Inspired by their faith, a group of Alabamians are refusing to give up despite their own elected officials’ intransigence. Yesterday they prayed and sang outside the Senate chamber, blocking the entryway and forcing the Senators to hear their message. Rev. Angie Wright explained:
The purpose was twofold. One purpose was to express moral outrage and opposition to HB 56, Alabama’s inhumane immigration law, and secondly to challenge the Senate to take action and to move through their fear of standing up to the opposition they face.
Cardinal Dolan went on MSNBC’s Jansing and Co. this week to talk about the Catholic Church and politics. In his interview, he issued a bold call for comprehensive immigration reform and a stinging critique of the Republican party’s inhumane and ineffective policies on the issue.
Dolan’s appearance continues the Church’s consistent advocacy around fixing a flawed immigration system that breaks up families and leaves millions of immigrants languishing in the shadows. Catholic bishops have opposed Alabama’s anti-immigrant law in their document on religious liberty and filed an amicus brief against the similar legislation in Arizona being weighed by the Supreme Court. Don’t hold your breath waiting to hear GOP leaders bring that up any time soon.
Former Colorado governor (and Catholic) Bill Ritter Jr. weighs in at the Denver Post on the recent controversy of a small Colorado non-profit that works with immigrants potentially losing its funding from the USCCB’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development because of its membership in a statewide coalition of groups that has taken positions on some LGBT issues.
These are hard times. One in six Americans now live below the official poverty level and more than 46 million of our fellow citizens — almost half of them children — rely on food stamps to make ends meet. Some members of Congress want to slash safety nets for children, the elderly and the sick. Catholic bishops and other Catholic leaders have correctly described themost recent GOP budget proposal as morally indefensible.
With some in Washington determined to play politics with the lives of the poor, it is more important than ever that we keep politics out of the church’s commitment to the most vulnerable. Do we really want more children going to bed hungry, or an immigrant mother denied prenatal care simply because the organization providing the care is associated with another organization that does not meet a conservative litmus test? This makes no sense and undercuts the effectiveness of organizations doing critical work helping struggling families.
It seems to me to be a drastic departure from how we American Catholics try to practice our faith.