by Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O'Malley and the seven bishops who participated in today's Mass and rally on the border of the United States and Mexico.
Cardinal O'Malley and his brother bishops are right: our current immigration system is a moral calamity that denies aspiring Americans their rights and dignity as children of God. Scripture tells us that God will judge the nations by how they treat the most marginalized in their midst. Knowing this truth, we pray that God's spirit will animate our leaders in the United States Congress and that we will be a nation where all are welcomed and where every aspiring immigrant is treated as a child of God and a brother and sister in Jesus Christ.Read more