Pope Francis's US trip to highlight his "poor Church for the poor"

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!"

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A Response to the Supreme Court's Ruling in King v. Burwell

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. 

Catholics celebrate Pope Francis's encyclical letter on care for creation

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 respond to Pope Francis's visit to the White House

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.

Catholics oppose unjust fast tracking of free trade deal

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:

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Catholics respond to the news that Pope Francis will address US Congress

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 responds to the murder of two New York City police officers

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!” 

CACG responds to Pope Francis's intervention in new US-Cuba deal

Francis‬'s 78th birthday is today. To celebrate, he gave the American people an incredible gift.

By helping broker today's historic agreement between the United States and Cuba, Pope Francis has once again proven that the Church at its best can be an instrument of peace, justice and progress in a world where violence, injustice and decline are all too prevalent. The Holy Father has shown us the important role that faith can play in public life and how it can contribute in making our world more just and less cold. We pray that this new era of relations between the United States and Cuba can lead a more peaceful and productive era between our two nations.

CACG responds to the report released on the apostolic visitation of US women religious

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.

CACG responds to the grand jury decision in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

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.

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