July 2014 Social Justice Calendar
Fri. July 4th First Friday Fast in Solidarity with Those Living in Poverty
Tues. July 8th Churches United Community Picnic & Celebration 4-8pm
Mon. July 14th Dorothy Day House Nativity serves supper
Tues. July 15th Frontline: Separate and Unequal current status of school segregation PPTV/Ch. 13 9pm
Fri. July 18th Birthright Brat Sale Northport Hornbachers 11am – 7pm
Sat. July 19th Birthright Brat Sale continues 11am – 7pm
Tues. July 22nd Frontline: Poor Kids poverty in America seen through the eyes of children
Sat. July 26th Salvation Army Nativity serves lunch Call Cathy at Nativity if you would like to help.
Wed. July 29th International Day of Friendship
Bishop Richard Pates, Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the USCCB, has again urged for the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on interrogation practices, including torture, used by the C.I.A. “ Since this report has been several years in the making, I hope now is the time to make it public. Only by acknowledging past practices can the United States move to regain the moral high ground as a protector and promoter of human rights.” Bishop Pates wrote.
In a letter to the Senate Committee on Intelligence, Bishop Pates restated Catholic teaching on torture:
“The Catholic Church has long registered absolute opposition to torture. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church asserts: “In carrying out investigations, the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: ‘Christ’s disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer’s victim’. International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which cannot be contravened under any circumstances.”
The complete letter is available at www.usccb.org.
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has designated June as Torture Awareness Month.
The new regulations recently established by the Environmental Protection Agency to address climate change and reduce carbon pollution are the subject of much discussion. In a letter to Gina McCarthy at the EPA, May 29, 2014, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, representing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, applied the following social justice principles to this crucial issue:
“As the EPA takes steps to address climate change and reduce carbon pollution, we ask you to be guided by the following principles taken from our statement and the teaching of Pope Francis:
- Respect for Human Life and Dignity. The regulations and all efforts to reduce the impact of climate change should respect human life and dignity, especially that of the poorest and most vulnerable: from children in the womb to the elderly. In particular, these measures must protect poor and vulnerable communities and persons from the health impacts of climate change, including exposure to climate-sensitive diseases, heat waves and diminished air quality.
- Prudence on Behalf of the Common Good. We believe that wise action to address climate change is required now to protect the common good for present and future generations.
- Priority for the Poor and Vulnerable. The consequences of climate change will be borne by the world’s most vulnerable people; inaction will worsen their suffering.
- Social and Economic Justice. Workers should be protected from negative effects on the workforce resulting from the new standards and should receive assistance to mitigate impacts on their livelihoods and families. Any additional costs that such standards may generate must be distributed fairly, without undue burden on the poor.
- Care for Creation. We are called to be responsible stewards of the earth and to use the gifts we have been given to protect human life and dignity, now and in the future.
- Participation. Local communities should have a voice in shaping these standards based on their local impact, especially low-income communities whose voice is often not heard. It is in accord with their dignity that they participate in this process.
We appreciate your commitment to address this urgent global challenge confronting the human family. The USCCB stands ready to work with you, the Administration, and members of Congress to ensure that measures necessary to address climate change both care for creation and protect “the least of these.”
Torture Awareness Month
Sun. June 1st Week of Prayer for Immigration Reform begins
Wed. June 4th Homelessness 101 Training 9am – 4pm Elim Lutheran Church $10 Call 701-200-0855 to register.
Thurs. June 5th World Environment Day
Fri. June 6th First Friday Fast in Solidarity with Those Living in Poverty
Sun. June 8th Pentecost
World Oceans Day
Interfaith Prayer for Peace at the Vatican
Mon. June 9th Dorothy Day House Nativity serves supper
Sun. June 15th Father’s Day
Tues. June 17th World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
Fri. June 20th World Refugee Day
Thurs. June 26th International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Sat. June 28th Salvation Army Nativity serves lunch Call Cathy at Nativity if you would like to help.
In a powerful witness of solidarity, Pope Francis celebrated mass last July on the island of Lampedusa off the coast of Italy, a port of entry for many migrants escaping hardship in the Middle East and Africa. In his homily, he had an important message for these migrants: “The Church is at your side as you seek a more dignified life for yourselves and your families.”
On the Feast of the Ascension (Thursday, May 29), members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, including those who celebrated Mass on the border in April 2014 to pray for immigration reform, will take their message to Capitol Hill, asking our legislators in the House of Representatives to act on immigration reform legislation before the elections in the fall. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) joins the USCCB in this effort to reform our current immigration system and address the root causes of migration.
You can also answer our Gospel call in Matthew 25 to welcome the stranger by joining Catholics across the country in prayer and action for immigration reform in the seven days leading up to Pentecost (June 1-8). Please visit the Justice for Immigrants website of the USCCB for prayers, educational resources, sample social media posts, and instructions on how to email, call, or visit your legislators in support of just immigration reform.
Yours in Christ,
Your Catholics Confront Global Poverty team