Themes of Catholic Social Teaching
A Challenge to American Catholics to Mobilize Against Global Poverty
Keeping America's promise to make poverty history by increasing foreign aid toward .7% of the National Income.
October 27-28, 2006
St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco
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8/15 Israeli Catholics gather in Nazareth to pray for peace
8/14 Pope discusses Middle East, morality in wide-ranging interview
7/24 Pope calls for end to Mideast violence, states concern for civilians
Make Poverty History
Support Human Dignity
The UNITE HERE Hotel Workers Rising campaign represents an effort to empower thousands of hotel workers in hundreds of properties in cities across North America as they work to improve their jobs and secure better lives for themselves and their families. YOU can help by signing a free petition Click Here
WASHINGTONAccording to recent nationwide opinion polls, support for Roe v. Wade is waning.
Deirdre McQuade, Director of Planning and Information at the USCCB’s Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, notes that “public opinion has moved progressively away from supporting unqualified access to abortion.”
“This is a real sign of hope,” she said, “for both women and their unborn children.”
A May 4 Harris poll which misleadingly asked about support for Roe v. Wade as if that decision made abortion legal during only the first three months of pregnancy found that support has dropped below 50% for the first time in 30 years. It also showed that 44% of Americans said they would support a law in their own state like South Dakota's, banning all abortions except to save the mother's life.
“An April 2006 survey by the Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend found that 54% support limiting legal abortion to the extreme circumstances of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother,” Ms. McQuade said, “and an additional 21% would limit abortion to only the first trimester a far cry from the abortion license established by Roe v. Wade, which allows abortion for virtually any reason throughout the nine months of pregnancy.”
In March, a Zogby poll found majority support for abortion regulations such as informed consent laws for women and parental notification laws, with 69% favoring such measures for girls under 17 years old.
“We expect that Americans will continue to trend pro-life as they learn more about abortion and its impact on women, men, and society,” Ms. McQuade said.
March 10, 2006
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
We welcome this and other efforts that seek to examine how Catholic legislators bring together their faith and their policy choices. As the Catholic bishops of the United States said in our June 2004 statement, “Catholics in Political Life”:
Therefore, we welcome the Representatives’ recognition that Catholics in public life must act seriously and responsibly on many important moral issues. Our faith has an integral unity that calls Catholics to defend human life and human dignity whenever they are threatened. A priority for the poor, the protection of family life, the pursuit of justice and the promotion of peace are fundamental priorities of the Catholic moral tradition which cannot be ignored or neglected. We encourage and will continue to work with those in both parties who seek to act on these essential principles in defense of the poor and vulnerable.
At the same time, we also need to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s constant teaching that abortion is a grave violation of the most fundamental human right the right to life that is inherent in all human beings, and that grounds every other right we possess. Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation on the vocation and mission of the laity, Christifideles Laici, which the Representatives’ statement cites, declares:
While it is always necessary to work to reduce the number of abortions by providing alternatives and help to vulnerable parents and children, Catholic teaching calls all Catholics to work actively to restrain, restrict and bring to an end the destruction of unborn human life.
As the Church carries out its central responsibility to teach clearly and help form consciences, and as Catholic legislators seek to act in accord with their own consciences, it is essential to remember that conscience must be consistent with fundamental moral principles. As members of the Church, all Catholics are obliged to shape our consciences in accord with the moral teaching of the Church.
As bishops, we too are bound by our own consciences to teach faithfully and to recommit ourselves to continued reflection and discussion on how Catholic faith and public service can work together to promote human life and dignity and advance the common good. Through dialogue, especially the irreplaceable dialogue between Catholic political leaders and their own bishops, we hope to promote a better understanding of how the Church’s teaching on human life and dignity challenges us all.
The AIDS epidemic in Africa kills millions every year, leaving millions of African children without parents, left to fend for themselves. There are currently about 12 million AIDS orphans in Africa. This is expected to double in the next 10 years.
The Sisters of St. Therese have made it their mission to make a difference in the lives of these AIDS orphans.Based in Tanzania, the Sisters of St. Therese have been caring for these orphans for the past 10 years in various programs.
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Immigration Poem Selected by Archbishop Niederauer
Blessed are those who are on the move,
transforming exodus and flight in energy for a new search.
From the victims will come the protagonists of history.
Blessed are those who, forced to wander without direction, with wisdom learn and teach the lessons of the road. They will be the architects of a new time.
Blessed are those who suffer pain, nostalgia and loneliness, yet know how to make of every arrival a new beginning. They shall ad with faith, hope and life.
Blessed are those who open borders
and mix the anthems, flags, races and creeds.
Without discrimination, they make the world everyone's home.
Blessed the wayfarers of all roads
in the tears, sweat and the work of their hands.
They prepare a tomorrow of justice and right.
Blessed are those who open the door to pilgrims, making solidarity the passport to our common homeland. They are constructing a new citizenship,
Blessed are those who foment encounters and re-encounters,
They will harvest flowers and stars in the new heaven and the new earth,
Blessed are the excluded, without opportunities and without voice. They will be the first guests in the great banquet, where bread will not be lacking on anyone's table.
-Fr. Jose Alfredo Goncalves Brazil