Catholic Advocacy


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  • Now let us go over the seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Go over the historical development of these principles (1891 Leo XIII’s RerumNovarum – 2009 Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate)Using the handout on the seven principle go over each one’s definition. Perhaps have readers read them out load to everyone. (give presenter a break)This is the lens of our Church’s moral principles from which our conscience is to be formed. Engage in a discussion using examples for each principle.This is the basis of our Catholic social teaching. Our best kept secret… no longer.The ensuing issues flow from these seven principles.Forming Conscience will organize the issue from these principles by constructing four categories:Human LifeFamily LifeSocial JusticeGlobal SolidarityAnd off we go…
  • Also Important.Especially in light of the partisan and divisive environment our Church challenges us to be communities of salt and light. Again, refer to Vatican II’s document on the lay apostolate to remind folks how we are to appropriately engage in our political responsibility.Share the ground rules (and handout from the USCCB).
  • Next Steps. Being a faithful CitizenBig reminder: Its not about November 6th. Think of Nov. 6th as a teachable moment. We are called to be faithful citizens 24/7Create a handout of resources and links. Hand that out and go over it with the audience.Remind folks about the March NYSCC advocacy in Albany.February Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in DC.
  • Catholic Advocacy

    1. 1. St. Ignatius “Love ought to manifest itself in of Loyola deeds rather than in words.... love consists in a mutual sharing of goods, for example, the lover gives and shares with the beloved what he possesses, or something of that which he has or is able to give; and vice versa, the beloved shares with the lover. Hence, if one has knowledge, he shares it with the one who does not possess it; and so also if one has honors, or riches. Thus, one always gives to the other.” – Spiritual Exercises 1524 AD
    2. 2. Pope Benedict XVI “Deus Caritas Est”The Churchs deepest nature isexpressed in her three-foldresponsibility: of proclaiming theword of God (kerygma-martyria),celebrating the sacraments(leitourgia), and exercising theministry of charity (diakonia).These duties presuppose eachother and are inseparable. Forthe Church, charity is not a kindof welfare activity which couldequally well be left to others, butis a part of her nature, anindispensable expression of hervery being. #25
    3. 3. 2012 Motu Proprio: “On the Service • The service of charity is also a constitutive of Charity” element of the Church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her very being; all the faithful have the right and duty to devote themselves personally to living the new commandment that Christ left us (cf. Jn 15:12), and to offering our contemporaries not only material assistance, but also refreshment and care for their souls (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 28). The Church is also called as a whole to the exercise of the diakonia of charity, whether in the small communities of particular Churches or on the level of the universal Church.
    4. 4. Caritas in Veritate #6  The Common Good Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: the common good… To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. To take a stand for the common good is on the one hand to be solicitous for, and on the other hand to avail oneself of, that complex of institutions that give structure to the life of society, juridically, civilly, politically and culturally, making it the pólis, or “city”. The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them.
    5. 5.  Every Christian is called to practice this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis. This is the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbor directly, outside the institutional mediation of the pólis. When animated by charity, commitment to the common good has greater worth than a merely secular and political stand would have. – Caritas in Veritate #6
    6. 6. Advocating for Justice Parishes need to promote a revived sense of political responsibility calling Catholics to be informed and active citizens, participating in the debate over the values and vision that guide our communities and nation. Parishes as local institutions have special opportunities to develop leaders, to promote citizenship, and to provide forums for discussion and action on public issues. - Communities of Salt and Light
    7. 7. Advocating for Justice  The voices of parishioners need to be heard on behalf of vulnerable children-born and unborn-on behalf of those who suffer discrimination and injustice, on behalf of those without health care or housing, on behalf of our land and water, our communities and neighborhoods.Parishioners need to bring our values andvision into the debates about a changingworld and shifting national priorities.Parishes and parishioners are findingdiverse ways to be political without beingpartisan, joining legislative networks,community organizations, and otheradvocacy groups.
    8. 8.  Life and Dignity of the Human Person Call to Family, Community, and Participation Rights and Responsibilities Option for the Poor and Vulnerable The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers Solidarity Care for God’s Creation
    9. 9. • We can take on with passion specific issues that call on us and organize, in • “The Christian faith is an integral unity, coalition with others, to address that and thus it is incoherent to isolate some issue. However, always remember to particular element to the detriment of promote and defend all our Catholic the whole of Catholic doctrine. A social issues. political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church’s social doctrine• The Gospel message cannot be does not exhaust one’s responsibility compromised. It would be great and towards the common good. Nor can a easy for us to simply take those Catholic think of delegating his passages that fit within our comfortable Christian responsibility to others; rather, lifestyle and ignore the ones that the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives him this challenge us. task, so that the truth about man and the world might be proclaimed and put into• “If you believe what you like in the action.” #4 gospels, and reject what you don’t like, • 2002 Doctrinal note “Participation of it is not the gospel you believe, but Catholics in Political Life” yourself.” • St. Augustine: Sermons 20,2 On single issue focus
    10. 10. Civil DiscourseO Catholics should try to O Ground Rules: cooperate with all men O Make sure everyone has an opportunity and women of good will to to speak promote whatever is true, O Share your personal experience not whatever just, whatever someone else’s. holy, whatever lovable (cf. O Listen carefully and respectfully. Do not Phil. 4:8). They should play the role of know it all, convincer or hold discussions with corrector. Dialogue is not a Debate. them, excel them in O Don’t interrupt unless for clarification prudence and courtesy, or timekeeping and initiate research on O Accept that no group or viewpoint has a social and public practices monopoly on the truth. which should be improved O “Be more ready to give a favorable in line with the spirit of the interpretation to another’s statement Gospel. (Apostolicam than to condemn it.” Actuasitatem #14) O Be cautious about assigning motives to another person.
    11. 11. Being a Faithful Citizen VOTE… (Make a Moral Decision) but don’t stop there! Develop an ongoing relationship with your local, state and federal elected official:  Visit, Write/email, Call (take copies of our “Contacting Your Elected Official” handout. Vote with your money.  Be a conscientious consumer  Be a socially responsible Investor
    12. 12. What Can Catholics Do? Organize Prayer or Faith Sharing Groups related to Catholic social teaching Develop or join a Parish advocacy/social justice Committee  Organize a Parish Voter’s registration where you offer resources from the USCCB or NY State Catholic Conference (NYSCC)  Promote upcoming advocacy events  Take part in advocacy campaigns that are sponsored by the USCCB
    13. 13. • Catholic Social Ministry Gathering • Join this excellent opportunity for leaders in Catholic social ministry to Connect – Learn – Pray – Advocate! Exciting plenary presentations, briefings, workshops, and strategy sessions will address current topics essential to our various ministries, and better prepare you and your colleagues for challenges ahead. • justice-peace-and-human- development/catholic-social- ministry-gathering/Advocacy Event
    14. 14. Advocacy Events • Catholics at the Capitol – Wednesday March 20, 2013 • Join with the Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops of New York State for a day of workshops and advocacy on issues of grave importance. Many participants will meet with their legislators and everyone will participate in2013 Advocacy Issues• Oppose the radical abortion bill which expands abortion and Mass with the Bishops. threatens religious liberty• Preserve Catholic schools and provide equitable resources for Lunch will be provided. all school children• Ensure that Medicaid redesign provides benefit to consumers • and does not diminish quality of care public-policy-day-• Develop affordable housing for low-income and vulnerable populations information/• Support humane treatment for incarcerated individuals
    15. 15. Advocacy CampaignRespect Life Program The Respect Life Program begins anew each year on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October. The program is highlighted in liturgies and marked by special events. The USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities publishes a program packet each year to call attention to numerous human life issues. These materials are especially helpful for priests, parish groups and other organizations. Pocket folder contains Respect Life flyers (English and Spanish) and eight life-activities/respect-life- pamphlet-length articles (perfect for program/ bulletins and vestibule pamphlet racks) covering major pro-life issues.
    16. 16.  Poverty USA Campaign • Learn: Listen to real stories about people living in poverty, learn the facts about poverty in the United States and understand the root causes. • Act: Join our Action Network and we’ll send you updates on issues that impact people living in poverty along with opportunities to advocate. • Connect: network with others and help build a national movement to end poverty. • Pray: resources to pray and reflect over these issues.
    17. 17. Advocacy Campaign Justice for Immigrant Campaign ◦ The primary objectives of the JFI campaign are: ◦ To educate the public, especially the Catholic community, including Catholic public officials, about Church teaching on migration and immigrants; ◦ To create political will for positive immigration reform; ◦ To enact legislative and administrative reforms based on the principles articulated by the bishops; and ◦ To organize Catholic networks to assist qualified immigrants obtain the benefits of the reforms. http://www.justiceforimmigrants.o rg/index.shtml
    18. 18. Advocacy Campaign • Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN) Against the Death Penalty - proclaims the Church’s unconditional pro-life teaching and its application to capital punishment and restorative justice. • What We Do • Educate the lay community through our programs and materials on the Church’s teachings on the death penalty. • Facilitate respectful and informed discourse within the Catholic community and the community at large. • Encourage informed Catholic involvement in the public debate. •
    19. 19. Advocacy Campaign The Catholic Climate Covenant  The Coalition has also focused its work on providing a forum to explore the issues and faith implications of climate change through hosted hearings around the country. It also works to connect Catholics by staying in touch with state and diocesan leaders who are promoting climate change activities and partners with other national Catholic organizations to assist them in connecting the issue of climate change within their institutions. The Coalition also promotes participation and partnerships between Catholic dioceses and Catholic organizations to develop programs at the local level often by offering small grants.
    20. 20.  Catholics Confront Global Poverty  We seek to educate and mobilize Catholics in the United States to defend the lives and dignity of people living in poverty throughout the world, and urge our nation to act in response to the many faces of poverty.  Advocate with us to confront the root causes of poverty worldwide—hunger, disease, conflict, and injustice—which disproportionately affect the lives of our impoverished brothers and sisters around the globe.  http://www.confrontglobalpover Campaign
    21. 21. Advocacy Resources Your Catholic Charities PSM  Legislative resources: Developer on advocacy and special  Pop Vox: projects: John Gonzalez  (516) 733-5827  Gov Tracks:   (communicating Catholic Legislative Action Alerts: with Congress):  USCCB action center: communicating-with-congress/ action/take-action-now/capwiz/  THOMAS:  NYSCC Catholic Action Network: mas.php ce/mlm/verify/  DC and Hill media: Local Community Organizations  The Hill:  LI Congregations, Associations and  Politico: Neighborhoods:  Roll Call:  Micah/Island Harvest: =171&name=Advocacy  National Journal:  LI Index:
    22. 22. COMMUNICATING WITH CONGRESS Vehicles of Communication:  Letter writing  Phone calls  Emails  Social networking Rule #1: Contact only your law makers, let them know you are their constituent. Rule #2: Keep it short simple and sweet, Be polite (When texting AVOID ALL CAPS)  Is it representative of the mail that is coming in?  Is it something represented in the mmunicating-with-congress/ news?  Is it a compelling message? Rule #3: Get personal; avoid form letters from advocacy groups
    23. 23. St. Catherineof Siena“Do not close your eyes to thewrongs which your officialscommit through bribery orneglect of the poor. Be a father tothe impoverished as an almonerof what God has given you. See toit that the crimes committed inyour kingdom are punished andthat the good deeds are exaltedand rewarded. All this is part ofdivine justice.” - Letter: 1374 AD