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."
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.