BY ISN STAFF | January 27, 2017
Washington, DC – In anticipation of the March for Life on Friday, the Ignatian Solidarity Network, with seven other national Catholic Organizations sent a joint letter to President Trump and Congressional leadership calling for a renewed commitment to the dignity of all life and promotion of the common good. Other signatories include Catholic Mobilizing Network, Catholic Climate Covenant, The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, National Catholic Council of Women, and the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach.
The letter, addressed to President Trump as well as majority and minority leaders of Congress, asks that as the new administration takes office, “the dignity of all life, a strong commitment to a just peace, and care for our common home hold a central focus.”
Christopher Kerr, Executive Director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, commenting on the significance of organizations coming together for this joint letter stated, “as Catholics we are called to be voices for all who are marginalized by injustice, to demonstrate that all life has inherent dignity. This call is lived out in different ways throughout the Church but at its core is this key concept of the dignity of all human life.”
Calling for a renewed focus on life, the statement addresses a broad array of issues including climate change, global conflict and violence, immigration, healthcare, the refugee crisis, and the injustices present in our criminal justice system. The joint letter asks President Trump and Congressional leaders “to prioritize human life and to promote policies that will enable life to flourish.”
Karen Clifton, Executive Director of Catholic Mobilizing Network, remarked that in the aftermath of a such a divisive political season, “This is a teachable moment. This joint letter serves as an affirmation of our faith and its dedication to the right to life and protection of the vulnerable in our midst.”
Calling for the new administration to address the complex realities many in society face, the letter specifically calls for:
- Global Conflict and Violence: A strong commitment to ending conflicts, restoring peace, and de-escalating violence and conflict with other nations.
- Immigration: Comprehensive and humane immigration reform that provides a legal pathway for families to remain in our country, including maintaining the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and providing protection for young immigrants.
- Climate Change: A commitment to comprehensive climate reform efforts, including honoring the Paris Agreement, contributing to the Green Climate Fund, and implementing a Clean Power Plan.
- Health Care and Social Services: Strong support and implementation of services that support the well-being and self-sufficiency of the vulnerable such as: Medicaid, education and employment programs.
- Refugee Crisis: Swift aid and support to address the refugee crisis and a rejection of proposals that would jeopardize the religious freedom of any groups, especially Muslims.
- Criminal Justice: Restorative processes that aim to heal the harm caused by unjust societal systems, including: relations with law enforcement, policies regarding land ownership and water rights, employment, and housing opportunities.
The letter echoes the challenge Pope Francis laid before Congress in 2015 when he affirmed, “Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples.”
The letter concludes with Catholic leaders urging the President and Congressional leadership to “show you value life by leading our great country with justice, mercy, compassion, and wisdom.”
Click here to view a full transcript of the joint letter.